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Member Since 18 Nov 2005
Offline Last Active Today, 04:22 AM

Topics I've Started

NameClean & PlaceClean need to learn (not a problem)

24 April 2019 - 07:30 PM

I just tried NameClean and it counted over 6000 of my manes had problems where they do not.


It seems obvious where NameClean and PlaceClean continue to report high counts of potential problems despite problems not existing that the feature becomes useless and will be ignored by users.


NameClean and PlaceClean need some learning capability towards international acceptable standards from the user to build on what is otherwise a useful utility. The ability to apply defaults would still be a welcome option for a thorough analysis of the Name and Place Data.

Duplicate Search Merge Routine NEW and revisited wishes

27 January 2019 - 08:33 AM

I think I’m all wished out but I don’t remember adding this to the long list of enhancement requests.

As I progress in my use of Duplicate Search Merge I widen the parameters firstly by unclicking the Compare Birth and Death Places, then increasing the year span and maybe using Soundex. Currently session to session I need to remember the last parameters I used and it would be very useful if this could be remembered by Rootsmagic so it helps and grows with my preferences, I don’t believe I have put this suggestion forward before. This could be easily restored by adding a ‘Return to default’ button.

This very useful Routine could also benefit from the incorporation of a Duplicate Facts find option where the user specifies a year span. For example specifying Zero would find a record which has a Census record dated 1901 and a duplicate fact dated 31 Mar 1901 for user resolution. This has become a much wished for feature on various forums maybe exacerbated by online interaction.

What has been put forward and cited many times before is the current danger of merging and leaving this routine without tidying up the merged individual resulting in residual duplication in the database. I would suggest, at least an option checkbox, to go directly to the Edit Person screen following any merge.

I believe I have put this forward before but Rootsmagic does not appear to compare the description fields highlighting them green on both sides, see below. Rather than over complicating matters and slowing the comparison process this might be worth adding as a non default additional option for those who wish to use it.

Also put forward before is the requirement for a more informative and detailed DSM display more akin to Timeline Views so users are better informed. Currently I often note possible duplicates by RIN on a piece of paper and then compare side by side in Rootsmagic later for more detail which is not so easy just by clicking the Edit person button alternatively on each primary and possible duplicate person.

Again already put forward is a wish to enable sorting this screen by primary person name which would be useful especially in large databases and name studies.

Already put forward is the request to restrict the scope of DSM to the contents of any Names Group which would enable the user to create a group of those with the Surname ‘Doe’ and any fact place contains ‘Pennsylvania’ and occupation contains ‘blacksmith’ or whatever.

Remembering the last used window size is a generic wish across Rootsmagic so should not need to be repeated here.

The existing Duplicate Search Merge routine forms the basis of what I believe to be a very powerful and much desired feature but it does require much improvement and thought to reveal that power which I hope the developers recognize.




Facilitate Plugins for running of bespoke SQL needs

18 January 2019 - 02:56 PM

SQL solutions are not available to the average user of RM, in fact I would believe they are the preserve of the few. Facebook and other forums often show users looking for a niche one time solution to a particular problem which would not warrant Rootsmagic development.


I have been trialling another genealogy software package which allows the use of user developed Plugins to be run from within the program. I would imagine just like any supplier of download material the developers would validate the user written Plugin before adding it to the Plugin Store hosted on their site.


Facilitating the use of Plugins to be run within Rootsmagic would seem to be the perfect solution to many particular and niche problems and open up the wealth of scripts from TomH and other users up to the masses towards improving their data. Obviously such procedures need to be accompanied with the required amount of warnings to back up data and ensure the Plugin has performed the expected task. Rootsmagic may have objections to this but my recently made acquaintances and research has shown great support for this facility which was introduced 4+ years ago in the other software.


Plugins can be downloaded directly from their Plugin store FREE or requested via the specific Plugin thread on their forum.



A Wish for the Wish List - engage users make things more transparent

18 January 2019 - 06:52 AM

This has been on my desktop for a few days, is not born out of Jerrys Bryans Bakers Dozen post but coincidentally does share some relevance.


I have no idea how Rootsmagic interrogate the Wish List or how they perceive popularity pf features except to maybe correlate similar wishes or long winded reading of actual user comments. Requests would naturally be dated, I would imagine tagged for feature set(s) they touch on and linked to the original discussion/request. I am concerned that over 10 years of wishing that would not be so easy to interrogate towards building a meaningful development plan?

It’s no secret that I am trialling another software package at present, both Rootsmagic and the other package have strengths and weaknesses in their present versions, the other package has some impressive features and it would appear from their schedule a new version release is due so it’s going to be a years of decisions for me.

Outside of performance, one thing I like is their wish list, wishes would appear to be assessed as valid or quirky by admin and the ones deemed valid are moved to the official wish list, this is akin to the Rootsmagic “enhancement request list” except it is visible to users. Apart from being visible users then have the opportunity to vote and add their endorsement to the any particular request therefore providing a good indication of popularity.

Rootsmagic did have an excellent reputation in the past for engaging and listening to user needs but personally I feel that direction has been lost or convoluted in the last 10 years.  I don’t want to question the business plan or start or quoting “the customer is always right” but one must listen to user needs and the other Wish List format instantly makes me feel involved and I would hope a more transparent inclusive user development format would be considered by Rootsmagic.

I also realise the other package, whilst almost always being rated higher than Rootsmagic in independent surveys, may well be outsold by Rootsmagic many times over due to a different level of researcher user base. I simply wanted to post my views here and still find the task of effectively interrogation the enhancement request list meaningfully mind boggling.



Stored Query List which can be easily added to in minor updates

08 January 2019 - 06:07 AM

I frequently read "how to I find......." on various forums and it needs to be recognized that the find logic is not always obvious to many users new and old. Also logic becomes a little more difficult to understand when the reverse is applied to unmark people. Many of the find requests are frequent and similar and could easily be pre programmed by Rootsmagic development, stored within the program and added to on request and need. This would help many users who find difficulty defining queries and extracting the information they need to report or Named Group.


I have been comparing other competitor software in the lead up to RM8 which I would also hope the developers are also doing and another long wish is for the ability for user stored finds which can be refreshed, back when RM4 came out we referred to these as dynamic groups but personally I would find it useful to have the ability to store complex queries rather than rebuilding them each time.


The screen shot below is from the competitor software I mentioned.