Posted by on October 17, 2007 in Family Tree Maker

<< Announcement Update >>
The immediate feedback has helped uncover a bug that was created when updating the speed of the program. The bug affects the file import process. Specifically, it causes the import of FTW files that include media on the master source to fail.

The Family Tree Maker development team is working hard to remedy this and should have a fix shortly. For those of you that have already downloaded the update, a new patch will be available soon. Upon release, this new patch will also be useful for users who have not downloaded Service Pack 2.

I apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your help. I will keep you updated.

<< Original Post from 10.17.07 >>
I am excited to announce the release of the October update for Family Tree Maker 2008. I strongly urge all Family Tree Maker 2008 customers to install this update. “Service Pack 2” contains critical stability and performance enhancements. It also includes the addition of the following reports and charts:

• Genealogy Register Report
• Genealogy Ahnentafel Report
• Hourglass Chart
• Vertical Ancestor Chart

You can install the update by following these steps:
1. Connect to the Internet.
2. Start Family Tree Maker 2008.
3. You will receive a notification that an update is available. Click the “Update” button.
4. The service pack will be applied and your program updated.

If you do not receive a notification that an update is available when you start Family Tree Maker you can:
1. Open Family Tree Maker.
2. Click the “Help” menu item at the top of the program.
3. Click “Check for Updates…”
4. The program will check for an update and notify you if one is available.

To verify that the update worked you can do the following:
1. Open Family Tree Maker 2008
2. Click the “Help” menu item at the top of the program
3. Click “About Family Tree Maker…”
4. On the Product Information tab there is a version number. If the update was successful the version number will be 17.0.0.529.

If Family Tree Maker 2008 is blocked from the Internet or you are having other issues, you can manually download the update on the Family Tree Maker website. Step-by-step instructions are also available there. Additionally, Member Services can be contacted if troubleshooting or help is needed. They can be reached at: 1-877-FTM-2008 (1-877-386-2008)

I realize there are still many requested features for Family Tree Maker. Another large priority on the Family Tree Maker team’s roadmap is the creation and release of a desktop book building tool. As stated previously, that will likely be delivered next year due to the development requirements and resources. Other enhancements and features are being considered and prioritized for the future.

Testing the update on our end with a variety of files and situations has been very helpful. A special thanks to the many users who sent us their files for the various tests. I’m now anxious to receive feedback about the October update (Service Pack 2) from you and other Family Tree Maker 2008 customers.

As always, thank you for the feedback so far

44 Comments

tschlarm 

.529 won’t import my FTM2006 file. Version .440 would (albeit left out the AKA’s). Aborts immediately with an “unknown error”. 1 image is extracted and the logfile is 0 bytes.

The FTM2006 file utils don’t report any errors except the CHAR(13) & CHAR(10) ones which the forums seem to say are ok.

Keep them coders working on the import…

October 17, 2007 at 5:06 pm
tschlarm 

Didn’t the download page version of SP1 (.440) auto-magically find the FTM install location and apply the update?

The download of SP2 (529) doesn’t seem to do that. I had to navigate to the FTM install folder, point to the FTM.exe and then press ‘Open’ to get it to go.

Can’t remember for sure, but I don’t remember all the poking around the file system to install SP1.

October 17, 2007 at 5:12 pm
Bill Bienia 

This latest FTM2008 update has delivered a “beta” level Register report and Ahnentafel report. (The NGSQ format Genealogy report option is still not available with no promise date.) The sentence syntax has a long way to go to be considered a narrative report, e.g. “PRINCE CHARLES. His birth on 14 Nov 1948 in Westminster, Middlesex, England (Buckingham Palace)”; the report omits the names and details of children in the 1st generation; all paragraph formatting and line spacing entered into the notes is ignored (and discarded) for the reports; and the RFT output is formatted in tables, rather than in paragraphs, and the name and BMD data for the descendant in the second generation is missing from the RFT file — different that the on-screen display of the report. (These are the initial quick observations after about 10 minutes with the new updated.)

On the positive side, a Save Settings button has been added for charts, and a bottom-to-top pedigree chart and an hour-glass chart are now available.

