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The combined record would be too large - WHAT?

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:52 am
by BradJackman-p40
Apparently lots of people are getting this error since the updates made during the shut-down at the end of June: "The following records could not be combined for the these reasons: The combined record would be too large"

Whoever thought up that one needs to be fired. Dump all the old, abandoned databases into one pile, mess it up real well, make the members sort it out, but only let them combine records if Grandpa Jones is in there less than 89 times.

Wasn't the whole point of this mess to reduce duplication (Even internal estimates are showing that duplication is currently at 30% in NFS)? And now someone sets an arbitrary number of individuals that can be combined, and we're not allowed to go over that? Do you realize the implications? This dooms NFS to the same fate as all the other dead LDS databases. I guess I'll just have to wait 10 years for this system to die a sad, hopeless death, and see what someone comes up with as "the next big thing that's going to eliminate duplication and save genealogy forever", like I did with the Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, TempleReady, IGI, etc... The track record for LDS databases is pretty bad. Nobody's changed their thinking enough to fix it. They just apply the same theories to the data using new coding languages.

Come on people. Geesh.

To many records to combine

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:50 am
by garysturn
I have had the same error message several times. I am hopping this is just a temporary solution while they address the problems they are having from large files. I have some ancestors I can not even view without long delays because of the large numbers of names in the folders. This same problem of large numbers of records in folders is what has slowed the rollout of the system to more Temple districts. Maybe we need to give them a little time to work out these problems. I am sure it is one of their highest priorities. I am also sure they would like feedback if someone has some suggestions that thy feel will be helpful. There is a system in place inside the nFS help center to submit feedback to the programmers.

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:51 am
by lfalin-p40
Or maybe you could patiently wait for the fix while you contemplate the fact that no one is perfect.

Too Large

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:56 am
by ClarkeGJ
This is a temporary measure. The limits will be raised or removed after we complete necessary data reorganization.

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:56 am
by mkmurray
lfalin wrote:Or maybe you could patiently wait for the fix while you contemplate the fact that no one is perfect.

BradJackman and Scion have some very valid concerns, both with the NFS software and how us moderators approach the concerns of other users on this forum. This thread has kicked up much discussion between us moderators and hopefully there will be some good change out of all of this.

As for a "fix" to NFS, I don't think much attention would have been given to this issue if were not for this thread...

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:59 am
by mkmurray
mkmurray wrote:BradJackman and Scion have some very valid concerns, both with the NFS software and how us moderators approach the concerns of other users on this forum. This thread has kicked up much discussion between us moderators and hopefully there will be some good change out of all of this.

As for a "fix" to NFS, I don't think much attention would have been given to this issue if were not for this thread...

However, I should caution all (including us moderators) to have patience and be civil with each other (including us moderators). ;)

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:59 am
by lfalin-p40
I agree that the concern is valid, calling for people to be fired seemed a bit extreme though.

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:02 am
by mkmurray
lfalin wrote:I agree that the concern is valid, calling for people to be fired seemed a bit extreme though.

Yes...that is one of quite a few comments from everyone here that prompted me to ask everyone to be more civil.

Maybe a little too harsh...

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:45 am
by BradJackman-p40
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.

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.

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:16 am
by garysturn
I understand your frustrations. Moderators are just ordinary people just like you, we are not Church employees or programers and we have no more access to the inside than any other member. I have submitted a lot of feedback to nFS over the past year. Much of the feedback is about the very issues you are describing. It does seem like no one is listening sometimes but I know that is not true. I have spoken with some of the programers in person and they are aware of the issues you bring up and they are working on solutions. There are a lot of genealogy people involved in refining this system, not just programmers. The developers want to hear your solutions and they do listen. Go to nFS help center or FamilySearch labs and submit your feedback.