We are developing a Windows based new genealogical program Haza-21. For that reason we had no time to translate the current Dutch version 7.2 into English. We don't expect an English version of Haza-21 ready before the year 2006.
From now we give you the full version of the DOS program as freeware.
Download now the 690 KB self extracting ZIP-file.
By Rafal T. Prinke (Poznan, Poland)
Lineage-linked database programs from European countries other than the United Kingdom are little known in the USA. The reason is simple: their user interfaces are in languages of the countries in which they were written and therefore English-speaking genealogists have no interest in using them. On the other hand, European genealogy software developers seem to have no interest in the large American market. They may take it for granted that because there are so many American program they have no chance of entering that market (and the fact that the English language PEDIGREE from the UK could not do that seems to confirm it).
There is, however, an European program that is fully multi-lingual and already available in several language versions with over 6,000 registered users in many countries. The program is HAZA-DATA written by a Dutch programmer Hans van der Zanden (in Modula-2 language) and distributed by Telapas Software.
I will attempt to describe some of its features and explain why American genealogists may like to consider trying it out. Most, if not all, lineage-linked database programs use the familiar form-like screens with field names, fileds, buttons, pull-down menu bars, etc. It has become almost a standard in most database programs - not only genealogical - so that authors of new programs do not try to invent something new. But when one considers the clarity of display, it may be that for some people at least such screens appear "cluttered" with unnecessary information background noise. If you are one of them, you may find the HAZA-DATA user interface much more interesting. The basic concept is that only information itself is displayed. Any functions are accessed by pressing one or two keys which are always a mnemonic cluster easy to remembr. For instance to input a name you press "n", to input a date of birth you press "db", place of birth is "pb", and so on (in the English language version, of course, as in other versions these are different). And you do not have to remember all of these abbreviations all the time - at any point in the program you may just press F1 and a list of the keys active at that point is dispayed. After using the program for a short while you will learn the most important key combinations even if you do not want to!
Family Group with parents above and children below a horizontal line, listed chronologically according to birth date. These are just names and the purpose of this screen is to move around the family and choose the person or marriage for editing or marking people for reports. To go to the family group in which one of the children is the parent, you just go to his/her position with the cursor bar and press RIGHT ARROW (there is a small right arrow displayed at each child who has a spouse or child to help with the choice). To move up the tree, place the cursor bar on one of the parents and press the INS key which takes you to the family group in which he/she is a child. You can also add new persons and marriages from this screen. To add parents of the husband you just press "h", those of the wife - "w". To add a new child do the family press "c" and to add a person that is already in the database - "a". You may equally easily add new marriages to both parents and unmarried children. In the case of parents pressing LEFT ARROW adds an earlier marriage and RIGHT ARROW - a later one. All this is simple and intuitive, yet powerful.
When the cursor bar is placed on a person and you hit ENTER, the data edit screen appears displaying all the information you have entered so far - but not in the form-like way known from other programs. In HAZA-DATA everything is shown without field titles and without the fields themselves. Actually, what you see is not a record but rather formatted printout from the record. Entering new data is made through edit windows which appear when you press the required key combination. And pressing INS brings the current data into the window for editing. As always, F1 gives a list of all available keys and some options are very useful - as for instance marking the person as "possibly" child of these parents. Others include such niceties as "found" instead of "born" or "killed", "murdered", "perished" instead of "died". All these choices immediately change the text on screen. Similar screen is displayed when pressing ENTER with the cursor bar on the marriage horizontal line. In that case, the information being edited refers to marriage.
Finally, while in the edit screen "t" is pressed, you are moved to the text information screen, which allows notes of unlimited length with all basic word processing functions. The text can be differentiated as research notes (between two # characters) or marginal notes (between two sqare brackets), which may later be included or excluded from printed reports.
Different genealogy programs use different formats for the basic pieces of data. In HAZA-DATA names of individuals are input with joining characters for groups so that all forenames and all parts of a multi-part surname are joined with an underscore, and patronymics are preceded by a tilde. When entering any name or placename, the program automatically changes the first letter into upper case, unless it is a word you specified in your configuration file as "always lower case" (e.g. "von" or "de" in names). You may also force lower case by preceding a name with back slash. All these special function characters do not appear on printed reports.
With place names there is an option of enclosing names of regions or states in parentheses which can be then searched separately. When inputting the same place name again, one can enter only the first few characters and press TAB to get it into the edit window. If there are more than one matches, pressing TAB again brings the next match.
Dates can be input in a variety of formats and the format prefered for display and printout can be defined in the configuration file. All the standard date modifiers such as "before", "after" or "between" are supported.
