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TMG9 a Huge Disappointment


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#1 jak

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 08:04 AM

I have been waiting since V7 for TMG to move from the long obsolete Visual FoxPro environment to a modern programming environment that fully supports multiprocessing CPUs, large RAM and UNICODE.

 

I was devastated when V8 was released, again based on obsolete software technology. A number of users pointed out the need for TMG to be rewritten in order to support the improved hardware/software environment. This was met by stony silence from Wholly Genes.

 

Now, V9 is announced with the comment "After eight free upgrades in v8, there is a charge for this upgrade." While I have no problem in principle with supporting Wholly Genes and paying for a new version, let me humbly point out that a new version should not be defined by how many free updates to the previous version have been released. A new version implies significant new functionality.

 

I my view, V9 should have been called v8.09, since the long hoped for rewrite and upgrade are still nowhere in sight.

 

I use a high end laptop with current generation multi-core CPU and 16 GB RAM. TMG uses little of this. I might as well be running on an IBM PC/XT.

 

Re-indexing my large database takes 9.5 minutes. The process uses 12.5% of 1 of 8 available cores and only 309.5 MB of the available 16 GB RAM. In addition, TMG9 still does not fully support UNICODE (for non-Western alphabets) and will never support it as long as it is Visual FoxPro based. Also, TMG has never included a high quality export function, allowing data to be exported to a neutral environment.

 

I really can't put into words how frustrated and disappointed I am with Wholly Genes and TMG.

 

TMG should have migrated to a modern software environment several years ago. Will it EVER happen? I'm doubtful.

 

I like TMG quite a bit and would like to see it improve. Based on V9, I'm very depressed and discouraged.



#2 Helmut Leininger

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 09:45 AM

Jak,

 

although being a TMG user since V6 and being fond of its power and its features, I definitely share your frustration about UNICODE. My main language is German (as well as most names), but as I am Viennese, I have a large number of Czech ancestors and names in my database. Many of them would have national Czech characters in their names and they cannot be well translated into "standard" characters. Not to speak about my wife's ancestors from Latvia, where they used the Russian alphabet during a long time.

 

I have already considered to move to another program because of the UNICODE problem, but unfortunately, I did not find a program speaking German and having the features that I am used to in TMG. And a migration to another program is quite costly in terms of time and maybe loosing information for larger projects.

 

I hope TMG is already working on this complex, but they don't give away any information, not to speak of a commitment. And there will be a point in time when I will be at the end of my tether.


Regards
Helmut

#3 charlottesometimes

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 08:12 PM


I agree with the 2 previous comments - waiting patiently for a big leap in the structure of the software. At some point the cost/benefit of moving to a new program weighs heavily toward moving. Hope I don't get to that point.

 

Thanks for having a forum to express my opinion!



#4 postalcae

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 07:19 PM

I have already downloaded Roots Magic and working on exporting my TMG file into it.  Even if I have a lot of work to do I think it will be worth it.

 

We have been asking for an upgrade for several years now.  But all we hear is crickets.  If TMG comes out and says that yes we will update our software I will wait.

 

But unless I hear something I am moving on.  Silence is telling me no they won't.

 

Just drop us an encouraging note BV.



#5 John Weidner

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 07:41 PM

I read the posts here and I'm very leary of "upgrading" to version TMG v. 9.

 

When TMG v. 8 came out, I "upgraded" and almost immediately "downgraded" to version 7 and I'm still there.

 

Is version 9 even worth the effort to try the trial version?

 

I have a system backup so, getting rid of it is just a matter of a 30 minute recovery time.

 

With so much time and effort invested in TMG and the website capabilities with Second Site, I'm hard pressed to just drop TMG and migrate to Roots Magic. And for me Family Tree Maker is out of the question. FTM is the reason I switched to TMG.

 

Comments appreciated.


Edited by John Weidner, 25 February 2014 - 07:41 PM.


#6 Helmut Leininger

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 02:25 AM

John,

 

If you were not satisfied with V8, you probably won't find many new things in V9 (which is very close to V8). It depends on your preferred method of working. You might have a look at the Change log at the top of this forum.

 

On the other hand, playing a bit with the trial version is not a big effort. But you should pay attention to the fact that V8 and V9 internal file structure is not backwards compatible with V7 - so you should try only with a copy.


Regards
Helmut

#7 nbradley

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 05:34 PM

John,

 

It looks like there are a few known issues with V9.00 which presumably will be fixed in V9.01. None of these issues have impacted me, V9.00 has worked without a single problem. I don't recall having issues with Version 8. I certainly upgraded the day it came out and took every minor release without issue. If you had problems with 8.00, surely they were resolved by 8.08.

