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Version 4 - should I ?


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#21 MikeZ

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 11:01 PM

"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.

I believe the fallicy in your argument is that "most people" that purchase software do not do so with the understanding that they are looking for a something that does not work as expected. Instead, they encounter some oddity as they use the program and at some point determine that something isn't performing as it should - Vyger's recent find concerning lost geocoding following a GEDCOM transfer is but one example. It's not that they don't worry about it as much as they do not expect the program to fail. Again Vyger's response to finding this problem and how it affected his opinion of the software illustrates this position.

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

Had you ended this sentance after "but a lot", or "There are plenty", I would have agreed.

I am trying only to be a voice of reason. I find RM 3.2.6 to be an excellent genealogical program, and I suspect that RM4 will (in time) be its superior. However, I find its present flaws (and especially those that may yet to be identified) to make it a questionable program from the standpoint of data integrity. Futhermore, I believe it is misleading to diminish these issues and suggest that "most of the problems" have been identified. While that might be true, it has yet to be proven and while my opponents may not believe it, I really hope it's true...

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#22 kbens0n

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 11:49 PM

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

All genealogy software has problems. None of them share bug reports with the public (for good reasons, in their view). In fact it is the rare exception that any commercial software vendor does.

---
--- "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---
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#23 Vyger

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 04:45 AM

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

For a program six months in general release I would expect a lot less of the reported bugs to still be around. Lets also be honest that when Bruce started the blog in July 2008 he already had a program that one should presume was already being tested and further developed.

That leads me to another problem which I believe needs fixed. Some users do not frequent this forum, not all that do will take time to post a problem, not all problems that are posted on the forum seem to be picked up by RM, not all users will raise a support ticket and not all support tickets seem to get followed through. I know these things from my own experience on these boards and my own experience in raising support tickets, and I believe this process needs to be a lot more transparent to RM users. We are also potentially in a time frame where someone finding a problem assumes "they must already know about that by now".

I believe RM should make public a list of known bugs/problems recognised and being worked and be honest and up front with their users, then if someone finds something NOT on that list they can report it on the forum or raise a support ticket. This would also greatly reduce the duplications of posts on the forum and make the whole bug tracking process much more efficient in my opinion.

If this was done I would have a lot more confidence in RM and the process of eradicative the problems/bugs and everything about an open disclosure process is more efficient.

The only negative is that it puts RM under a bit of pressure to work towards a clean sheet. <_<

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#24 MikeZ

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 05:01 AM

...I believe RM should make public a list of known bugs/problems recognised and being worked and be honest and up front with their users, then if someone finds something NOT on that list they can report it on the forum or raise a support ticket. This would also greatly reduce the duplications of posts on the forum and make the whole bug tracking process much more efficient in my opinion...

Well said! I have also suggested that such a list be developed.

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#25 Vyger

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 05:17 AM

Well said! I have also suggested that such a list be developed.

After all, if there are so few bugs left then this should not be a problem. What is important is that we get rid of those that remain.

Pin a topic to the to Issues Forum requesting users to check the Bug Tracker list before posting a NEW issue and that should clean up that board also.

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

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#26 Vyger

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 05:32 AM

.

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

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#27 n4ehv

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 10:33 PM

I will stay with RM3, 89,000 people, 34,000 families, 2,600 pictures, RM4 was always building indexes, thumbnails or something, if I add a picture it creates thumbnails allover again, If I try to just browse the picture you guessed it more time waiting for thumbnails, 4,700 pictures on computer. Stay with RM3.

#28 Vyger

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 03:26 PM

I will stay with RM3, 89,000 people, 34,000 families, 2,600 pictures, RM4 was always building indexes, thumbnails or something, if I add a picture it creates thumbnails allover again, If I try to just browse the picture you guessed it more time waiting for thumbnails, 4,700 pictures on computer. Stay with RM3.

Having calmed down a little after my data loss problems I am looking forward to using RM4 again. For now any new stuff will go into RM3 but I must admit I do miss the new features in RM4. Six weeks, if I am correct, between 4.0.4 and 4.0.5 and around 6 weeks now since 4.0.5 was released.

