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RootsMagic 8 Release Date

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#1 popmorgangd

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Posted 20 June 2020 - 11:11 AM

I raise this topic gently, quietly and respectfully.

It seems a long time since I paid to be able to upgrade to RM8.

I recall all those great videos telling me what I could look forward to. And do look forward to.

I am aware that software development is a hazardous occupation.

Then, silence.

Have I missed something? If so, my apologies.

If not, why are we not at least receiving some communication about progress?

If there is some serious issue causing delay, fine, but tell us, please.

Pop



#2 robertjacobs0

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Posted 20 June 2020 - 12:39 PM

I'd like to second this notion in the same spirit with which it was put forward. Silence and secrecy may be justified when a company is about to launch something that no one else has. But what would be wrong with:

 

We are rewriting the report formats

We hope to improve the search and indexing functions

We are establishing <[note]> for use in our sentence templates

 

None of those assertions can harm the company. Indeed, one could argue that user loyalty might be enhanced.

 

Finally, if RootsMagic isn't doing those things, it ought to.



#3 klingergrant

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Posted 20 June 2020 - 01:30 PM

I would add another voice to this, echoing similar sentiments. I fully understand that a major upgrade like RM8 takes the time it takes, but an update of some kind from the Roots Magician would be extraordinarily welcome. While I'm sure all of those who paid to upgrade last year would love to have a release date, I don't think most are asking for specifics on that but rather an honest update on where the work stands so far.



#4 TomH

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Posted 20 June 2020 - 05:59 PM

On the RootsMagic Blog, the last article that actually revealed anything about RM8 was Nov 13, 2019, preceded by six posts with screenshots starting Sept 2, 2019. The Blog may not reflect everything because RootsMagicTV has a May 13 Preview - Edit Screen, That last blog said "RootsMagic 8 won’t be released by the end of the year. And if you ask me for a new release date, I’m not going to say." It pointed to a video on RootsMagicTV and went on to say, "As development continues, we’ll try to release more videos (although probably not this long) to keep you in the loop." Over the 7 months since that blog post, there have been three Preview videos (Mapping, People, Edit Screen) and the demo at the February RootsTech. But no release timeframe is in sight...

 

I, too, wonder if I will ever use RootsMagic 8 in earnest. The longer I wait, the more I consider other ways of doing things, despite being heavily invested in RootsMagic (in time and knowledge). And there is the question of how usable and reliable it will be out of the gate. How long will it take post-release to raise my confidence high enough to commit to it. Those are concerns that the marketing mind in RM Inc. must bear in mind. I'm sure that these teaser posts and videos are very much an effort to retain customers from breaking away.  


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#5 Vyger

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Posted 20 June 2020 - 07:15 PM

I raise this topic gently, quietly and respectfully.

It seems a long time since I paid to be able to upgrade to RM8.

I recall all those great videos telling me what I could look forward to. And do look forward to.

 

The following are just my opinions and personal position regarding my genealogy software position in 2020. New software versions are not yearly events like they were in years past and there have been new versions of the likes of FTM and some others last year and recently. Rootsmagic version 7 was released November 2014 iirc so over 5 years old and retaining inherent inbuilt problems which users continued to object to, the sneak previews we have seen thus far have indicated a very welcome move beyond such counter-productive functionality but what about the general research features which are available in other programs?

 

I have reluctantly moved to Family Historian V6 as it embodies many of the features which are helpful and productive to my research although I still maintain RM in step so effectively using two programs for different needs. Family Historian is less well known outside USA but is a major competitor to RM and is also due an upgrade to version 7 which was predicted "early 2020" and we still await just like RM users. Family Historian version 6 was released April 2016 so 18 months after RM7, and in my opinion the general functionality far outstrips RM7 but there is no Ancestry Treeshare which has slowed general RM development but yet many RM users would not be without. Family Historian does not currently offer a Mac version and again many RM users are looking forward to a native Mac version of Rootsmagic albeit a small market share, FH does run well on emulators.

