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New Year’s Resolutions for 2013 - watching & waiting

New Year’s Resolutions

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#1 Vyger

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 04:08 AM

I was reviewing the Rootsmagicians New Year’s Resolutions for 2012 and I believe he has essentially fulfilled his resolutions.

http://blog.rootsmagic.com/?p=1197

I await with anticipation his New Year’s Resolutions for 2013 and I do hope he resolves to close out on the many niggles and missing functionality issues frequently discussed here.

And that he resolves to close on them early in the year before the development disruption of the summer jamboree and so that we all can enjoy using a more user friendly Rootsmagic sooner rather than later.

For my own resolution, I do intend to finally publish that feature by feature comparison of the main three genealogy programs, there are a lot of learning points out there that could benefit our program of choice.

Best Wishes to all for 2013.
Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research

#2 TomH

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:23 PM

Looking forward to both the RM New Year's Resolutions and to your feature comparison report.
Tom user of RM6310 FTM2014 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celtiwiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix_tiny.png app, a growing bundle of RootsMagic utilities.

#3 Serenity20061

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:53 AM

For my own resolution, I do intend to finally publish that feature by comparison of the main three genealogy programs, there are a lot of learning points out there that could benefit our program of choice.


This is something I would definitely have found beneficial when shopping for software and am eager to see. Definitely let us know when it is available!

Theresa

#4 VirginiaBl

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:19 AM

I'll just be interested to see which genealogy programs Vyger has decided - and on what basis - the main three are.

Virginia

#5 Vyger

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:24 AM

I'll just be interested to see which genealogy programs Vyger has decided - and on what basis - the main three are.


Going by various other review sources it would seem the main three are Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree and Rootsmagic in alphabetical order, of course.

Others may have other views.
Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research

#6 Jack

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:40 PM

Vyger, I use FTM because I got a free copy. I only use it however, to sync my RM databases with Ancestry. I've found FTM very bloated and slow. I think I would use a commercial db program before I'd use FTM on a daily basis.
Jack

a posteriori

#7 Vyger

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 02:10 AM

Vyger, I use FTM because I got a free copy. I only use it however, to sync my RM databases with Ancestry. I've found FTM very bloated and slow. I think I would use a commercial db program before I'd use FTM on a daily basis.


Mostly every program does something well and that's what I believe is inspirational for future development.

I will be as objective as possible in my comparisons but I am a Rootsmagic user by reason of my personal choice and that may show through a little. However when I rent a car I never take the same make and model I drive at home so I believe it’s beneficial to be open to new ideas.

We all know that the act of logging and managing genealogy research material takes a long time, smart and intuitive programming can greatly reduce that time whereas the reverse can hinder, prevent or at least greatly increase it.

My ongoing wish is to produce more accurate, professional and complete research in less time, once those core needs are recognised then it’s up to the programmers to best fulfil that need. Looking at how other programs do things well can only be beneficial to us all.
Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research

#8 TomH

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:36 AM

Going by various other review sources it would seem the main three are Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree and Rootsmagic in alphabetical order, of course.

Others may have other views.

I came across this expression of requirements for genealogy software and comparative evaluation just yesterday and rather indirectly via the Evidentia website. The author uses a Mac which influences his hands-on experience: http://jytangledweb....alogy/software/
Tom user of RM6310 FTM2014 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celtiwiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix_tiny.png app, a growing bundle of RootsMagic utilities.

#9 Vyger

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:01 AM

I came across this expression of requirements for genealogy software and comparative evaluation just yesterday and rather indirectly via the Evidentia website. The author uses a Mac which influences his hands-on experience: http://jytangledweb....alogy/software/


I must be going soft :D my offering will be no where near as hard hitting.

Still there are very few untruths in the article, I would just be hoping for some better functionality so I can do things quicker within the program.
Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research

#10 Vyger

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:49 AM

I'll just be interested to see which genealogy programs Vyger has decided - and on what basis - the main three are.


And possibly Family Historian which appears to already support Media Face Tagging, Stored Queries and it is suggested that "Anyone can write plugins using the built-in scripting tools and submit them to the Plugin Store for all Family Historian users to share"

I'm hoping that the Rootsmagician has not lost sight of what valuable features have been made possible on other platforms and that feature comparison and discussion helps Rootsmagic leap ahead in its feature offerings.
Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research

#11 c24m48

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

For my own resolution, I do intend to finally publish that feature by feature comparison of the main three genealogy programs, there are a lot of learning points out there that could benefit our program of choice.


I also look forward to your feature by feature comparison, and I expect it to be very fair and accurate.

However, I am sometimes very frustrated with such comparisons of software products, not just genealogy software. Oftentimes, a comparison will be put together by one of the vendors to showcase how their product is superior to the competitors. The comparison will often be in a spreadsheet format with features down the left side and vendors across the top, and the boxes in the spreadsheet will have either little checkmarks where the vendor for that column supports the feature for that row, or a blank if the feature is not supported. And inevitably, the product of the vendor who put together the comparison will have 100% of the boxes in their column checked, whereas the competitors will have have numerous blanks in their columns. But even so, the vendor who puts together such a comparison may not have the best product, or maybe not even a very good product.

And equally inevitably, one of the competitors can put together a similar comparison chart that just as emphatically shows that their product is superior. So what's going on? One issue is the choice of features in the list. Both products may be able to do the same thing, but they may call it something different. Or what one vendor may call one feature may exist in the other product but may be listed as three smaller features in the other product. But more importantly, the presence of a checkmark may not really tell you very much. There often are checkmarks for poorly implemented features or incompletely implemented features, etc.

