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I’m grateful for the patrons

FamilySearch Beta is an active development website.

Perhaps we need a "Pardon Our Dust" banner as we build out the site.

Traditional software development says that you build a product, then unveil it in a big launch (then make lots of $ selling fixes and updates :-). The web has sure sped things up, and that is true for software as well. The develop-release-feedback-develop... cycle is much faster on the web and FamilySearch beta is following that trend.

We are building this site right out in the open in the same way one would build a house. At times, seeing the framing and duct work has been a little disconcerting to users, but those doing day-to-day work we've kept the old sites available. Every 4 weeks (roughly) we release all the goodness we've coded up and then build upon those with new features and fixes.

The benefit of the realtime constructive feedback this allows has helped prioritize features and refine what the finished "house" will look like. All the thousands of comments have been read and, while we may not be able to respond to every one of them (as much as we try), we do organize and tally them up and where needed seek clarification.

Big things we are currently working on for this FamilySearch "house" which you will see over the next few months include:
- Continual improvements in search results
- The ability to search the PRF (in addition to the currently available Ancestral File)
- The ability to browse images and image only (unsearchable) collections
- Full record parity with RecordSearch (in fact beta will have more)
- A complete rework of the FamilySearch Catalog experience (I think you'll like it)
- Lots of smaller fixes and refinements.

Thank you for testing out the features we've already delivered and thanks especially for letting us know (in a constructive way) what we're getting right and what we need to keep refining.

-Robert
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  • I’m excited
    Great job... looking forward to these enhancements!
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  • Part of the problem is you built a bijou of a "house" which we all love but we know it is too small. Please take the moaning -certainly on my part- as a sign of the excellent job you all have done on search.labs. It took a little learning to fiddle what we wanted but you gave us an Aston Martin sports car and we are loathe to give it up.
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  • I’m dissapointed frustrated and unoptomistic
    you can draw up plans thinking i want this and that here and there but a house is only as good as its foundations. the more ambitious the house the better the foundations have to be. often the tried and tested are the best and the new is nothing more than a poor substitute.

    the foundations of pilot are solid and reliable but the foundations of this over ambitious and badly conceived beta are not stable. familysearch engineers and designers have tried follow their drawn up plans in an aim to better pilot which is all ready a well implemented reliable and liked tool but have failed to lay a better and stable foundation and their new house is rocky because of it.

    i have not been pig headed enough to refuse to try using this monstrosity but i come away every time just as frustrated as before and turn back to the pilot every time.
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  • I’m happy
    I am happy with the changes! I haven't used FamilySearch in sometime due to my illness and I am certainly happy with it. I am one who can not return to the scene of the crime if I committed one so I thought to have some type of log to lean on would be helpful. No means am I saying that what you have changed or what you are planning is no good, I say keep doing what you're doing and if you need me, I am more than happy to lend my one cent worth of knowledge.
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