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Dangers of Tree Share

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#1 robertjacobs0


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Posted 02 October 2017 - 10:05 AM

For some of us, there is a substantial downside to Ancestry Tree Share and also, perhaps to a lesser degree, Family Search.


Cursory glances at the RootsMagic Forum show how much support and discussion time is devoted to the complex problems of synchronizing databases which have different structures.


I fear that the people who are programming RootsMagic are similarly burdened. Every hour devoted to massaging the connection to the Ancestry API is an hour taken away from improving the standalone versions of RootsMagic.


Many substantial enhancements to RootsMagic have been proposed, some of them very important and useful. Scroll back through the wishlist section of the forum for a samples. Are these to be delayed by the effort to work the kinks out of Tree Share?


There are also control and privacy issues. Ancestry.com is a commercial enterprise and there is always a temptation to monetize data. Many other commercial outfits have done the same, sometimes in violation of the promises they’ve made to their users. I much prefer to keep my data out of their hands; I publish what I wish via my own website (easily constructed with GedSite) and have control, or at least the illusion of greater control.


Finally, I’m sure that experienced Ancestry subscribers are aware of the pitfalls of relying on publicly posted family trees. My last adventure with such a tree posited a mother who gave birth at the age of 83.  Tree Share, like Family Search, doesn’t produce that kind of research sloppiness by itself, of course, but it is likely to increase the amount of uncritical work on the web.

#2 Rooty


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Posted 02 October 2017 - 06:30 PM

Boy are you right! Windows enhancements and a native mac version are both dead in the stormy waters of TreeSync support. 


I switched to family tree maker 2017 to get hints and tree sync without the major problems of very different data structures and merging and syncing seem to work pretty well. An update is due the end of October too.

#3 Renee Zamora

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 09:28 AM

The native Mac version, and other enhancements are in active development right now. 


#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 12:20 PM

This is an interesting topic. On the one hand, Bruce really needs to get RM8 out the door. Remember that RM8 is not just the native Mac version. It is the totally new rewrite of RM that will run natively in both Windows and Mac. Until that's accomplished, any other major RM enhancements are scheduling conflicts with RM8 and vice versa. And I think Bruce has a tiger by the tail with TreeShare. It is obviously a feature that has a lot of promise and for which there is much demand in at least part of RM's user base. But TreeShare is a big feature. It is almost like it is its own product that needs its own company to support it - a company that might need to be as large as RM itself.


So what's Bruce to do? I personally hope he gets RM8 out the door as soon as possible and with as few other new features as possible. Then I hope that he slows down the new features and instead makes existing features work lots better. I won't mention all the existing features that need to work lots better because so many of them are discussed so many times in these forums. But TreeShare itself needs to work lots better if it is to fulfill all its promise and if it is to continue to attract new customers to RM.



#5 pbooth99



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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:45 AM

I was a beta user of Tree Share and am a huge fan of it despite still not being certain of what my long term workflow will be. If you use both Tree Share and FamilySearch synchronization from RootsMagic you have the opportunity of leveraging much more if other people's work. I have a live/hate relationship with ancestry. It's probably the best service I use for rapidly generating hints about family members. It has an advantage over the fsmukysearch synch which is that I can test out ideas without hurting other people when I make mistakes. My overuse if family search syncs has creating lots of frustrations for others when I did bad merges due to overtirednesd/ignorance and I now use it on a 27" monitor where I can simultaneously sanity check changes in a browser window focused on famikysearch.org

still, with treeshare I now have the promise of using RootsMagic as my canonical store of correctdata and mirroring that to both ancestry and famikysearch.org last night I discovered approximately 400 unknown (to me) cousins because of tree share. Yes it generates legions of challenges but the payoff is so wonderful.