The combined record would be too large - WHAT?

Discussions about using and improving the new FamilySearch online application.
The_Earl
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Postby The_Earl » Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:42 am

BradJackman wrote:I apologize for my harsh words, it just seems like:

a) Everyone is turning a blind eye to issues that will severely damage the genealogical integrity of the Church's new system, believing that every element of NFS is infallible and inspired by God.
b) Nobody is willing to take a hard look at what really needs to be done to fix it
c) Users are being slammed by moderators and "NFS is infallible" supporters when problems are being raised.


You are new here aren't you :)

As much as we (I include myself) would like this forum to be a place to spec church software, that is only a small part of what goes on here, and not the primary purpose of this forum.

The church is, and has struggled with how to include people like you into their design process. This forum is a major step toward getting feedback on their software, and including the community in the development process. It is major progress that you can post your thoughts to a forum like this and have people like Gary'sTurn see what you think.

This problem is not unique to nFS. Jump over to the clerks' forum if you want to see MLS' warts. LUWS gets hashed here pretty regularly as well.

BradJackman wrote:I have to deal with the implications of every NFS update, every day, all day. Every change of technique, every lack of function, every IOUS and every false "take me to the temple" button requires me to address these issues over, and over, and over.

Calling for firing was too harsh. I didn't mean it. I do, however, wish NFS people would take a serious look at major overhauls, instead of little bandaids like "The combined record would be too large." Even "raising the limit" as Godon Clarke suggested, is absurd. If you can't combine every single duplicate, the whole plan is flawed.

I work with professional genealogists all day long. Every one of them has great suggestions for improvement, but nobody is listening. It's incredibly frustrating.

If this was a piece of commercial software, I'd just move to a competitor, but you're dealing with a product that will be mandatory for use by millions of users, and will be used to judge the Church's level of authenticity in the genealogical field. If NFS fails, people don't just lose their programming jobs - millions of volunteer hours will be lost, millions of Church members will suffer, temple duplication will increase, and the work of the Lord will be hindered.

I see serious problems, and I think I have a unique perspective. If I don't speak up, and get someone to take notice, I'm as much at fault as the programmers who don't understand real genealogy.

So, I'm sorry for coming off uncivil, but it's righteous indignation. I want NFS to succeed so everyone can benefit, but people need to change their way of thinking, and I don't see anyone asking questions, only defending problems.


My issue is that you come across very combative. You spend a lot of time detailing how nFS makes your life miserable, but little time on how to make it better. You talk of suggestions and fixes, but the only one I see in your posts is 'Raising the size limit is a bandaid'. Your tone is a bit more productive on the place naming thread.

So, start naming suggestions. Start dialog about how nFS should work. Go comment on the versioning discussion at: http://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?t=353&page=3

You should also jump onto the familysearch wiki at: wiki.familysearch.org, and the forum that matches.

I think we just caught you on a bad day, and got the brunt of your frustration. Now let's get to work!

The Earl

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The long road to a great program

Postby BradJackman-p40 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:35 am

The Earl wrote:You are new here aren't you :)


Maybe on this forum, but I've been actively involved in both NFS betas, giving constructive feedback there, and the FamilyInsight beta, I have supplied dozens of suggestions on the feedback sections of NFS, life browser, standard finder, etc., participate in the familysearch wiki, write a blog concerning improving NFS, post comments to blogs about possible fixes, read and respond in several forums like this one, personally discuss issues with NFS employees, and have written a directly solicited letter from the head of FamilySearch detailing in over 8 pages suggestions for improvements from me and over 20 of my colleagues in the genealogical field. I found this forum after over a year of fighting for improvements and having people ignore it, so I apologize for my combative tone, but it has been a battle.

