* Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

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GeneSniper
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Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by GeneSniper »

I was wondering if anyone knew if CP had stopped updating and developing FH7. After 3 1/2 years they should surely have ironed out the problems that would have appeared after release. I was contacted by them ages ago (couple of years) and told they were working on a problem I was having with How Related and that issue still exists. There are also numerous things that could be sorted with inserting data into Create Source from Template and maybe even some more templates.

Is this as far as FH7 is going to be developed and FH8 is going to be the next update?
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by tatewise »

Only CP can answer that question as they do not publish advance release details.
There were 5 updates in 2022 and 4 updates in 2023. The current version is about the 22nd update.
So CP have fixed and updated many features since its release in 2020.
Presumably, you reported the How Related problem using the CP Support Ticket System, so reply to that ticket dialogue and ask why the issue still exists.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by Mark1834 »

GeneSniper wrote: 22 Jun 2024 21:02 After 3 1/2 years they should surely have ironed out the problems that would have appeared after release.
I think you'll find that the current release is rather more than bug fixes - it's a far more capable and refined product than it was in December 2020. Remember that in the real world of having to attract a steady stream of new customers to maintain the cash flow, adding features always takes precedence over fixing every last bug, no matter how much users think they could do a better job.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by GeneSniper »

Hi Mike,

I have contacted them twice since they sent me the email telling me they were now working on it and both requests went unanswered (last time about a year ago), so I just presumed that they weren't bothering to fix it.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by GeneSniper »

Mark,

What new features that will bring in new customers have they added? Generally when a company releases major new features to their software you jump .1 (eg 7.0.22 changes to 7.1) and then any fixes or minor tweaks are added after that 7.1.1 etc Hence why FH 6 was at 6.2.7.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by Gary_G »

GeneSniper;

I actually prefer to see a bit of time between major releases. In an effort to "beat the competition", there are quite a few companies out there that release so frequently that their products aren't fully tested beforehand. Also; major releases generally mean extra cost for users. Personally; I don't want to pay more often than is necessary.

As for fixing existing bugs...
CP has been doing a reasonable job of knocking them off and including them in maintenance releases. Unfortunately; some bugs need a bit more invasive solution in order to maintain the consistency of the overall product. In other cases, fixes need to be coordinated with each other to ensure they don't interfere with each other and spawn other issues. In my experience, these fixes usually end up being released as part of a major release. So; perhaps CP has decided to include the fix for your issue in one of their major releases. And; as noted, end-users often don't have any insight into when those will occur.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by GeneSniper »

I'm with you Gary on major releases, hopefully FH8 is a while away yet. It's just that the last bug fix 7.0.22 was released 9 months ago, so you have to presume that there are no bugs in the system, as they would still be releasing minor bug fixes. I would be very surprised if we are not well past the half life of FH. Not many companies would leave there software out there for over 5 years without a new version release, without at least a major incremental upgrade to stop your users from looking around, unless you are confident none of your competitors are going to overtake you with an update or haven't already. Even FTM realise that and they are in the middle of a war.

There's no sign of a Getting The Most From.... book either.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by Mark1834 »

No - just no bugs that are deemed sufficiently urgent to distract CP from whatever they are focused on at the moment, be it FH 7.1 or 8.0. At least one of their major competitors appears to have moved to an annual cycle of major updates. While it keeps the product "fresh" and "modern" in some minds, the downside is a relatively short free upgrade and bug fix period, so long may the current approach continue...
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by fhtess65 »

I agree. Annual (like Heredis) or bi-annual upgrades are frustrating for users for a variety of reasons.

I'm happy with FH as it is for now and content to wait for either another update to the current version or an upgrade in the next couple of years or so.
Mark1834 wrote: 23 Jun 2024 16:49 No - just no bugs that are deemed sufficiently urgent to distract CP from whatever they are focused on at the moment, be it FH 7.1 or 8.0. At least one of their major competitors appears to have moved to an annual cycle of major updates. While it keeps the product "fresh" and "modern" in some minds, the downside is a relatively short free upgrade and bug fix period, so long may the current approach continue...
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by AdrianBruce »

GeneSniper wrote: 23 Jun 2024 15:09... Not many companies would leave their software out there for over 5 years without a new version release, without at least a major incremental upgrade to stop your users from looking around, ...
Conversely, I wonder if the churn on genealogy software is as great as it used to be. There must be a big percentage of people out there who are convinced they only need the internet to build their trees, so are they going to be convinced otherwise by a desktop product going from version X to X+1?

