Earlier this month, Bruce Buzbee of RootsMagic started his own blog. Welcome to the genealogy blogging community and the blogosphere! I met Bruce back in March of this year and he is a very nice person. I’m looking forward to reading as he shares the inside scoop on what is happening at RootsMagic.
In the last few posts at RootsMagic Blog, Bruce has leaked some new features of the upcoming RootsMagic 4. He says he will start small and progressively reveal more. The buzz is starting and you can sense the excitement as you read the comments. Some readers are trying to guess what the new features will be while others are hoping that their wishlist items will be included. Not all of the new features hinted at in the screen shots are explained by Bruce, so I thought that I would get in on the fun and use my keen eye to try and figure things out.
I honestly have no inside information myself, so don’t take my guesses as fact. I simply opened my copy of RootsMagic 3 and compared it to the screen shots of RootsMagic 4. It was almost like trying to solve one of those puzzles you would find in the Highlights magazine.
The first thing that I noticed was a tiny down arrow to the right of the Add Person toolbar item:
This probably drops down the same Individual, Spouse, Parents, Child menu as in RootsMagic 3. This is a simple change but a better user experience as it indicates that there are choices to be made.
The next thing I noticed was that the Notes icon on the toolbar has been flipped:
Not really a new feature, but did anybody else notice it too? This makes me wonder if Bruce received a lot of e-mails from users who were bothered by what they thought was a “backwards” image.
The next to last icon on the toolbar is a tree icon that looks very similar to the tree on the new FamilySearch website:
It is already known that RootsMagic 4 will support the new FamilySearch (NFS) once the APIs are ready. This is probably just what the icon will look like. It is my understanding that RootsMagic has been working a long time with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on implementing the NFS API. RootsMagic might just be the first desktop genealogy application to support it.
I noticed that on the Pedigree, Family, and Descendant tabs on the far left side is a long thin bar with an arrow:
My guess is that this would open a sidebar that contains the list of people in the database and maybe even allow for searching.
The big mystery so far is what is the fourth tab? In the screen shots, the tab next to Descendants is blurred out.
I’ve spent a few minutes looking at the size of the smudge and comparing it to a smudge I made for the word “Family.” My guess is that the smudged word contains 5-7 letters. So that excludes “Map”, but the word could be “Source” or “Person” or “Synch.”
Go ahead and post your guesses. You might be right in which case you will have bragging rights. If not, you can join the rest of us interested guessers.