Jump to content


Photo

Any news on RM 8 complete rewrite?


  • Please log in to reply
65 replies to this topic

#21 david.harrison

david.harrison

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 30 posts

Posted 09 April 2016 - 10:18 AM

My sense of RMNOCASE is that it attempts to sort letters according to what they look like rather than according to where they lie in the alphabet of any particular language. For example, a Norwegian å sorts as if it were an a even though å is the 29-th letter of the Norwegian alphabet. And of course, RMNOCASE is not case sensitive.

 

RM supports UNICODE, but that's only about 1% of what's required for multilingual support. Lots of things are included in the missing 99% of multilingual support, including reports in different languages and sorting that's language and culture specific.

 

Jerry

Understood, and thanks for the clarification. I now have the source code for unifuzz.dll and will be incorporating that into my build in due course. I understand that is not a complete solution but at least will go some way towards supporting Unicode characters.

 

And regarding the new Ancestry.com API that will replace the current one, Ancestry.com would be pretty stupid if they didn't make it support all the features and then some, that the current API does so let's keep our fingers crossed that Ancestry.com and RM will do a good job of implementing the sync. feature.



#22 Trebor22

Trebor22

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 127 posts

Posted 11 April 2016 - 03:03 AM

 

David, there has been much frustration with what I have to call the outdated Rootsmagic user interface and personally I hope a lot of those frustrations will be overcome in a completely new user interface reflecting 2016 programming standards. However making such a quantum leap may not be something the developers have in mind and we will just have to wait and see.

 

Regardless, I believe a fairly priced companion program, such as you describe, would have broad popularity and certainly help boast your retirement fund, certainly I would be interested.

I agree that a reasonably priced 'companion' is a great idea, in fact  if RM embraced the idea we might see more add on's  gradually appear and perhaps RM could even offer some for sale on their site - users want to see RM survive and the more 'supported' RM is the more likely it is to remain in a marketplace that has seen its fair share of casualties!



#23 Don Newcomb

Don Newcomb

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1008 posts

Posted 14 April 2016 - 01:34 PM

My sense of RMNOCASE is that it attempts to sort letters according to what they look like rather than according to where they lie in the alphabet of any particular language. For example, a Norwegian å sorts as if it were an a even though å is the 29-th letter of the Norwegian alphabet. And of course, RMNOCASE is not case sensitive.

 

 

The same character is the 27th letter of the Swedish alphabet. 



#24 reborrell

reborrell

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 86 posts

Posted 14 October 2016 - 03:43 PM

Years ago PAF had several different add-on programs. Some were made by PAF while others were 3rd party. They really enhanced the program. I used PAF for years until they stopped supporting it. I used to go to. PAF Users Group at the LDS Temple in DC. Now they have a Roots Magic Users Group at the same location. I'd love to see a few add-on utilities

#25 beesmyer

beesmyer

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6 posts

Posted 13 July 2017 - 10:00 AM

I currently use RM 7 but really need better software.

David... if you're any closer in your quest I'm very interested.

The clunky, serial nature of RM is just not cutting it. Too many needs to list them all. I'll likely start other threads for feature requests and just hope they get some good attention. The webhint features with all the sources is what keeps me with RM at the moment.

#26 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3202 posts

Posted 13 July 2017 - 12:27 PM

Beesmyre, please do list your opinions, I am sure they would be of value.

The nature of software is that it evolves and it's not very often a complete rewrite is thrown into the mix. However such a dramatic deviation from what has become the norm is a golden opportunity to be involved in its formation. The software will still reflect the style of its developer and not all individual ideas may show merit but it's worth injecting those ideas now.

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ...

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#27 KathleenL

KathleenL

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6 posts

Posted 30 May 2018 - 12:28 PM

I'm adding a message to this very old thread.  Roots Magic ver. 7 was released in 2014, which is a mighty long time ago in the computer world.  Any news on version 8?



#28 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3202 posts

Posted 30 May 2018 - 12:41 PM

Rootsmagic will never give expected release dates, not only to keep competitors guessing but also in case they pressure themselves into meeting that date.

 

You can look at time of year previous release times and make your own guess.

 

Since the program is in a development stage I would encourage all users to post their enhancement ideas for consideration on the wish list on this forum.


Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ...

