As an amateur genealogist and a professional software developer, I see a need for a replacement for the existing standards that supports a more rigorous research process. I joined the FHISO group, many of whom shared some of the same goals, but the discussions were hopelessly lost, and the group ended up going in what I felt was the very wrong direction of simply patching up the original GEDCOM standard.
So, this project is a distillation of my ideas, a way to keep track of where I hope groups like FHISO and FamilySearch will go in the future.
The name "XARK" is a bit of a ret-con. I originally reserved this domain name many years ago, when Sam Ruby and others were seeing names for the standard to replace RSS. I suggested the name (opens new window) and reserved the domain to ensure it didn't get snagged. The name "Atom" was ultimately chosen, but 4-letter pronounceable domain names in the big-three TLDs don't come by easily, so I kept the domain around. It fits nicely with this concept.