 

The difference for most users between 8 and 9 is pretty minor but if you are still on Version 7 then you are starting to be quite out of date. My suggestion would be to upgrade to 9.01 when it is released.


Cheers, Neil
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#8 Marlene Williamson

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 06:48 PM

I have to say that I have had a number of issues with TMG8 - minor but consistent. In particular, the use of the tab key, or even clicking in another field results in an open.database dialog box. So far in TMG 9. I haven't had this happen. I've had many genealogy recording programs over the years and irrespective of old platforms etc, I greatly appreciate the ability to add events to one individual and attach others to it - a feature which I use extensively and value above all others. I am delighted to have the opportunity to choose to use it or not, and in my case, I choose to. Those who do not find it suits their needs have an enormous range of other applications they can use, if it suits their needs better.



#9 John Weidner

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 07:22 PM

I finally bought version 9. Will start entering in data this weekend. Curious how this progresses.

 

In the meantime, I'm with JAK in one regard, this should have been TMG v8.09. The program appears to be much the same as v8. One noticable improvement, on my system at least, much faster performance. So far so good.



#10 Stephen Hansen

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 08:54 AM

I've been using TMG since TMGv6 (1997) and have found that, for most purposes, v7 and v8 were minor upgrades.  I only purchased v8 six months ago and didn't bother to actually install it for another three.  I see no compelling reason to upgrade to v9 for many of the reasons mentioned in earlier posts.  There's a lot of inertia involved with changing to a completely new genealogy program and I only moved to TMG when my orignial program could no longer be installed successfully to the latest version of Windows.  I really don't want to move away from TMG and the last time I looked there wasn't another program that seriously tempted me to do so (although I suppose it's time to look again).  My biggest concern with TMG is the lack of innovation over the past three major versions. It would be great to see Bob V. post a list of "Here's what we see as improvements in the future...".  Even if there's no fixed timeline it would be a relief to know that something like a modern database is at least in the works.



#11 elevator

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 07:57 AM

I am also a long time TMG user and I too find myself rather disappointed. Unlike some commenters here though, I really liked version 8 and think it was worth the upgrade, but I admit I had hoped for greater things for version 9. It definitely has the "feel" of a minor upgrade rather than a major one and after careful consideration I have also come to the conclusion that it is simply not worth the money.

I have no problem paying for these upgrades if there was some sign from WhollyGenes that resources are being put into migrating the program away from the outdated technology on which it is currently based. UNICODE didn't really use to be an issue for me, but in an increasinly international world it is slowly becoming absolutely essential.

So while TMG continues to be a fantastic program, the lack of reassuring communication from WhollyGenes that resources are being directed towards a fundamental update of the underlying database engine prompts me to simply stick with version 8 for now. If, meanwhile, the need for unicode becomes too great to continue to ignore I'll consider switching software at that point. But I am cautiously optimistic that a proper update will be announced before that...



#12 E Wilcock

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:02 AM

As a genealogist rather than an  IT expert, I read this thread and decided to  upgrade from  8 Gold UK to 9.

If I am using software for an important hobby and historical research as well and for which I rely on the help of the support experts it seems only fair to keep up with the latest version.

 

It would be nice not to have to rely on the famiiar experts so much! None of this software and terminology is easy for non-IT people and I personnally would like TMG to be simpler to use, rather than to be offered more complex options on every upgrade.  I have barely learned how to add multiple people at once (getting so forgetful in old age) and wish I had known that upgrading from TMG 7 to 8, I would inadvertently wipe my Second Site languages. I shall also update my Second Site software. 

 

In this household we do use - and use happily - programmes based on discontinued databases.  Software that ran on Windows xp and 32 bit now runs on Windows 7 in 64 bit. It would make no major difference to me to change the basis of TMG, tho I assume from this thread that it might handle Russian and Hebrew?. 

 

Far more important is the general shift to cloud based and portable data. Files no longer tie one to an expensive programme but can be opened and read by different software. The development of Linux, and reliable free software could well mean the eventual demise of commercial programmes like TMG, making heavy investment unprofitable.  I have switched to free software now for my academic work, as have other retired academics I know. 

 

I stayed with TMG because there is as yet no free software that will do exactly what I want and give me my data on my Android phone.  I like they way Second Site generates my website or Family history discs. 