October 17, 2007 at 11:18 pm
Pat Blanchard 

Ben,

I just saw your blog announcing the new patch, so I will install it when I get home from work today. However, I personally like Charting Companion, and I see that they offer a Version 2.0 on their website that is supposedly compatable with FTM 2008. I had Version 1.0 as part of an FTM 2006 package I purchased a couple of years ago. Version 2.0 isn’t offered in the Ancestry Store as yet, so I wondered if you have any insight into this new version of Charting Companion. Is there anything special I need to know about installation before I purchase and go ahead? Do I need to uninstall FTM 2006 beforehand? Can you give me any information at all about this product and it’s impact on FTM 2008? In other words, have you guys tinkered with any add-ons to FTM 2008 as yet?

October 18, 2007 at 8:42 am
Michael Schuler 

I have a similiar problem with the import. I have always (Beta1, RC, 429,440) been able to import the FTM 2006 file, but after 529 it gets about 3 seconds into import and fail with unknown error.

Not sure what to think I will call tech support ASAP but wondering if I am missing something.

October 18, 2007 at 8:43 am
Jo 

Downloaded the SP2 for FTM 2008 – disaster. At the end of the download, I got the following error.

Failure Renaming/Deleting File c:/Program Files/Family Tree Maker/ Launcher.exe

Not only did I get the error, I was unable to open 2008 afterwards. Then, I had to do a system restore in order to even use my PC. It is not my computer either — have plenty of memory and speed on this new desktop.

I feel I will just use my Legacy and let this be a lesson on not purchasing from FTM again. Of course, my 30 days is up and I am out of the money I spent on 2008.

Really embarrassed for FTM and TGN releasing an inferior product.

Good luck all,
Jo

October 18, 2007 at 10:10 am
Benjamin Nettesheim 

Thank you for the heads-up. The immediate feedback has helped uncover a bug that was created when updating the speed of the program. The bug affects the file import process. Specifically, it causes the import of FTW files that include media on the master source to fail.

The Family Tree Maker development team is working hard to remedy this and should have a fix shortly. For those of you that have already downloaded the update, a new patch will be available soon. Upon release, this new patch will also be useful for users who have not downloaded Service Pack 2.

I apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your help. I will keep you updated.

October 18, 2007 at 11:05 am
robert 

I notice that FTM 2008 is putting all place and description information in the Place field. How can we make the description data go into the description field?

October 18, 2007 at 1:33 pm
Robin 

Like Jo, I get an error message Failed to delete/rename Launcher.exe at the end of downloading.

Can’t now run 2008 at all.

Have lodged question with support, but so far no answer

October 18, 2007 at 8:20 pm
Pat Blanchard 

Ben,

I’m sorry to say this. I’ve tried to be upbeat and positive about FTM 2008 and spouted off about user errors and cleaning up our trees before blaming everything on software errors, but this latest patch situation has me really worried. Luckily, the SP2 (529) had been removed from the website before I got a chance to load it; and from I am reading on the various blogs, it was a mess. Users being locked out of FTM 2008 is just not acceptable. I have a very small tree compared to most others, and admittedly I haven’t used all the bells and whistles available in the past, so I haven’t had any real problems since the initial installation incidents. I’ve entered quite a bit of new data, so I’m not going to go backwards to FTM 2006; but having said that, I certainly will NOT download any future patches any time soon. Just like we do with IBM at work … you wait until someone puts a gun to your head before you install a patch, because there is always a new patch to fix the patch, to fix the patch, to fix the patch. I don’t want to sound mean or rude, but it’s starting to get scary. The new conceptual ideas behind FTM 2008 have wonderful possibilities … what happened??

October 19, 2007 at 7:00 am
Beryl Blickstein 

Ben:

I understand that you have the unenviable job of being the spokesman for a failing product, and you have my sympathy. I think that the best remedy is to simply tell the truth – the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the product. After seeing the announcement about SP2, I tried to find it – to no avail. it turns out that I was fortunate!

Is there a forseeable end to this continuing incompetence? Does TGN have software testers or a quality assurance group? Don’t you have a set of standard test cases that each new release must successfully run before your release it to the public?

I’m sure that may of us would gladly share a copy of a really big genealogy file with lots of pictures and plenty of places and sources, which could provide a reasonable test bed for the next release.
If you want mine, just ask me for it.

But regardless, please stop making announcements about patches that don’t work and clearly haven’t been fully tested in a real-world environment. You are just generating more disgust with your millions of customers, while making TGN look even more foolish and negligent than it did with the original FTm 2008 release.

