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Jerry Bryan

Member Since 06 Aug 2006
Online Last Active Today, 05:39 PM

Topics I've Started

Copying RM files between computers

11 January 2020 - 09:45 AM

RM needs a facility to copy RM files between computers using external media such as removable hard disks or USB thumb drives. The problem with the way doing so works now is that it often will require knowledge of Windows that many RM users do not have.

On the old computer, RM needs an feature to place a copy of either the current RM database or a backup the current RM database onto an external drive. On the old computer, this is really just the standard RM File>Copy or File>Backup facility. But while leaving the existing File>Copy and File>Backup menu options in place, there needs to be a new menu option called something like File>Copy to an external disk or USB. Under File>Copy to an external disk or USB the user should be able to specify that the file on the external disk or USB be in database format or in backup format. To simplify things for the user, the new feature should first offer the user a list of all available external drive letters, and often there will only be one.


On the new computer, RM needs a feature to place a copy of the database from the external drive or USB onto the new computer's hard disk. The feature could be called something like File>Copy from an external hard disk or USB. The user should first be offered a list of available external drive letters. RM then should identify all the eligible files on the hard disk or USB. Most of the time there should be only one. The user should select the file on the hard disk. RM should then ask the user where to place the file on the new hard disk. Having done so, RM should simply place it there. If the file was a backup file on the external medium, it should be converted to a database. If the file was a database file on the external medium, it should just be copied. Either way, after the copy is complete then RM should open the file. But the process of copying the file and the subsequent process of opening the file should be distinct and separate processes. Otherwise, all kinds of messes could occur.

I'm not a big fan of including RM's media in a backup file, but I suppose this new feature should offer copying the media as an option.



My RM8 Checklist (so far)

05 January 2020 - 01:44 PM

The following list is a work in progress. It's a checklist for things I will be looking at when RM8 is released and I can get my hands on it. It's quite a different sort of list than is a wish list. I thought I would post this list since it is now 2020 and it seems likely that RM8 will be released in 2020. By the way, I think I can already answer some of the questions from the this checklist based on the RM8 previews that are available so far, but I will want to go through the whole list anyway after RM8 is released.




  • Are RTF files produced by RM8 more or less the same as RTF files produced by RM7, or are there significant differences? I'm talking about the underlying technology of the reports here rather than the way the final product looks. Going from RM3 to RM4, the RTF files were radically different and had to be post-processed in a very different way.
  • Does RM8 still use SQLite? If so, is the database still unencrypted and available to user query?
  • Does RM8 incorporate a substantial number of long term user requests? If so, which ones are included?
  • Does RM8 support the tagging of a grave-marker photograph to a Burial Fact in such a way that the photograph will be printed as a part of the burial fact in a narrative report?
  • Does RM8 support multiple languages in the user interface?
  • Does RM8 support multiple languages in sentence templates and reports?
  • If RM8 supports multiple languages, could the same RM8 database be set up to be print a report in one language and then quickly switch to another set of sentence templates to print the same report in a different language?
  • Does RM8 incorporate improved hotkey or other keyboard only operation as compared to RM7? (Note: RM4 through RM7 hotkey operation was considerably degraded as compared to RM1 through RM3. The ultimate test of hotkey support is whether you can use RM8 without any mouse or other pointing device at all).
  • Does RM8 make it easy for users to control fonts and font sizes throughout the RM8 user interface?
  • Does RM8 support a [Note] variable in the Sentence Template Language.
  • Does RM8 support [note type variables] for the four different kinds of sourcing notes in the Source Template Language?
  • Does RM8 support printing the two sourcing notes that are associated with the Master Source when printing footnotes and endnotes in reports?
  • Does RM8 support the person's Name as a Fact which supports a note and citations, and can the Name Fact then be exchanged with an Alternate Name Fact?
  • Does RM8 support notes and citations to document the evidence for parent/child relationships?
  • Does RM8 include an option to support the export of shared facts as if they were real facts via all interfaces to external systems, including GEDCOM?
  • Does RM8 include an option to support concatenation of Place + Place Details fields in the Place field during export of data via all interfaces to external systems, including GEDCOM?
  • Does RM8 support complete user control over the content of the spouse's sentence in narrative reports?
  • Does RM8 fix the problem of incorrect XE entries (index entries) in RTF files?
  • Does RM8 fix the problem of a space at the beginning of a line in reports when a previous fact has forced a carriage return?
  • Does RM8 support a Print button for Place Details?
  • Does RM8 provide clarity in the Place Management screens about whether you are deleting a Place or a Place Detail?
  • Does RM8 provide a function to copy a portion of a database such that no data that is intended to be copied is changed or lost (the "Drag and Drop lost data problem")?
  • Does RM8 support a true sync mode of operation for TreeShare?
  • Does RM8 support complete user control over vertical and horizontal white space in narrative reports?
  • Does RM8 support non-modal windows and non-modal operation?
  • Does RM8 support listing or viewing places with items for a given place ordered largest to smallest (e.g., country, state, county, city, place details). This question specifically refers to the live Place List, not to a static report.
  • Does RM8 support the ability to mark specific individuals to be carried forward to the next generation in narrative reports, even if they have no spouse or children?
  • Does RM8 support shared citations or any other mechanism whereby citations can be copied and pasted, and then where corrections can be made only one time to be applied to all copies that were pasted?
  • Does RM8 support dynamic groups (and dynamic color coding, and dynamic Set Relationships?)
  • Does RM8 support showing a person's color coding even when the person is highlighted?
  • Does RM8 show clearly which person is highlighted, both in the sidebar and in the main view, and whether it is the sidebar or the main view that has the focus?
  • Does RM8 solve problem where UTF-8 characters from alphabets other than English do not sort correctly for those other alphabets (the RMNOCASE problem)?
  • Do RM8's searches work correctly for UTF-8 characters from alphabets other than English?
  • Does RM8 support live lists that are sortable and filterable and from which you can edit data, rather than relying so heavily on static reports? (This is a variation on the question about non-modal operation.)
  • Does RM8 support Family Facts in People View?
  • Does RM support shared facts in People View (actually, it would be the "witness facts" or "role facts" that we would need to see in People View)?
  • Do RM8's searching and marking dialogs support directing multiple Boolean conditions all to the same fact?
  • Does RM8's People View support multiple instances of the same fact, such as census facts for the same person which are for different census years?
  • Does RM8 support merging Source Templates?
  • Does RM8 fix user reported errors in the built-in Source Templates?
  • Does RM8 support applying groups to views other than People View?
  • Does RM8 support applying groups to the initial TreeShare upload? (Groups can already be applied to the "TreeShare View", but not to the initial TreeShare upload).
  • Does RM8 keep track of whether anything has been changed in the Note Editor - and exit without updating the Date Last Edited field if nothing was changed and alert you if you try to exit the Note Editor without saving when something actually has been changed?
  • Does RM8 eliminate or mitigate the problem of lost data on GEDCOM export/import. Of particular importance are trailing carriage returns in notes, long Description fields in facts, individual customization of shared facts, and the DNA fact. But the ultimate goal should be that RM can export/import or drag and drop data with itself with zero data loss.
  • Does RM8 sort sources alphabetically in the Citation Manager screen. More generally, do more of RM8's screen permit sorting by column be clicking the top of the column? Do any such sorts support sorting by multiple columns? And in any case, are the upward pointing and downward pointing arrowheads at the top of sortable columns point the same way the column is sorted, or do the arrowheads continue to be backwards as they are in RM7?