Another aspect of HAZA-DATA that is an innovation in genealogical software is the fact that there are no RIN or ID numbers. As the authors of the program say "genealogists are not accountants" - and they are right, even though some people like to have unique numbers assigned to key persons in their database. So how does one find a person or persons without RIN? From the first edit screen - and several other screens in report preparation options - you can just press "s" and the search options screen appears, on which you can give as many (or as little) information about the person you want to find as you like. The options to use vary from names and dates to occupations, names of ancestors or descendants, etc. You may specify just one letter or you may give several possibilities separated with the bar "|" character. You may also specify "none" and get a list of persons missing some of the data pieces. The search criteria are remembered by the program, so that you can use them many times. If you hit ENTER without giving any information, you get a list of all individuals in the database.
An interesting feature of HAZA-DATA is its ability to cope with any number of synonyms or spelling variants of names, which - when enabled - are also searched for matches.
Once in the list of found individuals, you can mark some of them with the "x" key so that the next time you want to search the database pressing "x" from the search criteria screen immediately brings the list of marked ones. This is also useful for various reports.
HAZA-DATA offers a variety of reports, some of which are quite standard while others are unique. As space does not make it possible to describe them all in detail here, I will limit it to a brief listing. With each of these reports and tree diagrams there is a wide range of options for which information should be included, in what order, format of dates and place names, etc. With descendants the options also include such niceties as male lines only (which I think should be standard in all genealogy programs, as it allows to print out a one-name family monograph without the need to split the database), female lines only (for those who would object to the previous option), legitimate lines only, or "selection" in which the user is always prompted whether to include issue of every person with children.
Descendants - a report similar to the Register Report but in the format used in Continental Europe (especially the Benelux and Germany) which has different kind of pointers.
Ahnentafel list - optionally with all children for every couple.
Pedigree chart - graphic presentation of pedigrees, used only in the Benelux and South Africa (as far as I know) but very interesting and making nice impression.
Direct ancestors - in male or female line.
Relationship - for two or more persons.
All relatives - a cumulative report for one person, listing all his/her relatives from a specified number or generations before and after.
Whole file report - a very unsual but useful report. All persons within the database are grouped into unrelated "trees" and listed generation by generation.
For all these reports we may generate a variety of indexes. They can also be sent to a text file for later word processing - with an option of user defined formating codes. These are by default Word Perfect 5.1 codes and a whole bunch of WP 5.1 macros is included with the commercial version of HAZA-DATA.
We now come to the feature of HAZA-DATA that made the greatest impression on me. There is just one type of these - sometimes called "tall trees" - with the "top person" placed on the left and his/her descendants or ancestors proceeding to the right generation by generation. The speed of constructing these trees is really impressive and they can be previewed on the screen (with panning facilities), sent to file or printer.
The options for any tree include all those for other descendants/ancestors reports (i.e. male lines only, etc.) plus what data should be included (just names, dates, places, spouses, etc.). Data on every person may be enclosed in a box or not, and the boxes can be differentiated for males, females and persons with issue. Additionally a subset of the individuals on the diagram can be marked with a special box. This subset is created using the standard selection facility, so you could mark all individuals 'aged over 80', 'murdered', 'farmers' or whatever you like.
The trees are very space saving. Programs such as Brother's Keeper or Pedigree (UK) also offer nice trees but they allocate the same amount of space for every person, irrespective of how much information on him/her is available. In HAZA-DATA boxes are "elastic" - of variable size. In this way one can squeeze much more into a standard A-4 page - and with the "selection" option for whom to include, it is very easy to divide larger trees into several A-4 tables and add pointers in a word processor afterwards.
Where HAZA-DATA aproaches the impossible, however, is when it meets inter-family marriages in descendant trees or repeated ancestors pedigree trees. But when you come to showing how several chosen people are related to one another via multiple common ancestors, it is really hard to believe a small program like HAZA-DATA can accomplish what it does! I will let the printouts speak for themselves since, as the Chinese say, "a picture is worth a thousand words".
There are two options for generating listings of people. The simple one lets you select a group of persons (via the search criteria) or all of them and information items to include and list them. The other - tabular - is quite complex, with many advanced options such as defining the order and an option to use one of the fields as sort of "head lines" for groups of entries, which saves a lot of space. It is difficult to give full justice to all the possibilities of this tabular report which is indeed a very powerful reaserch and presentation tool.
One of the nice aspects of every program - not only genealogical - is a possibility to taylor it to one's own needs. Its basic configuration file is pure ASCII and easily editable. Besides the obvious things such as the default path etc. one can define the date format, Julian/Gregorian calendar change date, the range of "ABOUT" for years, months and days that is used in calculations and reports (e.g. "born at the latest on ..."), printer codes, text formating codes for file export, screen colors, etc. That is also where the default output language file is defined. This is still another great aspect of HAZA-DATA - you can have as many language output files as you want to create. These are ASCII files with translations of the words, phrases and abbreviations used on reports and trees. Any language that has its file in the default directory can be chosen from within the program just before printing a report. In this way one can send genealogical information to relatives in other countries printed in their own language.