Ben, how about an honest posting that explains where you really are and how long it is really going to take to distribute a quality product? I like the new features, and I accept that many new features are coming. But the performance is so slow as to render the product useless. I for one am willing to wait until you get rid of the bugs and do some heavy shakedown testing before you foist another disaster on the genealogy community.

October 19, 2007 at 2:07 pm
Jo 

Well, you all have done it again – when will I learn.

According to the following:

>>Please download the correct patch for the version specified in your Family Tree Maker product from the links below.
To download the version 17.0.0.416 patch please click here to download a zipped executable file containing the latest update. Please be aware that it will be necessary to decompress the zipped executable file before installation.
To download the version 17.0.0.438 patch please click here to download a zipped executable file containing the latest update. Please be aware that it will be necessary to decompress the zipped executable file before installation.

October 19, 2007 at 3:45 pm
Jo 

What if you have 17.0.0.435? I said OK – so I downloaded the 17.0.0.438. Then I got practically the same error I got yesterday.

I agree with Beryl.

Jo

October 19, 2007 at 4:05 pm
Jo 

What if you have 17.0.0.435? So, I tried downloading 17.0.0.438 – received practically the same error I received yesterday.

Like I said – when will I learn to stop fooling around with 2008.

I agree with Beryl.

Jo

October 19, 2007 at 4:08 pm
Robin 

I note that the file “launcher.exe” is sometimes regarded as a spyware program. It is used legitimately for some applications however, including Webshots – a Windows desktop downloader being one program.

So is this file which is being deleted/renamed, spyware, or being used legitimately?

Can Ben please inform us on this?

October 19, 2007 at 11:35 pm
Jay 

Am I missing something???
Ben – I’ve read through your comments and about how to intall SP2, but for some reason I can’t find it.

I’m running 17.0.0.440 and none of the suggestions to install SP2 to get me to 17.0.0.529 work.

October 20, 2007 at 4:35 am
Benjamin Nettesheim 

I’m sorry for the confusion. Service Pack 2 is on hold. I will gather more information and post a message on Monday. Again, I apologize.

October 20, 2007 at 9:57 am
Ron Chard 

Looks like in your haste to get missed reports in the October Update release for FTM 2008 you have again have been to hasty in sending out something before it was ready.

When generating a “Register” or “Ahnentafel” report, there is no seperation between the narritive of an individual and his/her notes. And all linefeeds in the notes are removed when generating the two types of reports …one jumbled mess!

No thank you, I will continue to use FTM-16. Looks like you need to get some Quality Control to look at your products before releasing them.

October 20, 2007 at 2:45 pm
Karen 

Enough is enough! I know that a new software version means new bugs but this is really too much. Thusfar, TGN’s efforts at fixing things has resulted in more customers getting burned. You have rewarded your customers’ patience with another problem ridden release and now they are no longer eligible to return the defective product.

Why are customers paying for the “privilege” of being beta testers? It seems to me that the return period should be extended beyond 30 days and that you should stop taking any money from new FTM2008 customers until you have actually FIXED it.

October 21, 2007 at 6:37 am
Mike Baggett 

I realize the users are frustrated with FTM 2008 but I have a different take on the program. The prior versions of FTM have not had any major updates for as long as I can remember and IMO, a major rewrite was long overdue.

I like the new user interface and believe we have an exciting new platform for future development. I particularly like the new mapping feature. Overall, the new program looks fresh and modern.

However, I believe that FTM 2008 was released too soon with inadequate testing. I also have faith that it will become the product of the future with a little TLC and positive user feedback.

I intend to continue using FTM 2006 for my daily work until I believe 2008 is stable. Hopefully, that will be sooner rather than later.

October 21, 2007 at 9:56 am
Mark Miller 

With the new “update”?? I can now link sources manually without the program crashing, BUT now when I try to backup my file 2008 crashes and generates an error report without copying my backup file.

October 21, 2007 at 4:08 pm
Jay 

I recieved an email on the 8th September informing me SP1 had been released (Subject = Essential Upgrades to Family Tree Maker 2008). It also had some good detail about SP2 which was good. It may have been an oversight, or I may have been missed from the distribution but I did not get an update about SP2 being released. You have my email address, please keep me in the loop.

Your doing a good job, but there is still a long way to go.

Jay

October 22, 2007 at 2:02 am
Peter Mason 

How can people say the company is doing a good job.

The testing and launch of a product that has not been thorougly tested and the issue of patches that are not properly tested is criminal!