So yes, I do feel like I am doing my part to make issues known, spending hours and hours of my own time every week to detail problems and suggest fixes. My mounting frustration is that the response is always a variation of "We don't think your issue is important" or "You must be doing something wrong, NFS doesn't have problems" (except for Gordon's recent admission that they shouldn't limit merges). So maybe the issue isn't that I'm too new and my irritations are fresh, but that I've been figting for improvements for too long, and my migrane is becoming permanent. The only thing that keeps me going is that out of the 100+ suggestions I've made, 1 actually has been considered.

If you think that re-detailing in this forum every suggestion I have made will make someone take notice, I would be happy to. If so, I just hope there's no character limit to these posts:)

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garysturn
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Shoebox Genealogy

Postby garysturn » Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:36 am

I am wondering if you are the same person that has a blog titled Shoebox Genealogy. If you are, I have read all your comments there and have your blog in my reader.
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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:40 pm

BradJackman wrote:Maybe on this forum, but I've been actively involved in both NFS betas, giving constructive feedback there, and the FamilyInsight beta, I have supplied dozens of suggestions on the feedback sections of NFS, life browser, standard finder, etc., participate in the familysearch wiki, write a blog concerning improving NFS, post comments to blogs about possible fixes, read and respond in several forums like this one, personally discuss issues with NFS employees, and have written a directly solicited letter from the head of FamilySearch detailing in over 8 pages suggestions for improvements from me and over 20 of my colleagues in the genealogical field. I found this forum after over a year of fighting for improvements and having people ignore it, so I apologize for my combative tone, but it has been a battle.

So yes, I do feel like I am doing my part to make issues known, spending hours and hours of my own time every week to detail problems and suggest fixes. My mounting frustration is that the response is always a variation of "We don't think your issue is important" or "You must be doing something wrong, NFS doesn't have problems" (except for Gordon's recent admission that they shouldn't limit merges). So maybe the issue isn't that I'm too new and my irritations are fresh, but that I've been figting for improvements for too long, and my migrane is becoming permanent. The only thing that keeps me going is that out of the 100+ suggestions I've made, 1 actually has been considered.

If you think that re-detailing in this forum every suggestion I have made will make someone take notice, I would be happy to. If so, I just hope there's no character limit to these posts:)

Brad, I applaud (and envy) your enthusiasm for genealogy work and understand some of your frustration. As someone who's been on the programming side, let me just say your suggestions are NOT going unnoticed. I don't think anyone is claiming the current release of NFS is "glorified and perfected" in its current state, however, adding features in a major program is sometimes akin to trying to turn a battleship in open water. It takes a LOT of planning, time, and room to do it.

I guess I'm asking for a little patience and tolerance for the programmers and developers. I'm sure the skipper of the battleship is currently sorting out and prioritizing the many course changes suggested. Some minor ones will be easy to implement, while others will require major rewrites and MUCH testing. Yes, the waiting period for end users is a painful, but unfortunately, necessary part of the development process.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

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Postby The_Earl » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:41 pm

BradJackman wrote:Maybe on this forum, but I've been actively involved in both NFS betas, giving constructive feedback there, and the FamilyInsight beta, I have supplied dozens of suggestions on the feedback sections of NFS, life browser, standard finder, etc., participate in the familysearch wiki, write a blog concerning improving NFS, post comments to blogs about possible fixes, read and respond in several forums like this one, personally discuss issues with NFS employees, and have written a directly solicited letter from the head of FamilySearch detailing in over 8 pages suggestions for improvements from me and over 20 of my colleagues in the genealogical field. I found this forum after over a year of fighting for improvements and having people ignore it, so I apologize for my combative tone, but it has been a battle.


Welcome to the fight. I think you may have lumped some of us into the wrong crowd based on our 'Moderator' titles, and our reaction to your tone, and less of your content.

BradJackman wrote:So yes, I do feel like I am doing my part to make issues known, spending hours and hours of my own time every week to detail problems and suggest fixes. My mounting frustration is that the response is always a variation of "We don't think your issue is important" or "You must be doing something wrong, NFS doesn't have problems" (except for Gordon's recent admission that they shouldn't limit merges). So maybe the issue isn't that I'm too new and my irritations are fresh, but that I've been figting for improvements for too long, and my migrane is becoming permanent. The only thing that keeps me going is that out of the 100+ suggestions I've made, 1 actually has been considered.