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#29 Jerry Bryan

Jerry Bryan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3084 posts

Posted 30 May 2018 - 01:06 PM

When RM4 was released, there were two betas - a closed or private beta, and a public beta. I don't know if the RM developers will do it that way again. The first round of RM4 beta testers signed a non-disclosure agreement of some sort. The second round of beta testing was, well, public. I'm a sample size of one, but I have seen no indication of beta testing for RM8.

 

I do hope that getting it out the door takes precedence over it having a gazillion new features. As far as I'm concerned, having native support for both PC and Mac and having just a few other new features so that PC users will have reason to upgrade should be sufficient to get it out the door. Other good stuff could then come in 8.1, 8.2, etc.

 

Jerry



#30 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3202 posts

Posted 30 May 2018 - 01:18 PM

Other good stuff could then come in 8.1, 8.2, etc.

 

Jerry

 

The only problem I have found personally with that philosophy is the good stuff never materializes.

 

Dare I mention Place Details were introduced in RM4 but the simple functionality of a PRINT button to report all those who share a Place Detail is still not a reality almost 10 years later. I could go on but I would prefer each NEW feature to be finished to logical user requirement standard at least very shortly after release and not simply left forgotten.

 

I'm not going for a rant, Beta testers should spot many of these gaps if they are worth consulting and Rootsmagic should care about the completion of each feature before moving on IMO.


Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ...

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#31 TomH

TomH

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5874 posts

Posted 30 May 2018 - 07:26 PM

I've had some experience with Beta testing of software and I would say that there is little opportunity to identify what vyger calls "feature gaps". I find that one is fully occupied with testing the developed functionality, encountering and reporting showstopper bugs. By the time the developed features have been debugged so that one might move onto issues of usability and holistics, the product has been released.

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.


#32 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3202 posts

Posted 31 May 2018 - 05:53 AM

I've had some experience with Beta testing of software and I would say that there is little opportunity to identify what vyger calls "feature gaps". I find that one is fully occupied with testing the developed functionality, encountering and reporting showstopper bugs. By the time the developed features have been debugged so that one might move onto issues of usability and holistics, the product has been released.

 

Both Jerry Bryan and TomH are correct on the realities of development. I have also been involved in development and testing of various products at work and play, the reality is they are all released once deemed to be of value and stable but always with a to-do list of functionality requirements to be closed off. In my previous employ that list was vigorously reviewed within tight time scales (daily) and I could not start flying the flag for a new merit project until my management were finally satisfied with the current one.

 

Beta testing of RM8 could be going on now for all anyone knows as beta testers are individuals trusted not to brag or leak their involvement or what they are testing or have seen. I think during the TreeShare beta testing I saw one or two loose comments from a beta tester, such leaks are counter productive.

 

So it's a guessing game, one thing known (accepted) is there will be a native Mac version. The present build of Rootsmagic is restricted by its core build and I know it is widely hoped RM8 will break with this modal design.

 

One could guess that certain features which have not received the universal user support once hoped for are no longer being developed and will be quietly allowed to die in favour of something else. The other possibility is RM development have a plan to overcome user concerns of certain features, overcome present restrictions and lift RM to a new level with some polished USP's (unique selling points), the guess is yours.

 

In my opinion interaction with other services has become much more important than was ever envisaged back in 2009. I would hope we are not going to revert to strict Gedcom 5.5 standards to aid that interaction so I think RM8 needs the ability to translate (export/exchange) it's data for other popular platforms and services.

 

The guessing for release and development direction is up to each user, RM8 will appear when it is ready, RM4 was rushed and became a nightmare during what Jerry described as the public beta test, I don't believe that is an experience RM would wish to repeat.


Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ...

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#33 Mike M. 77

Mike M. 77

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts

Posted 03 June 2018 - 12:38 AM

This is a critical time for RootsMagic and its users. The field is changing and in the last few years some major players have sold or dropped out of the full-feature genealogy software scene. The anticipated new version of the software may well determine if RootsMagic will be one of the last, or perhaps the very last, program standing when everything shakes out over the next few years.

 

Many of us have bet hundreds of hours of inputting time on RootsMagic. We need RootsMagic to succeed. Users must insist on these boards that the company take the kinds of steps to succeed that are now common in computing and information management.

 

Now is the time, before any irretrievable steps are taken, to reach out to key users and figure out if what is being planned actually matches up with what customers most need and expect from the software.