They have sold us a product which as far as I’m concerned is not “fit for purpose”.

They should withdraw the product until it is a properly full functioning database.

Come on users don’t be frightened to knock it. It’s got a long way to go to beat FTM 16.

October 22, 2007 at 6:08 am
BJ 

Regarding Robert’s question on 10/18 about the place and description information.

Earlier versions of FTM separated the Comment from the location by using a slash (/) to end the comment. Many people have failed to add the suffix slash especially for some facts which they don’t think need a location: e.g. Occupation, Edutcation, Census, etc.

FTM 2008 looks for the last slash in the Comment/Location field. Anything preceeding the slash is imported in the FTM 2008 Description field. Anything following the slash is imported into the Place field. If no slash is found, everything is imported into the Place field.

So essentially, you need to add a slash after anything you want imported into the description field even if there is no place or location information in the old Comment/Location field.

October 22, 2007 at 12:26 pm
Jeff Jahn 

(Also know as) I have noticed this field will now import but theirs another problem. Although what is entered will show in person view. In reports nothing shows. The individual report brings in the title but you can not pull the data in at all.

October 22, 2007 at 2:18 pm
Jeff Jahn 

Alas figured out problem with “(Also know as) I have noticed this field will now import but theirs another problem. Although what is entered will show in person view. In reports nothing shows. The individual report brings in the title but you can not pull the data in at all.” Field is not set as primary by default have to set one as primary in order for it to show.

October 22, 2007 at 2:37 pm
Karen 

So essentially, you need to add a slash after anything you want imported into the description field even if there is no place or location information in the old Comment/Location field.

Um no, the users should not have to manually edit all these facts. That’s what programmers are supposed to do: the conversion program should put everything should go in the comment field unless there is a slash to indicate location information. In other words, the default should be no location; the design reversed things and TGN needs to correct it.

This is pretty standard programming logic and it should be on the FIX list.

October 22, 2007 at 3:17 pm
Michael Schuler 

So what is the deal with SP2 Tech Support send it was supposed to be released last week again. I would have thought that this blog would have given all of us that installed SP2 in the first few days some info but like normal it and the company has been silent. I would like to now how long it is going to be and what is going on with it.

October 22, 2007 at 3:42 pm
Jo 

Karen, the slash has been in FTM for a few versions — check in the Help.

October 22, 2007 at 3:42 pm
Karen 

It doesn’t matter whether the slash has been there all along, the point is that the converter should assume that there is no location unless there is a slash. The logic used in the conversion program is reversed. The whole point of a conversion program is that to take the data as it is and to convert it to what ever is needed in the new format. Given that the only time locations are used in previous versions is with a slash, there is no reason to put information there unless a slash is embedded in the data.

October 22, 2007 at 3:54 pm
BJ 

I suspect more people have locations than they do comments or descriptions. If they required the slash to be present to indicate location, there would be even more work because you would have to edit every location to ensure a slash was present. I for one would be terribly upset if that were the rule.

October 22, 2007 at 6:49 pm
BJ 

Sorry but this statement is incorrect, “Given that the only time locations are used in previous versions is with a slash”. The only time the slash is required is if there is a description. If you have no slash, earlier versions of FTM assumed the information was a place or location. Check the Help and the old Map legend.

October 22, 2007 at 6:52 pm
Karen 

What the help in older versions says is irrelevant; what counts is how people actually used the product. The field is labeled “place or description” and many users entered one or the other, using a slash only if they had both. That’s the reality. Telling people to manually edit thousands of entries is not really an acceptable option. If it was a known issue — and there were comments about it with the public beta — then there should be some way to program around it.

October 23, 2007 at 12:17 am
Paul Peterson 

Ben,
I have a FTM file that is 1,254,922 KB, with 162,800 plus individuals, and 1,395,340 Text Records.

October 29, 2007 at 10:40 am
Paul Peterson 

Ben,
I have a FTM file that is 1,254,922 KB, with 162,800 plus individuals, and 1,395,340 Text Records. All my references are in ‘Notes’, and pictures, Census, WWI Draft Registeation inages are in ‘Scrapbook”. I also use ‘Addresses”. I would be glad to let you use my file to test SP2.

Paul Peterson

October 29, 2007 at 10:48 am
Pierre Cloutier 

Charting Companion 2.0 is now compatible with Family Tree Maker 2008. Charting Companion offers twelve genealogy charts & reports, including Fan Chart, Register (Descendant Book), Ahnentafel (Ancestor Book), with many options.

