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#41 sfr46

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 06:06 PM

I have been watching this forum for a while and just registered. This is maybe not the best thread for this post but it seems more and more obvious that successful transition from any genealogy program to another will require some custom manipulation of data to avoid losses.

 

This process would seem to require a thorough vetting of the possible new host including it's possibilities followed by how to facilitate a complete data transfer. These decisions are not taken likely and I am well aware and appreciate the efforts of Rootsmagic to secure the business of FTM users.

 

My observations at present are:

 

1. Rootsmagic has a quick and simple interface, much quicker than FTM. That being said it seems to me that Rootsmagic is much to layered and requires much digging to reveal essential information.

 

2. The Rootsmagic reporting mechanism seems weak in many respects in comparsion to other software options.

 

3. Managing places and their whereabouts within Rootsmagic falls behind what FTM and Legacy offer.

 

4. Rootsmagic have unique place details which is a plus but it seems that this feature has not been fully embraced by the developers.

 

5. Other unique selling points of past releases would seem to still have much room for improvement towards the expectations of users.

 

6. It would seem that the present version of Rootsmagic is a stopgap legacy offering while a complete new version is being developed.

 

I would not be prepared to transfer my data to Rootsmagic, Legacy or other program at present on their current merits. I am not sure how the desktop genealogy software market will develop in the future and how my precious data would be transformed and not recognized by other programs.

 

It would seem from my research that the developement team of Rootsmagic are not too far from retirement and I have not read anything to convince me of a development beyond that time. It may well be that a desktop genealogy program of 2016, 17 or 18 becomes the last viable desktop offering and one which will warrant careful evaluation. For that reason I will also wait and see who ticks all the boxes in the year(s) to come and which platform I should entrust with many years of time consuming research.



#42 Laura

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 03:01 AM

There is no program that is going to last forever and it isn't reasonable to espect it to.

I am a long time user (1986) of Family Origins Version 2-10 and then RootsMagic Version 1-7. I hope RootsMagic will be supported unril I am too old ro use it. But, If it isn't, I will be sad about it's demise and be looking for another program.

I will never "lose" all my research even if another program doesn't import everything. Transfer data by gedcom is never going to be perfect or another program's conversion routine may not convert everything.

I try to keep the data entry in RootsMagic to where I have the best chance of another program importing it even if it is not imported into the same place in another program.

In RootsMagic, I don't use user defined facts to record important data. I only use the basic program defined facts. I use user defind facts to track various things and for "my information only" facts.

I don't put important data into Fact description fields. The important data that some people put in rhat field is entered in rhe notes. None of the entries in the Description field is over 100 dharacters.

I don't use Place details as the chances of them being imported into another program is slim to none. That data would almost certainily be lost.

I don't Share facts for important information that needs to be imported for a Sharee in another program. When those facrs are imported into anorher program the only person rhat will have the fact is the Principle.

I enter the sources and transcriptions in the fact notes as well as linking sources and putting the transcription in the Source detail, Research note.

I use Free Form sources.

Before I even start looking for another Program , I will be saving various reports in text files. If there is data lost in anorher progran, I can retreive it from a text file and copy and paste into the other program. This is why I say I will never lose all my data.

I will enable all facts to be printed in all reports. Then I will save a Narrative descendants report for every end of the line ancestor in ny database to both a Text file and pdf file. The pdf file is for the active links in the Index.

Only the path to media is saved in RootsMagic. I will save the Multimedia list report with all choices selected. If I need to clean up multimedia in a new program, I will have the information to do so.

I will save a Source list report for all sources with all choices selected. I would also save Repository, and Place list reports. I don't use ToDo's so I wouldn't need that report. I would need to save a report for each of my Research logs.

#43 sfr46

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 04:35 AM

Thank you for taking time to reply and give me and others your perspective as a long time user.

 

I do find it interesting tat you have chosen not to use many of the features that Rootsmagic has introduced in recent years and your concern about data compatibility is a very reasonable one. So stripping those features out it is down to speed of operation and Rootsmagic does seem to be quick to use is some aspects. I also read that it is very clicky and layered, that would be counter productive to me and something I need to carefully consider. Time spent entering data is time that cannot be spent elsewhere and having to click through levels to find data would not be good. 

