At the South Davis Family History Fair and the St. George Family History Expo, respectively, the two revealed new information about the near future of the FamilySearch tree product, New FamilySearch (NFS). The NFS tree is a shared, world tree currently available only to member’s of FamilySearch sponsor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Tanner gave his usual disclaimer: Product managers don’t say when an improvement will be made and they don’t make promises the improvement will ever be made. They only talk about what could be.
What is happening in the near future?
One of the top priorities is the release of CJKC versions of NFS. CJKC stands for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Cyrillic.
Another is enabling communication and collaboration among NFS users. The audience erupted in applause when Ron Tanner said, “My job is to get rid of disputes.” Toward that end, an upcoming release includes a Discussion tab on each ancestor. Tim Cross explained that disputes were a first stab at collaboration. The Dispute tab provides a better discussion forum. He thought it might be available in about four months.
The much anticipated release of the NFS tree to the general public is another near term priority. Tanner said, “We have a goal of getting the general public in by the end of the year. But we’re not just going to open the door for everyone.” He mentioned one possibility was allowing each user to invite a few family and friends. I know Google uses this method, apparently successfully.
When asked about the applicability of the NFS tree for uses beyond submitting temple ordinances, Tanner responded, “The system must be genealogically sound in addition to preventing duplication of ordinances.”
Cross also mentioned the goal of expanding the development community, which I will cover in a future article. But first, I need to talk about the long-term plans for NFS next time.