Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wish List for Legacy Family Tree 8

I asked for reader comments in When Will Legacy Family Tree Version 8 be Available? (posted 20 May 2013) and received several email and several blog comment responses.  They included:

1)  Bobbie (in comments) offered:  "Many of us still have to create written genealogies from our data. I've got a huge one to do. I use Legacy Family Tree because it provides real footnotes that will renumber and can be moved as I edit the text. However what won't change is the numbering system. I want the ability to stop following lines by removing the individuals and have the genealogy renumber itself. Is that too much to ask?"

My comment:  An example of what Bobbie would like to have would be useful.  

2)  Jasia said:  "I'm not much interested in Legacy version 8. What I'm interested in is a mobile app from Legacy that runs on Android!"

My comment:  And I would like a FREE one that runs on both Android and iOS.

3) Sholom offered several ideas in email:

* The ability to calculate non-direct blood relations are terrific!  But there is no option to print out such a relation that makes any sense.

My comment:  Sholom illustrates his first point with an example from his database:  "Donald Alvey Wallace [752]: John Thomas Van Hart [128637]'s 1st cousin twice removed's husband's 1st cousin 6 times removed's husband's wife's husband's 6th great-grandnephew."  The report goes up and down several lines in one straight line list of relationships.  The bottom line for me is, that the two persons are not related by blood assuming the research is complete and correct.

* The option to include "old style" or "new style" dates

* The keyword "say" before a date (was born "say 1750"); the keyword "probably" before a date; handling the keyword "between" in a better manner for dates.

My comment:  I would like to be able to type the word "say" rather than "about" for a date, since that seems to be the modern terminology for a date guess in the periodical and book literature (e.g., NGSQ, NEHGR, TAG).

Legacy seems to allow some words for dates - about, between, probably, possibly, maybe, after - but not others.  "Say" changes to "Est" and "estimated reverts to "Est".

* Handling counties that change jurisdiction better.  E.g.,  Eaton (now Wyoming) County, Pennsylvania -- the program gacks and tells me "there is no such county named 'Eaton (now Wyoming)' in Pennsylvania.

* Is there any reason why "tags" are limited to 10?

* The ability to footnote a date of birth (or any event), and place of that event, separately.  There are times when I have one source for the date, and another source for the place.

My comment:  I totally agree, and highly recommend that this be included.

4)  My own ideas and suggestions:

*  It appears to me that Legacy does not have a Description field for places that could be used for cemeteries, hospitals, addresses, etc.  It also "loses" those descriptions when it imports a GEDCOM file with descriptions.

*  Legacy creates Evidence! Explained quality sources pretty well.  I hope that they "sign on" to the FHISO effort to standardize data transfer between software programs, online trees, and other sites.  

*  It appears to me that Legacy checks only County creation dates, and doesn't check Territory/Province/State creation and change dates, or Country name changes (e.g., German states before 1871).  There are towns that have changed names also.  I don't know how best to implement this, but it's one of the problems that I'm bothered about, since I've chosen to use modern geolocations which include modern names of towns, cities, counties, states, provinces, countries, etc.

I don't think I want to be entering my colonial place names like Sholom suggests - my classic one is Raby (now Brookline), no county (now Hillsborough), Province of New Hampshire (now New Hampshire), British America (now United States).  Perhaps the software companies can add a table of some sort for each location that has a list of the correct jurisdictions between two dates, and then pick the correct jurisdiction to print based on the event date.  An alternative would be to permit users to add historical jurisdictions and then link them to a modern place name and location.  My stopgap is to note the record repository and historical jurisdiction in my notes.

*  It is difficult to find out how to create and print some reports.  For instance, a Relationship Chart that shows how two persons are related can be created by going to Tools > Relationship Calculator > select two persons to create chart > select Print button to see the chart.  That works, but it is not in the Reports menu.  The directions are in the Help menu.

*  I would love to see the capability to create a book or a report (with an index and table of contents) with embedded word processor Field codes.  That way, the user could edit the resulting report or book (e.g., do what Bobbie wanted - eliminate extraneous families from the work) and the table of contents and index would adjust in the word processor.  