 

I am not going to make a switch now but instead watch how the next versions of programs develope. Through choice you have chosen not to use many features that have been added to Rootsmagic over recent years so it seems you have not benefited from development. I have a large database of several one name studies so I would prefer to see serious data cleaning, merging, reporting and other development rather that micky mouse feature additions. There are programs out there that offer that type of operation but they don't seem to be so easy to use so it's a careful balance that needs to be made but one I believe is possible.

 

I believe the desktop genealogy software market is doomed which is hard for me to believe as it must be a massive market and a real money spinner for a quality program with loyal customers. I would hope my research would not die with me but if my research is going back to paper then the subject of quality reports comes to the fore again.

 

Writing this helps me confirm again that I am looking for speed of operation, quality data utilities, quality reporting. I note you do not use place details and that is one item I was interested in, I saw a video where church details, history and photographs were added but extra quality information this was not reported well by Rootsmagic, perhaps that will improve. If these place details are not compatible with other programs then Rootsmagic should add them to the place field when exporting to gedcom, they have maybe decided not to do that in an attempt to retain their customers.



#44 TomH

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 11:25 AM

sfr46, you are undoubtedly wise to take your time before committing to a different program. Assuming you are a FTM2014 user, I would agree that you should stick with it as long as TreeSync is supported and, in the interim, explore the alternatives which are themselves going to evolve over this year (hopefully for the better). 

 

With regard to RootsMagic and the issue of GEDCOM transparency which guides much of Laura's strategy, some of us do exploit those features that do not transfer well or at all to other programs because we have tools with which we can manipulate the database so that the data, if not the feature, is transferred. A case in point is the RootsMagic shared events which is a boon to data entry and varied sentences in narrative reports. Because the database is unencrypted and based on the open-source SQLite database engine, one can use a SQLite script to split shared events to individual events that do transport reliably through GEDCOM to 3rd parties. Likewise, another one converts Place Details to Places. So I am comfortable with using Shared Events and Place Details to advantage in all the outputs from RootsMagic and can transform the database when needed to deliver that data in the format accepted by other software. There is much to explore when you get inside the database - visit the links in my signature to start discovering...


Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#45 sfr46

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 03:20 PM

Thank you, I seem to be slightly late to the table here but these things don't need to be rushed.

 

I will read your web site and plough through the forum and other sources to try to understand the program that the unrestricted Rootsmagic truly is. Early impressions seem to be that a lot of features have been left unfinished from version to version before moving on to another version with more new features, sales hooks rather than improvement. The honorable thing to do for your customers would be to iron out the shortcomings and problems before dancing to a new tune but is there honor in business these days. I am already getting some indication of the personality types of some of the regulars on this forum and what to expect, I personally prefer a direct pragmatic approach to improvement.

 

I will doudtless come back with a number of clarification questions once I have done all the study I can. It would seem to be a pity, or a deliberate business ploy, that many genealogy programs do not offer a 30 day trial of the full version rather than a restricted version where these desirable features canot be tried. 



#46 Laura

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 08:20 PM

Thank you for taking time to reply and give me and others your perspective as a long time user.

I do find it interesting tat you have chosen not to use many of the features that Rootsmagic has introduced in recent years and your concern about data compatibility is a very reasonable one. So stripping those features out it is down to speed of operation and Rootsmagic does seem to be quick to use is some aspects. I also read that it is very clicky and layered, that would be counter productive to me and something I need to carefully consider. Time spent entering data is time that cannot be spent elsewhere and having to click through levels to find data would not be good.


That might be true if I considered Place Details and Shared facts positive development. Unlike other users of RM that like and use them, I don't. I wouldn't use them even if there weren't a compatibility issue.

Place Details means I would have to change the cursor to another box before I finish entering a lot of places. I would also have to spend time making sure I didn't have duplicate Place details because I typed the Place details a little differently. Maintaining Places and Place Details is more work and more time spent for little to no reward.

For shared facts, only the Principle will be a result in searches and most reports. The Multimedia tags will only show the Principle. When Shared facts were first introduced, I did esome time trials between sharing facts and adding a fact to the same Individuals. There was so little difference between the two that it doeen't make up for the difference in searches, multimedia tags and most reports not showing the Sharees.

I take full advantage of the new [since version 3] Sidebar, Named Groups, QuickGroups, People and Timeline and WebSearch views, Research logs and other new features.

The Place Details and Shared facts are the only new features I don't use.

