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Technical Update - 7th September 2011


Published on 7 Sep 2011 16:26 : technical : 3 comments : 1928 views

Another cycle of development came to an end today with a new release for the website being deployed this afternoon. As you might imagine, the release includes a few new developments, some fixes, and a few other bits and pieces. Today's release was not announced on the boards as it was done without the site being taken down. In general, we prefer not to have any fixed interruptions and only deploy with downtime, where we need to make critical changes that require all servers to be updated at the same time. Since I last posted on 23rd August, we appear to have had quite a stable two weeks, which has been great for site development, as we have not been distracted by performance issues. So what is included in this release?

Included in this release

  • Military records - In the previous release, we included our first batch of military records. We have added the following datasets to this search group (note there is NO extra charge for those that have bought the Military feature): Armed forces births, marriages and deaths, Naval Casualties 1914-1919, Royal Naval Division 1914-1919, WW2 Prisoners of War, Waterloo Medal Roll 1815 and Other army lists roll calls 1656-1888. In all this takes the total number of datasets searched under Military to 21. And there are more coming soon. A special feature to look out for (available to Platinum subscribers with the Military feature) is the spouse match in the Armed Forces Marriages records.

  • My Updates - our revision of the home page in the last release excluded the My Updates feature, due to time constraints. We have re-implemented this on the home page.

  • Searching with invalid characters - Rather than letting invalid characters be entered into the search fields that then cause the search to fail, we now prevent the entry of these by displaying a message and preventing the search from occurring. Correct the errors and then click search button again to get the results you want. Note, the Genes Reunited website does not use any wildcard characters.

  • Searching with apostrophe - What a major oversight! The search previously dropped an apostrophe from any search, thereby returning no results that indeed contained an apostrophe.

  • New posts icon - It is back!! By popular demand, we have changed the new posts icon back to it's original purpose. If you read a thread, the thread icon will show no new posts immediately. So when a new comment is posted, the icon will change when you refresh the summary page.

  • New Blog posts and Discover My Past article - We've continued our series of blogs on the Who Do You Think You Are celebrities, as well as a posting from Genealogist, Anthony Adolph anda new article in the Family History Articles section.

  • Hot Matches - We have cleared up the backlog, and have the Matches process running more efficiently. Most subscribed members should have received a Hot Matches email (if there was any to find) in the last week.

  • Fact for the Year - A new fact for the year feature is displayed on the home page.

  • Hyperlinks in Blog comments - similar to the hyperlinks on boards, we have now activated them in blog comments. You do need to include the http part of the link for it to automatically translate it into an clickable link.

  • Bug fixed - The image shown on the tree for a relation with attached Indian dataset record was showing a Passenger Lists icon in error.

  • Bug fixed - The new tree was not showing surnames where the length of forename and surname was too long for the displayed box. It now shows ellipsis appended to a shortened forename, and includes the surname.

  • Bug fixed - The link to articles summary on the Family History Articles section when clicked was displaying a no posts in this section message.

  • Bug fixed - The death transcription was not displaying the age of 0, when the age was under 1. This field was being omited from the transcription display.

  • Transcription errors - We are busy working through all the transcription errors that have been reported by members. New developer, Daniele Frasca, is loving me for this task.

  • Board threads lost - If a thread is deleted unexpectedly or in error, let Customer Support now as soon as possible, and we'll try to restore. We've restored a couple of large and very popular threads recently.

  • Suggestions board clear up - This is an ongoing process, but one where we try to review everything that is being asked for or commented on, and making sure we address the issues in our development process.

I now feel we're starting to make progress, and in the office there is plenty of excitement about getting more records on to the site, and implementing some of the new features that are coming. It is a very busy schedule, but I'll keep you updated as we progress.

I realise that quite a few of you read these updates, and hope they are relevant and serve a purpose. I would be very interested to know if I am making these too technical. Let me know, by posting any comments below.

Best regards, Phil Moir
Genes Reunited, Lead Developer

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by Joy Kentish Maid on 7 Sep 2011 18:45 :
Thank you, Phil.

One thing I have been very pleased about, as I think you are aware, is the enabling of hyperlinks.

Is there any way of clearing out silly names in trees? (such as cartoon characters); these account for quite a large number of names :-)

.... goes away wondering if the emoticon will appear as in the boards :-)
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by philmoir on 7 Sep 2011 20:17 :
Sometimes I want to slap myself. Emoticons in blog comments .... expect to see them sometime soon.
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by philmoir on 21 Sep 2011 14:13 :
Emoticons have now been added :-D