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I have written a freeware genealogy program, Personal Ancestry Writer II (PAWriter II), for MacOS X. It combines most of the features of the LDS Personal Ancestral File program (PAF) for the Macintosh (for which all development stopped a few years ago after release 2.3.1), with additional features that generate web pages (in HTML), word processing files (in RTF for, e.g., AppleWorks) and desktop publishing files (in MML for FrameMaker). The generated report files include genealogical dictionaries, registers, ahnentafels and lineages—such as appear on this site—as well as some interesting text files and pedigree charts.PAWriter also provides flexible selection of subsets of people in a file by "tagging" them (marking them as members of the subset) using a host of selection criteria. Selections include inclusion (+), exclusion (-) and intersection (*) of the set of people meeting the criteria with those already tagged.Consider PAWriter to be a possible next step in the development of Macintosh PAF had its develpment not been discontinued after release 2.3.1, i.e., "what might have been." PAWriter is not meant to have the bells and whistles that are in the current crop of genealogical programs. The emphasis is on maintaining a genealogical database from which the user can write books and/or post web pages about a family. Importantly, the use of PAWriter differs from other programs in that each statement given in a person's vital statistics should be based on the evidence given or referenced in the notes for that person and/or for his or her relatives, and should represent the researcher's best current conclusions as to the true facts. For this purpose, the notes should contain all of the evidence, substantiation, documentation, background information, clarification, interpretation and/or other relevant commentary. It is in these notes that source citations are referenced through footnotes inserted at the appropriate points in the notes' text, as is normally done in books. (The footnotes will be included at the end of the printed notes in the generated reports.)The program is written in REALbasic. Note that REALbasic is not really basic. It's a sophisticated and efficient object-oriented integrated development environment.I am accepting comments, suggestions and reports of problems from other users. Personally, I am working with a very large file containing 44,700 people in 15,700 families and 1,180,000 words in notes.Help is available for any item in most windows by pressing the Shift key and moving the cursor over the item, or moving the cursor to the top left corner to see general help for the window. This is described by clicking the About Help button in the main window or selecting About PAWriter Help from the Help menu when in most windows. (You can also press the Help key if your keyboard has one, or control-e if not.)An extensive reference guide can be opened when you are in the main window by clicking on the Reference button to open the guide in your browser, or by choosing the PAWriter Reference Guide item under the Help menu. Then you will be able to access the guide at any time by just switching to your browser.PAWriter requires a G3/G4/G5/Intel processor, MacOS 10.3 (Panther) or higher and at least a 1024 x 768 color monitor.A PAWriter data file may contain more than two billion people and each person's notes may contain more than two billion characters, although this would require terrabytes of RAM and disk space and speed to match! The more pertinent limitations are that a person may have no more than ten spouses/partners, each with no more than thirty children.
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