*  The Research Guidance features needs to be updated.  For instance, in the Preliminary Survey list, there are only six Lineage-Linked databases listed, and none of them are newer than ten years old.  In the Suggested Sources, many more resources are now online (e.g., the Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1915).  

*  The Source, Information and Evidence Quality should be added to the Source Detail box following the Evidence! Explained guidelines.  However, I really like the Surety Level feature and wouldn't want to see that disappear.

*  I would like to see color coding of family lines, and have them be available in reports and charts.  I would also like to see more use of color on the standard charts - e.g., the pedigree chart.

*  Synchronize with FamilySearch Family Tree such that names, dates, places, events, sources, notes, images, etc. can be added easily.  

4)  We don't want much, do we?  The fact is that Legacy Family Tree has so many features that it is almost impossible for an advanced user to remember them all, and it's impossible for a new or casual user to remember them all.  The Help button is my friend.

If readers want to contribute more suggestions to Legacy Family Tree for Version 8, please add them to comments to this post and I'll add them to the wish list above.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Diane O. said...

Randy, I'd like Legacy to incorporate a way to use diacritical marks so I can finally spell my Polish ancestors names correctly.

Richard Hallford said...

The picture/photo function in Legacy looks ancient. I would like to be able to use a picture across several functions. Eg, at the moment, if I want to use a photo for a person, I have to "add" this via the persons edit. If I want this "picture" to be included in an event, I have to again mount it in an event. Same goes for census. I have to "add" it to the sourcewriter, but then I have to "add" it again for an event.
Additionally, the book writing section is very wanting an un intuative. I would like to see an entire update of the book making section.
I would also like to see easier finding of relationships. A "Mind Map" style of presentation of relationships would be helpful, with the ability to edit the presentation.
I would also like to see a real update on the Timeline, or Chronology function. Incorporation of audio/visual material. The current timeline events provided for non US users is really woeful. Yes, I know you can add your own, but this takes time.
I would also like an Android version that synched with my main Legacy prog. Its just to bulky to hump a laptop back and forward to the Library/Archive etc, when an Android device can easily handle simple data entry.
The entire GUI of Legacy, to me, is entirely Un-intuitive. I know my way around a lot of it, but functions are buried all over the place and the help file is often incomplete, incoherent, or nonexistent. Perhaps an "Office Assistant" like there used to be in MS Word, would be helpful that you could switch on and off.
The Research Guidance needs to be more integrated with the "To-Do" module (which itself appears old and clunky). There appears to be no link to the individual research notes and the Research Guidance. In otherwords, you have to go to different places, all related to Research plans, results and "to-do's" that really should be integrated into one flexible module.

Melanie said...

The Families app for Legacy has an Android version. I have it on my Nook.

Teresa said...

I would like:
to be able to add the same event to a number of people (not just a copy - if I update it, it should update across all the people it's attached to)

I write some lengthy notes. I'd like to be able to add html quickly using TinyMCE type buttons (more than just the bold / italic etc options offered at present) In particular I'd like to add tables, lists and links (I export a GEDCOM to an online tree)
I'd like to have these options for info for sources, too (quite a few of my source descriptions are in table form)

I'd like to be able to get a warning re setting living every time I add a person without a birth or death date. And / or Legacy cleverer. At present I seem to be able to have settings so that I can add parents to people born e.g. in the C17th. But because I have no dates for the parents they are set as living. Now got around that by customizing settings - but people born recently are marked dead, unless I remember to change the default.

To dos: I'd like to be able to add locations in a better way (more like locations for events). I've had to change mine - a lot of work - showing larger area (UK county 1st) then place, so when I'm out and about I can easily find places in the part of the country I'm in. Sometimes I want to see a book that's in a couple of libraries or a doc that's on microfiche in 2 record offices, so I'd like to be able to have one "to do" item with more than one location attached to it.

I'd like an app that can usefully show "to dos" (unlike Families, where you can't view them by location or any of the other filter options in Legacy itself)

I'd like to be able to create custom trees, showing people and event details I choose, that I could use to accompany particular family history stories

Teresa said...

And I forgot one - I too would like to be able to add sources separately to date and place, but also to add sources to particular locations within notes.

Anonymous said...

Of course everyone has sent in their suggestions to right? :) :) :)