For example, suppose the product were RM6 and the feature were "ability to split and combine databases". Would you give RM6 a checkmark or would yopu give it a blank? The CHECKMARK argument is as follows. You can split a database by exporting GEDCOM (or by dragging and dropping), and by choosing a subset of your database to export using some very powerful selection tools that are built-in to RM6. You can combine databases by importing GEDCOM and by using some very powerful merging tools that are built-in to RM6. The BLANK argument is as follows. Both the splitting and combining capabilities just described can be extremely labor intensive in practice, and in the real world splitting and combining may be so time consuming as to be unusable in any practical sense in RM6.

So which answer is right? Do we give RM6 a checkmark for this feature or not? I think it depends upon both the user and upon the exact situation - what exactly is being split or combined, how adept is the user at using the tools that are available, and how much time is the user willing to commit to the splitting and combining processes. Finally, a product that is a competitor to RM6 might have splitting and combining tools that are much better than RM6, and I might be unwilling to give either of them their checkmark, or a product that is a competitor to RM might have splitting and combining tools that are much weaker than RM6 and I might be willing to give both of them a checkmark.

Good comparisons are extremely difficult to make, so I wish Vyger the best.

Jerry

#12 Vyger

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

The comparison will often be in a spreadsheet format with features down the left side and vendors across the top, and the boxes in the spreadsheet will have either little checkmarks......


OK, so you saw the home page somewhere :D

But more importantly, the presence of a checkmark may not really tell you very much. There often are checkmarks for poorly implemented features or incompletely implemented features, etc.


OK, I will leak a bit. The comparison list will compare what most of us would call expected core features and then linked to a fuller feature comparison which in a lot of cases will be backed up by my own software simulation videos.

I am fully aware that a checkbox means nothing so it is important to see how the programs handle each feature, where unnecessary jumps in and out of features may exist and where functionality may be improved.

I will also score each feature with my personal opinion of which package handles which feature best and back it up with the reasoning behind my scoring.

Good comparisons are extremely difficult to make, so I wish Vyger the best.


Thanks, I do hope the comparisons will be beneficial. Working with the other programs has already been revealing in many ways but for me, I want to try and do this justice so it will take me little time.

In the long term I would hope that my current program of choice rises to the challenge of closing some gaps, making "wished for" enhancements a reality and improving the productivity aspect of the program to the benefit of all users. ;)
Software Comparisons - Place Management - How other software packages stack up.
Media Gallery (a critical look) - Written when RM4 was introduced but still applies today.

Relaxation is the key to life and this is where I get some time to relax and catch up on my hobby and research s the key to life and this is where I get some time to catch up on me genealogy work and research

#13 Serenity20061

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:38 AM

I must be going soft :D my offering will be no where near as hard hitting.

Still there are very few untruths in the article, I would just be hoping for some better functionality so I can do things quicker within the program.


Wow ... hard hitting is an understatement, but I completely agree with almost everything in her analysis. The antiquated GEDCOM model has been fragmented into program-to-program variations rendering it darn near useless except for moving names and events back and forth between programs. Frankly, after testing multiple programs, side programs, add-ons, there really hasn't been much that has changed in the 16 years since I first test drove genealogy software. Sure, some programs have a few more bells and whistles but basically the foundation (GEDCOM) for all of the programs is bad. So when building a house, if the foundation is bad, the resulting house is prone to have problems. It really is time for a new innovation in genealogy software. If a software developer came out with a program that met the criteria outlined, I think the "BIG THREE" would definitely see a flight of their marketshare and GEDCOM standard could finally receive the long awaited burial it deserves.

#14 KenCRoy

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

Wow ... hard hitting is an understatement, but I completely agree with almost everything in her analysis. The antiquated GEDCOM model has been fragmented into program-to-program variations rendering it darn near useless except for moving names and events back and forth between programs. Frankly, after testing multiple programs, side programs, add-ons, there really hasn't been much that has changed in the 16 years since I first test drove genealogy software. Sure, some programs have a few more bells and whistles but basically the foundation (GEDCOM) for all of the programs is bad. So when building a house, if the foundation is bad, the resulting house is prone to have problems. It really is time for a new innovation in genealogy software. If a software developer came out with a program that met the criteria outlined, I think the "BIG THREE" would definitely see a flight of their marketshare and GEDCOM standard could finally receive the long awaited burial it deserves.

GEDCOM was never the foundation for any genealogy program but rather was developed as an attempt to be able to share data between programs. Unfortunately the genealogy software developers are not interested in sharing information with other programs other than their own, so they have not pushed to get the GEDCOM standard changed, but rather have developed proprietary extensions to the GEDCOM. Even though no genealogy package in the last 25 years has provided what was needed at a reasonable cost.

RootsMagic does better than most, but I still prefer PAF for ease of data entry and TNG for web site building. I use RootsMagic for creating books, and might have converted entirely to RootsMagic if it were not so darn labor intensive to go find all the places where identical event dates did not sort in the correct order in a 24,000+ database, and if I could easily fix the export of citations so that Author and Title of publications were not merged into a single entry in RM.

I know that TomH has provided some valuable SQL queries that can straighten this out the sort date requirement in RM, but it would be so easy for the developers to set the correct sort sequence on import. Lacking by and large are the quick easy steps on how to get an SQL software package up and running to interface with RootsMagic for those of us who are not familiar with SQL applications.