The Road to RootsMagic 8: An Important Update

My mom often accused me of not being able to learn from my mistakes. Years ago, I got burned by giving a date for a feature we were adding, and I promised myself I would never do that again. Then a couple of years later, we pre-announced a deadline for finishing work on our Ancestry integration, with mostly the same result. So, of course, I still haven’t learned my lesson, and once again tried to guess a release date in advance, this time for RootsMagic 8.

RootsMagic 8 is the biggest upgrade in our software’s history. I usually just say something like “it will be done when it is ready” and leave it at that, but we began telling folks that we hoped to have it out by the end of this year (2019). It seemed like a safe estimate, but like those other times this has bitten me, I underestimated the effects of outside influences on our development.

I underestimated the number of times we would have to stop work to fix breaking changes made to APIs that version 7 uses. I underestimated the number of times we would have to rewrite libraries we are using in RootsMagic 8. To be honest, I never thought we would have to actually rewrite commercial libraries from scratch because of their deficiencies, but we have actually had to do that multiple times. I also underestimated the amount of time tracking down bugs in other company’s libraries to help them fix issues that negatively affected performance in version 8.

So, where are we now? RootsMagic 8 won’t be released by the end of the year. And if you ask me for a new release date, I’m not going to say. But here’s what I am going to do…

Several months ago, we started doing blog articles with screenshots. But writing them pulled us off of actual software development, and were less than satisfying to you as a user. We want to do a better job of keeping you up to date on where we are, so I have recorded a 30-minute video below to show you precisely what RootsMagic 8 looks and feels like. As development continues, we’ll try to release more videos (although probably not this long) to keep you in the loop.

We know many of you can’t wait to get your hands on RootsMagic 8, and we are excited to be working on it. We just want to make sure that when we release it, you can depend on it working right.

And if you’re adventurous, we are still looking for more beta testers of all backgrounds to help us make version 8 the best it can be.

I want to thank you personally for your patience and understanding. Hopefully, you can see from the video the extent of the improvements and work that we’re putting into this release. We’re really excited by the feedback that we’ve received so far and we hope that you’ll find it worth the wait.

127 thoughts to “The Road to RootsMagic 8: An Important Update”

  1. No problem; getting it right is much more important than getting it soon. And it increases the anticipation……

  2. Love what you are doing to RM8, I have 2 questions. 1 in RM7 if you change the screen font setting in Windows to anything other than 100% it messes up the report, pedigree chart on screen and on printer. Is this problem fixed in RM8? 2. I have asked over the years if printing pedigree charts can include the photo as PAF did, what about RM8? It’s getting harder and harder to port to an old system that still has PAF to print pedigree charts.

  3. Thanks for the update Bruce. It is much appreciated. Love the new look. It’s going to be a learning curve, but so much easier to use. I’d rather you take your time to make sure it is working right, than have problems after it is released. Your work is amazing and I love being updated on the progress.

  4. Thanks for the video! All the changes look great! I am debating whether to try the beta program, but too excited to wait for the RM 8 to complete. Decisions, decisions! Please take your time working out the bugs though! No rush!

  5. Just watched the Video and had to watch it a couple of times as I had a hard time following the cursor arrow as it is so small. On the next video, could you use the windows setting to enlarge the cursor arrow to make it easier to see for us older folks. Thanks, Ed

  6. TyI believe we are already using 8.6 so do you mean 9?
    I worry you are working too hard.


    Reply: Current version of RootsMagic is You can check under Help>About RootsMagic
    Renee, RootsMagic

  7. Bruce and Team 8:

    It is far more important to get it safe and right than to meet a fanciful delivery date. I can wait as long as it takes, because your team has always been looking out for the RM user community’s best interests.
    Drop us an occasional update on your progress and send up fireworks when you are ready to release!!!


