Further to my earlier post, I have tried to identify some objectives.
1. It should be free to contribute to and free to access 2. It should be readily accessible from anywhere in the world 3. No one should own the data or act as a gatekeeper 4. It should be as easy as possible to input, prepare and submit any information 5. We should invent as little as possible, as anything we invent will need to be documented and supported 6. Help and assistance should be readily available for any tools 7. It should be easy to contribute data on just one person, a few people or many people
ONE POSSIBLE SOLUTION
We could use the rootsweb world connect database.It is designed for the task, it is free to access and to contribute to, it includes a genealogy search engine, and there is a significant amount of Prowse information already included. It can be found at; http://worldconnect.genealogy.rootsweb.com/
Information is submitted in the form of gedcom files.As far as I know, almost every family history or genealogy program supports generating this type of file.Anyone submitting data would need to use some form of family history or genealogy program.They are readily available and very from simple straightforward applications to quite complex highly functional applications.I expect many of the people that are reading this post already use genealogy software.
Some free packages and packages that cost are listed at; http://www.cyndislist.com/software.htm
Such packages include family tree maker, the master genealogist, legacy, Brother's keeper, family origins, relatively yours, and many many others.
Contributors could create a new project or family tree within their software package and just add the little snippets of data that they find as they find them.They can then use the package to generate a gedcom file and periodically upload the file to world connect. This is usually are very simple straightforward process.
Contributors may also choose to upload a gedcom file of their own family tree.I started doing this for all five years ago and the data has acted as a fantastic magnet for people who are interested in ancestors in my family tree.They find a person of interest and contact me and from there we can share data and help each other.
This approach will work well for small amounts of data that people are willing to type in.In some cases though people have access to large amounts of data and are strangely reluctant to spend days typing it in to any package.I can understand that.As mentioned in my earlier post I have a lot of data from Victoria Australia, and from Devon England on Prowse births deaths and marriages.
I am toying with the idea of writing a simple package that would allow people to import data from word processing files or spreadsheet files and turned it into a gedcom file.
OTHER OBJECTIVES, IDEAS AND SOLUTIONS
No doubt there are many other solutions and we need to consider them before we home in on any selected solution.So please put your thinking caps on and put forward your ideas and contribute to the discussion.
CONTINUING THIS DISCUSSION
I have posted this message and the earlier message in a number of forums, mailing lists and bulletin boards.I suggest that we focus ongoing discussion in one location to save everyone a lot of work in tracking all these forums, mailing lists and bulletin boards.To this end, I propose we focus on the Prowse mailing list at rootsweb.com which may be found at; http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/surname/p/prowse.html