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Discussions around Genealogy technology.
rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:24 pm

thedqs wrote:As another volunteer indexer, I can say that this is what you are looking for. The old extraction program (I was a ward extraction director) did this but the overhead made it near impossible to keep fellow extractors (who also were full-time students) motivated to work on the data. (I think we were only able to complete one batch in an entire school year) This allows for smaller batches to be downloaded per volunteer and they get the batches back very quickly.

There is a due date of a week after you download the batch to keep you working hard. but the usual batch is only 20 to 50 names. Also you can set goals for yourself, like how many names you are going to extract in a month. It is a very cool program and I'd suggest to everyone to volunteer a little time to indexing.

Currently we're working on the 1900 census.


Being as my home computers all run Linux exclusively, I looked at the indexing program page to see whether it might be possible to try to get the software to run under Wine (as PAF now does). It was with a very happy moment when I saw that the software is in Java, and there were even instructions on how to use it on Linux or a Mac. I plan to volunteer for indexing as soon as the new FamilySearch beta test ends.

Somebody with the right connections, please relay a _VERY_ _BIG_ Thank You to those who made it (apparently) possible to use the indexing software under operating systems not from Redmond, WA!!!

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:58 pm

If you are wanting to do indexing, you don't need to wait for the new familysearch to get out of beta. Since the indexing is already out of beta and anyone can sign up.
- David

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greenwoodkl
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Postby greenwoodkl » Wed Feb 21, 2007 10:31 pm

That is, of course, unless he's part of the beta and doesn't want to overwhelm himself with the Indexing. Any one can join the Indexing and as far as I'm aware there is no quota. I've only received a list of 50 names per batch with a week to do the 50, so it isn't extremely stressful for me and is pretty flexible.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:57 am

rmrichesjr wrote:Being as my home computers all run Linux exclusively, I looked at the indexing program page to see whether it might be possible to try to get the software to run under Wine (as PAF now does). It was with a very happy moment when I saw that the software is in Java, and there were even instructions on how to use it on Linux or a Mac. I plan to volunteer for indexing as soon as the new FamilySearch beta test ends.

Somebody with the right connections, please relay a _VERY_ _BIG_ Thank You to those who made it (apparently) possible to use the indexing software under operating systems not from Redmond, WA!!!

I had a great meeting with the product manager over this project yesterday. I'm going to share more about this project in the near future. However being a Linux user myself, I did thank him for you and for all the Linux users out there. He did say that the don't "officially" support Linux but because it is written in java it just works. What this means is that they don't do any testing under Linux. However I have signed up as a volunteer and have already been working on batches with my Linspire box.

Tom

kennard
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Indexing suggestion

Postby kennard » Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:55 pm

I also signed up for indexing a couple months ago. Very impressive system and I'm glad to see it going. I do have a suggestion though, if anyone is in a position to pass it along (this is a suggestion, not a complaint):

It would be helpful to make use of partial batches instead of just deleting them, or allow the user a little leeway in the deadline. Here's why I think that:

I spent a while working on my batch, but didn't complete it in one sitting. Then life got busy for a few days and I didn't get it finished in the allotted week. When I logged on again, it told me my time limit had expired and my batch was deleted. I was frustrated that the time and effort I had already spent was completely wasted, as no use was made of even that part of the batch I had had already completed. I have not yet convinced myself to go back and try another batch in case I don't get it completed in time. (Sometimes time is more precious than money, and just as much of a sacrifice).

If somebody does 75% of their batch, but doesn't get around to finishing it on time, an automatic email could be sent reminding them that they haven't submitted, and letting them know they have 7 more days to finalize their submission and that it will be deleted if not. They could also be given the option to: 1) submit what they have completed so far, or 2) "go ahead and give my batch to someone else now." Then they have a reminder and will likely finish up sooner than if the batch is re-assigned to someone else, or if they won't be able to finish, at least only the pages they haven't already indexed would need to be done by somebody else instead of the entire batch, since they have the option to submit what is completed so far.

Making use of partially-completed batches (along with auto-reminders) would reduce duplication of effort (and keep slow-pokes like me from feeling like their sacrifice of time was wasted if they didn't finish the entire batch in a week).

Alternatively, the user could be asked how many pages he/she wants in the batch. Then if they only have a little time, they can request only a page or two.

Thanks.

-DougK

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Fri Feb 23, 2007 6:33 pm

I know you can request a batch from a certian project and I know that some projects divide the work into smaller groups, you might want to try finding groups that have smaller batches. As for the reminders, I use a calendar program to keep me on task.
- David

BlackRG
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Postby BlackRG » Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:46 pm

I think the problem could be easily solved just by "pinging" the user in some way (e-mail?) and looking for a response from them indicating they want more time. The whole point of reassigning batches as far as I can tell is not because the person is too slow but because they don't want it to fall through the cracks. If someone can respond to a query far enough to say "hey, I'm still working on it", then leaving it with them is arguably just as efficient as reassigning it (unless of course they've been on the same batch for a year and all the other batches are done so we've got idle people everywhere wishing they could finish that batch...).

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:15 pm

E-mail would be nice since I know all of us check that at least twice a day and maybe a lot more than that.

The ability to "renew" your batch would be great too since I've gotten real close to my batches expiring too.

I just think that personal reminders also work well. I use Outlook 07 and it places your e-mail, tasks and appointments all there for your viewing. Really, nice and keeps me up and on task. (I also never forget about the batch during the week, I just keep on putting it off in place of homework.)

Note: Outlook 07 is a for-profit program and neither the author or the church sponsers it.
- David


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