  8. As a ex software developer I learned the hard way to inform the clients as soon as possible not to make rash forecasts. Also it is better to miss a deadline than to hand over substandard software, knowing it would fail.
    Therefore in this instance don’t give dates & release it when it is ready to be released & don’t fell pressured into it.

  9. #1, Will a source template that I have created transfer to RM8? #2, Will a PDF transfer to RM8? I think what has been changed from RM7 to RM8 will make people and documentations easier to input. Thanks for your hard work!

  10. Appreciate the update. This is a good program. I expect the new version will be well worth the date.

  11. Thank you Bruce for keeping us updated.

    I am happy to wait for a stable new RootsMagic.
    I just need to remember to put of the Mac OS update to Catalina.

    BTW, I am not a software engineer. I cannot do programming, but I am an aware user who is not frightened to try out new stuff and features.

    You folks are doing an excellent job.

  12. QUESTION 32bit vs 64bit
    I respect and welcome your decision to finish the work on Ver 8 and get thru beta testing. I use a Mac and need to update to Catalina for other reasons, which does not support 32 bit software.
    Is the current ver (10 Nov 2019) compatible with 64 bit. (I received a dialog box when running the previous version so updated to
    Thank you.

    Reply: Update does not include the new 64-bit CrossOver wrapper. Codeweavers is still urgently working on this.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  13. Getting it right is more important than getting it fast! At least in the case of software…

  14. When will the Codeweavers’ 64-bit CrossOver wrapper for RootsMagic for Mac be available? Before or after release of RootsMagic 8? I know you don’t want to commit to a date but are we talking weeks, months or years into the future?

    Reply: Once RM8 is released RM7 will no longer be updated. Codeweavers has a blog where you can watch their progress and estimates on when their new wrapper will be available.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  15. I have 7 and love it. My wife shares my 7 on her computer with her own program. Will we be able to do that with 8 or will we both have to have our own 8?

  16. As a Windows 10 Insider, I can definitely relate to what you’re going through.
    Fix one thing, and another one breaks. Beta Testers have to be patient when testing and methodical when giving feedback.
    I have faith that you’ll get there.

  17. It would be nice if you knew that a couple had no children you could check a box or something.

  18. I purchased RM because I thought it was the best application for this endeavor. I also (now) use Ancestry, but I still maintain RM as my go to program. RM isn’t the flashiest looking program, but the usefulness and careful and deliberate way it captures our precious data is what sets it apart.

    That takes time. So the “new” version isn’t ready – THAT’S OK, I’LL WAIT.

  19. Very interesting video about Roots Magic 8.

    I’m a french canadian. I know that Roots Magic 7 is in English language only. It’s not a huge problem for me except for the report that I want to publish to my relatives. So, do you plan other languages will be supported in your future development of Roots Magic? Same question about Personal Historian?

  20. Thanks for your honesty. After reading your update plus all these comments, I’m xoncerned. I have purchased RM7 and was about to download via GEDCOM all the family research I’m been doing for several years on to RM7. Should I wait? Was there some major problems with RM7 that I was unaware of (some comments mention bug fixes?)I’m using Windows 10 not MAC. If I continue, I presume that a transition from 7 to 8 will be effortless. – Bob

    Reply: You will have no issue moving your database from RM7 to RM8. Go ahead and enjoy RM7 now.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  21. I have been using Roots Magic for quite some time and really appreciate all you have done with it. I do have a concern about the upcoming version 8. From the screens you have show, it appear that you have removed the capability to find people by the Roots Magic record number. This is a PRIMARY search field for me. Please don’t delete such a useful tool.

  22. Bruce, been with RM since 3 and my, that has been a long time ago. I can wait for 8. When it comes it will be in my hot little hands. Wold love to be a beta tester and like most products that you turn out I expect it to be quality.

  23. Can’t wait for RootsMagic 8. When searching for people will an accent marks pose a problem.

  24. Thank you so much for the helps to keep me from getting upset. I like to know where you are and how your progress is going. I too prefer information as to silence.

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