Puzzling changes to FS for Descendancy research.
I am an avid researcher in FS doing descendancy research. Recently, as I opened FS to continue my descendancy work the means to open four generations was no longer there in its typical configuration. With some help, I found that instead of one click to expand from one generation to four generations to begin my search for needed ordinances there was now a new path that required a new and additional route (more "clicks")to get to four generations in the Descendancy mode. Why was it deemed necessary to change something that has been working fine for years, and add more steps to get to the four generation view? As a former missionary in the South I was taught a saying by an old hillbilly that will remain with me all of my life - "If is ain't broke don't fix it!!!!" It wasn't "broke" the way it was. Why frustrate your FS users with a needless change?
I kind of like that they are making an effort to make the pedigree views as clean as possible by clustering and combining all the controls.
However, I would suggest that since the landscape pedigree and the portrait pedigree both show four generations and the fan chart shows seven generations, that the default view of the descendancy pedigree be set to at least three, if not all four generations. Showing just one generation is nothing more than what one can see in the Family Members section. I can't think of a single time I have gone to the descendancy chart and not immediately set it to four generations. Having the page set that way to start with would be much more useful.2
"fan chart shows seven generations"
The feature enabling the and 7th generation is now missing or gone.0
When you click on the slider/options you will find the 7 generation option is still there.2
Why do they have to HIDE this??2
I agree with the comment by Mr. Morris regarding the change for descendancy research. It was much better the way it was. It is a bother the way it currently stands.0
I agree with Gordon that the move toward consistency in the interface is not a bad thing. The fact that it's a move toward consistently hidden controls is unfortunate but predictable, based on the disimprovements to the Search and Find interfaces.
I also agree that a descendancy chart set to one generation is pointless. I can get that by looking at the profile details page, without messing with my tree view settings. The descendancy chart should default to four generations, same as the landscape and portrait views.1
Before this change, clicking the "4" for the max # of generation expansion actually expanded to more than just 4 generations. Now the new "hidden" 4 generation button actually only expands out to literally 4 generations. So again, to see more like we used to, we still have to click a bunch of right-arrow buttons all the way down the list. So why limit it to 4? - some programmer is now taking that as a literal max depth to show!? Then how about 7 or 10?0
It seems to be a thing - and not a good one, at that. Hiding the certificate number for vital records is an annoyance at the very least. And what's the point? Surely forcing the user to open the document information box, repeatedly, is more of a strain on system resources than letting the information display as it did before.0
My career was with a major computer company. It was company policy that no change was to be made to user software without advance notice to the user population, including requesting feedback on the effect the planned change would make to the "users". This policy was invaluable because the "users" were always responsive as to the "pros" and "cons" the change would make to them. Most times the feedback had an effect on optimizing the change. Sometimes the user response was, "it isn't broken, don't fix it". Other times the users liked the "change", and sometimes they suggested adding additional things to the change.
The recent change to the Descendancy screen in selecting the number of generations to open is a prime example of "why did you do that, it wasn't broken"!!! Now an extra key stroke is required to get to the number of generations to open. ???????1
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I am a decades long user of FS and served as a FS missionary in the Mesa Family History Center for 6 years. While missionaries there we were taught how to use and teach "Descendancy" research. I have been doing "Descendancy" for years and am very skilled in using the software. During these many years I have witnessed several changes to the FS software. Some are very worthwhile, some are very questionable. I have a sister and brother-in-law who served as missionaries on your staff so I familiar with your staff practices. Once again, I share this to let you know that some of the changes I have seen have been very helpful, others are highly questionable. On the questionable ones, my impression, and the only conclusion I can come to is that the Center's policy is to allow some of your on-staff missionaries to make changes to the user s/w without having a "corporate" practice in place to consider the worth and advisement of allowing each change. I am sure these well-meaning missionaries return home very proud of the fact that they "got to make a change to the s/w.". As a skilled user and software engineer I assure you that this allowable practice is FRUSTRATING, SENSELESS, and DISTRACTING and could be contained and managed to the peace and satisfaction of the vast user population if a qualified review process were implemented to justify changes.
The last change to the way the Descendancy screen is used to select four generations was meaningless, distracting and questionable. I rest my case, you must have allowed a short-time missionary to make the change, without an intelligent review, and who will now return from their mission touting the fact that while there as a missionary they "got to change the s/w"..
I understand that Elder Bednar is the Executive Director of the FHC. At one time I was so frustrated I composed a letter to him requesting his review of this lack of procedure that results in frustration of the vast FS user population. I decided to not proceed to that level.
You probably have no interest in answering this message, but, maybe, in some of your "closed-door" meetings you could discuss this and see if a better policy could be put in place to support your vast user population.
I quote a wise old saying from a hillbilly on my mission to the South, "If it ain't broke don't fix it!!!". The recent change to way 4 generations are chosen for Descendancy research was "meaningless and distracting"!!! And, "it wasn't broke"!!!!
I am sure you have no interest in answering this email either by return message or phone call, but if you want to call, my cell phone number is
My appeal, "Please contain you missionary staff from making these senseless changes to the s/w. before passing the proposal by a qualified review committee".
Thank you for your time and consideration,0