Why PAWriter II Was Developed

If you are curious about why Personal Ancestry Writer II was developed, Howard Metcalfe has put together a page (accessed here) about why he developed PAWriter II:

Many years ago, the limitations of the old Mac PAF drove me (the author of PAWriter) to create a similar program without some of those limitations, and to rescue years of work already committed to PAF so it could be processed in today’s MacOS. Here’s a few of the objectives I wanted to and did attain.

The number of people on file and the size of notes for any person had to be virtually unlimited. The length of person and place name pieces had to be doubled. Some additional GEDCOM tags had to be accepted. Book writing (including automatic generation of an index) and HTML capabilities had to be added. PAWriter had to run equivalently under MacOS 9 and MacOS X.

For writing books, the notes wouuld have to carry the load of most of the book text. They would contain all of the evidence, substantiation, documentation, background information, clarification, interpretation and/or other relevant commentary pertinant to a person on file.

Along the way, I added additional features to PAWriter to assist in my research: basic pedigree charts, family group sheets, possible problem reports, self-checking of file consistency, etc. Ultimately the inclusion of pictures was added.

To navigate through very large numbers of people on file, a powerful “tagging” system was included. It provides flexible selection of subsets of people in a file by 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.

Some things PAWriter is not meant to do: LDS ordinances, complete GEDCOM compatibility as defined in the version 5.5 standand (and handled nicely by GEDitCOM), fancy charting and other bells and whistles that are included in other genealogical programs (no disrespect intended) such as Reunion. The emphasis is on secular research (including intercommunication with other researchers) and publishing.

As he mentions above, and in the rest of the article (the above are just excerpts), he talks about using PAWriter to write books.

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