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I WAS A RM4 BETA TESTER


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#1 DerickH

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 03:59 PM

Folks,

I have been a user of Family Origins, the fore-runner to Roots Magic, since DOS days. Bruce Buzbee gave me the opportunity to beta test both FO and RM. I have never worked with a software author as responsive as Bruce. A good many of the "wish list" items I submitted over the years have been incorporated. I have been using and testing genealogical software programs since the late 1980's and have written a few myself. Over these many years, I have come to recognize the insight and skills of Bruce Buzbee and his desire to provide the best possible genealogical database program available.

Since the inception of Familiy Origins (which Bruce first licensed to Parsons Software), there have been improvements and enhancements to the basic program. Unlike other programs that make previous databases obsolete, Bruce has made FO/RM a user-friendly product without making the user buy the latest edition to load old databases. Unless you have ever written computer code, you will never understand the complexity in moving from one release to the next. I guess what I am trying to say is for the users who are having difficulty transitioning from RM3 to RM4 to give the process a chance. Bruce has always been responsive to the comments he has received from users and I see no reason he will suddenly ignore the thousands of RootsMagic users now.

Currently, I have two databases that exceed 238 thousand names. The backup files exceed 66 mgb. In order to handles files of that size, we need to realize that the GEDCOM 5.5 standard was never designed for the amount of data currently used, nor was it designed for the alterations that Bruce has incorporated into it in order to make RM operate well beyond the capabilities that FHD/LDS originally intended.

In closing, I am urging all RM (and FO) users) to give Bruce Buzbee the credit he deserves. In my opinion, he is no less a genius than the likes of Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking. His forte is computer programming and genealogical data standards.

Unless you wish to migrate to inferior platforms or make complaints without understanding what is involved, I urge you to exercise the patience that has brought us to this point. Exercise patience! RM4 has flaws, faults, bugs and is slow. In spite of these blemishes, it is still better than any genealogical software I have ever used and I know that it will only get better.

My message: be patient and endure. If you have complaints, wishes, comments and suggestions, post them to the forum. Don't make snap judgements about doom and gloom. DO be a part of the process that will improve the best genealogical software yet produced.

--Derick smile.gif
derickh@charter.net

#2 JohnG

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 07:57 AM

Well said!

JohnG

#3 Don Newcomb

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 02:28 PM

I just hope Bruce has a back up plan, just in case, heaven forfend, something should happen to him.

#4 Ken Funk

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 04:28 PM

QUOTE(DerickH @ May 23 2009, 04:59 PM) View Post

Folks,

I have been a user of Family Origins, the fore-runner to Roots Magic, since DOS days. Bruce Buzbee gave me the opportunity to beta test both FO and RM. I have never worked with a software author as responsive as Bruce. A good many of the "wish list" items I submitted over the years have been incorporated. I have been using and testing genealogical software programs since the late 1980's and have written a few myself. Over these many years, I have come to recognize the insight and skills of Bruce Buzbee and his desire to provide the best possible genealogical database program available.

Since the inception of Familiy Origins (which Bruce first licensed to Parsons Software), there have been improvements and enhancements to the basic program. Unlike other programs that make previous databases obsolete, Bruce has made FO/RM a user-friendly product without making the user buy the latest edition to load old databases. Unless you have ever written computer code, you will never understand the complexity in moving from one release to the next. I guess what I am trying to say is for the users who are having difficulty transitioning from RM3 to RM4 to give the process a chance. Bruce has always been responsive to the comments he has received from users and I see no reason he will suddenly ignore the thousands of RootsMagic users now.

Currently, I have two databases that exceed 238 thousand names. The backup files exceed 66 mgb. In order to handles files of that size, we need to realize that the GEDCOM 5.5 standard was never designed for the amount of data currently used, nor was it designed for the alterations that Bruce has incorporated into it in order to make RM operate well beyond the capabilities that FHD/LDS originally intended.

In closing, I am urging all RM (and FO) users) to give Bruce Buzbee the credit he deserves. In my opinion, he is no less a genius than the likes of Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking. His forte is computer programming and genealogical data standards.

Unless you wish to migrate to inferior platforms or make complaints without understanding what is involved, I urge you to exercise the patience that has brought us to this point. Exercise patience! RM4 has flaws, faults, bugs and is slow. In spite of these blemishes, it is still better than any genealogical software I have ever used and I know that it will only get better.

My message: be patient and endure. If you have complaints, wishes, comments and suggestions, post them to the forum. Don't make snap judgements about doom and gloom. DO be a part of the process that will improve the best genealogical software yet produced.

--Derick smile.gif
derickh@charter.net


Bruce may well be a programmer and god's gift to genealogical standards but that still doesn't justify putting out the crap that he did in this release and expecting people to like it. Quite honestly some of the stuff that got through, such as the failure for the dates to keep their format, well maybe Bruce didn't have very sharp beta testers this time around.

