- The GEDCOM 5.5.2 document describes a data interchange specification for genealogy data. To define the purpose of some elements, it includes terms used in genealogy to help implementers determine how data in the sending or receiving system maps to GEDCOM 5.5.2 data elements.
- The GEDCOM 5.5.2 document is not a general-purpose guide for how to process or manipulate genealogy data. The document must avoid exceeding its scope and intruding on the domain of the sending or receiving systems.
- The specification describes GEDCOM 5.5.2. It does not describe prior GEDCOM versions with the exception of some references to GEDCOM 5.5.1 in the Introduction and Changes in GEDCOM 5.5.2 sections.
- Prior GEDCOM versions included requirements that were specific to the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (now known as FamilySearch). While it is appropriate for an organization to impose requirements on partners with whom it exchanges data, those requirements should not be included in a specification that is used by other people and organizations to exchange data.
GEDCOM 5.5.2 does not contain any requirements that are specific to any organization, and none should be introduced.
If an organization or group has requirements that are not included in the GEDCOM 5.5.2 specification, they should describe those requirements in a separate document and verify that documents they accept or produce meet those requirements.
Those characteristics are all deliberate.
- HTML is the most popular document format and is based on an open standard.
- HTML supports in-document links that are a critical feature for a document that includes hundreds of definitions that reference other definitions.
- HTML browsers allow end-users to adjust the reading environment, an important consideration for readers with vision challenges.
- The base stylesheet supplies the styles used to format the content. The "Dark" and "Light" stylesheets allow the reader to choose a "light text on dark background" style ("Dark"), or the opposite ("Light").
- Using a single HTML document and a few CSS stylesheets simplifies sharing the document and/or keeping a local copy.
The "See:" reference lists are created automatically by a program that reviews the document for certain kinds of links and then updates the lists.
For automated entries:
- Do not change class names for the tables used to describe record and subrecord structures.
- Do not edit the
<div class="references">elements or their child elements.
- Do not assign the
referencesclass to any manually-edited HTML.
Best Practice Sections
Best Practice sections use nested lists. The text for an outer-list item is a brief statement of the challenge, problem, or issue that the best practice recommendation(s) are intended to address. The list nested under that item describes the recommendations.
<div class="best-practice"> <h4 id="area-best-practice">Best Practice Recommendations</h4> <ul> <li> <p>Description of issue.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Suggestion one</p> </li> <li> <p>Suggestion two</p> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> </div>