I am not in any rush for another update but I do hope 4.0.6 is the last before we start moving forward to 4.1 etc., in other words I do hope 4.0.6 eradicates the last of the bugs and we start moving forward into some of those enhancements that we all desire. ;)

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

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#29 lostinbrave

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 06:50 PM

Having calmed down a little after my data loss problems I am looking forward to using RM4 again. For now any new stuff will go into RM3 but I must admit I do miss the new features in RM4. Six weeks, if I am correct, between 4.0.4 and 4.0.5 and around 6 weeks now since 4.0.5 was released.

I am not in any rush for another update but I do hope 4.0.6 is the last before we start moving forward to 4.1 etc., in other words I do hope 4.0.6 eradicates the last of the bugs and we start moving forward into some of those enhancements that we all desire. ;)

I don't know if the next one will be the last release to fix bugs, but it should be really soon, meaning if not this one, then with in the next 1 or 2 after it.

#30 Ken Rury

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 05:03 AM

I would have to agree with everything Vyge has said. I went from Family Origins 9 to RM4 (15,000 people) and while I like the ability to resize my windows, the number of bugs has been frustrating. I have yet to have any of the bugs I have reported fixed including in 4.0.6, so I am not confident that the bugs will be completly fixed any time soon. My biggest concern is they may not view my bugs as important and not fix them. I have custom facts that I had in FO that won't display in RM, just a blank line, but is in the database. My advise is run in parralel but stick with your old software until they fix more bugs.

Last night I uploaded my gedcoms to GEANET and Rootsweb for the first time since converting and both have trouble displaying and interpreting the facts, so like Vyge everyday you find something else that isn't right. So you spend a lot of time reporting bugs and cleaning up data. Migrated sources end up copied 3 times (Footnote, Short Footnote and Bibliogrphy), when I uploaded to GANET/Rootsweb all my sources were repeated 3x and neither knew how to handle the new source forms. I spent 2 days deleting the duplicate texts out of all my sources. I would say in all I have spend 200 hours cleaning up my data and figuring out how to overcome bugs.

Last tip is stay a way from the Place Detail until probably the next major release, it is not fully cooked as a concept yet. Remember it's not just how it works in RM, but how it will work with how you use your data, do you produce lots of reports, upload to websites etc, unless you are very analytical in your testing of those things you need to work well, you are likely not to find the bugs until you have added too much data to revert back to your old program. I would not trust being able to export your data to revert back to your old program and it's not likely to recognize a lot of the new stuff.

#31 reddog_ks

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 05:32 PM

Having calmed down a little after my data loss problems I am looking forward to using RM4 again. For now any new stuff will go into RM3 but I must admit I do miss the new features in RM4. Six weeks, if I am correct, between 4.0.4 and 4.0.5 and around 6 weeks now since 4.0.5 was released.

I am not in any rush for another update but I do hope 4.0.6 is the last before we start moving forward to 4.1 etc., in other words I do hope 4.0.6 eradicates the last of the bugs and we start moving forward into some of those enhancements that we all desire. ;)


I still find that one bug as not been corrected, It was reported prior to V-4.03 and noted that it was to be fixed in next update. NOTHING in V-4.0.6. Version RM 3.2.5 program did a satisfactory job of Selection of people when creating web pages and specifically Family Group Sheets. I recall last version of RM V-3.2.5 had the needed selection of person's. The new RM V-4.0.6 has some selection screeen that I see no useful purpose unless you only want one family record. I was using the Family group record to upload over 140 families with one click. This new screen require you to make a select for each family, ie 140 clicks. I need to select "the Descendants of " or "all of the database". It was noted in other board that it would be changed. Too bad we cannot see the Bug listing!!
I don't have too many bugs that effect my usuage, but I have discarded my V 3.2.5 with an upgrade to new computer and wish I had never converted untill my needs were met.
As simple has it sounds to make the program function as V3.2.5 did, but no such luck. Guess I will sign up for the Cruise trip and forget my data.......... :(

#32 Vyger

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 04:07 PM

Too bad we cannot see the Bug listing!!

On reflection there are still many bugs and problems in converting from RM3 to RM4 still out there and I agree that the "work in progress" should be published, apart from vanity, I cannot see why not, no program is bug free.

I am on vacation at present and was only too happy to see the Place Details gedcom transfer bug was fixed, but I may still have to hold back on fully adopting RM4 just yet.

As much as I want to support Bruce & Team, I am toying with the idea of publishing my own praise and concerns of RM4 on my own website like what works, what doesn't and a list of things still needing to be ironed out.