Based on past history, Bruce's product have been solid with a few quirks here and there. This piece of crap isn't yet fit to be in beta yet. Yes, I am a programmer, and yes, I have been one for some time - Ok so my degree says Computer Science, but programming is the branch I chose. I started programming in 1979 in BASIC and have grown from there, I even spent a few years working in tech support for Family Origins and Family Tree Maker. Right now I work for a company that produces cereal and the software I work on is used for two major things...keeping employee benefit time straight and running the production lines.

You want pissy people, try screwing up all the union members when they want to schedule vacation. What you have seen here is nothing compared to when union steward come whining about their people not getting their +10% time increase for their vacation days, or not getting the day properly entered. I shudder to think what my boss would say if I tried produce such incomplete software to keep the lines running.

So a this point, I Will give Bruce no credit at all. When he fixes this sorry excuse for software and never releases such a crappy version again...then and only then will he get credit. There are way too many things that do not work, or are barely implemented in order to make this worthwhile. I could probably have managed something at least this good in 2 years and 9 months. For many of us, moving to RM4 was a migration to an inferior platform. If you think this is better than anything else you have ever used, you need to step back from the crack pipe. I can name quite a few superior software package, FO 1- RM3, Family Tree Maker 1 for DOS through FTM 2009 (except for version 16 I think it was), Ultimate Family Tree version 1-3 and pretty much any version of The Master Genealogist.

At least with Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, you knew a lot of that work was theoretical. You don't expect to have theoretical functioning in your genealogical software.

#5 Totnor

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 01:59 AM

I too was a Beta tester, and for a friend's family tree I still use RM3. (She doesn't yet have RM4). Many of the complaints on this forum about slowness, etc. seem to me relate to other problems with their PCs or Macs. I notice no difference in speed with the two programs when using them. Nor do I experience the sort of problems that the critics seem to encounter. Bruce is obviously working hard to resolve issues and it must be very difficult for him when there is so much criticism. Come on RM4 users! Let's have positive comments from folk like me who are enjoying RM4 and wouldn't go back to RM3! Having also been a FO user, too, I find the overall features, ease of use and appearance of RM4 much superior to these and other family history programs I have tried.

Yes, there are bound to be bugs around, especially with a completely rewritten program, but vituperative comments are unhelpful and do nothing at all except relieve the writers' feelings! I'm sure the majority of users around, and even on this forum, enjoy using it!







#6 MikeZ

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 06:05 AM

I also was a beta tester, for both RM4 and three other types of software. One of the differences I observed in the RM4 testing was the absence of a private discussion forum for the beta testers where one could discuss various issues between the testers and those who were programming the software. In past testing experiences, this venue proved very helpful to both the testers & the programmers. I did make a suggestion regarding such a forum to RM.

Regarding negative user comments, I find it to be a natural reaction from those who are greatly disappointed by their RM4 experiences compared to their expectations. Yes, RM4 may be a complete rewrite, using a different platform, etc. Yet, should not that be all the more reason to conduct more comprehensive testing before releasing it for public use? In this regard, I agree with those who find RM4ís release was premature.

I do not agree that those who express their disappointment in RM4 should be condemned - it is their opinion, as it is mine.

While RM4 does have some wonderful new features, it also has (IMO) some significant problems. One of the most significant problems (IMO) involves sources and facts. Not being a student of citation formats, I entered source information in a fashion (in many of the available fields), that I understood and could refer to effectively. Unfortunately, my format did not align with source format standards. After importing my RM3 DB to RM4 it was painfully obvious. huh.gif

In one case, I attempted to merge a birth registration source into a RM4 source template. All the expected actions occurred as expected with one exception. The information that existed in the following imported source data fields did not merge into the new source:
[*] Footnotes
[*] Short Footnotes
[*] Source Text

Consequently, important information - like the registration date & cert # were lost (only in my test DB). I expected that all existing source fields would actually merge into the corresponding new source fields. They did not... ohmy.gif New software should never corrupt data.

For this, and other reasons, I have opted to remain with RM3.2.6. Hopefully, a future RM4 version will correct these issues; but given that my 3/28/09 trouble ticket has yet to be acknowledged, Iím not sure when that will beÖ


User since Family Origins 2.0, Now using RM 7.5...


#7 Vyger

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 06:11 AM

There do have to be questions about how the beta testing was completed, how much attention was given to feedback during the community preview and how RM4 went release on the date it did.

Having said that, I find it a great step up from RM3 although not without bugs and missing some obvious additions that should have been in there. I do believe that these will all be overcome on the upcoming patch and we can then get back to wishing rather that bitching.

I have made a few mistakes in life and learnt from them, I am sure Bruce and team have learnt a lot from recent events. I personally donít believe RM4 was in development for 2 years and 9 months and maybe it should have been but that doesnít change where we are today.

