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Jerry Bryan

Member Since 06 Aug 2006
Offline Last Active Today, 12:06 PM

Topics I've Started

TreeShare Icon Needed on Each "Matched" Person in RM

10 October 2020 - 09:28 AM

With RM's interface to FamilySearch, each matched person in RM has a FamilySearch icon that can be clicked to go directly to the matching person in FamilySearch Family Tree. Not everybody in your RM database is matched to a person in FamilySearch Family Tree but each matched person is identified with this very useful icon.


It occurs to me that TreeShare needs the same kind of icon for each person who is "matched" to ancestry. TreeShare does not use the same "matched" terminology as does RM's FamilySearch interface, but it's the same concept. When you first download a new ancestry tree to a new RM database or vice versa, each person in your RM database is "matched" behind the scenes to a person in the connected ancestry tree. After an initial TreeShare, you get "unmatched" people between RM only as the result of additions or deletions or merges. So it sure would be handy to go straight from an RM person to the corresponding ancestry person just like you can with FamilySearch.


What you have to do instead is to open TreeShare and then navigate to the same person in the TreeShare screen. Doing so can be a major pain. It's a major pain anyway, but more and more I'm finding that my RM locks up for 20 or 30 or 40 seconds if I type in a name on the TreeShare screen to navigate to a person. If I'm lucky enough to have an ancestry WebHint, I can click on the light bulb and get the to "matching" person right away. But often I don't have an ancestry WebHint even though there are shaky leaves for the person on ancestry.


My computer runs Windows 10 with 16GB memory, a quad core processor, and a solid state disk. For most tasks, it runs very crisply and fast, so it should have more than sufficient horsepower to run TreeShare effectively. I don't know what's going on in RM when it seems to get locked up when I type a name into TreeShare, but Windows Task Manager says that it is consuming huge amounts of CPU time. It doesn't appear to be waiting for ancestry to respond.


We don't know yet how many of the various TreeShare problems are fixed in RM8, and for all we know the TreeShare feature I'm requesting might exist in RM8. But if not, perhaps it could be added after RM8 is out the door and is stable.



RM Locking Up After Accessing FamilySearch

07 October 2020 - 07:53 AM

I didn't know whether to post this under Issues or under FamilySearch, but it seems to me to be more of an RM issue than a FamilySearch issue, so I am posting here.


I have had several instances lately where RM7 locks up when I click on the FamilySearch icon to go look at a matched person in FamilySearch. The process of getting into FamilySearch is successful. I look at the person in FamilySearch, make no changes, and close the browser window. RM is now locked up. RM is not in a loop because it is taking no CPU cycles. But it is completely unresponsive. The only way out is to use Task Manager to kill RM and then to restart RM.

It's hard to know how to get any diagnostic information to help identify the cause of the problem. And I don't expect or want any effort to go into solving this in RM7. I do hope that RM8 locks up less and has fewer invalid address kinds of errors than RM7. We shall see. With its less modal design, RM8 is going to have to be very careful about such issues. I'm pretty convinced that a lot of RM7's problems in this area have to do with background tasks that are performed in threads that are not being properly synchronized. That's why I think RM8 will have to be especially careful about proper synchronization between its non-modal windows.



Dropbox Appears to have remove the Sync Pause/Resume Option

11 August 2020 - 08:45 AM

This is just an alert for RM users, due to how critical the interaction between RM and Dropbox can be. I woke up this morning to a new version of Dropbox that appears to have removed the Sync Pause/Resume option. At least it's gone on one of my two computers (the one where I run RM most of the time), and it's still there on my other computer. I suspect it's only still there on the second computer because it hasn't updated yet to the most recent version of Dropbox.

I spent about two hours just now chatting with the Dropbox HelpDesk. They hadn't gotten the memo, and they were convinced for a long time that I just wasn't looking in the right place for the Pause/Resume option. I finally persuaded them with a 15 second long screencast of the problem. Static screen captures for some reason wouldn't catch the problem. They are going to escalate the problem to the developers. I don't have high hopes for a positive response from the developers.


In the meantime, the only solutions seems to be to Quit the Dropbox product completely while using RM and then to restart Dropbox after finishing with RM, or to de-install Dropbox and install a competing product in its place. Well, another solution would be to move your RM database completely outside of your Dropbox folder, which after all is the official RM recommendation anyway. I would be curious to see if there are any other RM users who have been bitten by this problem. Surely I can't be the only one.



File>Compare Question

10 August 2020 - 03:40 PM

I have never had much luck with RM's File>Compare facility. When it first came out, I made a copy of my full production database and ran a File>Compare between it and a copy of it. There were numerous differences, which I didn't think was a good sign. I therefore have seldom played with it very much since then. And whenever I have tried, the results have not been at all useful.

Being Charlie Brown who will never give up on kicking the football, I went today to one of my great grandfathers on FamilySearch and downloaded his whole descendant tree into a new and empty RM database. There were only 33 people who were downloaded because so many of his descendants are still living. I then tried a File>Compare between the new database with 33 people and my full, production database.


The number of matches was one. The degree of match for each person was 0% for everybody but one, and for that one the degree of match was 34%. These are people that to the human eye have a very high degree of match between the two databases. I tried the compare in both directions with similar results.


There are users out there who seem to report considerable success with File>Compare, but I never have reasonable results. Does anybody have any suggestions?




Easier Way to Identify and Fix Certain Family Link Problems

01 August 2020 - 12:46 PM

I wish for a tool to identify and fix certain family link problems.


The "identify" part of the tool would be an addition to the basic Find dialog that would find individuals who are linked to the same spouse partner twice. Essentially, the Find would be finding duplicate entries in RM's FamilyTable. For example, there might be family #12 where the partners are people #27 and #28, and there might be a family #9934 where the partners are people #27 and #28.


The "fix" part of the tool would merge the two families. In my example, it would be merging family #12 and family #9934. The tool would merge family sources and family notes, but would not merge family facts. In practice, I would suspect that the percentage of RM users who use family sources and family notes is extremely small, but nevertheless family sources and family notes have to be addressed. I would emphasize that family facts can have sources and notes, but a source for a family fact is not the same thing as a family source and a note for a family fact is not the same thing as a family note. So the only thing that has to be merged for sources and notes is family sources and family notes. Finally, the list of children in the ChildTable would need to be merged, so that each child is in the child table for the couple just one time. A possible problem is that the list of children could get out of order in the process. So it seems to me that this kind of tool should not work globally on the whole database, but rather should just work on the currently highlighted family that you have just found.


I make mention of the fact that a similar situation that could benefit from a find tool and a fix tool is where there is just one family and the same child has been linked into it twice. On it's face, this is a much simpler problem that doesn't require any merging of anything and simply requires any duplicate children to be deleted from the ChildTable. However, just like in the case with spouses who are linked to each other multiple times, the fix could leave children in the wrong order. So again, it seems to me that this kind of tool should not work globally on the whole database, but rather should just work on the currently highlighted family that you have just found.