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Version 4 - should I ?


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#1 emmdee

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 03:48 PM

I'm thinking of purchasing Roots Magic online but have been reading about "bugs" etc. Is it a good idea to go ahead and buy it or should I wait until more bugs and issues have been dealt with ?

Second question: I noticed a message saying they are working hard to fix the problems that have been reported. If I buy this online now, how would my program get updated with any subsequent corrections ?

I will appreciate an help you can provide. Thanks !

#2 lostinbrave

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 11:02 PM

I'm thinking of purchasing Roots Magic online but have been reading about "bugs" etc. Is it a good idea to go ahead and buy it or should I wait until more bugs and issues have been dealt with ?

Second question: I noticed a message saying they are working hard to fix the problems that have been reported. If I buy this online now, how would my program get updated with any subsequent corrections ?

I will appreciate an help you can provide. Thanks !

Most of the bugs have been worked out by now, and more are being fixed as we speak. Also remember all programs have bugs, no matter what they are, so waiting till all the bugs have been fixed is a no can do. But enough have been worked out by now that it is usual.

There is an option to look for updates and if you keep the news enabled it will say something when you start. then you download the update and install it.

#3 emmdee

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 10:12 AM

Thank you for the reply. Sounds like I should go ahead and download the program.

I appreciate your advice....

#4 Jack

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 07:04 PM

Go for it! Hardly any of us gave Bruce any rest when the program was released! But, he's worked hard to remove the bugs and even harder on getting the features we want included.
Jack

a posteriori

#5 Vyger

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 07:17 PM

Go for it! Hardly any of us gave Bruce any rest when the program was released! But, he's worked hard to remove the bugs and even harder on getting the features we want included.

After losing a considerable amount of work and time in trying to recover some of it, I now regret upgrading to RM4 and placing my trust in the program developers. My last 24 hours has been completely wasted due to a BUG in RM4, so in answer to your original question “should I”, I would say definitely NOT.

The Rootsmagic site states "RootsMagic is arguably the best genealogy program we’ve seen.", I would rephrase that as "RootsMagic is POTENTIALLY the best genealogy program we’ve seen."

Stay with something that has been tried and tested, RM4 seems to still be in that testing phase. Once all the bugs are ironed out and the obvious omissions to the program fixed then it should be worth the upgrade.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

Procrastinate (verb) - delay or postpone action; put off doing something.

 

"Named groups are currently static. We will be addressing dynamic groups (for lack of a better name) down the road a bit...

We are having to temporarily remove some functionality that isn’t ready yet in order to get the program out like everyone is clamoring for" - Bruce Buzbee October 5, 2008

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.9, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#6 lostinbrave

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:54 PM

After losing a considerable amount of work and time in trying to recover some of it, I now regret upgrading to RM4 and placing my trust in the program developers. My last 24 hours has been completely wasted due to a BUG in RM4, so in answer to your original question “should I”, I would say definitely NOT.

The Rootsmagic site states "RootsMagic is arguably the best genealogy program we’ve seen.", I would rephrase that as "RootsMagic is POTENTIALLY the best genealogy program we’ve seen."

Stay with something that has been tried and tested, RM4 seems to still be in that testing phase. Once all the bugs are ironed out and the obvious omissions to the program fixed then it should be worth the upgrade.

Wow that's a night and day difference between today and last week.

I have a lot of problems with RM4, but I find most all other programs to be unusable. I don't use the place details much yet, I have to get the places worked out first.

#7 Romer

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 11:20 PM

This same question has been asked since the release of RM4, and it's not necessarily an easy question to answer. It can definitely vary from person to person. It likely depends upon what features, reports, etc. that you use and rely on and your tolerance to jumping in to a relatively new rewrite.

RM 3.2.6 was an extremely stable release, perfected over a number of years and enhancements. Over time, however, some users began to demand more robust features taking advantage of new technologies and new ways of doing things. The genealogy software vendors also have the added incentive of remaining ahead of the competition as far as new and innovative features are concerned. As a result, RM 3.2.6 underwent a complete rewrite to make the code easier to update and to maintain going forward, as well as to integrate a wealth of new features . . . hence RM4. It was a major undertaking.

Many people converted over right away, while others have been more cautious about waiting until some of the bugs were removed and perhaps new functionality added, the manual released, etc. Yet others have continued to enter data in RM3 and keep it as their main database while possibily also playing around with the data in RM4 to get an idea of how the program worked and to become comfortable with any changes made to the program.

