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Member Since 31 Jul 2018
Offline Last Active Jan 14 2020 06:36 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: My RM8 Checklist (so far)

14 January 2020 - 06:36 AM


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?


I look forward to your updated list post release.

In Topic: Release Date for RM8

02 January 2020 - 02:23 PM

I welcome th move from Bing to Openstreetmap I hope active geocoding is featured in also

In Topic: How can I make a universal check-list

10 October 2019 - 05:34 AM

I like the idea of using dummy facts. How do you list them? do you call them "vital records to do" and "census to do", or somesuch? I ask because I'm tired of re-tracing my steps when I figure out I'm not setting up my data correctly (eg, not putting media files in folders of the last name or location. STILL trying to fix the broken links on that one!)

strong pertinent filenaming in the first place which should result as pretty unique will serve you better than any folder structure although I use both

In Topic: Rootsmagic Mac version 8

01 October 2019 - 11:50 AM




I think Rootsmagic bet the farm on getting some kind of tree sharing with ancestry and just dropped RM8 development while coping with that feature and the resulting unhappy user fallout. 


My research strongly suggests something went terribly wrong along the way and I guess we all need to see what the next version has behind those screens. I use Family Historian side by side with Rootsmagic at present, I find the features quite powerful and easy to get straight to the person you want but on the other side I would miss some things from Rootsmagic. If Rootsmagic had the will and ability to close on the features FH6 offers then I think I would be more than happy. It's worth saying FH6 is the same age as RM7 and there might also be an upgrade due but I can't find and rumours, there are videos on Youtube and they offer a full featured time limited trial, tha's confident in my opinion.


I have read about FTM2017 and now 2019 is due, I always avoided that package due to customer reviews but that may be the old FTM so I am watching that space. On new and old company strategy the company around rootsmagic and it's pervious software seem to have enjoyed a well deserved reputation for listening to customers and responding, maybe things got too big but it would seem something went wrong along the road. FTM had a pretty horrible reputation in the past but maybe with the take over things are moving towards better research software? we will have to wait and see.


I have a relatively large database and study one name extensively so a glorified note book with colored surrounds falls far short of my needs but it does seem to please so many so a safe bet. I have probably said before I am intent on waiting until mid 2020 before making a decision as to my future path, I do feel so sorry for those in the mac camp who have endured such difficulties while waiting for the promised Mac version, but at the same time I doubt you would want something rushed to market and bug ridden, I know I wouldn't.

In Topic: Rootsmagic Mac version 8

30 September 2019 - 01:10 PM

Life in the development world is a race and one where you need to keep running to stay competitive. Rootsmagic seem to have experienced some twists in the road over the last years but that does not excuse the many small problems within the program which should have been ironed out over a few lunchtimes over the previous years. I am relatively new to Rootsmagic and it's not my sole program, I should say I'm a PC user also. The current reputation of the program is deserved, ignoring users and many small quirks for many years has been a big mistake in my opinion, when you stop giving your users what they want that only leads one place. However there are many a loyal comrade who are happy to buy an expectation despite the experiences of the past and they will see Rootsmagic through. From what I read the majority of those individuals only scratch the surface of the program so do not understand the deeper deficiencies and difficulties of more intense users, some would probably be better with a hard back notebook and colored pens. Without wanting to be disrespectful I believe the majority of genealogy software users would not know a good enhancement until it was already in place and the usefulness demonstrated to them.


The genealogy software world looks like it will change dramatically in the next 6 months with many new versions, at the end of that time my goal is to be using the best software to suit my needs and not jumping in and out of slightly different data sets due to transfer incompatibility. Taking any sort of break in the middle of a race means you need to run dam fast to catch the leaders, from what I have seen on the blog so far I am not hopeful for Rootsmagic.


Genealogy is not a new concept, outside of noting and reporting the needs of researchers are well known. The possibilities from various online sources are very well established and need to be mined. Rootsmagics reporting and filtering really need to move into this century in my opinion, I expect to find, filter and report every piece of data I enter into my database, otherwise it is lost to me, I expect professional graphical displays of data disbursement and all linked to take me directly to that data, I expect powerful analysis and number crunching of geographical clues all to be presented in the previously described fashion.


All my opinion, but I find Rootsmagic not even close to the competition on many of these goals. I was gifted version 7 and aside from those deficiencies mentioned had great hope for the next version based on an outdated reputation of the developer working closely with his customers. Having researched development history, read the endless wish list and reached out to some long time users I don't hold great expectations for version 8. However for the sake of a few months I will not shoot myself in the foot just yet and migrate totally to another platform.