new FamilySearch Suggestions

So you have the BIG idea that the Church or community needs to develop. Discuss that idea here. Maybe you just want to make a suggestion on a new forum topic. Let us know.
ssintay
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version control

Postby ssintay » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:37 pm

I would like to second the vote for an implementation of version control for family history data. For many of the same reasons that it makes sense for coding it also makes sense for family trees.

I must admit that I have little current experience with recent versions of family history tools utilized for matching and merging data, but I would be very happy to find a true history available for family history changes. This would alleviate some of the mental inertia associated with the fear of making mistakes, and with swapping data with strangers.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:02 am

A great benefit of version control is the ability to revert changes, so if someone made a bad match (just got tired and kept hitting the yes button) then another use could revert the change and restore the two individuals.
- David

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:59 am

How do you "version control" something that is interactive? "Undo" I can understand, but I'm not really following how something like family history can have "versions".

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:17 pm

What I gathered was the ability to undo all the way to the first entry, which is what version control gives you quite a bit of, also the ability to know if you change something and someone else changes the same something (let's say for example both change the birthdate to different days) then you'd had a conflict which would need resolving with the other genealogist. Also you could see what has been merged and when or what has been split and when and by who. All of these I could see as beneficial but the only one that I would think would be necessary would be the ability to undo.
- David

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:21 am

Version control on code doesn't get too hairy and is a very effective solution.

Although, think of one record per person ever; then multiply that by like 15 versions for each record. That is a ton more space required now.

Plus, I'm not sure average nFS users would understand how a true source control works. The interface would have to be simplified quite a bit from standard code source controls.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:44 pm

Well depends on the version control. Most just track changes so only if you changed the entire individual would you have to "duplicate" otherwise it is basically 12/20/1954 changed to 11/20/1954 and maybe a comment on the source that was used for the change.

And yes I agree that the interface would have to be simplified a lot. Basically a history of the last three changes and then you'd have to open the change for more information.
- David

The_Earl
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VCS

Postby The_Earl » Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:31 am

The true power of a version control system is the ability to branch and revert back to old data.

Mostly, I would use it to allow different lines to be explored while keeping the ability to roll back changes if something strange happened.

I would track changes at the individual or family level, not the whole tree.

It would also allow me to work on the paternal side, and someone else to work on the maternal side at the same time. We could then merge our work, resolve changes, and keep the original work all at the same time.

Branching is not a simple procedure, and many of the people I work with that use a versioning system every day don't understand how it works. I think that branching would not be able to be simplified, and would likely have to be hidden (kind of like 'track changes' in word) for most people, but available if you knew where to look.

A version history would be easier to simplify, as you could just replace the 'save' functionality with what we would call 'check in' in SC parlance. You would then do conflict checking at the same time.

You would probably mark versions with timestamps or other human-readable information, not the ugly versions we use in SVN. You would then 'revert' to the Aug. 4 version of a record instead of the '4.0.1' version, or the 38984 version.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:36 am

Great suggestion and that was exactly what I was thinking.
- David

JamesAnderson
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version of Firefox optimized for new FamilySearch?

Postby JamesAnderson » Sun Sep 02, 2007 2:23 pm

This idea comes from some information I saw when updating my Firefox browser.

There are companies and groups out there that have built versions of Firefox that are optimized for and include features that make the best out of the browsing experience for their websites. Examples include eBay and a version for college students.

What about doing the same for new FamilySearch, or for that matter, other Church applications that use the web? But I posted here because the most widely used site is eventually going to be the new FamilySearch site, with all the planned features and utilities and whatever they are coming up with. And there are several applications for this type of thing as well.

There could be a version for FHCs that will work with the sites that are available via the FHCs maybe, I'm not sure how that will work, but it would be different than an optimized version of Firefox someone would use at home.

What are everyone's thoughts on this. Is this even a workable idea and if so what could we do to bring it about. This could be worked on as varous people get new FamilySearch in their areas. Then when fully rolled out hopefully the bugs will have been resolved for the most part.

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Sep 02, 2007 2:36 pm

What would be the purpose? Other than maybe locking out other web sites, what would be the advantage of the specialized browser over the standard browser? And, who is going to maintain the specialized browser to keep it up to date with possible security issues and such?


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