Maybe the annual and biannual releases of other companies' software are a means to monetise their existing users rather than to acquire new users? In which case, I'm thankful that Calico Pie aren't tweaking things just to get an annual income from me.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by KFN »

For the most part genealogy software is rather mature. My experience is as a commercial software developer that many companies of mature software fall into a couple of categories.
  • The “me too” applications, adding features that other applications added just so they compare well
  • The “new improved user interface”, changing the UI to look flashy/sexy without actually changing the product internals
  • As Adrian said “Make releases just to churn purchases”
Bug fixing tends to be geared toward show-stoppers or easy fixes that don’t require much thought/rewriting. This is by no means a criticism of the industry or FH!

Personally, I am rather happy with where FH7 sits and the functions it has, although I have a few wishes as it relates to reports, since that is why I purchased this application.

The next major update will most likely incorporate the changes needed to use GEDCOM v7 (or v7.1), that is if FH wants to continue to support almost all of the GEDCOM specification, which is again why I purchased the application. This may also be why they have not done many updates as they are waiting for GEDCOM to settle and/or designing a newer database.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by fhtess65 »

At one point, I might have agreed, but with website hacks/ransom demands increasing, I think more and more people are reevaluating their decision to keep a tree online only. I've definitely seen an uptick recently on various genealogy groups asking for advice on software as an alternative, or, at the very least, a form of backup.
AdrianBruce wrote: 23 Jun 2024 20:09 <SNIP>
Conversely, I wonder if the churn on genealogy software is as great as it used to be. There must be a big percentage of people out there who are convinced they only need the internet to build their trees, so are they going to be convinced otherwise by a desktop product going from version X to X+1?
<SNIP>
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by davidf »

KFN wrote: 24 Jun 2024 04:50 For the most part genealogy software is rather mature. My experience is as a commercial software developer that many companies of mature software fall into a couple of categories.
  • The “me too” applications, adding features that other applications added just so they compare well
  • The “new improved user interface”, changing the UI to look flashy/sexy without actually changing the product internals
  • As Adrian said “Make releases just to churn purchases”
Bug fixing tends to be geared toward show-stoppers or easy fixes that don’t require much thought/rewriting. ...
I would tend to agree, but do wonder about the version numbering.

I have caught a nasty chill with version X.0 of software before (anyone old enough to remember Ashton Tate's version 1.0 of dBaseIV?). So I instinctively wait for the first major interim update (e.g. FH 7.1) before considering upgrading. By then, I would expect all major bugs/anomalies to be addressed. I would then expect subsequent interims (7.2., 7.3. etc.) to offer tweaked/improved functionality ("Oh, good", or "that's nice", but not "Wow!"), with a much reduced frequency of point upgrades. Significant new features (for which CP might rightly want people to shell out) then take you to a new version (e.g. FH8)?

If CP with FH7 has got to this state (stable with all the glitches ironed out), I am surprised that they have not moved to 7.1. A version number of 7.0.22 does feel a bit like numerous (even desperate?) attempts to "get it right".
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by tatewise »

FH V7 is now 3.5 years old, and is very stable, although I doubt if all the glitches are ironed out or ever will be.
It adds several new features and fixes some bugs compared to FH V6.2 so I'd recommend upgrading.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by Vyger »

I've been travelling so late to the party but wanted to chime in with a few comments and experiences.
GeneSniper wrote: 22 Jun 2024 21:02 I was contacted by them ages ago (couple of years) and told they were working on a problem I was having with How Related and that issue still exists.
Genesnipper, I have read various similar feedback but personally feel this issue is bigger than an in version update tick. I personally would not assume CP is ignoring the issue, as others have stated I believe it is simply a matter of priorities.
Gary_G wrote: 23 Jun 2024 13:49 I actually prefer to see a bit of time between major releases. In an effort to "beat the competition", there are quite a few companies out there that release so frequently that their products aren't fully tested beforehand. Also; major releases generally mean extra cost for users. Personally; I don't want to pay more often than is necessary.
I totally agree with GaryG, I have been there and done that, seen companies add .X versioning virtually every time they wash the car, I don't know if it is a carrot or what but it certainly didn't make a better product.
fhtess65 wrote: 24 Jun 2024 16:15 At one point, I might have agreed, but with website hacks/ransom demands increasing, I think more and more people are reevaluating their decision to keep a tree online only. I've definitely seen an uptick recently on various genealogy groups asking for advice on software as an alternative, or, at the very least, a form of backup.
I agree Teresa, I have been seeing similar discontentment on Facebook and do what I can to support the powers and benefits of desktop software. There will always be the online quick fix brigade but also many who will evolve to desktop software. Desktop software developers just needs to ensure they provide quality research, reporting and presentation tools online services do not. Online services will be doing the same although I believe they are making a mistake asking subscribers to pay more for the use of those tools.
davidf wrote: 03 Jul 2024 12:23 I would tend to agree, but do wonder about the version numbering.
davidf, only being with FH for 4 years I applaud their honest version numbering. Rootsmagic went from an extremely shaky version 8 release quite quickly through 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4 to 8.5 but still the program did not have ALL the features version 7 did. IIRC adding those remaining missing features then justified at least another version tick so boy was that company in the fast lane, except they were not. They have now jumped to version 10 leaving many users unhappy with the speedy version churn rate.

