TMG 8 Review

I guess I’d better say a few words about Wholly Genes’ The Master Genealogist, version 8, now. It has been a while since I wrote about the public beta release, so here are a few words about the final [sic] release.

Since Wholly Genes released their still-buggy TMG Version 8 in December, things have gotten a lot more interesting on the home front. I am still occupied with cleaning up and fixing the output from Version 7 documents, so have not really tried the new features other than to compare them to the old.

The major change for me was the Windows 7 printing capability. It works, to a degree. I cannot open a MS Word-format document in Writer without crashing it. Instead, I have to use RTF (Rich Text Format) output. There is not a whole lot of difference between the output required, and RTF is more common than Word 97, so it is satisfactory.

One other thing that particularly irks me about the reports is the changes Wholly Genes made to the Journal report. Although it is adequate to the format, the output needs extensive fixes to conform to either the NEHGS or the NGSQ Register style. In particular, I am not very happy with the forced use of “ibid” in footnotes. This problem does not occur with endnotes, which are “uniqued” for the style now. Yuck! Even more reason to write your own reports with data extracted in raw form from TMG.

I am still particularly interested in the GEDCOM import/export issues with TMG versions 7 and 8. They both continue to have numerous flaws. I tried the export in TMG 8 with the option for all tags and not all tags were exported. This is a serious flaw, especially for someone who might not examine the output before sending it off to a correspondent.

I need to export a number of major projects for backup and further processing in other applications, and this is impossible to do. To quote from my review of the public beta: “TMG’s deliberately removing a researcher’s work from public sharing or even for private backup is a grievous mistake that could have legal and ethical consequences …”.

Again, as I wrote in the public beta review “the rest of the changes are minor and more appropriate for a minor number release, say 7.5.” Tamura Jones also wrote a review of the beta version. His review is an excellent portrayal of the rest of TMG’s faults, and any potential user should read it.

While it is nice to use TMG 8 on a Windows 7 machine, I will be sticking with TMG 7 on Windows XP in a virtual machine for a while. I will use version 7 until Wholly Genes fixes a bunch more bugs and gets version 8 stable enough for full release status. Finally, by the time 2015 rolls around (the year Microsoft ends support for the TMG database backend), I’ll probably have my own genealogy application up and running with a full data set extracted from TMG, in complete form. So, until then, we’ll keep struggling with the best and worst of the genealogy applications on the market: The Master Genealogist.


© 2012 N. P. Maling — Sea Genes – Family History & Genealogy Research