If you think that re-detailing in this forum every suggestion I have made will make someone take notice, I would be happy to. If so, I just hope there's no character limit to these posts:)


I read the blog Gary mentioned. If it is not yours, you probably know whose it is. I don't think you should re-post all of that information here. You might want to start a thread that points to it.

This sort of highlights some of the problems I have seen with the church integrating feedback like yours. There are lots of conversations like this occurring all over the place, on blogs, in FHCs, privately etc. None or few of these conversations include a truly critical mass of smart people that can properly trade-off and make actionable requests. They also have no records, no audit trail, and so, no accountability. Your letter is a perfect example. You send a letter with a number of suggestions. You have no recourse, or visibility into what becomes of your suggestions. You are not included in discussions about feasibility, development cost, developer ability etc. You don't even know if those conversations happened. Even if your requests get implemented, you might not recognize the implementation, or why certain tradeoffs were made. Nor would you have the opportunity to defend or critique partial fixes.

This is really the crux of your concerns. This is what I focus on in this forum. nFS is broken, but there is no process to 'fix' it and include you. Help me (us?) get a process in place!

The_Earl
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Postby The_Earl » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:48 pm

Brad,

I would be very interested to hear what you think of versioning for genealogy.
http://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?t=353&page=3

If you want to discuss it further, let me know. I think I have already dragged this thread off topic to much already.:D

The Earl

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Postby lajackson » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:22 pm

The Earl wrote:If you want to discuss it further, ...


Perhaps this discussion should shift to a different thread with a different title. If it does, please include a link. [grin]

But, I understand the frustration in post #1.

Something that would be helpful for me would be to know what effect, if any, these comments have in what I would graciously call the "improvement and change" process. For example:

Are these comments read?
Are these comments considered in any serious sort of way?

Is it worth the time to post here at the forum with the hope that comments will be used to contribute to positive improvements in whatever it is we are commenting about? [with apologies to my 7th grade English teacher]

Or is it better to count time spent here as merely entertainment (or venting, which is, of course, discouraged)?

Are there any words of encouragement that might convince us that we should stay and be involved?

As anyone brave enough considers responding to these questions, I would suggest honesty, evidence (if available), and as much forthrightness and detail as you are allowed without losing your job.

From my vantage point, I could write a book about my experiences over the last four years with the MLS rollout in North America. I never will, because I care too much about the Church and the faithful folks who I have come to believe are doing the best they can with the limited resources they have.

But if I did, it would be a good, thick, entertaining book. And I would have to change all of the names.

So, is it worth the effort to participate here?

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garysturn
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nFS Combining and Uncombining

Postby garysturn » Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:58 am

I started a new thread to discuss your ideas about Combining and Uncombining in the Tree Cleaning sub forum.

Lets hear your Ideas on how the Combining and Uncombining functions could be improved.

The new thread is here.
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The_Earl
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Postby The_Earl » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:52 am

lajackson wrote:Perhaps this discussion should shift to a different thread with a different title. If it does, please include a link. [grin]


I'll bite:
http://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1558

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Postby scion-p40 » Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:27 am

I don't know if my nFS feedback is going anywhere. Roughly half of my feedback has caused nFS to freeze, which also froze Netscape so I ended up having to completely turn off my computer. This is the only website I use that has this problem repeatedly--and I've only been on nFS since Sunday, 6 July 2008.

Sometimes when I log in the screen is blank. nFS "cheerleaders" have already told me to use nFS when it is less busy. Given that I am gainfully employed and have a full household, the time available to devote to nFS is minimal. However, even being online at midnight Pacific Time does not decrease these problems. If nFS cannot handle part of the US, what will happen when the world is online?

I'm using XP on a computer that is only 1 year old.


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