My main database is still worked on RM3, I use a copy of it for various reference purposes on RM4, I was never one for trusting my data to a first release version anyway, thatís why I still use XP and will do until I have no other choice.

I am happy to wait for RM4.x and what it brings, I feel very sure it will not disappoint and I do trust RM are dotting all the iís and crossing all the tís on this one. As someone who has always taken pride in his work I would be very surprised if Bruce allowed it to be otherwise.

Iím happy to wait, give the man a break.


Keeping ones customers and their important views at a distance is never a good approach

 

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#8 whomper

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 06:34 AM

In my other postings, I often have admitted a high degree of respect for the programmers who can do all the neat things that I cannot do. I still have that respect. I can identify flaws, but maybe not to the Nth degree that others can achieve. I want to be part of the family in order to improve my own techniques, etc.

As part of the family, I can point out the flaws, etc. and make suggestions for improvements (IMHO). I can fuss and argue with my siblings.

But...
I don't want to see the vitriolic condemnation that I see in other areas of communication, especially politics and religion! I don't want to see the rude comments, regardless of the reason. I don't think we need to be so crude; indeed, there are any number of role models out there whom we can emulate in terms of phraseology, grammer, and sentence construction, so to get our point across without coming out as an ill-mannered doofus or anal-retentive knowitall!

I don't know many brilliant people; but I can compare them only to me! And I'm not brilliant anywhere (or anywhere that you would recognize). So I give Bruce his due and continually try to impress him with the needs as I percieve them.

The biggest problem with RM is the same as The Biggest Problem with 'most everything else - communication! We complain about unanswered tickets, unresponsive programmers, incompetant beta testers, etc. ad nauseum. But if we don't offer our own constructive criticism and refrain from the nasty outbursts, we won't get anywhere.

So let's moderate our own comments and remember that without the programmers who will listen to us, we can't do anything! And remember that we are siblings.

Geez, did I just say that? blink.gif

#9 Don Newcomb

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 07:40 AM

Back before I retired, we had a saying that applied to my work. You probably know this saying, "One 'Oh S*it' wipes out all the 'Atta Boys' you ever collected." The point being that it is very important that when you release a product to your customer, it should work properly and do what is advertised. If it doesn't all the credit and good will you've accumulated over the years just vaporizes. Good will is not stored in a very deep lake. It's more like a puddle. It can dry up very quickly.

#10 RootsMagician

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 07:57 AM

QUOTE(Ken Funk @ May 24 2009, 04:28 PM) View Post

So a this point, I Will give Bruce no credit at all. When he fixes this sorry excuse for software and never releases such a crappy version again...then and only then will he get credit. There are way too many things that do not work, or are barely implemented in order to make this worthwhile. I could probably have managed something at least this good in 2 years and 9 months.


Ken,

I look forward to buying your product 3 years from now.


RootsMagician

#11 whomper

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 08:11 AM

QUOTE(Don Newcomb @ May 25 2009, 09:40 AM) View Post

"One 'Oh S*it' wipes out all the 'Atta Boys' you ever collected." ... Good will is not stored in a very deep lake.

Well, sure... except amongst friends. The difference here is that Bruce is trying to produce the most useful and applicable product and keep the price within some bounds. So I encourage him if I can, compliment him when I can, and remember that the Awsh*t line comes to me from an organization which deals with things on a much larger and more important scale than this!

Forgiving is Divine. Forgetting is not company policy. Or is it impossible? Whatever... It's the forgiveness which we need here.

Easy for me to say! I'm not going to try to replace it!

Some people even critize the Creator for making mosquitos!

#12 Vyger

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 09:22 AM

QUOTE(RootsMagician @ May 25 2009, 02:57 PM) View Post

Ken,

I look forward to buying your product 3 years from now.


Bruce, don't get dragged away from programming, we can handle this nonsense ourselves..

I really love what you have done with RM4 and whilst I can be impatient I have faith that you will make it into the best genealogy program out there and of course bug free.

I must admit I can hardly wait for the patch to come but will as I want to get into all these new features and use them to their best.

p.s Don't be reading this post, you should be programming wink.gif

Keeping ones customers and their important views at a distance is never a good approach

 

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#13 kbens0n

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 01:53 PM

QUOTE(Vyger @ May 25 2009, 11:22 AM) View Post
I must admit I can hardly wait for the patch to come but will as I want to get into all these new features and use them to their best.
wink.gif
QUOTE(RootsMagician @ May 25 2009, 10:53 AM) View Post
http://www.rootsmagi...amp;#entry26903
"... in the next update (this week)."
biggrin.gif

---
--- "GENEALOGY, n. An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own." - Ambrose Bierce
--- "The trouble ain't what people don't know, it's what they know that ain't so." - Josh Billings
---Ô¿Ô---
K e V i N