 

I’m useless, but there are frequent posters on these boards who clearly have strong backgrounds in coding and software development and strong opinions on where RootsMagic should be at this point. Some of these users actually develop their own third-party tools for RootsMagic. The company may be pleasantly surprised how many present customers and aspiring coders may be willing to spend some time solving its problems, breaking through “brick walls” and putting things on a faster track.

 

Every weekend, private companies and government agencies around the country hold “Hackathons” and “Hackfests” in which coders from inside and outside the organization meet up to work, sometimes collaboratively and sometimes in teams, to solve programming challenges. Sometimes there are prizes. It is a way to put a lot of new, talented eyes on problems that need to be worked out. Sometimes the goal is to add features that are desired but which the staff just will never get to.

 

Companies in super-competitive fields, such as Google, Verizon and NetFlix have used Hackathons. The Library of Congress and New York City have improved information sharing services this way. I know there are concerns about opening coding up to outsiders, but even DARPA, the Department of Defense’s secretive research wing, held a successful five-day Hackfest last December that brought together civilian coders, academics and soldiers in fatigues to solve a problem involving radio frequency detection software. Clearly, there are ways to do this that won’t compromise company secrets.

 

You can even find companies online that organize all aspects of Hackathons for small companies and agencies. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

 

I understand that the company does not want to commit to specific release dates or upcoming features, both because the development pace if fluid and out of security concerns. However, especially for those of us who have been through genealogy software failures (The Master Genealogist, for example), a slowing pace of revisions and a lack of any specifics on what may be coming are warning bells. TMG treated its user base very badly, particularly with its absolute secrecy about updates, and it showed in growing frustration and sometimes outright hostility on its message boards. Don’t be one of those companies, and even if the upcoming upgrades are completely amazing and on-track, you don’t want to act like one of those companies. There is already chatter, even in this very thread, of people considering bailing out. They don’t want to invest massive amounts of time and effort in a program unless it’s clear that there will be a point to it in a year or two.

 

The last time RM had a massive update, there was a lot more information and back-and-forth regarding planned features. I don’t want company secrets, but greater communication in both directions would assure customers and let RM know that it’s putting eggs in the right baskets before there’s a disaster.

 

It isn't 1998 or 2008 anymore. Successful software companies speak to their customer bases, and they listen closely to what the base is saying and thinking.



#34 TomH

TomH

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5874 posts

Posted 03 June 2018 - 07:27 AM

Well written and interesting perspective.

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.


#35 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3202 posts

Posted 03 June 2018 - 07:30 AM

They don’t want to invest massive amounts of time and effort in a program unless it’s clear that there will be a point to it in a year or two.

 

I would agree with your whole post but selectively the above is a key responsibility Rootsmagic must embrace imo. There are still many what I would call "gaps" in Rootsmagic which need to be taken seriously and closed, these are frequently defined by "how do I...." questions where one cannot achieve their goal without some work around or stepping outside the program. Personally I have made a substantial investment in collecting and entering quality information in the anticipation of quality reporting to include this information and that has never materialized to date, more fool I.

 

Rootsmagic 4 release was teased over several months probably to raise anticipation and desire and I would also guess to ascertain customer support for certain features, I'm not sure if a similar model might be followed for RM8.  Rootsmagic have said in the past that their inspiration comes from several sources, not only this board, apart from whistles and bells the serious subject of data mining and matching by the the three kings of genealogy Name - Date - Location needs to be taken seriously as there are many serious researchers using the program.

 

I would say Rootsmagic have some independents they reach out to for feedback on development features, being tied up in the development of a particular feature is it is often difficult to perform your own systems analysis on how the feature work in practice. In my old work place I had 5 colleagues who I could be sure of their honesty and direct critique, those were the ones I always trusted, not many others who just said "that's brilliant" I, and my project, gained nothing from that.

 

I can't be sure of how Rootsmagic 4 was tested but despite the months of teasing new features the program had numerous problems on release which effectively led to the public beta test Jerry Bryan referred to. That put development under considerable pressure in full view of the public and I would hope there are lessons to be learned from that experience to avoid a repetition.


Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ...

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#36 Jerry Bryan

Jerry Bryan

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3084 posts

Posted 03 June 2018 - 09:12 AM

This is a critical time for RootsMagic and its users. 

