We are at a critical time in genealogy software development as all the major players are releasing major versions. Thus this is a great time to be searching for a new app to maintain your genealogy data for years to come. That is where I find myself today. I have been testing software going on a 15 months. My tree has over 27K records, 10K Families, 20 Repositories, 5K media files, 7K places and 9K citations.
- Roots Magic 8
- Family Historian 7
- MacFamily Tree 9
- Family Tree Maker 2019
- any many more
I don't include Legacy 9 here because I consider it a dead product and a product without future is not one that should be considered as a future product. Some may argue otherwise as Legacy 9 has managed to keeps the hopes of Legacy 10 as a possibility and we might one day even see it, but Legacy 11 is certainly never going to be seen because why would MyHeritage invest development money on two products? No logical business entity would ever do this for more than one generation.
After all my testing and it has been lots of work, I have come to the conclusion that on the mac platform MacFamily Tree 9 reigns supreme and unchallenged natively. On a PC, Roots Magic and Family Historian are the leading products. In fact, the two products are complimentary in that what one product does great, the other needs a lot of work. I find myself debating privately that if I could only take the two products and merge them into one while taking the best feature implementation, I would have one hell of a product. That is only a dream, so I am left with asking the question, "Which product should I chose to manage my tree and others moving forward?"
I can't answer this question though because both developers will not post the features included in the next release. I know what you are thinking, this is good business as no one should give their competitors a list of how their product is better. I would argue that you would be wrong. Ideally, both products are expected to actually release in the next three months baring setbacks. So product features should be locked. In fact, developers should be finalizing code and fixing bugs detected by test cases at this point. So there really is no point in not releasing what features with pictures we can expect. I know, your asking what if a feature requires too much work to finalize and has to be dropped to a service pack addition? My answer is that this happens all the time. In fact, good developers are constantly working with consumer testers and consumers in general. They share product futures because that is how the maintain and attract new customers like me who are searching for a new home.
I don't care about waiting or having to use a test build. What I care about is being able to make a decision or at least to have some direction. It is okay and even reasonable to migrate to an existing version of a product while waiting for a future release provided you have a clue what that future release is going to do. Will it fix the weaknesses of the product and add features that makes it more desirable? Very few of us know the answer to this question, which places us in the uncomfortable position of having to set aside our genealogy work. Yes, genealogy is generally a pastime for most. For me it is not. I work on my genealogy every day and when I am not working on mine, I am helping others.
Therefor, I would like to ask Roots Magic to make these features public and if it wont do that, then at least allow me the opportunity to sign a "No Release Form," and provide me with a test copy. I am more than skilled to provide feedback as I retired from Microsoft where I worked as a developer and up.
I can be reached via this forum or by email associated with this account.