Thursday, April 3, 2008

PAF, NFS and the Princess Bride

[With apologies to Rob R.]

Princess Peanut Buttercup had a dream of writing a new story, uniting all the families in the kingdom.

"Inconceivable," responded Vicinity.

"As you wish," responded Gentley. You see, Gentley believed in Princess Peanut Buttercup's dream of the New Family Story.


..........."Wait a minute," the little boy said. "This isn't a genealogy story, is it? Old, dead people are boring."

"Who's telling this story?" complained Grandpa Columbo. "I told you this was an exciting, action story with giants and duals. Now, may I go on?"............


"As you wish" was all Gentley ever said to the princess. And while he was starry-eyed in love with her, Gentley genuinely believed in Princess Peanut Buttercup's dream of the New Family Story. He set out to visit all the families of the kingdom. He roamed far and wide, across the Sea of Shrieking Eels and over the Cliffs of Insanity. One day he was confronted by an opera singer.

"Hello. My name is Iggy Mon Toyota. You knew my father. Prepare to write." He drew his pencil and the two began furiously writing.

"You're amazing," Mon Toyota said, "But there's something I have to tell you. I'm not left-handed."

"I'm not left handed either!" responded Gentley. "For crying out loud! Why are we using our left hands?!" They switched to their right hands and quickly finished the story of Mon Toyota's father. Gentley knew he had found a friend and companion to help write the New Family Story.


Five long years passed. Buttercup and Gentley stood on the crest of a hill, overlooking the kingdom.

"Let the roll-out of New Family Story begin," announced Princess Peanut Buttercup, giving Gentley a strong hit on the back. Slipping, Gentley began rolling down the tall, steep hill.

"As you wish," hollered Gentley, his voice disappearing into the ravine.

"Oh, my Gentley!" Buttercup shouted. Then she joined Gentley in the New Family Story roll-out.


"Combining the stories of all the families of the kingdom!? Inconceivable!" Vicinity announced confidently.

"You're only saying that," Gentley responded, "because no one has ever done it before."

"You'll never succeed," continued Vicinity. "You'll perish in the fire swamp."

"Nonsense. We had too many plot points and had to eliminate the fire swamp."

"No fire swamp?! Inconceivable! What about I.O.U.S.'s?" asked Vicinity.

"Individuals of Unusual Size? I don't think they really exist." Gentley had no sooner spoken when Physique the Giant blocked their path.



News of the suspension of the roll-out soon reached the far corners of the kingdom. Something would have to be done about the I.O.U.S.'s before rolling out to the Wasatch Front.

"With Personal Account Facility we could defeat the I.O.U.S.'s!" announced Mon Toyota.

"What? The predecessor to New Family Story?" replied Gentley. "Maybe if you had a wheelbarrow, that would be something. But isn't Personal Account Facility dead?"

"It just so happens that Personal Account Facility is only MOSTLY dead," said Miracle Max Clarke. "There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do... Go through his pockets and look for GEDCOMs."


Soon Personal Account Facility was alive again and kicking. Physique and the other I.O.U.S.'s were resting well and dreaming of large women. New Family Story was rolling out to the rest of the kingdom.

"Gentley, we did it!" Buttercup yelled as she threw her arms around her beloved Gentley.

"As you wished," Gentley replied, returning her embrace and sealing it with a kiss.




........... "Grandpa," the little boy said, "maybe you could come over again tomorrow night and tell me our family story."

"As you wish," answered the Grandpa.


  1. [smiling]This Princess Bride fan found your story a delightful way to announce New Family Story. [/still smiling]

  2. Moultrie,

    Thanks. If you enjoyed reading it only half as much as I enjoyed writing it, then you were fully entertained. It took several weeks, and of course I had to re-watch the movie. Thank Jim Greene, product manaqger for NFS who gave me the inspiration at the BYU conference when he disclosed that developers actually use the term IOUSes which really are holding up the rollout.

    Thanks for your message,
    The A I

  3. I've heard several reasons for the suspension of the rollout from different researchers and other professionals, but the IOUS situation was new to me. Are there other factors that are slowing the rollout? The theories I've heard:
    1) Poor reception of the new system by professional genealogists
    2) Confused masses
    2) Realization that more features need to be added before the general public gets it
    3) Reworking the combine algorithm
    4) Not enough server capacity
    5) General authorities not approving of the current version
    6) Waiting for thrid party software to assist in the synchronization of files
    7) Aliens have held FamilySearch developers hostage and are demanding the recipe for fry sauce before releasing them.

    Okay, so I haven't heard the aliens one, but a different researcher walks into our office nearly every day with a "Hey, I just talked to a family search guy at the FHL and he told me they're having XYZ problem and THAT'S the reason it's not rolling out"


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.