Thursday, November 19, 2009

NFS 1.0 for Non-Mormons

FamilySearch Logo This Thanksgiving may be the first holiday Jay Verkler (President and CEO of FamilySearch) relaxes since the rollout began for New FamilySearch (NFS) in May of 2007. That’s when St. Louis and Reno members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received notice they would begin using NFS version 0.9.

NFS 0.9, it was explained, would be adequate for Church members to use as a replacement for TempleReady, but would lack many of the capabilities of mature desktop genealogy management programs such as The Master Genealogist. The “1.0” moniker was being saved for a future release of NFS that was ready-for-prime-time and would be released to genealogists both in and outside the Church.

But NFS 0.9 would prove to lack basic functionality present even in venerable (translation: out-dated) PAF. And thousands of questionable conclusion trees proved unsuitable seed for the original NFS architecture. This resulting in a long rollout freeze while the NFS architecture was retooled.

So Verkler may not be relaxing this Thanksgiving after all. His “To-Do” list still looks like this:

  • New FamilySearch still needs to rollout to members of the Church in the Orient. Oriental cultures and languages present special problems. The work still to be done is formidable.
  • His bosses at the Church are anxious to get New FamilySearch out to genealogists outside the Church. That is likely to be a phased rollout, just as it was inside the Church.
  • The National Genealogical Society 2010 annual conference is in Salt Lake City next year and Verkler is giving the keynote… …again.

I assume he has vivid recollections of his 2005 keynote at the Federation of Genealogical Societies annual conference in Salt Lake City (see his presentation). I remember his jaw-dropping demonstration of New FamilySearch. Everyone wanted to get their hands on it. After nearly five years he’ll stand in front of many of the same nationally-recognized genealogists.

I can imagine he’ll be very unhappy if he has to show up empty handed again.

Will Verkler have a most relaxing May Day? Stay tuned…

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