 

So to 2020 and the release of RM8 and FH7, I believe there is an element of who will declare first and we must wait and see. I see my choice of the best vehicle for my research as a long term decision, possibly 5 years, so I am happy to use two programs side by side for a year or so to enable me to choose the winner for the years to come. I have watched the video demonstrations of RM8 with great interest and have to say that is some regards some features still fall short of what is currently available in FH6, I would hope these gaps would be closed and personally I am happy to wait for that to happen. As a long term user of FO/RM and a quite active poster on this Wish List I am not prepared to invest additional personal time regurgitating previous wishes and entering another cycle of wishing with Rootsmagic development, I believe it's now time to deliver on the considerable investment of dedicated users over many years.

 

So far Rootsmagic have indicated corrections to a poorly designed and non productive interface which was a design mistake of the past, whilst many users herald this as new features they can't wait to get their hands on they are not true enhancements in my opinion. I do hope what has been demonstrated is the least users would expect and that the big hitters for new version marketing are still to be declared, if not then I would fear for the product future. Feature rumours for FH7 are also out there and FH7 has a stronger market appeal to non USA markets, RM would be well aware of these feature rumours and must decide how to respond and also whether to wait for release post FH7 release.

 

So in short I would prefer to wait for a program which fulfils all my needs for possibly the next 5 years rather than start employing workarounds in a half-baked product, I am entitled to a free upgrade to FH7 but I have not yet invested in RM8 as I really need to see if it can offer me the power, reporting and mapping which I desire for a productive research future.


Customers should never be frustrated by things they cannot do - demand better

 

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#6 popmorgangd

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 08:54 AM

Hhhhmmmmmm

I hear a deafening silence from the fountain head.

Now I am worried.

Pop



#7 Renee Zamora

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 02:05 PM

I just can't add anything new to the discussion. Development is focused and stopping momentum to put out a blog article or new video happens when it happens. We are committed to no more released dates announcements. RM8 will only be released after thorough beta testing is completed and it is found stable and ready. The beta test pool is being expanded, and those beta testing wouldn't be able to comment either. So you will just have silence. 


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#8 robertjacobs0

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 08:41 AM

Renee, may we take it from your post that beta testing has actually begun?



#9 Renee Zamora

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 04:18 PM

Yes, alpha and beta testing have been happening for a while. As we narrow down issues the pool is randomly expanded. 


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#10 robertjacobs0

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 04:44 PM

That's good news! If you randomly expand to me I'll do what I can to help.



#11 Vyger

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 04:45 AM

Yes, alpha and beta testing have been happening for a while. As we narrow down issues the pool is randomly expanded. 

 

That is very welcome news, providing they are committed and focused on actual testing rather than just browsing new features that should ensure a problem free release, unlike RM4 which was a disaster imo.


Customers should never be frustrated by things they cannot do - demand better

 

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#12 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 07:31 AM

 

That is very welcome news, providing they are committed and focused on actual testing rather than just browsing new features that should ensure a problem free release, unlike RM4 which was a disaster imo.

 

I remember the RM4 release very well. There were two beta test periods. The first one was what I would describe as a pretty standard beta test, with selected users and privacy agreements and so forth. The second one was a public beta. I participated in both beta tests, and I found the beta test experience with RM4 to be very positive. I found very few problems and the beta version of RM4 worked great for me.

 

But much to my surprise, when I started using RM4 for real, I started encountering a lot of pretty major problems. The same thing happened to most RM4 users. How could this have been? Well, during both beta test periods I was just playing around and trying things. I wasn't doing real research. I couldn't because there was no guarantee that any data I entered could be carried forward to the production RM4 after it was released. My playing around was was simply not a good enough test, no matter how thorough I thought my playing around was nor how much time I put into it.

 

It took nearly 6 months for RM4 really to become stable after it was officially released. I don't expect RM8 to be any different. The reason won't be because of any lack of skill and competence and working really hard on the part of the developers. And the reason won't be because of inadequate testing or lack of interest on the part of the beta testers. Rather, it's because software projects of the magnitude of RM8 are really hard and beta testing is never as thorough (and can't be) as is real production use.