The "wish/issues list" is so convoluted it is sometimes hard for me to find my own posts and I would like to see it further sub divided into categories like Sources, Reports, Mapping, Media, etc etc etc, where users could much more easily follow the subject most close to their heart. Certainly at the moment there is no real easy way to see what are still the issues, I'm sure there are many I have not even come across yet as they have not cropped up in the way I work.

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

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#33 Romer

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 05:01 PM

On reflection there are still many bugs and problems in converting from RM3 to RM4 still out there

vyger, am I correct in assuming that your statement refers to some of the functionality available in RM3 that is yet to be added to RM4 (and to some of the new RM4 functionality in general) and not that there are data issues strictly in converting an RM3 database to RM4?

The "wish/issues list" is so convoluted it is sometimes hard for me to find my own posts and I would like to see it further sub divided into categories like Sources, Reports, Mapping, Media, etc etc etc, where users could much more easily follow the subject most close to their heart.

It sounds good in theory, and I can sympathize, myself, but I think that it would be much more difficult in practice. For instance, some posts hit on issues that might cross multiple topics. In addition, it would certainly take significant forethought to initially set up forums in a fashion that wouldn't later require refinement and cleanup (the latter of which typically may not happen). After all, we still have RM4 issues appearing in the RM3 forum from before the time that those forums were later split. Finally, some topics aren't currently posted by users in the appropriate forum as it is now, so it could become tougher to manage if they were expanded further.

To find items that you've posted, try clicking on your forum name in the upper righthand corner, then on My Profile. From there, you can click on Find Topics or Find Posts. Actually, a more powerful and effective means can be had by clicking on the Advanced link next to the Search button, also in the upper right of the screen. A number of filters are available there to help narrow down the result set.

#34 Vyger

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 10:20 AM

Romer, I started thinking of the various things like column sizes not being remembered or auto adjusted on the People View, then the fact that mapping does not use Place Details where they exist (I would like to get home to use RM and find out differently but I am not hopeful) then there are the problems of moving from RM3 sources to RM4 and converting, no help in moving to the new (more precise) Place and Place Details etc. You culd also add the fact that Bruce said some functionality regarding Dynamic Groups was temporaily removed to get the program to release but he made that statement on the Blog October 2008 <_<

As I posted previously Place Details was where I was pacing most of my effort with RM4 and once I discovered the data problem I wnet back to RM3 so there likely are a lot of issues I have most not even come across yet although I would expect RM4 not to have any data issues remaining.

Once I get some time I will work more thoroughly with the various options in RM4 before putting together anything of a snag list. That would not even be neccessary if RM published some list of issues currently being worked, I wouldn't really care too much when they got done as long as the list was getting shorter. Many users would appear to have posted issues on the forum but not raised them as a support ticket, then some users have noted that none of their support tickets have been actioned ?? :(

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#35 Romer

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 01:55 PM

After true bugs being fixed, my preference would be for functionality that might've been overlooked from RM3 and relied on by users to first be restored. Not that we shouldn't accept action on them, but fortunately, the issues that you raise in your previous post are ones unique to new features introduced as part of RM4.

Like with you, Place Details would also be high on my list, but I'm willing to continue to leave them as part of my Place (as I've done in RM3) for now. I didn't want to move them until the field had been more fully integrated throughout the program. Sources are also high-priority for me. In case some tools are developed to help with changing RM3-style Places and Sources to RM4-style, I didn't want to invest the time in making a great deal of manual changes. The expansion and retooling of reports is of interest for me, as well.

I hope that these items would potentially benefit a number of users and enjoy wide appeal. Ones that are deemed to do so probably should be given higher priority than those that don't.

I do find valuable the RM Blog announcements of fixes/enhancements, as they do give a sense as to what progress has been made between releases. A list developed by non-RM staff might be helpful in terms of just knowing what issues or wishes might've been raised. However, such a list unfortunately wouldn't provide priority, status, or acceptance/denial, etc, all of which I'd be much more interested. I don't know many companies that do disclose all that information, so wouldn't necessarily expect it. My guess would be that it's more due to them not wanting to tip off the competition.

Finally, I don't know that submitting a ticket does any more than submitting a post in the Issues forum:

Report problems or bugs with RootsMagic 4 on this message board. While the RootsMagic developers monitor this board it is impossible for them to personally respond to every report.


