Legacy 8 review

Well, the day finally arrived, years after we expected to see it, but version 8 of the Legacy Family Tree has been released!

My biggest fear was that the old way of doing things would be completely gone and that there would be a totally redone and updated core to the software.

The good View all articles about news here”>news is there is little apparent change, what an old user expects is what is there. The ribbon for the menu’s has been added, and there are some more little tweeks, but overall it is the same program. Just as with Microsoft products, the ribbon is taking a real challenge to get used to, but I expect I’ll get there just like I did on Microsoft Word, Excell, OneNote, etc.

The bad View all articles about news here”>news is it is the same old program! I was hoping some major changes would happen, but other than some bells and whistles, I don’t see anything compelling for the upgrade, especially when we have been hearing it has been worked on for several years now.

A new feature I do like is the sharing of events with family members. That has been a nice added feature, and already has saved me time. I made a mistake on the event, and only had to change the original one, and not go hunt down the many family members to make the changes. The sad part is there is just too many clicks to make the thing work. In fact I have come close several times to just not bothering to go through the process because of the extra time it takes to do it. It must be faster than the old process of opening each person, waiting for the computer to get a person open, then adding a new event and then pasting the event and making highlight of the data or changing it to fit the person. While doing the new process, it seems slower!

The next thing I don’t like is the changes to the media handling. I use the document file name to help me make the caption for each document.  A person now chooses the file and then blindly adds the caption and information. Then, instead of the nice thumbnail it used to make, there is the generic document icon in its place. I have not found a way to change the icon to thumbnails, but suspect I will not find it! So, while I applaud the new system, and understand what they may have been doing, I feel it made things more complicated than the old system. My vote is to either really improve the interface so there is less clicking, and actual thumbnails return, or nix this “improvement” for the good old system, that was clunky, but nice.

The next thing that bothers me is the slowness of the new system. It seems to take much longer for the processes to happen. Export of a gedcom takes so much longer, it may be the biggest deal breaker for me. I have to do an export each week of all the data for the website update and since it is at the end of a long day, making it longer by having to wait so much longer just to produce a file that can be exported, on top of  all the other long processes, has really been a bummer.

As for crashes, I get quite a few of them. I was excited at first because I saw an error code flash before shut down, but that has been the only one I have seen. The rest of the time the program just shuts down immediately. The problem is, without an error code, it is hard to chase down the problem.

I now understand why the delay for this release. There really does not seem to be that much that changed and the jury is still out as to whether or not it was worth the upgrade. The old problems of unrefined processes is still very much still a problem. The software is frankly too clunky to add data to other than just simple names of an immediate family. It may be their only focus. I am a heavy user and do lots of data input each day. It may be that I over use the little program and really do need to move away from the software. It is just I see so much good rough material I wish would be polished up and refined into a real gem as it seemed to be several years ago and several versions ago!

But that brings me back to the beginning. I was afraid the changes would be very drastic, because the core software would be refined and replaced with better and more robust programming. If the software is only aimed at the masses that seem to do nothing more than list their little family and stay within a small group, this software is a great bargain and harkens back to the Broderbund type of software that was cheap and fairly fun to use, but by no means for serious and heavy use!

Don’t get me wrong! The software may still be fine for everyday users. I’m just thinking I should have jumped ship a few years ago after all. As much as I hate to do it, I guess it is time to start rolling things to another system.

I’m hoping to take the time and go back and give updates on each of my complaints, but feel the effort may not be worth the effort.

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