Monday, July 31, 2017

Changing Genealogy Software

Back in 2007 I downloaded a trial version of iFamily genealogy software, and fell in love with it. Despite some deficiencies in reports and charts, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) was much superior in my view to anything else I experimented with. Also, instead of being the product of a company, it was the product of an individual, who responded quickly with new updates fixing bugs, and adding features. The developer, Keith Wilson, passed way in December of 2008. His son took over, but maintaining his father's program wasn't his full-time job, and updates became less frequent.

I still haven't found a competitor with a GUI that I like as much. But I have found a competitor with a GUI I can accept, and with additional features that make it very attractive. (Including its price - Free.) FamilyTreeBuilder from MyHeritage. It is true that they want you to sync your tree with a premium MyHeritage account. But it isn't required for most of the offline features to be fully functional.

I could continue to update in iFamily, and whenever I wanted to create a report/chart export a GED and open it with FamilyTreeBuilder. But that becomes a hassle, and I rather like how FamilyTreeBuilder handles Hebrew-Gregorian date conversion and a handful of other features.

I noticed when I transferred the data, for individuals with both natural and step parents, both sets of parents got labeled as natural. I've had to manually fix a few entries. However, I also like that two sets of parents can be set as 'natural.' It allows an easy way for children to be included in reports that they wouldn't be if they were recorded as 'step-children.' And with a growing number of parental options in today's society, how an individual might define 'natural' may vary depending on the situation.

I will miss the iFamily GUI. But after almost 10 years it is time for me to change software programs.

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