Phil Moir's Blog

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Technical Update - 8th July 2011

Published on 8 Jul 2011 19:04 : technical : 5 comments : 2796 views

Another end to the (working) week, although I appreciate that this is for many of you, your chance to get back into your family history research, but I think it is only fair to give an update on the site.

In general, I am really pleased to say that despite a few minor gremlins, over the last couple of weeks we have seen a distinct improvement on both performance and reliability. We are still not 100% happy with the performance of one of our servers and we intend changing this in the coming week. This will involve a short period of downtime, and we will try to give as much notice as possible and we will keep it down for the minimum possible time.

Reporting Defects

If you experience the page shown below during your use of the Genes Reunited site, firstly don't panic. This is the default page that is displayed when the website hits an error that it does not expect.

It's not really the prettiest page, and ideally we should never display it. We are making a more determined effort to cover all situations, and communicate more precisely when a feature cannot complete and why. The above error will be resolved in the next release, and in this case will result in a message as shown below.

So, if you do experience an error on the site. Take a note of what action you were trying to do (such as send a message), then take a copy of the URL, that is the link shown in the top of the browser, in this case Have a look on the suggestions board for 'send message'. If no-one else has reported this as an error, create a new thread. Preferably add "BUG: " at the start of the title. Try to make the title quite clear. And in the first line of the post, also try to summarise the issue. e.g. Error screen when trying to send message. If you have the URL, paste this in too. With all this information, we are better positioned to clear up the issues as they happen.

Suggestions Board Housekeeping

I have started to do some housekeeping on this board, and reviewing all the threads that have been added since this board was created. Items that have I have asessed may well have the title and summary revised, so that they are more easily identified in the summary view. Duplications are being merged. Any defects we can fix immediately are being addressed. Any enhancement suggestions that are made are being assessed and taken into account as we continue development of the site. In addition to new development on the site, we aim to address some of the member suggestions in each release. I will annouce via my blog what changes occur in each release.

Personal Excitement in the Month Ahead

I'm really excited about the month ahead, not just because I have a holiday coming up, but also I'm going to get a chance to follow through on a few family history stories.

My grandmother, Moira (above), who will be 93 tomorrow (Happy Birthday Gran!) had to move out of her flat earlier this year and into care (where she appears to be having the time of her life) and along with my Mum and Dad we had a massive task in sorting out her belongings. There was an incredible amount of personal treasures in the form of paintings, photos, diaries, etc. but there wasn't the time to go through it all. I going to take some time to sift through some of it and will write up some of my experiences and the stories that go with it for all to share.

Also since I started to use Genes Reunited myself and through the "hot matches", I have been in touch with some first cousins of my fathers' that we weren't even aware of until end of last year, and I'm really hoping to meet up with them. Another blog post coming on that.

And there are a few other stories to investigate and tell, but I'll save those for the moment.

Till the next time, wishing everyone a pleasant weekend

Phil Moir - Lead Developer - Genes Reunited


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by Joy on 8 Jul 2011 21:39 :
Happy birthday, Moira :-)
That is a lovely photo. If I knew how, I would post one of my parents' wedding.

How will the site and its members cope without public interaction with you? :-(

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by Gai on 9 Jul 2011 05:32 :

Happy birthday, Moira and I hope you have a wonderful day.

How stunning does Moira look in her wedding dress and what a lovely dress. I wonder what happened to her dress as it would have made a lovely keepsake.

Also, thanks Phil for addressing the error message problem when you send a pm to other members.

Hope you have a great holiday and look forward to hearing what treasures are unearthed from Moira's belongings.

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by AnninGlos on 21 Jul 2011 17:28 :
That is a lovely photo and you grandmother was very pretty. What a lovely dress too. I look forward to hearing more about your treasures.
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by Kay on 22 Jul 2011 02:36 :
Special Birthday Greetings to Moira, may you have many more.
My friend has told me of an idea for her own Mother who has gone into care. The family made up a memory frame a bit like the memory box that is left for the loved one to sift through. In or on this frame is attached old photographs and memorabillia from years gone by and one of the suggestions I have to add is... what about attaching unidentified photographs here and there to see if one or more jogs our loved one's mind and therefore providing us with a name that might otherwise be lost forever.
This is a bit long-winded, sorry. Kay on 22nd July 2011
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by pelo on 22 Jul 2011 06:54 :
Hi Kay,

This is a great suggestion as I know from personal experience.
We did this for my mother when she went into care. She had Alzheimers & we thought that the photos would be a more familiar thing for her in unfamiliar surroundings. It took a few weeks but then the information & long stored memories started tumbling out. It was just great for all of us right down to the younger gt. grandchildren & made our visits so much more enjoyable for all.