 

Of the commercial genealogy programmes, as far as I can see, there is a possible contender.  However, the cost would be roughly the same, and the labour of moving my data from one programme to another would bring no advantage. The programmes on offer have changed little since I selected TMG in about 2003. And for me the difficulty of learning to use any unfamiliar software is always frustrating and a diversion from getting on with the research.



#13 Helmut Leininger

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:48 AM

Far more important is the general shift to cloud based and portable data.

Demands are different. I definitely do not want my data stored somewhere in the cloud out of my control, subject to any possible hack and misuse. I like my data stored locally - and a possibility to publish extracts.


Regards
Helmut

#14 Procat

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 05:25 PM

Far more important is the general shift to cloud based and portable data.

Demands are different. I definitely do not want my data stored somewhere in the cloud out of my control, subject to any possible hack and misuse. I like my data stored locally - and a possibility to publish extracts.

Totally agree. Do not trust having it out of my control and in the hands of an organisation which may or may not be here in 6 months time.


Doug

#15 E Wilcock

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 12:55 AM

I agree. If that were the case. But it isnt. I have my Zotero bibliography data both on my hard disc (plus back up drive) but on Zotero website too so I can consult it from my phone or add to it when e.g. going round a museum. My Evernote similarly is on this computer but also on the cloud. My diary is on my computer, on my phone and on line. And my cloud data is password protected. And with any  software that syncs on line, one is strenuously warned to keep back ups.

If a programme site folds - the data remains and can be transferred. I moved the info in from other defunct software.

I should add that I differentiate between sensitive and non-sensitive data in which I would include genealogical databases. My on line data is not sensitive. My choice, we do not bank, keep accounts or do our tax return on line.

I am not suggesting that  it is wise to keep ones data in the Cloud, only that this is the way things are going and for genealogy, it might have considerable advantages. 

Where computers and information are concerned, things are moving so fast that I have deferred replacing my Windows xp Netbook until things get clearer. Tho it is clear that my opting to renew TMG, does commit me to buying a Windows lap top and not switching to a tablet with Android. Or an i-pad.

Thus it is not surprising that we dont have TMG announcing any future moves.

Any significant re-design might even feel threatening to established users of TMG. Our own plunge into the modern world came about only because my husband took a  definite decision to keep up with the times. Old age makes us forgetful. He missed the old Palm PDA in his pocket and I wanted to run Gedstar Pro. So he innocently bought me the latest Android  smartphone in the week it was released in the UK.

Few people knew how to work it and it took a week of my life - but I  was dragged into the brave new world of apps and instant internet.

Once there, one's expectations change. Any existing genealogy programme looking for a newer, younger customer base, needs to take this internet, social media addicted generation into account. 

And the information availabe to us non-experts has also been transformed. I can go to Wikipedia "Comparison of genealogy software" and see at once which software uses unicode and which does not. Sure, the info on TMG is on Version 8 still, and one will need to check on other sites and read reviews, and forums to get a realistic picture of User experience. But Wikipedia  is a good first port of call  for anyone in search of software for almost anything.

What I do observe is that in 2003 when I moved to TMG, I tested three top choices. In 2014, TMG remains in my top three but the two possible alternatives have changed - and that is simply due to my changing expectations.

 

 

.



#16 elevator

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 12:33 PM

Demands are different. I definitely do not want my data stored somewhere in the cloud out of my control, subject to any possible hack and misuse. I like my data stored locally - and a possibility to publish extracts.

 

I agree; I do not like my data in a cloud-based environment either, but I recognize the value of it. Right now my system consists of a centralized Linux LAMP server running webtrees on which I have a basic and very abridged version of my research. I use this data to collaborate with other researchers and interested family members. Any changes made by outsiders are then synchronized with my original database after being sourced. For this reason a version of TMG that support a cloud-based database has never been important to me. I like to be able to personally guarantee the veracity of the data that ends up in my database and therefore having an external database completely isolated from my original TMG database works for me and has proven incredibly useful when collaborating with others.

That said; I do like TMG for what I am currently using it for. I just don't think version 9 adds much over version 8; and certainly none of the platform issues I think many users were hoping for: maybe not a complete fix, but at least some indication that it is on the horizon.
 



#17 Helmut Leininger

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 01:26 PM

Right now my system consists of a centralized Linux LAMP server running webtrees on which I have a basic and very abridged version of my research. I use this data to collaborate with other researchers and interested family members.


I am doing more or less the same. I Use TMG for my researches. From time to time I export a part of the information to GEDCOM und import it into webtrees for publishing (only).