Most of the shiny new features previously released were never finished to a professional standard, I could write my own book, this is something I find completely different with CP so I am happy with that honest and detailed progress.

A practical example is that Rootsmagic version 9 was released to much fanfare on February 27, 2023, the big thing their users welcomed was Associations.

However, firstly Associations have been part of Family Historian since the first commercial release, secondly Rootsmagic do not preserve these Associations correctly in Gedcom. The result is their users are blindly building data which they will lose on export to another platform, so a proprietary trap. KFN knows his Gedcom standard well and I am sure he may wish to comment. Family Historian, on the other hand does export Associations correctly to Gedcom (example below) so feel free to share this important point with any Rootsmagic friends you may have.

Code: Select all

1 ASSO @I60245@
2 TYPE INDI
2 RELA Co Workers
Rootsmagic 10 still does not preserve this data in Gedcom and from personal experience I would very much doubt this is a development priority.

There has recently been a Family Historian 7.0.23 release but none of us know what will follow that and as stated earlier this version number is ageing. Regardless I believe it will be a very worthwhile update/upgrade when it comes and I much prefer the CP model of development and versioning to several other examples I have experienced.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by GeneSniper »

Vyger wrote: 10 Jul 2024 15:46
GeneSniper wrote: 22 Jun 2024 21:02 I was contacted by them ages ago (couple of years) and told they were working on a problem I was having with How Related and that issue still exists.
Genesnipper, I have read various similar feedback but personally feel this issue is bigger than an in version update tick. I personally would not assume CP is ignoring the issue, as others have stated I believe it is simply a matter of priorities.
Sadly Vyger I don't. A piece of genealogy software not being able to tell the difference between a half sister and a step sister is beyond me. If it looks like you can't fix something, don't notify someone saying you're working on it and if you start and find out it is a bigger fix than you thought it was going to be let the person you told you are fixing it and don't have them hanging on for a couple of years. It's only common decency.

I suppose CP only having two employees for the last few years is maybe part of the issue.
Last edited by tatewise on 10 Jul 2024 16:14, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected quote BBCodes
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

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GeneSniper wrote: 10 Jul 2024 15:56 A piece of genealogy software not being able to tell the difference between a half sister and a step sister is beyond me.
Are you seriously suggesting that FH can't tell the difference between a half sister and a step sister? On what basis do you make that claim?
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

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GeneSniper wrote: 10 Jul 2024 15:56 Sadly Vyger I don't. A piece of genealogy software not being able to tell the difference between a half sister and a step sister is beyond me.
I also have to ask the same question as it does for me?

Oh, BTW, Rootsmagic does not have the ability to report either relationship
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by GeneSniper »

Don’t have Rootsmagic, so it’s not an issue for me. My gripe was that they told me they were fixing it a couple of years ago and have then gone to ground, not repaired it and couldn’t be bothered to contact me and say, tough luck mate it ain’t happening.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by Mark1834 »

William - some friendly advice. You are complaining that FH can't tell the difference between half siblings and step siblings, that CP haven't fixed it, and how they are ignoring you.

However, Lorna and Vyger have both asked you to define precisely what "it" is, and you have ignored their questions. If you can't or won't articulate what you see as the problem, how do you expect it to be fixed?

The only potential issue I can see is that FH does not list step-relationships by default and defines say the step-mother as the wife of the father (even if there is no marriage listed). It also leaves step-sibling relationships blank. Half relationships are described correctly. There is an extensive discussion of step relationships in the program help. Have you read that?

Is that all it is, or something else?
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by GeneSniper »

This all started back in Feb 2021 and Lorna and Mike T were the people who said I should report the problem

https://www.fhug.org.uk/forum/viewtopi ... er#p109815

I reported it and CP looked at it and decided to repair/work on it.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

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At any time over the two years have you tried reopening the same support ticket and asking what is happening?
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by GeneSniper »

Mike

As I said in an earlier post, I have contacted them twice since they told me they were working on it using the ticket number (last time about a year ago) and got no reply. I’ve not bothered about it since then, never bothered keeping the ticket number as I presumed that was their way of working and they would eventually contact me if they sorted it or wanted me to check that it was now working.
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Re: Have CP Stopped Developing/Updating FH7?

Post by LornaCraig »

I had forgotten about that three year old thread. The problem only arises if a parent-child relationship is explicitly set as a step relationship, rather than simply recording the step-parent as the spouse of one of the child’s biological parents. They may be regarding this as low priority because I don’t suppose many people use the explicit step relationship. I suggest contacting them again with a new ticket if you can’t find the old number.
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