Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Answers to my AncestorSplit Questions

After my post FamilySearch Affiliates Update - and Ancestor Split program yesterday, I received an email from Dovy Paukstys, the Chief Technology Officer at Real Time Collaboration, Inc. that answered my questions about the Ancestor Split program.

Here are my questions and Dovy's answers:

Q:  Will Ancestor Split only be available to use with FamilyInsight, or will there be versions that work from within other software programs, like RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, Legacy, etc.? If so, which ones, and when will they be available? If not, it seems to me that FamilyInsight will quickly become the "gotta-have-it" genealogy program for researchers who want to use the New FamilySearch Family Tree online tree.

A:  Currently it's only a premium feature of SharingTime or a part of FamilyInsight. We already feel that FamilyInsight is the "gotta-have-it" programmer for researches who want to use New FamilySearch.  We doubt we will implement it in the other genealogy programs.

Q: Will Ancestor Split be the only product on the market that will perform this task?  Do I have to have a Sharing Time subscription in order to use Ancestor Split in FamilyInsight?

A:  It is a stand-along product when you order a SharingTime premium account. It's a perk of subscribing to SharingTime. We're not sure if it will be the only, but it was a bit of doing to develop. I'm going to give props to Ohana Software and John Vilburn for development of this product. They did this before Ohana Software was a part of the Real-Time Collaboration team.

Q:  Once persons are split by one researcher, what's to keep another researcher from merging them again? Perhaps this is when the "Discussion" feature in New FamilySearch will be used - hopefully, before the split so that there is not a merge battle between researchers.

A:  The same problem exists that someone can re-merge, but the difficulty of resolving it is now mitigated.
Dovy also offered these additional comments:

*  Outside of FamilyInsight (like you can download at SharingTime.com) it is a stand-alone product. You do have to have a premium membership to SharingTime. Once your account has been verified the application interacts with New FamilySearch directly. It works quite well and we've actually given it to FamilySearch as a free support tool. That's what their support staff is now using for split tasks. 
*  AncestorSplit just makes it easy. Say you have an ancestor that has been merged 50 times. We make it easy for you to separate out the parts you agree with and make a new person. It's really that simple.
Thank you to Dovy for the rapid response with answers and comments of my questions. 
I look forward to using Ancestor Split when I am using the New FamilySearch Family Tree and find that I need to disconnect persons from the rest of the tree. 

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