#47 sfr46

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 04:59 AM

That might be true if I considered Place Details and Shared facts positive development. Unlike other users of RM that like and use them, I don't. I wouldn't use them even if there weren't a compatibility issue.

Place Details means I would have to change the cursor to another box before I finish entering a lot of places. I would also have to spend time making sure I didn't have duplicate Place details because I typed the Place details a little differently. Maintaining Places and Place Details is more work and more time spent for little to no reward.

For shared facts, only the Principle will be a result in searches and most reports. The Multimedia tags will only show the Principle. When Shared facts were first introduced, I did esome time trials between sharing facts and adding a fact to the same Individuals. There was so little difference between the two that it doeen't make up for the difference in searches, multimedia tags and most reports not showing the Sharees.

I take full advantage of the new [since version 3] Sidebar, Named Groups, QuickGroups, People and Timeline and WebSearch views, Research logs and other new features.

The Place Details and Shared facts are the only new features I don't use.

You have just confirmed what I have been reading elsewhere, features added but not fully embraced to completion. I watched a video on youtube which was a few years old where a lot of quality information was entered into place details but at that time it was not part of any reports. So good quality information with the potential to enhance any family story essentially lost. 

 

I would say the shared events should be searchable, I also seem to be picking up the quick entry of a person who was maybe a witness cannot be found again through searching or index entry!

 

Rootsmagic does have a lot of interesting features as you have stated but I also read that the "find everywhere" does not actually find everywhere, maybe another feature not seen through to completion.

 

So the impression I am getting is Rootsmagic is a pretty comprehensive database let down by the programs lack of search options and reporting. It seems a lot of fragmentation and layering exists for whatever reason and this could be easily overcome. Hopefully those issues will change in the next version to make the program fully productive with quality output options and I would be very interested if it does. 



#48 Laura

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 04:47 PM

RootsMagic works just fine for me. I've been using it from the beginning and have no plans to change inless I have to.

New comers seem to tend to really like it or dislike it.

Every program has users that like some things about a program and dislikes others. It really gets down to user preference.

#49 ian.baker

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 12:38 AM

As a disgruntled FTM 2014 user I have looked to RM 7.0.10.0 as an alternative but the import of FTM Gedcom to RM is broken.

 

The issue is the feature that FTM calls Person Id number and RM calls Record Identification Number.

If a person is deleted, or two merged, in FTM then a gap correctly appears in the Gedcom number sequence exported by FTM, but when imported by RM the number sequence is remade with no gaps hence all person id numbers/record numbers after the first gap will be wrong.

RM Support has confirmed this is how RM currently works when importing a Gedcom file from an application other than RM. Curiously they say that importing from FTM 2006 (or earlier) or from RM does enable an option to keep the original number sequence - so why not fix the import from FTM 2014....

 

With over 4,000 records a manual edit is not viable - so am I stuck with FTM?



#50 Laura

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 08:15 AM

What do you use that number for in FTM?

Why is it so important that the number be the same in RM?

Do you use it a a number for a person in a paper filing system or as the ID number in Clooz or other third party program.

#51 TomH

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 08:33 AM

I have tricked RootsMagic into thinking a foreign GEDCOM was from RootsMagic so that the 'preserve record numbers' option could be used. One replaces the foreign GEDCOM header with that from a RM GEDCOM. However, there have been so many recent, custom changes for GEDCOM from FTM that this trick could well backfire in several ways. You could try it and see if you are happy with the result. Otherwise, raise a plea to the developers to provide that option for FTM GEDCOM (and why not all GEDCOM?)

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#52 ian.baker

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 10:20 AM

I hope this reply is in the right place - it is for Laura.

 

I have a large FTM media folder with JPG files of all pages I cite in all censuses, parish records, electoral roles etc - nearly 4,000 JPGs.

RM import correctly points to each JPG - which impressed me.
I have edited each JPG to include the "FTM Person number" of all relevant people. So a single JPG Census return page will have all members of one, or more, families listed and along side them their Person ID/Record Identification Number. Generally 1-10 numbers added to each JPG.

This is not a paper file which has been annotated but the demand is similar.

Changing all the annotated JPGs would not only be a very long task it would be difficult to ensure accuracy as the numbers are integrated into the image and not searchable.



#53 zhangrau

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 11:18 AM

I have edited each JPG to include the "FTM Person number" of all relevant people. So a single JPG Census return page will have all members of one, or more, families listed and along side them their Person ID/Record Identification Number. Generally 1-10 numbers added to each JPG.

