"I don't ever remember Rootsmagic being voted best genealogy program".
I truly think RM is underrated. I've only been using RM for a few years and it fully does what I need it to do for my situation.
I have been a very long time user of RM and Family Origins before that, it is still my preferred program, whilst it has many desirable features it also has many deficiencies and a trail of infinished features. For example try printing an association report for events that took place at a particular Place Detail, yeah no PRINT button so does not mirror the same functionality as the Place list. In my opinion the developers simply move on from features once sold to the masses with little care for the difficulties users are left with having to employ work arounds to make some use of these features. My wife drives a nice vehicle but she would not be offended to hear me say she knows little of how to operate the numerous features incorporated in the vehicle, I believe that also describes the majority of RM users, simply scratching at the surface and getting by without serious research goals. If Rootsmagic are happy moving forward with that loyal band of followers then it will never be the #1 genealogy software available, a position it has never held except in vested interest circles on particular features.
My main database is over 100,000 individuals and there are many users with larger files, my research side (reference) database is closing on 450,000 individuals so there are serious researchers out there and many with more data than I.
Rootsmagic has the reputation and reviews it currently deserves, nothing more, nothing less but it has a sound foundation and the world at it's feet if it gets the feature list and release of RM8 right and problem free. Failing to get RM8 right in respect of research tools, location mapping, publishing and charting capabilities will probably resign Rootsmagic to an also ran status for several more years with a steeper hill to climb as other programs move on and push ahead.
I know folks are expecting a lot of features in RM8, but to be honest this program is so feature packed as is, I can only expect any improvements to be icing on the cake. I am totally thankful I have found RM and that the authors continue to provide us with the ability to bring in data from Ancestry and FamilySearch under one roof as well as the tools to clean up that data.
Hmmm, I have a classic car and I love it, however my road car is over three times as powerful, more efficient and equiped liks a space ship compared to my classic, whilst I love to drive my classic I wouldn't want to everyday. I don't want to see Rootsmagic become a classic like Brothers Keeper or PacMan, the desires of users are well known and I really hope Rootsmagic are up to the challenge of delivering on the needs of serious researchers, unless they are I will sadly be looking for another platform as I need to drive my reasearch forward. After a 25+ year relationship with the company that would be a hard and disappointing decision but one I would be forced to make for the benefit of my research.
As long as RM sticks to gedcom standards, sourcing standards, and can export without messing the data up, I will remain a faithful acolyte. Like I said, anything above and beyond is icing on the cake.
Rootsmagic does try very hard to operate within the Gedcom standard but I would say it is technically outside of that standard like all software providers, DYOR. I am fortunate I can easily translate my data to the needs of other software offerings but many can not, if there is an attempt from software companies to lock their users in through lack of transferrable data structure then that is simply wrong. If I had the best software I would make it easy for users to leave and migrate their data in the full belief they would be returning, I would also make my import capabilities superior and more fully inclusive than all other software providers to ease the passage to Rootsmagic. I would strive to keep my users with superior charting, mapping, reporting and geographical suggestive tools, the fundamantals of genealogy research and constantly responding to user needs in a timely manner, something which was once true of Family Origins/Rootsmagic.
A Name without a Date or Place is useless in research, if I tell you I have a John Doe in my database you will ask me where he lived and when, Rootsmagic needs to leap ahead in the data mining and mapping necessary to make and suggest those possible community links.