#14 Vyger

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 04:49 AM


Excellent, all good things come to those who wait biggrin.gif


Keeping ones customers and their important views at a distance is never a good approach

 

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#15 isis

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 07:28 PM

Excellent, all good things come to those who wait <img src="http://forums.rootsm...#>/biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />


Still Waiting on the programme & the fix

#16 Brenda Hare

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 07:54 PM

I too was a Beta tester, and for a friend's family tree I still use RM3. (She doesn't yet have RM4). Many of the complaints on this forum about slowness, etc. seem to me relate to other problems with their PCs or Macs. I notice no difference in speed with the two programs when using them. Nor do I experience the sort of problems that the critics seem to encounter. Bruce is obviously working hard to resolve issues and it must be very difficult for him when there is so much criticism. Come on RM4 users! Let's have positive comments from folk like me who are enjoying RM4 and wouldn't go back to RM3! Having also been a FO user, too, I find the overall features, ease of use and appearance of RM4 much superior to these and other family history programs I have tried.

Yes, there are bound to be bugs around, especially with a completely rewritten program, but vituperative comments are unhelpful and do nothing at all except relieve the writers' feelings! I'm sure the majority of users around, and even on this forum, enjoy using it!



I beg your pardon, *I* was also a beta tester for quite a few versions of Family Origins. My complaint with RM4 due to slowness does *NOT* have anything to do with the speed of my pc, which is an extremely FAST pc. I realize that I have "ONLY" 34,000 individuals, but I still don't expect to be sitting for quite some time, waiting for RM4 to open.

Having said that, I am a retired computer programmer and Microsoft Network Engineer and do applaud Bruce and all the time and hard work he has given us through the years.

Next time, don't be so quick to blame someone's pc....

Brenda

#17 Searcher

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:45 AM

I think the real issue in all the uproar is the lack of information from the only source that has it. Students of Crisis Management know that silence is the worst possible communication route to take. I'd like Bruce to come out and tell us truthfully what is going on even if it is as simple as "don't expect an update for at least 6 more months and even then it won't include all of the tickets received up to now". Just give us the truth.

#18 Vyger

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 11:17 AM

I think the real issue in all the uproar is the lack of information from the only source that has it. Students of Crisis Management know that silence is the worst possible communication route to take. I'd like Bruce to come out and tell us truthfully what is going on even if it is as simple as "don't expect an update for at least 6 more months and even then it won't include all of the tickets received up to now". Just give us the truth.

I second that persons opinion, updates were pretty frequent (~6 weeks) but we are well past that now and there are are still problems that put data at risk within RM which should be a priority fix!

I know I am wondering what is happening at present and as time passes my expectations of the next update get higher and higher, maybe not a good thing <_<

Keeping ones customers and their important views at a distance is never a good approach

 

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#19 whomper

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 11:18 AM

I think the real issue in all the uproar is the lack of information from the only source that has it. ... I'd like Bruce to come out and tell us truthfully what is going on ...

I second that motion. There have been so many useful suggestions about improvements and even corrections, that it makes a saint wonder about the quietness.

I'm no genius. I do agree that it takes a genius to think up, and implement, so many of the programs out there. But Microsoft has taught us that geniuses don't always exhibit Common Sense. I do feel that Bruce listens, when he can; I just don't understand WHEN he listens.

I once asked him about all the "wishes". He doesn't advertise them continually, so we don't know when OUR wish is a new one or a repeat. And that's part of the problem in this communication thing.

I agree with the comments like "forgiving", "patience", etc. But like the hungry buzzard said, "Patience, hell! I'm going out and kill something!", patience might get strained. IMHO, there's no other new or up-to-date program which can surpass RM. But in the same IMHO, there seems to be no REASON for such a long delay in fixing problems and offering improvements. They're not my shoes, so I won't complain about anything except maybe the slowness and silence.

Most times, you can't rush genius; but you sure can poke it in the butt some...

...Respectfully submitted, of course...

#20 Vyger

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 11:28 AM

IMHO, there's no other new or up-to-date program which can surpass RM.

I'm trying to remember what Clint Eastwood said about opinions ;) , anyway they are important and people do seek them out more and more in todays instant world.

That's why I was a little surprised and disappointed to see RM fall to #3 in the reviews below. I remember proudly posting this site before when RM3 was the latest offering and it was #1. People do seek out reviews before buying so if I were Bruce I would not be happy with that positioning, would be rushing to get RM4 complete and polished and be requesting that the review be done again. Maybe even an early jump to V5 with a free upgrade to all existing RM4 customers, after all a year has almost gone by since RM4 release.

http://genealogy-sof...tenreviews.com/

Keeping ones customers and their important views at a distance is never a good approach

 

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