In fact, I might argue that only submitting a ticket may be less desirable than posting an issue since other users wouldn't be made aware of it. I suppose that perhaps doing it via both methods might not be a bad way to go since it would save the RM staff from having to log it and assign it an internal tracking number.

#36 MikeZ

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 02:21 PM

After true bugs being fixed, my preference would be for functionality that might've been overlooked from RM3 and relied on by users to first be restored.

I would agree...

...My guess would be that it's more due to them not wanting to tip off the competition.

Yet, from another perspective, not having one sets-up a new user (or RM3 convert) for failure as they are not expecting to traverse the open mine field that exists in RM4 (as I see it).

...I don't know that submitting a ticket does any more than submitting a post in the Issues forum

Then I would ask why have it. Regardless of how it is done, users should not have to post issues in more that one location. Conversely, they should not have to visit multiple locations (problem tickets, blog, forum, etc.) to find what progress has (or has not) been made to correct RM4 problems.

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#37 Romer

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 03:20 PM

Yet, from another perspective, not having one sets-up a new user (or RM3 convert) for failure as they are not expecting to traverse the open mine field that exists in RM4 (as I see it).

Mike, I was referring to a list providing "priority, status, or acceptance/denial, etc", but acknowledge what I think is your point regarding an issue list.

I've never had the occasion to work in a software firm, but do most (inside and outside of the genealogy realm) publicly and formally list issues with their products, or is it rare?

#38 Vyger

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 07:45 AM

A list developed by non-RM staff might be helpful in terms of just knowing what issues or wishes might've been raised. However, such a list unfortunately wouldn't provide priority, status, or acceptance/denial, etc, all of which I'd be much more interested. I don't know many companies that do disclose all that information, so wouldn't necessarily expect it. My guess would be that it's more due to them not wanting to tip off the competition.

Finally, I don't know that submitting a ticket does any more than submitting a post in the Issues forum:

Romer, I don't know if I said before but I am on vacation at present in sunny Portugal so cannot use the new RM update. I do however know from a friend that the fix to the Problem List which has been implimented is only a partial fix. I understand you can now select either parent if the problem is for example "father was 78 when person was born" but you still can not see the Family in context to make an informed decision regarding is this a problem with the fathers birth date or the childs?? - Someone else can tell me if that is the case, otherwise I will find out next week when I return home.

Regarding tickets, if you go to the Support page and request a list of your tickets by email you will find out whether they are Open or Closed. I found one of mine (actually the Problem List one) had been closed and had to raise it again with a more in depth description of the problem.

I might be an idea to start a thread for people to post their OPEN Support Tickets to see that way what is being worked b RM.

Going back to the sunbed now, happy hunting everyone B)

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

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#39 bobarens63

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 04:56 PM

I believe the fallicy in your argument is that "most people" that purchase software do not do so with the understanding that they are looking for a something that does not work as expected. Instead, they encounter some oddity as they use the program and at some point determine that something isn't performing as it should - Vyger's recent find concerning lost geocoding following a GEDCOM transfer is but one example. It's not that they don't worry about it as much as they do not expect the program to fail. Again Vyger's response to finding this problem and how it affected his opinion of the software illustrates this position.Had you ended this sentance after "but a lot", or "There are plenty", I would have agreed.

I am trying only to be a voice of reason. I find RM 3.2.6 to be an excellent genealogical program, and I suspect that RM4 will (in time) be its superior. However, I find its present flaws (and especially those that may yet to be identified) to make it a questionable program from the standpoint of data integrity. Futhermore, I believe it is misleading to diminish these issues and suggest that "most of the problems" have been identified. While that might be true, it has yet to be proven and while my opponents may not believe it, I really hope it's true...



#40 bobarens63

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 05:07 PM

I'm new to RM. I've used FTW for 15 years. I now have RM4. I love the way it can handle 'duplicate individuals' so much that I want to change from FTM to RM4. However, I love the custom report in FTM and cannot figure out how to design a custom report in RM4. It seems that 'Cell Type:' 'Field' is not available, only 'Text'. Can someone give me a step-by-step process for creating a custom report in RM4 that contains all people in my file (70,000+)with: surname, given name, first spouse, first spouse marriage date, first spouse marriage location, second spouse, second spouse marriage date and second spouse marriage location. Sorted by surname in Col 1. Or, if this combination of 'fields' is not available, give may an example of any other set of 'fields' in a custom report design.