For example, in Vyger's case, he discovered that some of the new features related to Place Details weren't being exported to GEDCOM, so if you were to use those and need to export to GEDCOM, you'd want to wait until that bug was ironed out. Perhaps that item is being worked on at this time; I'm not sure. I don't know that these are fields necessarily supported by most of the other genealogy program, however, so a GEDCOM export from RM4 may not be compatible with them. However, a GEDCOM export from and import into the same program should effectively result in the same data in the database, and this wasn't happening here.

Of course, we hope and expect that everything should work perfectly in our software. However, it's not always the case, so it's important to keep somewhat abreast of the boards in order to remain aware of any issues that people may be reporting and to evaluate if they're universal ones or perhaps just due to user error/misunderstanding, computer setup, etc.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid that only you can ultimately decide when to make the move. If you're unsure, I'd highly recommend that you download the trial version and use the features that you're likely to utilize most and see if you're happy with the results.

#8 Vyger

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 07:09 AM

Wow that's a night and day difference between today and last week.

I have a lot of problems with RM4, but I find most all other programs to be unusable. I don't use the place details much yet, I have to get the places worked out first.

Yes there is a big difference in my opinion regarding RM4 since yesterday. I don't think I am being unreasonable in my expectation that a program several years in the making, gone through beta testing and then a public preview should now, 6 months after general release be free from bugs.

There are various issues still to be addressed, there is no offical list regarding what has been recognised as a problem and being worked. I would expect the “team” at RM to be working extensively with all aspects of the program daily, logging and correcting the various problems they come across as they are discovered. Six months after general release I believe we should be well beyond correcting bugs never mind finding new ones.

A basic expectation for me in a data based program would be that all aspects of data transfer and integrity were thoroughly tested prior to release. For me to discover now that I have lost a considerable amount of work is my reason for turning my back on the program. My decision to embrace RM4 when I did was obviously premature.

I will return to RM4 when it is finally sorted but for now it’s a no go area. Only problem is that I believed it was sound up until yesterday. <_<

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

Procrastinate (verb) - delay or postpone action; put off doing something.

 

"Named groups are currently static. We will be addressing dynamic groups (for lack of a better name) down the road a bit...

We are having to temporarily remove some functionality that isn’t ready yet in order to get the program out like everyone is clamoring for" - Bruce Buzbee October 5, 2008

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.9, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#9 emmdee

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 09:25 PM

Hello again. It's interesting to read the various opinions of Roots Magic 4 and I appreciate everyone's advice. I haven't used any version of Roots Magic and haven't really done much with my genealogy records for a few years. I have an old version of Family Origins that I liked very much and was told that Roots Magic had similar features and so.... I did buy Roots Magic Version 4 online the other day and even ordered the book too. :) So, of course I'm hoping I don't find the bugs too disturbing and I'll be sure to install any updates that come along.

Thanks again for taking the time to let me know what you think. I do appreciate the help and you may see me back here again with more dumb questions as time goes on.

#10 Romer

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 10:14 AM

If it makes you feel any better, and hopefully others can confirm or deny, but my general recollection is that user reports of any sort of data integrity entry issues within the program have been very minimal. What I'm specifically trying to say here is that if you enter data in the program, it will be properly stored the way that you entered/saved it and when you return in subsequent sessions to that screen where you entered or edited it, you'll find it that way, as well. In RM 4.0.5.0, I'm not sure that or whether any issues remain.

#11 MikeZ

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:33 PM

Most of the bugs have been worked out by now, and more are being fixed as we speak...

I would suggest that it is vitually impossible to affirmatively state that "most of the bugs have been worked out". How does one gain such insight :huh: , especially considering the revelation Vyger recently made related to the loss of geocoding during GEDCOM transfers.

While admittedly I have not been an advocate of using RM4 in its present fractured condition, I remain optimistic that it someday it will be ready for prime time. However, I agree with Vyger in that a data based program should ensure that all aspects of data transfer and integrity are thoroughly tested prior to release. It is quite clear from reading the ISSUES & DISCUSSION forums that presently this is not the case.

While some may wish to minimize these shortcomings, Others find them to be significant. I feel I was fortunate not to jump on the upgrade bandwagon, and had I not tested the program during the beta testing periods I may very well have...

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


#12 MikeZ

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:50 PM

Frankly, I believe we do potential users a disservice when we attempt to quantify the extent to which RM4 is, or is not, broken. That job (IMO) belongs to the program author – busy or not.

Certainly users should report their findings (what works and what doesn’t), and work together to help each other solve what appears to be a problem and develop “work arounds”. However, for someone (no matter how experienced with RM) to even suggest all the problems (major or minor) have been identified is pure speculation at best.

