Is it just me that think RM8 is not ready for prime time?

I am a long time Legacy user - or rather my wife is. We tried RM7 some years back and heard that RM8 was due to be released and deemed to be a significant improvement over RM7. So we held off.
To be honest, I have had nothing but problems with it:

  1. Attempting to import Legacy 9 data into RM8 with significant data corruptions that render the imported data useless. Was that every fully tested before release?
  2. Media files are not being found despite have set the media location in Settings
  3. A solid reproducible hang when clicking ‘Media’ in the left side bar and scrolling down the list of broken links (as a result of (2).
  4. Total lack of response from the RM support folk to tickets raised - not even an acknowledgement.

Now, I am not a genealogy person , I leave that to my wife - but I am a software R&D Manager and I honestly don’t mean to be negative but to me RM8 has been rushed out and is is simply not ready for prime time to be released into the wild to folk. If the data after a migration cannot be guaranteed to be 100% accurate then it becomes worthless.

I guess that the RM folk are totally swamped rushing to fix defects and that may be why they are not responding to problems. However, that in itself leads to more defects being introduced. Already there are reports of defects in 8.0.4 that were not present in the prior 8.0.x releases.
Folk have raised a number of issues whereby functionality that existed in RM7 has been dropped from RM8 . No announcement of the function being dropped - just simply not present. Has that function been deprecated or are RM planning to catch up at some point. If the latter - then again it suggests rushing RM8 to meet a date.

I think we have given RM8 a good run but it is simply not worth the risk of corrupting data that has been accumulated over a long period of time.


I’m a long term and loyal RM user who is relatively happy with RM7 and who is being very cautious about converting to RM8. I’m testing RM8 heavily, but I am many months away adopting it as my production software. I’m also both a genealogist and an IT person (now retired after 50 years in the industry). So let me try to speak to some of your concerns.

I’ve never been a Legacy user, so I can’t speak specifically to any of your data corruption issues in converting your Legacy 9 data to RM8. But be aware that almost any conversion of genealogical data from any genealogy software to any other genealogy software can be very fraught. it’s almost certain that a certain amount of data will become lost or corrupted. Each software has more or less its own data model, and there are usually data elements that cannot be mapped cleanly from one data model to the other. Plus the developers of the various software usually don’t have a full understanding of the data model being used by their competitors, so they often make honest and understandable mistakes when importing data from other software. Users of genealogy software have be be aware of these issues and plan their software conversions very carefully. It’s a huge problem in the field. A 100% accurate data conversion simply isn’t possible.

In the case of your media files not being found, did you set your media folder location in RM8 before or after importing from Legacy 9? It’s important to make this setting before the import. If you did set the media folder before the import, I would have to know a lot more about your situation to be able to recommend a course of action. In any case, RM8 includes a tool under the Media tab’s THREE DOTS menu to “Fix broken Links”. The tool shouldn’t be necessary if all else goes well and it can take a long time to run if you do need to run it, but it usually does a pretty good job of finding all your media files.

On the lack of response from the RM support folks, they are really good people in a really small company and they are overwhelmed right now. I don’t know that this is 100% true, but nearly all the desktop genealogy software is produced by very small companies. The big companies in genealogy mostly offer online databases (census records and such) and tools for doing your own personal genealogy online. They are not desktop companies. There may be an case or two where a big company also offers desktop software, but I think it’s the exception rather than the rule. So if you wish to run desktop genealogy software, your vendor is probably going to be a very small company.


Regarding media files and broken links:
It is ESSENTIAL that the user’s file naming scheme assigns a UNIQUE filename to each piece of media. Otherwise, if there are two or more files with the same name (even if in different subfolders) there will be NO WAY for the automated Fix Broken Link tool to properly re-connect media files.

R8 was set up with folder defaults established before the import from Legacy was undertaken.

I agree that migration can be problematic but the fact that the RM folk clearly state they support a migration from Legacy 9 would infer that they have fully tested it and certified that it works flawlessly. Otherwise it isn’t worth anything.

All my media files were copied from Legacy\media into a single folder RM8\media. There is no underlying directory structure. So all filenames are by default unique.

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RM8 is still very much beta software on mac.

Gedcom import is a rough data transfer to any program, not just RM8, as you would know if you had ever tried it before. For some programs with odd data structures like Reunion it is a major redo. In RM8 you need to set the folder paths first.

On the mac side there are many big desktop genealogy companies like Heredis and MacFamilyTree who have no trouble putting out stable functional new versions every year and Family Tree Maker every 2 years. Rootsmagic is a small windows company which has struggled for 10 years to get a mac version out and it has shown in the final product.

I’ll echo the other comments about migrating data from another program. I was part of the mass migration from Family Tree Maker several years ago when Ancestry announced they were discontinuing it. I had A LOT of work to do to get my data in shape after the migration to RM, before I could even think about getting back to research. It was made a bit easier by the fact that it uses an SQLite database and people in the community have found some neat tricks to do bulk changes directly on the database. That’s one of the reasons I chose RM over others I considered.
But still, much, much manual fixing. I expect that’s about the same story you’ll get from anyone who’s switched genealogy programs.

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