Why I am not upgrading to Legacy 6.0 - or anything else right now

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Last week saw the launch of Legacy 6.0. I have been a Legacy Deluxe user for almost two years since I upgraded from PAF 5 (which I liked because of the advanced search criteria feature). I have always been impressed with the speed at which the Legacy team have been able to accommodate changes/fixes and absolutely *love* the ‘Check IGI’ feature where you can check one individual, all or a focus group against the IGI database and then merge in the information.

A while ago I decided that enough was enough, I had to publish a family history. I have been ploughing away at my family history for 15 years but, like many other genealogists, hadn’t actually produced anything to share with my family except some pedigree charts. I decided to bite off just a small project at first, 4 generations of one family, and I spent hours doing some background research to put my ancestors into historical context for the relevant time period and locations.

My plan was to export a narrative report from Legacy into RTF format, add in the additional information (as it doesn’t really fit into legacy anywhere) and add photos and other graphics. When I took this approach I discovered something about Legacy that I wasn’t aware of, that Legacy’s endnotes/footnotes (for sources) aren’t “real”. What I mean by this is that they are generated as text as the end of the document rather than endnotes/footnotes, even though the RTF format supports this. This meant that I had two options, use the real endnotes of the word-processor which would then create two endnotes lists, or try to insert my endnotes into the text section at the end of the report, meaning I would have to renumber all other endnotes after the one I’d added (in my case renumbering about 100 endnotes).

I enquired about this with Millennia Corp (the company who produces Legacy) and they confirmed that it was not currently a feature. When I pressed further, I was told that it would not be available in version 6.0 (which is true right now). I looked around at some other genealogical programs and discovered that this inadequacy was quite common. This surprised me as any published family history that I have ever seen always has endnotes/footnotes, yet these programs weren’t allowing the user the ability to add further information into the family history together with its sources (something that seemed pretty basic to me). The only program I could find that had this feature (and please email me if I am missing something) was The Master Genealogist 6.0. I had previously assessed TMG 5.0 and at the time didn’t like it but decided to give TMG another shot in its new incarnation. I downloaded a demo and after playing with it for a few days decided that it wasn’t too bad from a usability aspect and had some additional features that I could use (such as event witnesses which Legacy also doesn’t have and which bugs me). I imported my Legacy file and discovered that TMG has some issues importing Legacy files; specifically the source citations lose data when they are imported. These are known issues with TMG and are planned for fixing but are not available as at version 6.03.

So I am stuck. Legacy doesn’t have the feature I need, real endnotes/footnotes. TMG does have the feature but without manually checking and updating all my source citations (there is no search/filter option on source or source citation in Legacy to produce a list of those that need changing) I can’t migrate to TMG.

This is why I am not upgrading to Legacy 6.0. I have decided to see which gets fixed first: TMG’s Legacy data import or Legacy’s real endnotes/footnotes feature.

Note: Marina currently uses Legacy 5.0 Deluxe (Aug 10 release) and Gensmarts 1.09.

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