The response from the community in the Family Tree Maker blog has been significant. I thank you for the insight and comments that have been left so far. They are very helpful.
A common request we have had is the desire to receive more information about what is being worked on. Much of the Family Tree Maker team’s resources are currently being used on the forthcoming update. Although I cannot give an exact date, I can announce that you should expect that soon. An October launch is still a reasonable estimate. I also requested a list of logged bug fixes. The list was close to 300 instances long. I know the Family Tree Maker development team is working very hard to resolve these. Those fixes are scheduled for the October update.
Major bug fixes include:
- Program crashes
- A number of actions have been causing program crashes. Some of those include issues with the merge / export, Vista issues, installation, and more.
- Data corruption
- Again, caused by a number of issues some including the action of adding an unrelated person, importing V16 files, and more.
- Corrections and additions to charts and reports
- Import bugs and Merge fixes
- Internet connection issues
There were also a number of “one off” bugs that did not fit into any of these groups.
The October update is a top priority for the Family Tree Maker team. Development is also working very hard on the releases for International customers. This includes releases for French Canada, UK, Australia, and Germany. They are pushing for October and November International releases.
Also, a desktop book building tool is a top priority. I’m very interested in hearing your thoughts on what you are looking for in this project. This will not be released until next year due to the development requirements and resources.
Members of the Family Tree Maker team have taken some time to list the status of many of the items that have been asked about on this forum—specifically some items that seemed to be removed from Family Tree Maker.
Message from the Family Tree Maker team
Here is the status of many of the items that have been asked about on this forum:
The following items asked about are in the shipping product
- Index of individuals search by given name—People/Index—change the sort to Given Family Name
- Bibliography report (Publish/Source Reports)
- Documented events report (Publish/Source Reports)
- Ability to change the capitalization of a name from CAPS to lower case (Tools/Convert Names)
- Ability to not print labels for empty facts on reports (uncheck “Include blank facts” option in the “Items To Include” dialog)
- Remembering preferred spouses after import (we could not duplicate the error of not remembering preferred spouses)
Items purposely not done or changed significantly in the new release
- Double click on GEDCOM file to open—We don’t own the GEDCOM file format and some customers did not like us “hijacking” it for our purposes.
- Capability to save a file back to an older version of FTM—Not implemented because the new format is so vastly different than previous formats. Going back to previous versions can usually be accomplished via GEDCOM export.
- Automatic selection of female when entering a NEW person in the database—Many users complained about entering people as female automatically and did not like the assumption of female that created inadvertent errors.
- Automatic backup of file on exit—A large percentage of customers did not like the automatic backup
- Scrapbook—Replaced with a more robust media model
- Research Journal—Replaced with more robust task feature
Items fixed in a currently available patch
- Nicknames or AKA lost on import of file into 2008.
- Other import errors
- Registration fails for some people.
- Nag screen popup window to register program.
- Nag screen popup window auto-search on starting program asking if it is ok to search the web.
- Changes to the pedigree report design do not hold when saved
Items addressed in the October patch
- Basic register and ahnentafel reports
- Ancestor tree charts—Vertical ancestor chart is in the October patch
- Genealogy report. This was the major report used by most people—Register and Ahnentafel genealogy reports are in the October patch
- Hourglass tree charts
- Vastly improved merge performance
Items actively being developed
- Improved performance
Items among those being considered for the future
- Option to select items to include on a FTM and GEDCOM file merge/append.
- Index of individuals options
- Index of names showing comma in front of name suffix.
- Clicking on a person in a (chart) tree and go to that person. It is this way on all report I tried.
- Reference numbers
- Address labels
- Medical labels
- Spell check for facts or anything else except notes
- Spell that moves through all the notes
- All-in-one tree chart
- Address report
- Alternate facts report
- Data error report
- Medical report
- More report formatting options
- View data CD
- Option to sort reports with data fields on the different fields
- More than one relation to a person in the Kinship report
- Better fast fill fields
- Find and replace
- Capability to copy selected items on any of the reports
- Capability to copy selected individuals from one database to another
- Capability to generate a tree of a family and then select to delete them from the database
- Better Undo/Redo
- Remove items such as dates and the word “in” in custom reports
- Keeping selected individuals from one report to another
- Set and save defaults in all reports
- Ability to turn off FTM place names or change these place names or to only use your place names.
- Fan charts
Response to items identified as “New Problems”
- Higher hardware requirements—While this is a concern, newer technology often requires better hardware. Much of the software that is sold today wouldn’t run very well on hardware of ten years ago.
- Performance concerns—This is an ongoing focus for the Family Tree Maker team. The larger your file is, the more challenging to make it perform well. We have made significant improvements and plan to make more.
- Performance is also affected because the 2008 version provides a much broader and richer view of a person’s data. For extremely large files, a richer view that performs poorly is not a good trade-off. Certainly for trees containing more than 50,000 people (a small percentage of our customers), performance is too slow. The team is working hard to address this.
- Authentication—The new authentication process allows Family Tree Maker to communicate with Ancestry.com in a more secure way than it could before. The ability to let Family Tree Maker “remember” your user name and password makes it a no-bother process.
Some benefits and improvements in Family Tree Maker 2008
- The concept of a home person that clearly shows the relationship of everyone in the file to the home person (typically the user)
- The flexibility of the interface that allows the user to customize their view as they would like (adjust index, pedigree, family, and edit panels)More information in a single view. Many customers who try 2008 for the first time discover data they were not aware they had. They say things like: “I didn’t know I had notes for that person” or “I didn’t know those pictures were there or that I had a source for that fact.”
- The ability to see a family and their family tree simultaneously. Many users had told us and showed us how frustrating it was to switch between the pedigree and family views. Family Tree Maker 2008 can give you whatever you want (a pedigree view only, a family view only, or a combined view)
- A huge global place name authority that provides consistent spelling for places as well as complete place name elements (city, county/parish, state/province, country)
- Place mapping that displays a map for any place in the world.
- The ability to see all of a person’s facts (including marriage facts) in a single view.
- The ability to view a timeline of a person’s life events (including extended family and historical facts).
- The ability to link a single media item to many people or facts. This is a huge time and computer resource saver.
- The ability to link a single source to many facts.
- The ability to rate sources using a person’s own criteria or standardized criteria.
- The ability to link tasks to a person and see a roll-up of all tasks in the tree.
- The ability to link to any file on your computer without having it imbedded in the database. This keeps it accessible to other programs even when you’re not in Family Tree Maker.
- Ancestry integration that takes advantage of the latest improvements of Ancestry.com