Verification of Used vs. Unused Sources When Deleting Sources

RM8 is sometimes asking for verification before deleting sources that are “unused”. I put the word unused in quotes because there is some fuzziness about when a source in RM8 is unused as compared to when a source in RM7 is unused.

In particular, a source in RM7 is unused if it has no citations. The same definition is being used in RM8, but I’m not sure the same definition is really the correct definition in RM8. Instead, it seems to me that a source in RM8 is unused if it has no citations, or if it does have citations and all the citations are unused.

This situation arose because I have a small RM8 test database with about a half dozen people. I dragged and dropped one person from my main RM8 database into the test database and immediately deleted the person in the small test database. The purpose of this activity was to test what was carried along with the person who was dragged and dropped with regard to media, sources, citations, facts, source templates, and places.

After doing the test, I wanted to delete all the unused items that had been carried along with the drag and drop. I had to provide an extra verification for each source being deleted because they all had citations, even though the citations themselves were no longer used after the dragged and dropped person was deleted. Given the way citations work in RM8, I wish the more expansive definition of unused sources would be used when deleting sources.

And actually, given the way citations work in RM8, I think that two numbers should be displayed for each source in the source list instead of one number. The first number should be the number of citations, just like it is now. The second number should be the collective number of times all those citations for the source are used. The verification step should be included when deleting a source when the second of the two numbers is non-zero rather than when the first of the two numbers is non-zero.

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@thejerrybryan you are truly a great resource in the RootsMagic community. I hope the company takes your suggestions to heart and actually tries to make the program bulletproof by testing ALL the humanly forseeable results of any functions in the program, not just the immediate results of what they were looking for in the programming. That is the mark of an excellent programmer.

As a programmer with over 40 years experience, I can tell you that it is almost impossible to generate a set of test data that has program exceptions you haven’t thought of when you were defining the logic of the program. Every exception in your test data is there to test certain logic that you have already programmed for. Sometimes you get lucky and come up with a bizarre combination that you hadn’t thought of. That’s rare.

That is why developers do an alpha test followed by a beta test. Hopefully, by the end of the beta test most of the bugs will have been smashed.

Or you employ professional software testers. Worth they weight in gold as developers are too close to their pet project and do miss way to many things.


an ex-developer.

Spot on! However, beta version bugs and design flaws only get fixed if the developer is competent in the OS involved. Clearly RM folks are challenged by the mac environment and could not afford outside expertise.

The mac and OS issue aside, you’d also need to get some professional testers who were extremely well-versed in genealogy and genealogy programs to know what kind of junk to throw at the program.

An excellent suggestion but just as a matter of interest how much were the programs that you were developing selling for?

Remember that genealogy is pretty much a niche market with very small companies developing software. Many of them only have one or two developers and maybe a half dozen to a dozen overall employees, if that many.

All internal work so not sold to any other company.