Users of FamilySearch started seeing a banner last week indicating the website would shutdown Monday, 27 June 2016 at midnight MDT (2:00am EDT). The banner warned that the shutdown could be as long as 24 hours. The banner stated that the reason was a “technical upgrade.” I assume that means the basic functionality will be unaffected.
This is big, folks. Nobody shuts their website down for up to 24 hours. Something really important must be in the works.
This announcement comes on the heels of a beta test of the system to break the link between New FamilySearch (NFS) and FamilySearch Family Tree (announced publicly by FamilySearch’s Joe Martel, “Preparing to Stop Synchronizing Between nFS and FamilyTree, on Beta” on the FamilySearch feedback system.) The test was held Friday, 17 June.
NFS is the legacy system that has been hobbling Family Tree from its inception. At RootsTech earlier this year, Ron Tanner explained that even though you can’t directly interact with it, NFS continues to inhibit system functionality. (See “#RootsTech: Ron Tanner – Family Tree in 2016 and Beyond” on my blog.) When the link between NFS and FamilySearch can be broken, a bunch of issues go away.
- Because of the current interdiction of NFS, you cannot merge persons that, in NFS, are Individuals of Unusual Size (IOUS). In a list of possible duplicates, you sometimes see the message “Can’t Be Merged At This Time.” (Ron showed an example.) Once NFS is eliminated, you will be able to merge IOUS duplicates.
- NFS was built so that gender could never be changed. Once NFS is eliminated you will be able to.
- Today there are times when you delete a relationship and it “magically” reappears, with the change attributed to FamilySearch. This occurs when the NFS architecture prevents the deletion from NFS. When synchronization occurs between Family Tree and NFS, the deleted relationship comes back.
- There is a tight relationship between NFS and “LDS Church Membership” which is causing issues. (See “'Barrage of Records' Causing Problems” on my blog.) When the link between NFS and Family Tree is broken, those issues go away. (See Ron Tanner’s response to “FamilySearch Managers are Treating Patrons with Disdain” on the FamilySearch feedback system.)
- According to Ron Tanner, if a person is linked to an LDS Church Membership record, that person can not be merged into another person, although the reverse (merging a person into the person linked to the membership record) is possible.
It turns out that after the link between NFS and Family Tree is broken, there will still be fairly common times when two persons in Family Tree cannot be merged. (See “Preparing to Stop Synchronizing Between nFS and FamilyTree, on Beta” on the FamilySearch feedback system.)
- The number of notes between the two persons exceeds 20.
- One of the persons is read-only. For an example, see Sarah Royce (KND8-1SY). Or one of the persons is a child, parent, or spouse of a read-only person.
It will be great if next week we finally rid ourselves of NFS.