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


#13 kbens0n

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 06:16 PM

How does one gain such insight :huh:

You describe yourself as a "User since Family Origins 2.0". It is highly unlikely that you've always waited until the the final version with no more bugs/feature additions before purchase or usage of Bruce's products. Quite often, folks do not even purchase every version, either. Don't know whether you have purchased version 4 yet or not, but either way, if you're attempting to influence or shame the authors... I suspect you're wasting your "own" time. If you're attempting to warn/influence prospective purchasers, take from that whatever gratification you desire, but I again submit... you're wasting your "own" time. ;)

---
--- "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 MikeZ

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 07:13 PM

You describe yourself as a "User since Family Origins 2.0". It is highly unlikely that you've always waited until the the final version with no more bugs/feature additions before purchase or usage of Bruce's products. Quite often, folks do not even purchase every version, either. Don't know whether you have purchased version 4 yet or not, but either way, if you're attempting to influence or shame the authors... I suspect you're wasting your "own" time. If you're attempting to warn/influence prospective purchasers, take from that whatever gratification you desire, but I again submit... you're wasting your "own" time. ;)

In fact I have been a user since FO ver 2. In addition, I upgraded each version (in succession) through ver 3.2.6. Yes, there were issues with many of these upgrades. Yet, none (to my recollection) were to the extent that I see with RM4 - you may disagree, but that is my opinion.

Now, to your claim that my words are meant to shame. I find your opinion to be highly presumptuous. While I have made it clear that I have issues with RM4's performance, I have never attempted to shame anyone - author or user. Rather, I have adressed program performance issues without attempting to interpret the degree to which another user should condsider the problem as it is not for me to decide.

If my words hit a sensitive spot, then so be it - this is not a personal issue only one of program performance.

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


#15 Ludlow Bay

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 07:49 PM

You describe yourself as a "User since Family Origins 2.0". It is highly unlikely that you've always waited until the the final version with no more bugs/feature additions before purchase or usage of Bruce's products. Quite often, folks do not even purchase every version, either. Don't know whether you have purchased version 4 yet or not, but either way, if you're attempting to influence or shame the authors... I suspect you're wasting your "own" time. If you're attempting to warn/influence prospective purchasers, take from that whatever gratification you desire, but I again submit... you're wasting your "own" time. ;)



You go, Kevin! Your antics never waste my time!

#16 kbens0n

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 08:33 PM

Now, to your claim that my words are meant to shame. I find your opinion to be highly presumptuous.

I clearly used "IF" in my post, so your use of the word 'claim' is presumptive, also.

While I have made it clear that I have issues with RM4's performance, I have never attempted to shame anyone - author or user.

The word 'shame' was a poor choice. As a mere user with no genealogical programming experience, you really aren't in a position to "shame" another genalogical programming author. The phrase 'call out' seems more in line with what I intended (and perfectly within your right, I might add).

If my words hit a sensitive spot, then so be it - this is not a personal issue only one of program performance.

Doesn't bother me in the slightest, I was merely pointing out that it might save you some typing. ;)

---
--- "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


#17 MikeZ

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 09:05 PM

... As a mere user with no genealogical programming experience, you really aren't in a position to "shame" another genalogical programming author...

Again you presume to know something that you could not possibly know. You very well may be quite surprised at my credentials and expertise in these areas. Yet, that is not the issue at hand in this topic, and elucidating them here serves no real purpose.

At best I see that we can agree that our opinons here are diametrically opposed...

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


#18 kbens0n

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 09:45 PM

Again you presume to know something that you could not possibly know. You very well may be quite surprised at my credentials and expertise in these areas.

You're right that I can't know specifically, but I can presume that you're not seriously asserting comparable credentials or expertise. I do know it's not your "day job" like it is Bruce's. ;)

At best I see that we can agree that our opinons here are diametrically opposed...

Obviously, ...if you don't think that "most of the bugs have been worked out". :)

---
--- "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


#19 lostinbrave

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 09:55 PM

I would suggest that it is vitually impossible to affirmatively state that "most of the bugs have been worked out". How does one gain such insight :huh: , especially considering the revelation Vyger recently made related to the loss of geocoding during GEDCOM transfers.

"Most of the bugs" meaning people can use it and generally not worry about anything. Anyway just look how long it takes for bugs to crop up. It has been released with many people using it and looking for bugs and just now Vyger found the bug. Often you have to work for a long time to find bugs.

And I am not implying that there are no bugs, there are plenty, but a lot, most of the bugs have been fixed.

#20 MikeZ

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 10:33 PM

You're right that I can't know specifically, but... I do know it's not your "day job" like it is Bruce's. ;)

True, but that doesn't mean I can't recognize a software problem.

Obviously, ...if you don't think that "most of the bugs have been worked out". :)

To make that determination one would have to know how many bugs in total exist in the software, and I doubt anyone (even the author) can make that objective statement. ;)

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