First RM8 Blog Entry

02 September 2019 - 07:52 PM

There is not an RM8 slot yet in these forums, so I will post here. The first RM8 blog post has appeared. There is not a whole lot of new information yet, but here are my initial takeaways.

  • Beta testing is in progress with users. There is no indication of when the testing beta testing first started. The fact that testing is in progress is good news.
  • The blog entry includes a single screen capture from RM8. It's hard to gather too much information about the user interface from just a single static screen capture, but it definitely does appear to have a much more modern look and feel than RM7. My overall and very initial impression is very positive.
  • The rendering of color coding appears to be much improved.
  • It appears that you can tell who is highlighted by looking at the right panel, but it doesn't look like you can tell who is highlighted by looking at the main panel. The whole area of recognizing who was highlighted was a major weakness in RM7 in many situations, especially when using the side panel. It appears that efforts have been made to rectify this situation, but it's hard to tell for sure without a live system to play with.
  • Some places on the screen have words, but at other places on the screen RM8 appears to have gone over to the dark side by having only icons. I hate user interfaces that only have icons and that don't have words. We will have to see if there are any options in this regard, and if not I'll have to see how well I can adapt to having only icons and not words.
  • The color coding and the shape of the icons for sex seem to make sense. RM7 always seemed to get it backwards.


RootsMagic(1) folder

11 August 2019 - 11:30 AM

I use Dropbox to copy my RM database to my iPhone and my iPad. The normal way to do so is to copy my RM database to a folder called C:\Users\jbryan\Dropbox\Apps\RootsMagic\ on my Windows system, where jbryan is my Windows username. But recently, doing so didn't work. By that I mean that having done the copy process, my iPhone and my iPad couldn't see the new copy of my RM database.


Instead, I discovered that there was a new folder on my system called C:\Users\jbryan\Dropbox\Apps\RootsMagic(1)\  The old folder without the (1) was still there, so there were two Apps folders for RootsMagic, one folder called RootsMagic and the newer folder called RootsMagic(1). When I copied my RM database to RootsMagic(1) folder under the Apps folder, my iPhone and iPad could then see the new RM database.


So I have a solution to getting my RM database to my mobile devices, but it's puzzling. I didn't create the RootsMagic(1) folder, and I don't know what process did so. And I don't know why Dropbox on my mobile devices looks in the RootsMagic(1) folder rather than looking in the older RootsMagic folder. It all works, but an explanation of what's going on would be a nice solution to a curious puzzle.




Backwards Display of Shared Facts in Edit Person Screen

24 July 2019 - 06:52 PM

I realize that there is a suggestion to close the existing Wish List and start another one when RM8 comes out. So I am reluctant to post any new wishes right now. But I want to post this one anyway lest I forget.


This one may have been mentioned before, in which case I apologize for the duplication. But when a fact is shared with the another person, it is the name of the fact that is shown in the Edit Person screen for the other person rather than the name of the role. It seems to me that this makes no sense. It should be the name of the role that is displayed for the other person.

For example, suppose you create a role for the Birth fact called Midwife and share the Birth fact with the midwife when the midwife is known. The Edit person screen for the midwife will say Birth for the Midwife event rather than Midwife. For example, suppose you create a role for the Marriage fact called Flower Girl and share the Marriage fact with the flower girl when the flower girl is known. The Edit Person screen for the flower girl will say Marriage for the Flower Girl event rather than Flower Girl. The midwife was not born that day. She served as a midwife that day. The flower girl was not married that day. She served as a flower girl that day. It's just really backwards.


The sentences print correctly in narrative reports. It's just in the Edit Person screen itself that the display is totally backwards. Please fix it. The change should be so easy to make that it could even appear in RM8.0 without disruption to the RM8.0 release date.