-

This is an interesting way to cross-document the image and the database. Unfortunately, you've seen that the person ID or RIN changes when transferring to a new program via GEDCOM. Over the years, I've been advised to drag-n-drop my entire database to a new file to correct some database corruption that the File - Database Tools (Test integrity, Rebuild index, Clean phantoms, Compact) don't address. This step will also change the RIN for many individuals, as it "fills in" the holes in the RIN sequence left by deleting and merging individuals.

 

Rather than edit the images, I'd suggest adding a Reference No fact to each individual, which will contain your original FTM person ID. The advantage is that this fact data will NOT change in a future GEDCOM or drag-n-drop operation, and your well-developed cross-documentation will remain accurate.



#54 Laura

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 11:59 AM

Zhangrau covered what I was typing to post so I will add this.


If you go to Tools, File options you can choose Reference numbers from the Number to display after name. This also prints the Reference number after the name in reports, and after the tag list for a Media file. And, the fact can be searched.

#55 gldaggett

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 01:32 PM

The owner and President of RootsMagic, Bruce Buzbee, is also the main programmer. The Vice President, Michael Booth, is the other programmer.

Ancestry API

 

For what it's worth, I received this today from Ancestry support in response to my request to make the Ancestry API available to other genealogy software companies so that I will be able to continue interfacing with my Ancestry trees:

"At this time we are exploring possible relationships with other desktop software solutions that would make it possible for their products to integrate with Ancestry API. Any updates about this should be posted to our official blog throughout the year."

 

I hope that Rootsmagic is successful in pursuing this.

Gary



#56 Laura

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 03:34 PM

I think it might depend on Ancestry's terms to use their API. Ancestry may want to charge a fee for a license to use the API. I don't expect Ancestry to include downloading of media in an API.

#57 gldaggett

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 04:20 PM

I think it might depend on Ancestry's terms to use their API. Ancestry may want to charge a fee for a license to use the API. I don't expect Ancestry to include downloading of media in an API.

My hope is that the individual deals directly with Ancestry for membership and the desktop software is just a vehicle to that data and trees. Ancestry would make their money from membership dues as they do now and would encourage easy access to their paid services. But what do I know, they continue to make a mess of things. 



#58 Vyger

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 07:26 PM

I have read various posts on the forum recently from FTM and TMG users about how to handle and clean the data they import into Rootsmagic. The latest update have done probably about as much as is possible with the limited FTM export structure and lack of respect for the gedcom standard so work will need to be done. I also know that what FTM called Place Details are exported to Gedcom as a combined Place Field, Rootsmagic PlaceClean can go some way to resolving those issues and many Rootsmagic users are hopeful of more utilities to aid this process in the future.

 

I was cleaning Place Detail information from a file I inherited and decided to upload a quick video which I hope will be informative, from a non vendor point of view, to those new to Rootsmagic, see below;

 

https://youtu.be/7z64paAtLfo


We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#59 Chadwi

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 04:02 AM

I have just started to use Rootsmagic - had been using Family Tree Maker previously. I've imported a GEDCOM (exported from FTM) but I'm having a problem with media - in fact, I can't even tell if the media has been copied across: a list is shown but no images!

 

If I go to the media tab in the Edit source box, it seems to be saying that there is a linked peice of media but where it should be is just a red square with a cross inside; the same happens if I click on the Media Album folder.

 

Can anyone help me please



#60 zhangrau

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 07:03 AM

Chadwi,

There's not quite info in your post to be certain what is the problem. It MAY be that the path portion of the media link needs to be adjusted.

1. Look at the media links in your FTM database - what drive and folders are in use?

2. Look at the media tags imported into RM - what's different?

3. Verify that the media files exist on your hard drive, including making a note of the drive and path portions.

4. If there are differences in the drive and folders part of the RM media iink, then there are two ways in RM to address this issue:

4A. If you are sure that all of your filenames are unique (NO two media files share the same filename), then you could use

  -  Lists - Media Gallery - [Tools] - Fix broken media links

4B. If there is any filename duplication, then 3A will probably get confused, and you won't want to use that method.

  -  Instead, go to Search - Search and Replace - [Multimedia filenames] and fill in the differing portions of the FTM and RM links and click [OK]

 

If these approaches don't resolve your issue, then we need better info in order to assist you.