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Member Since 18 Nov 2005
Offline Last Active Jun 16 2019 11:17 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Lock the 'Wish List' to further entries until after the release of RM8

16 June 2019 - 11:17 AM

I find this forum configuration, with the occasional "it's in the system" to be really frustrating


I would say deliberately confusing, frustrating and opaque placing the onus on the customer to search out previous discussions and well received accepted requests, there can only be one reason?


In my previous employment I outlined and projects and improvement ideas to my manager early in the year, these were also tracked in a tracker available for all employees to see. Updates were sought by my manager during 1:1 meetings throughout the year and one success measurement end of year was the number and quality of the improvements I had logged, the quality in several terms and that they were implemented in a timely manner. Micky mouse ideas were dismissed at the outset and just logging improvement ideas and not seeing them through was probably viewed is a worse light than not logging them at all.


The wish list at Family Historian appears to work very much the same, firstly the company accept the request as a valid one and thereafter users have their say in voting the idea up or down from memory. Worthless quirky personal ideas will quickly become page 2 or beyond under such a system leaving the good and valid ideas bubbling to the top. The problem, I would imagine, Rootsmagic would have with such a system is the visibility and age of popular and valid user enhancement requests, these would effectively highlight deficiencies within the program and give those shopping for genealogy software a list of why not to choose Rootsmagic. I would also imagine there would be a desire to keep such public genealogy software ideas from easy extraction by their competitors, however Rootsmagic hold no IP over such public ideas. I would also say if Rootsmagic are not willing or determined to act on such, often inspired, improvement ideas then at least back away from holding back the genealogy community at large.


The world of genealogy software and researching techniques is an ever evolving market, I simply don’t see the problem in having the determination to give the customer what then want in terms of genuine researching and reporting needs. I have seen many users dump Rootsmagic after buying, why?, well my view from speaking to several individuals is that the FULL program fell short of their expectations. Family Historian offer a FULL 30 day evaluation with no feature restrictions so those who take the trial either like FH or don’t. Rootsmagic could easily do the same falling back to Essentials if not purchased within the 30 days, that’s what I would call vendor confidence in their product.

In Topic: Lock the 'Wish List' to further entries until after the release of RM8

13 June 2019 - 10:26 AM

I love a little bit of controversy so, as the subject indicates:


- I would further suggest that a completely 'new' User Wish List Topic Area should be created once RM8 is released. I would further suggest that for any Wish List to be effective, it needs be actively; and more openly, managed by the RM Development Team to avoid endless duplication.  It is absolutely  pointless for users to constantly make requests/suggestions only for the Development Team to provide zero response/feedback as a follow-up to the confirmation of inclusion on an invisible and secret request list.


I don't see anything controversial in your post so no shooting from here.


There have been many fundamental wished posted over very many years, there has also been many refinements to existing features and gaps in those features identified again over many years by dedicated and well experienced users. We now need to wait and see how Rootsmagic take that valid user feedback and inspiration and how serious they are about building a serious and prefessional genealogy database product.


A new version with new features will naturally bring a whole new set of wishes in relation to those features, but is that not the job of the developers to iron out during beta testing? Sadly many features have not been finished in the past to a professional standard resulting in many users dropping the use of such inovations, I could cite a list but they are only too well known by regulars on this forum.


I agree that the Wish List should be effectively closed and a new list started, I also agree that the wish list should be more transparent at least to stop repeat entries. Another program I am considering for the future has such a wish list where, once a wish is accepted it is there for all to see. There is the facility for users to vot the wish up or down therefore providing an greater user consensus. Having said that there are still many items on that list many years old and never implimented for whatever reason.


Depending on the feature list and usability of Rootsmagic this may well be my last year with the product after ~24 years with the company as my research has serious needs and I am not getting any younger. Those needs gould easily be wrapped up in speed of use, live view of associations (both features which look to have had focus if you listen to the rumour mill) but more data display options on People View, Sorting and filtering in respect of many data sets and for me above all else a professional mapping UI, easier geocoding and the ability to report research clues by geography regardless of how the Place is noted.


I find geography such an important undicator as record detail thins back in time and I have found a program which fulfils all the above needs. At present I am using both programs side by side as I await Rootsmagics offering and I see no point in publishing any how to videos with RM7 in it's sunset years.

In Topic: A set of features I'd like to see in an upcoming release

13 June 2019 - 10:04 AM

c.  Additional field in facts - I would like to see a field available for all facts that is like the "Description" field; potentially an "added Description"  This field (I'll call it [Desc2] because of its similarity to [Desc] could be used to address particular, common characteristics.  How it is used would be up to the user.  Conceptually, this is similar to how sources are created (where the user has a good deal of flexibility). 



Like Renee Zamora said, all data fields need to be supported by the Gedcom standard, the Note field is.


There is proprietary data types in Rootsmagic which are not 100% compatible with other programs and converting on the export is simple enough but then what would you do if you were importing it again? That is one main reason a standard exists for exchanging information and data entry is not a free for all.

In Topic: Inaccurate Sorting of Estimated Dates - Sort is skewed

02 June 2019 - 09:20 AM

I too agree with Vyger's logic, but given that the user can set the sort date to the midpoint of two two end dates if desired, I wouldn't delay the release of RM8 by one microsecond for the proposed change.


This was just an observation I believed should have had merit, it's not an issue for me other than having to batch update sort dates very occasionally, The sort date will be populated as between bet 1 Jan 1900 and 31 Dec 1900 but will sort to 1 Jan 1900, Abt 1900 sort date will be populated as such but again sort to 1 Jan 1900, Q2 1900 will sort to 1 April 1900. I noticed this as an issue affecting my expectations on People View and moved to correct it some years ago, however don't think I posted it so did now. On large data sets of common names this skew can be quite counter productive and I find my sort dates much more revealing in ordered lists. 


I agree with the logic of your proposal to enhance the SortDate algorithm for range dates. However, I am troubled by your conclusion.


Thank you, I am starting to worry about myself, my conclusion came from a less than constructive reply, in fact I have found a number of recent replies almost dismissive. I think I need to go back into my cave before I become a more cynical, disillusioned grumpy old man than I already am <_<


I believe Rootsmagic need to appreciate a lot of people are trying to contribute in a constructive way towards making a better and more successful program and they are not on the Rootsmagic payroll, in fact on that topic I'm not coming in next week :D

In Topic: Inaccurate Sorting of Estimated Dates - Sort is skewed

01 June 2019 - 04:59 PM

I would suggest that the SortDate algorithm was kept simpler by ignoring the second date of any dual date event while allowing the user to override the default SortDate with a custom value.


I have many John Doe birth events of very similar time frames, the present skewing of the sort date to the begin extremity is very counter productive in a larger database such as mine. I was therefore suggesting an option to allow the user to define how the sort date was calculated and applied to various dual date entries which I believe is a productive suggestion.


Regardless of how the logic of others is believed a date BETWEEN X & Y is naturally some point in between and therefore best approximated and sorted as the MID point between those two points, Rootsmagic appear to disagree with logic, don't seem interested in improving accuracy and I have to accept that deliberate lact of attention to detail.


The lack of logic in this discussion is not something I want to labour, reducing a maximum margin of error from 364 days to 182 days is a good and desireable gain in my opinion and I welcome any counter arguements but I do respect and honour the views of others regardless of logic, I certainly don't want to mention the horse again.


I will continue maintain my sort dates within Rootsmagic to my standard for as long as I decide to persevere with the Rootsmagic program and it's current limitations.