Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.
There is some things that are so fundamental to a family history that it's normally taken for granted that it's available. These are things like basic Event Types and Event Roles, and mundane items like Contact Types. It's basic stuff but it still needs to be thought about.
Places - A Gazetteer
Anyone who has spent time researching families will have spent a significant part of that time studying places - whether it's looking up for a place name, which may have changed over the years, or looking at the surrounding area to know where to look next. Having a built-in gazetteer should be a significant advantage and time saver - but because of the way boundaries and names change over time - this is not an insignificant task. An open source project provides an ideal opportunity to create such a gazetteer providing a straight forward way of contributing can be devised.
Historical Events - Timelines
Setting our ancestors lives against the background of historical events not only gives interest and a context to our families lives, it is also a great aid to research. It is hoped to create timelines for both global and local events and, as with the gazetteer, providing a simple method to participate is key.
Sources and Repositories
A database of sources and repositories (places that hold records) would be a tremendous help to family researchers, especially one that can be linked to the gazetteer. It will also make it easier to give accurate citations, an area most people seem to find difficult.
Names are key to genealogy, a database that holds common name variations, spellings and abbreviations that is directly available to the program is clearly useful.