Bad Behavior by RM8

So this is an example of the sort of thing that happens to me sometimes that make me very reluctant to convert to RM8, even I manage to live happily with some of the user interface issues.

I had a test database containing 1 dummy person named John Doe and 1 source and 3 citations that I was using to test out endnote numbers not being reused properly in reports. I could not reproduce the problem. So I decided to drag and drop 1 real person from my real database into the test database. The real person I chose was named Alva Peters.

Immediately after the drag and drop, I ran a narrative report for Alva Peters where the endnote numbers were not reused properly. The report for Alva Peters had lots of facts and sources and looked correct except for the endnote numbers not being reused properly. This was looking good. Maybe I could now recreate the endnote reuse problem in a small database.

Before proceeding further, I decided to clean up my database by deleting John Doe. I did so, and that’s the only thing I did. Having done so, John Doe is gone from the database as expected. John Doe’s citations are gone from the database as expected. John Doe’s source is gone from the database as not expected. His source should still be there and should simply be unused. It gets worse. Alva Peters is still in the database. But none of his facts are still in the database. None of his citations are still in the database. None of his sources are still in the database. He is pretty much a bare person with no data.

He shows up in Family View with correct name and year of birth and year of death. He shows up in the sidebar Index with the correct name and year of birth and year of death. But when I open his Edit Person screen, there is no data there, not even his name. I will try to reproduce this situation, but I have no idea how much luck I will have.


I’m surprised by the amount of bugs and the lack of basic features like copy/paste, spell check, and shortcuts. It still feels like a beta product to me. I’m not sure why they released it with this many bugs. I hope it improves quickly as I do want to use RootsMagic.


As a brief follow up: I looked quickly at the “bad” database" with SQLite. The tables all looked ok. So I closed RM8 and re-opened the same test database. Without me having taken any action whatsoever to repair the situation, all was well. All the missing facts and sources and citations for Alva Peters had reappeared in the user interface. I have no explanation.

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Does the database need to be reindexed? Does the database get re-indexed when it loads up?

RM recommend that you run the Database tools on a regular basis - at least that was the recommendation for RM7 and I assume the same applies to RM8. I run them when I remember but I have never had a Phantom record (probably because I don’t Treeshare or d/l from FS). Rebuild Indexes is one of the tools but it happens so quickly for me I am never sure if it does anything. I don’t have a huge database though. Just ran it and the first three tools took one second. I don’t think it runs on loading but happy to be corrected.

You would scarcely think that a database this small would suffer from problems that running the tools would fix. I started with a new database. I typed one person into the database, I dragged and dropped a second person into the database, I deleted the first person, and RM8 went south. The second person now had no facts in Edit Person, not even a name.

I did run the tools at this point, to no avail. The tools did not identify any errors, and the tools did not fix anything. I shut down RM8, restarted RM8, and opened the database. All was well and no data was actually lost. If this had been a real database instead of a small test one, everything also probably would have been well.

But the incident did not build confidence in RM8. It’s remindful of all the times I click one person and open another, or change views and a totally different family appears in the new view. That sort of thing happens to me infrequently but regularly as I use RM8. It’s never repeatable, so there is never anything really to report that the developers can fix.

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From your description of the behaviors, code may be missing to refresh the table/views after the person row is deleted. Don’t know–just seems like a common reason.

Yes, RM has lots of places where you have to get out of where you are and then back in to get the information refreshed properly. RM8 seems to suffer from this problem more than RM7, but both of them have the problem.

However, in this case, I did not delete a row from Edit Person or anything like that. I had two people in my database. I deleted one of them. I then opened the second one. There was nothing there. It took shutting RM8 down and starting it up again to be able to see the data for the second person. It’s hard to see why deleting one person from the database would make the data for another person disappear from the other person’s Edit Person screen. The two people were completely independent of each other - not joined as spouses or as parent/child or anything like that, nor were there any shared facts between them.