Charting Companion can be ordered from the Ancestry Store at (http://store.ancestry.com/(A(Z741Xlnccc-3eKJCoGOEK4Z88O-aTYKNX7tGINO7eoJiRorrcH2a8XG601GZMylqJ78rtkivNBGSJBFo-6cGnKEFWudD8bnP_ZBR6Wp_UJs1))/ProductDetail.aspx?P=MFSKU4397(shops))

Ignore the reference to ver. 1.1, the Web page has not been updated yet.

http://www.progenygenealogy.com

November 6, 2007 at 7:39 am
Dave Robbins 

What a poorly executed code base. It appears that the original ideas were sound, but the software looks like fifty different creative junior coders built screens based on whim. It repaints way too often. Sorts are primative. Things are hard to find and the thing runs achingly slowly. Folding in the web is a good idea, but, it handcuffs you in being able to navigate from one person to another to update discoveries. I now cut and paste the url as shown in the window into IE so I can look at it and still move around.
It is an alpha product, at best

November 16, 2007 at 1:30 pm
Thomas P. Barber 

It is sad that a product like Family Tree Maker 2008 was released LONG before it should have been! This version of FTM does not live up to the high standards of the previous versions of FTM.
I have been a user of FTM since it was a very simple DOS based program. I would say that over the years I have most likely used every previous version of FTM.
This is the first time that I have been SORRY that I upgraded the software.
I run a small Genealogy Research firm and we had always used FTM. Luckly FTM 16 was still on our computers so we were able to go back to using it without a major hassle.

We run subscriptions for both Ancestry.com and Gemealogy.com, since both are owned by the same company maybe having the programers work on combining all various data bases on those two sites rather than sending out a poor product would have been a much better idea !

November 18, 2007 at 7:59 pm
Jill F 

Why, after the increasing popularity of Macintosh computers, doesn’t Family Tree Maker offer software compatible with the MAC. It was the “only” application that I was unable to use on my MAC. It used to be offered years ago, but the Family Tree Maker producers decided, in their questionable wisdom to discontinue it. I would really like to see it made available again so I can quit using “Reunion”. Thank you for your interest.

December 4, 2007 at 8:31 am
Gene Dickey 

We have a group of 20-30 that meets weeklyat our church,and we use FTM in our class. We pushed for everyone to switch to 2008 as soon as it came out. We have been enthusiastic in pointing out the many improvements over the older versions of FTM. HOWEVER, there are some things that we cannot get across, simply because they are too complicated or confusing- adding a second spouse, reports, sources (impossible), facts, notes and more.
Hopefully, revisions to be made in January will correct and/or simplify most of these problems (PLEASE). We are running out of time and our class’s patience in working with 2008.

December 12, 2007 at 8:56 am
Athena 

To those who blame users for the mess in the places field:

1. There is nothing in the FTM16 help file that tells users to separate the content with a slash.

2. Using a slash does NOTHING either in FTM16 or when exporting the file as a GEDCOM.

What is most damning though, is that other genealogy programs are fully aware of the FTM problem and have programmed their conversion programs to deal with it. If they can do it, why didn’t/can’t TGN?

January 7, 2008 at 11:02 am
Dave Alexander 

I own Family Tree Maker Version 17 and my files were created in that software. What version of FTM should I buy and will those files transfer?

January 26, 2008 at 5:39 pm
Stephanie Town 

I installed FTM2008 for my sister-in-law on her new computer with Windows Vista os with Comcast internet. I also downloaded the update patches. Now we cannot access the internet. A conflict seems to be preventing a network connection. Prior to installing FTM2008 I disabled Norton Internet Security. Enabled it again after install. What can I do here? Anyone have any ideas here?

April 5, 2008 at 1:00 pm
thelma richmond 

When I attemt to call up an ancestor, my computer is slower and slower. When I finally locate my person the computer drops me off the internet. a sign comes up (not responding). So I ask why am I not able to stay connected while I do my work. I have contacted my provider, verizon and they scanned my computer suggesting that something is blocking my internet connection. I am able to connect briefly and then it disconnects. I change my provider from Windows Internet Explorer to Firefox. They scanned and worked the computer suggesting I clean up with a re-installing Windows. I did that. The problem continues to occur with either provider.Help.

January 18, 2009 at 8:26 am