Regards
Helmut

#18 kandota

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:43 AM

I began using genealogy software in 1991 with Roots3.   In Feb 2000, with a new WIndows 98 computer, I migrated to Ultimate Family Tree (UFT).   Soon after, I learned that UFT was to be no longer supported.  I bought TMG4.0 in December 2000, but lost interest in doing another migration.   :angry:  I continued using UFT on the Windows98 computer until Feb 2014, when I bought TMG9.0 for my Windows7 laptop.  I migrated to TMG4, and then to TMG9.   

 

The migration from UFT to TMG went pretty smooth, altho I spent quite abit of time massaging my data.   I'm impressed with everything TMG can do. Many times I think of things that would be neat to do or search for . . . and lo-and-behold I find that TMG can do it!  Someone has already thought of it!   

 

Just wanted to add my 2 cents.   I'm happy with finally reaching a plateau with new and powerful software.  TMG9 is not a disappointment for me.

I love it.


Edited by kandota, 15 April 2014 - 11:44 AM.


#19 TomP

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 01:44 PM

I was getting ready to order and upgrade to my TMG7.04 but, thankfully, I stepped in here to read this thread.  Glad I did!  WhileI am, overall impressed with what all TMG can do, I've been underwhelmed with the TMG User's Manual and  thankfully found a third-party publication that is world's better than the manual that came with the product which, to be quite honest, is nowhere near the quality of the software itself!  That said, I still am amazed at the power of what the software can do.

 

One thing, however, that struck me in this message thread is the lack, after just over 2 months of the time this thread has been active, of any response whatsoever of the Wholly Genes staff to any of the points brought up by the various users. No, "We're working on that...", "That's not feasible because..." or even a "That's not the case/truth because..."  It's as if nobody in the company cares what the user's think or believe!  Does anybody read the posts that are here?  Feedback from customers is part of the lifeblood of any company because it tells you how your product is doing.  Feedback from a company tells the customer that somebody is listening and cares.  Future customers see/hear/read what present customers say and often make (or don't make!) purchases based on the dialogue between customers and company.  That is, I believe, a known fact.

 

I wonder if this message will generate any company feedback or if it's just a wasted effort.  One thing is certain, and that is there will be no upgrade purchased by me for TMG unless a two-way conversation between customers and company starts soon!


Tom Putnam



#20 Michael Hannah

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 04:12 PM

Hi, Tom,
 
I am not part of the Wholly Genes staff, but will try to address some of your concerns.

While I am, overall impressed with what all TMG can do, I've been underwhelmed with the TMG User's Manual and thankfully found a third-party publication...

I won't argue with you on this one, but I seem to recall that Wholly Genes specifically announced they were no longer maintaining a User's Manual? I would guess that whatever Manual you have states that it is for an older version? Much of what it includes probably will still be correct, but will not include later changes/additions.

 

In contrast, I believe you will find the internal HELP documents provided by Wholly Genes fully up-to-date for the version and very complete.  I do not have any direct knowledge, but I would guess that the company is following the trend of many software companies who find maintaining a manual simply too costly, and have changed to internal HELP files.

 

That said, I still am amazed at the power of what the software can do.

I agree, but that forms a contrast to some of the other comments like "None of this software and terminology is easy for non-IT people...". In my opinion if it were easy it would not be powerful, and the price for its power and flexibility is a certain learning curve. I am willing to invest in that curve in order to obtain that power, and believe that investment is well worth it for anyone wanting a serious genealogy package.

 

One thing, however, that struck me in this message thread is the lack, after just over 2 months of the time this thread has been active, of any response whatsoever of the Wholly Genes staff to any of the points brought up by the various users.

I cannot speak for Wholly Genes, but in my opinion most of the points brought up in this thread have been brought up many times before and commented on by Wholly Genes many times before. In my opinion giving the same reply month after month seems pointless, but that is just my opinion.

 

Probably the most persistently recurring comment for many years is about the lack of Unicode support, which is the comment that started this thread. Wholly Genes repeatedly had stated in the past that providing such support would require a complete rewrite of the software to use a completely new underlying database engine. They also repeatedly have indicated a policy not to announce specific development plans. My guess is that this small Wholly Genes company does not currently have the resources to undertake such a major project in the immediate future.  But even if they were at work on it, they would not announce or "promise" its release.

However, in my opinion, if we users who like this product do not support this small company by purchasing the upgrades, they never will have enough resources to maintain the software or add the new features (like Unicode) we may desire. While I like many of the new features in TMG9 which were added at the specific request of users, a major reason for me spending what I found a relatively small amount on the upgrade was to continue to support this company and a product I value.

Just one user's opinion,


Michael
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