webGED Progenitor 4 - Production Version

The webGED Progenitor software package has been released as a production version. Running as a stand-along program on a Windows PC, webGED Progenitor 4 accepts a standard "gedcom" genealogy file as input and generates an associated set of output files that constitute a sophisticated genealogy web-site. These site files can be simply uploaded to file-space on one's Internet Service Provider.

An earlier version of Progenitor was first released, as shareware, in late 1997 and proved to be extremely popular. This Progenitor 2 version was withdrawn from sale in August 2002 due to increasing difficulties with maintaining the Java modules used by Progenitor's generated sites in the face of the lack of support for Java within Microsoft's browser. Somewhat surprisingly, copies of the Progenitor 2 program and the sites generated by it continue to function to this day - albeit with some cosmetic glitches. Progenitor 3 was an experiment that was withdrawn without being released. It used XSL technology that was ultimately deemed to be too cumbersome to maintain. A prototype version of Progenitor 4, based on standard XML and JavaScript technology, was released in late 2009 and has formed the basis of the production version.

The Progenitor 4 program runs on the user's computer and generates web-site pages that can be uploaded to the user's pages on his ISP. The program has preserved much of the user interface from Progenitor 2. There is an updated user's manual, which describes the current interface and gives instructions for the use of the program.

The interface presented to the generated web-site's viewer, however, has been completely revamped. The "advanced technology" features of the web-site are given in a separate web viewer's guide. The new version of Progenitor has also preserved a "static" view of the site's genealogy data for viewers who may not be able to use the advanced technology features due to a lack of JavaScript support in their browser.

An example of a web-site generated by Progenitor 4 can be viewed at "Sample Site"

A complementary copy of the Progenitor 4 software may be downloaded free of charge. No registration is required and the fully-functional complementary production version will be able to be run indefinitely. The web-sites generated by this complementary copy will also continue to function. Although Crestline Enterprises may attempt to provide best-effort maintenance support for the complementary production version of Progenitor 4, no guarantees can be made in that regard.

But, why is this a complementary release? Several factors influenced the form of this release:

Based on these factors, it is not clear that the revenue generated by the sale of the product at an attractive price would be enough to cover the expenses to provide an adequate level of support to the product's customers. Accordingly, the product has been released without charge and with only a limited commitment to "best-effort" support.


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