Why do I have to sign in even though I have already signed in?
Using FamilySearch from my home computer I click on "Keep me signed in for 2 weeks". But an hour later if I try to access the site I am asked to sign in again. Even if I have a FamilySearch page open in one tab of my browser if I attempt to access a FamilySearch URL in another tab I am presented with the sign in screen. The timeout on my session is therefore much less than 2 weeks. FamilySearch is aware of my sign in, even if it fails to acknowledge it, because if I enter the URL of an image on the site, I am presented with the image without requiring a sign in, and the top of the page shows my account information. So why am I forced to sign in again within the two week period to access some pages on the site, but not others?
A related issue has arisen in the past couple of months as FamilySearch has added capabilities to the website.
I have been doing family history for over thirty years, since before FamilySearch was created and I had to transcribe information from microfilm at a library or family history centre. With in a year of the announcement of the invention of the Web at CERN I had already created my own web-site which permitted me to access my research notes from any device with access to the Internet, so I no longer had to carry all of my notebooks with me if there was a computer at the location with internet access or later with WiFi. I record additional information about transcriptions of individual source documents beyond what is recorded by FamilySearch. In particular observe how in the following screenshot I have associated links to individuals in my FamilyTree from my transcription of a marriage registration. If you look at the bottom of the left window you will see the associated image URL on FamilySearch. But despite the fact that I am already signed in to FamilySearch when my application attempts to open the image URL so it can be consulted in parallel with my transcription, I am asked to sign in AGAIN.
If I proceed with the sign in from this sub-window I eventually get to the page containing the image, but that page replaces the entire page, not just the <iframe>, so I cannot consult the image in parallel with the transcription.
The URL displayed here is https://www.jamescobban.net/Ontario/MarriageRegDetail.php?Domain=CAON&RegYear=1876&RegNum=6182&lang=en
I can access the image in a different tab by copying and pasting the image URL https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9Q97-Y39G-3J7, and when I do FamilySearch recognizes that I am already signed in and just displays the image without demanding that I sign in again. But I can no longer open the URL within an <iframe> which means my ability to compare the transcription to the original image is lost.
The intention of this change is perhaps understandable, FS wants to track who is accessing its resources and so demands a sign in. Why demand a sign in if I am already signed in so you can trace my use? Ancestry made a similar change a few years ago. For example https://www.jamescobban.net/Ontario/MarriageRegDetail.php?Domain=CAON&RegYear=1873&RegNum=10032&lang=en is an example of a document transcription on my site that references an image on Ancestry. Ancestry blocked displaying all URLs within an <iframe>, so I had to add functionality that if the image URL is on Ancestry I must open it in a separate tab, negating the intention of verifying the transcription in parallel. Even though I have been a paying customer of Ancestry for over two decades Ancestry refuses to rethink this inconsiderate behavior. I am just trying to promote your services by including links to your site from within my site. Because of Ancestry's lack of cooperation I have had to replace almost all of my links to Ancestry documents. The one above is left simply to test that part of the functionality of my site.
You can see my functionality working for a document whose original image I created myself by scanning the microfilm at https://www.jamescobban.net/Canada/BirthRegDetail.php?RegDomain=CAON&RegYear=1915&RegNum=37234&lang=en
Access to the information on my site is free for non-commercial use and in addition to English, French, German, and Spanish the information is available in machine-readable JSON and XML to registered accounts.