Most discussions of genealogical standards start and sometimes stop with a discussion about the suitability and workability of the now old GEDCOM standard. In the course of the panel discussion, GEDCOM X was mentioned several times as a potential competitor to FHISO and even
BetterGEDCOM. GEDCOM X is mainly a FamilySearch program described as:For more information on GEDCOM X see their website. Neither BetterGEDCOM nor GEDCOM X were visibly present at the RootsTech 2013 FHISO panel discussion.
The GEDCOM X project is FamilySearch's offering to the community of a set of free and open specifications, libraries, and tools defining how genealogical data can be stored, shared, searched, and secured across all phases of the genealogical research process.
What is certain is that standards are a huge concern. Presently, the old GEDCOM is extremely limited in the context of present genealogical data usage and needs. Last updated in around 1996, the so-called standard for data transfer presently fails to support multi-person events (such as a family reunion?). Although GEDCOM is commonly cited as a way to exchange data between various programs, many of the current genealogical database programs have features and store data in a way that involves individual differences that are not easily transferred to another program by GEDCOM.
There is a fundamental question, despite some indication of interest, if the different software developers have a goal of data exchange? Why should competing software programs make it easier for people to switch to a competitor's program? There was some logic in the past when FamilySearch or its predecessors, developed a de facto standard in GEDCOM but remained outside of the commercial genealogical database market. Since that time, FamilySearch has abandoned the model of providing a "free" desktop software program (such as Personal Ancestral File) and moved entirely to Web-based programs. This is true although Personal Ancestral File continues to be freely downloadable, operational and continues to be used by a huge segment of the genealogical community.
I certainly applaud the efforts of FHISO and others to create a genealogical standard, but I see some degree of fragmentation and lack of interest on the part of the greater genealogical community.