 

Also, I think part of RM4's problem was that it tried to introduce far too many new features all at the same time. I think it would have been better to release the product on the new platform and new user interface much sooner and with many fewer new features. In other words, keep it simple, make it reliable, do add a few new features but not too many, and get it out the door. Then release the new features in a regular and more measured fashion over a period of years. And I mean really do add the new features as time passes and not just talk about them, like adding dynamic groups and fixing the typographical errors in the source templates.

 

It's hard to know for sure, but I fear that RM8 is this same history repeating itself. Again, I think it would have been better to release the product on the new platform with the new user interface much sooner and with many fewer new features.  In other words, keep it simple, make it reliable, do add a few new features but not too many, and get it out the door.  And then on a regular basis, keep adding new features. Don't talk about adding them, but really add them.

 

I could be wrong about the impending 6 months before RM8 is stable, and I hope I am wrong. I do know that I will do much more personal testing with RM8 before I commit my production data to it than I really did with RM4.

 

Jerry



#13 John_of_Ross_County

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 09:33 AM

I actuially found a bug in RM4 with a pedigree chart that had the same ancestors in different branches of the tree.  It actually hung the computer in a loop and I had to use the task manager to abort RM.  I think it was on Windows 2000, but that was a long time ago.



#14 Vyger

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Posted 25 June 2020 - 04:37 PM

But much to my surprise, when I started using RM4 for real, I started encountering a lot of pretty major problems. The same thing happened to most RM4 users. How could this have been?

 

Well I do have to be blunt and say that the new features offered in RM4 were not 'tested' for example data loss resulting from merging certain items where all RM4 functionality was new from RM3, so how were those new features tested and the results obseverd and fed back to the developers? There are still operational and functionality holes which have been carried forward from RM4 to the present release of the software although I would have to lay that one at the door of the developers rather than the testers, "down the road a bit" repeatedly comes to mind.

 

Apart from technology I also come from a motorsport background, when I am asked to test a car I drive it hard, I don't just take it down the mall for a short run. The team expect exactly that from me and also truthful honest feedback, they also fully expect I may well break the car in the process and that is a price well worth paying for eventual success.

 

Being truthful, and in my experience, ~80% or more beta testers are just happy to get their hands on a pre release version of the software and not fully committed to testing the software, that was very evident with the botched release of RM4 where I discovered data being lost within a short period of time after purchasing the product and reverted to the safe haven of RM3 until the dust finally settled. I want to state now that whilst I did submit as a beta tester for RM8 I cannot now commit to the time I would happy with to fully test the product, I would out of personal interest be very happy to shake the Mapping and Place management tree until something fell out and if I do receive an invite email I will explain the same to development.

 

RM is not my prime focus at present although I have not ruled it out completely, but personally I would be very unhappy to be part of a failed beta test where I had fallen short of what was required and expected of me, it's not my way.


Customers should never be frustrated by things they cannot do - demand better

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.3, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#15 popmorgangd

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 04:10 PM

Yet another three months have passed and still a deafening silence. Not a single word.

My patience is exhausted.

I feel that the earlier hype, videos and requests for cash were misleading, if not downright dishonest.

It is now almost six years since RM7 was released.

The gentle politeness with which I started this thread has evaporated.

I am headed to the life-rafts. With regret.

Man overboard.

Pop



#16 Vyger

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Posted 17 September 2020 - 04:54 AM

Yet another three months have passed and still a deafening silence. Not a single word.

My patience is exhausted.

 

These things take time and I would still prefer a fully tested and functional program on release as I well remember the RM4 release difficulties. Having been around the company for many years I know there is some preference for releasing around US Thanksgiving so that's where my expectations are and it's not really that far away and I still have plenty of work to do to keep me busy.

 

Incidentally Family Historian V7 was due for release "early 2020" and ran a similar promotion last year where buyers of V6 for a free upgrade to V7 on release, clearly we are well past "early 2020" but there is not nearly the same repeated push for release dates and there have been no teases, maybe the teases have become the problem.


Customers should never be frustrated by things they cannot do - demand better

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.3, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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