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<April 2014>

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# Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Try Family Tree Maker 2008 in Beta
Posted by Diane

If you're a technologically adventurous genealogist who loves being first to play with the latest gadget, you can give the next incarnation of Family Tree Maker a whirl.

Family Tree Maker 2008 is slated for official release in August, but The Generations Network is letting you download a beta version now at

(Editorial aside: What's with the erratic version naming? Things were moving along fine with 1 through 11, then we got year names with versions 2005 and 2006, then back to numbers with Family Tree Maker 16, and now we're on version 2008. Is this just to confuse users into thinking they've missed an upgrade?)

Files created with the beta version may or may not open in the release version. Among other warnings (it's almost like the genealogical equivalent of bungee jumping): The beta Family Tree Maker 2008 will stop working August 24, so you should export any stored GEDCOMs before then.

We hear the program interface is radically different with this release, so we're curious about your thoughts. Post them here or on the Product News and Reviews Forum.

Genealogy Software
Tuesday, July 10, 2007 12:05:35 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
Wednesday, July 11, 2007 2:25:11 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Here are some other bloggers' comments on Family Tree maker 2008 beta:
Saturday, July 14, 2007 10:24:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I'm quite disappointed that they've decided to discontinue support of reading Family Archive database CD-ROMs - even though the software company's related companies are still selling these kinds of CD-ROMs in their online store.

I encourage anyone who uses FTM and especially those who own data CDs to take a close look and send feedback to the beta feedback email address letting them know what you think about this.

Be aware that this is a complete re-write of the software from the ground up so what you see now is essentially a 1.0 beta that has a lot of changes in feutures and functionality. This may be intentional as the product shifts to being more of a web based client built as a front end to as much as it is a standalone GEDCOM type database manager.

Beyond that, many people including myself are unable to import large databases from the previous version, and there has been a lot of talk on a user mailing list about compatibilty (or lack of it) in the inability to write files that can be read by previous versions.

Initially I was pleased with some of the new interface, but it looks like some other features have also been changed. I spent an hour with it tonight trying to start a new tree from scratch and gave up. The online search results were much more limited than the previous version, and in a way that I found unhelpful. Personally I find the software user interface much less intuitive than the last version, and downright annoying as I try to figure out how to do common tasks and find them buried a few menus further down than before.

It looks to me like they have a long way to go for an August release, or to even get this out by the end of the yaer if they want stable product.
Thursday, July 26, 2007 8:20:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
It took me ten days to merge my gedcom file into the beta file and by the time it finished, it was extinct and had to be uninstalled and a later version downloaded. The newest version, the first thing I looked at is my dad born in 1916 is only 71 years old????? don't think it calculates very well.
ECW Burns
Friday, August 24, 2007 1:43:54 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I've played with the Beta version since it was first available. I am extremely disappointed. I started from scratch without and my information would magically be changed or some information would disappear when I returned a few days later. I've been thru a couple of version of Family Tree Maker and I have been most happy with Family Tree Maker 2006. It is easy to navigate and interfaces well with online information. I get a sense that the creator of the Beta version does NOT have a real understanding of we actually do with tree software. It is not particularly user friendly and seems to suit a programmer's ideas more than genealogists' needs. I vote to make it go away and try again without all the cutesy programming think tank ideas.
Judy Sabo
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