 

Agreed. I didn't quote the whole message, but this is a very thoughtful and timely message. It makes a lot excellent points with which I agree 100%. It inspired me to tease a message that I have long been considering posting to RM's wish list. My provisional title for the message has been "Hopes and Fears for RM8". It will be a list of hopes and fears for the product.

 

My #1 hope is simply that I hope that RM8 will be a great success, and my #1 fear is that it might not be. I hope that the product sells a lot of copies and makes a lot of money for the RM company. I hope that PC users like it. I hope that Mac users like it. I hope that new RM users like it. I hope that experienced RM users like it. I hope that former TMG users like it. I hope that former FTM users like it. I hope that I like it, and that it meets my needs. I fear that at least some users won't like it, and/or that it won't be a success. Windows 8 is an object lesson in the mistakes that software vendors can make, where nobody liked Windows 8 and Microsoft had to backpedal very quickly to address major problems in Windows 8 (not bugs - the problems were the way the product looked, felt, and worked). I fear that I won't like it and that it won't meet my needs.

 

My #2 hope is that RM 8 will return to its roots of having well developed features and well developed productivity and ease of use tools, and my #2 fear is that it will continue even further in the opposite path that RM4 through RM7 path have taken. RM4 through RM7 have incompletely developed features and "flashy features" and a lack of the more mundane productivity and ease of use tools. These kinds of things have been documented over and over again on these forums, and I will not try to replicate such a list at this point. I may try to do so later. My #2 fear is that things will continue in the direction they are going, or even get worse about big new features dominating to the detriment of everything else.

 

My #3 hope for RM 8 is reports, reports, reports. This includes "printed reports" such as narrative reports and Family Group Sheets, but it also includes any RM output such as GEDCOM, API output to FamilySearch, API output to ancestry.com, and Web pages created by RM. Multiple languages need to be supported. All narrative reports need to be under control of sentence templates - ever dot over every I, ever cross over every T, ever bit of vertical white space, every bit of horizontal white space, date and place formats, every everything. Users need control over what is output in GEDCOM and API output and Web output - which facts are output, which people are output, how Place and Place Details are are combined or not, better privatization tools, and numerous et ceteras. My #3 fear is simply that such issues will not be addressed and that big new features will receive all the priority instead.

 

My #4 hope for RM 8 and all of RM going forward is that problems get fixed in a timely fashion and receive high priority - lost data on drag and drop, RM locking up, various Windows errors like access violation errors and disk I/O errors and corruption within the RM database, etc. My #4 fear is again that such issues will not be adequately addressed and that big new features will receive all the priority instead.

I would certainly argue that getting RM 8 out the door is a super high priority that should take priority over any of the hopes and fears I have mentioned. But after RM 8 is out the door and stable, please just fix things that need to be fixed. And except for my item #4, I'm not really talking about fixing bugs so much as I am about fixing the usability and the productivity of the product and fixing the completeness of its features.

 

Jerry



#37 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3202 posts

Posted 19 June 2018 - 04:53 AM

I see there is another open source genealogy software development project on the go and was wondering if someday the whole house of cards will come falling down due to such a project?

 

Like any developer he is actively listening and reacting quickly to user needs seemingly on a daily basis, reminiscent of how things were back in the Family Origins days, I also notice a few other Rootsmagic users on that Facebook thread!


Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ...

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#38 keithcstone

keithcstone

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 98 posts

Posted 19 June 2018 - 12:04 PM

I see there is another open source genealogy software development project on the go and was wondering if someday the whole house of cards will come falling down due to such a project?

 

Are you speaking of GRAMPS?



#39 RobertL

RobertL

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 50 posts

Posted 19 June 2018 - 12:34 PM

Or HRE?



#40 Vyger

Vyger

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3202 posts

Posted 19 June 2018 - 01:42 PM

I don't want to be naming another program here, it just reminded me how quickly things can change. A few years ago I was developing and testing an application in the workplace, maybe not quickly enough as the support for the project and my idea was almost unamamous. Suddenly another individual who had been quietly working in the background with more direct access to raw data and superior programming ability came out with a slick app to deliver the same goal, plagerism or original thinking?

 

It was being discussed over on Facebook, I haven't tried it but here is a quote from the developer;

 

"Open source and free genealogy / family tree software written in PHP using Laravel 5.6 and Vue.JS. Enables you to securely process your genealogy data and manage your family tree website. Under development and not to be used in production! Feedback and suggestions welcome."


Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ...

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root