One of the areas that Ancestry.com excels in is media/story upload. I have a lot of stuff uploaded to Ancestry.com because it gives me a backup copy and because I love to share. I find a lot of my uploads are copied extensively and I find it very gratifying.
As I write the first draft of this article, my current genealogy project is uploading deed transcriptions done by my father before his passing. He spent quite a bit of time producing these and I’m sure he is glad to see me put them somewhere where more people can benefit from them.
Going back over the uploaded stories, I was shocked to find that Ancestry.com had truncated one of them! I first attributed it to my own error. I went back through them all to see if I messed up any other. When I came across a second one, I investigated and found the file was perfect on my computer.
One bad file is a fluke. Two bad files is an Ancestry bug. Worse for them, it is intermittent. That is, it doesn’t happen every time. That kind of bug is terribly difficult to find and fix. I’m expecting it will be many weeks before Ancestry finds and fixes this one.
While scrutinizing this bug, I discovered several of the files that I thought I had uploaded were missing. I found on one occasion that only 1 of 2 files was uploaded. In another instance only 3 of 4 uploaded.
I also found that if a filename has a period in the middle, the title of the resulting story is truncated at the first period. Ancestry ought to remove the extension, but no more.
As long as I’m in a complaining mood, may I complain about Ancestry’s handling of text stories. To view the story, one must download the file. I think they should display it like they do stories entered online.
Another thing I dislike is that they flip the order of uploaded files. When I upload a batch of files, they rearrange them so that the first file is last and the last is first. Biblical, yes. Convenient, no.
I’ve reported the problems to Ancestry.com. They are seriously looking into them. As I say, it is very difficult to fix intermittent bugs. You may never see the bugs I see. It may be my 64-bit Windows. It may be my browser. It may be that one of Ancestry’s 1,000s of servers is acting up. It may be the cookies on my computer. Or it may be the combination of all these.
When uploading stories, heed this warning: Carefully check all the story files you upload! I uploaded over 90 files and I was glad I did. And I confess that one or two problems were my own.
Carefully check. Enough said.