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Pedigree Blankout

Looking at the pedigree display, when I click and drag to move around in it, all the boxes go blank. That's bad.

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  • Try refreshing your screen. What computer operating system and browser are you using?
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  • I am not having the problem with Chrome Version 67.0.3396.87 (Official Build) (64-bit) on Windows 7.
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  • How do I refresh my screen? Minimizing the window then maximizing again does nothing; the effect resumes. I don't want to reboot. Nor clear the cookies, either of those would log me out. I just want to navigate around the pedigree, pleasantly. Having the boxes all go blank makes that difficult. If I release the mouse button the boxes get redrawn. Then I have to reorient myself and then move it some more, keep stopping and reorienting. The redrawment happens in less than 50 msec. It's equivalent to flashing on and off. It's going to give me an epileptic fit.

    Windoze 8.1, Firefox Quantum (64 bit) 57.0.4
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  • Windows ctrl-F5, mac cmd+R   or the little icon next to the URL probabliy looks something like this
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  • Windows ctrl-F5 is Refresh Page. Doing that causes the entire page to reload from the FS servers. The drag movement is destroyed. When I drag it again, the problem just returns.

    I can post a video of it if you wish.
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  • Woody

    Hopefully your problem will have cleared itself by now. However, I do not understand - if you were so desperate to solve it - why you were so reluctant to do a refresh, or close down the program entirely if that didn't work. Clearing cookies rarely works for me, but if there is a chance of resolving a problem I'd try any suggestion. Nobody else seems to have experienced your problem, so I'd be surprised if it persists after logging off, restarting your computer and clearing the cache.
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  • I am as patient as an elephant... I am as patient as an elephant... I am as patient as an elephant...

    OK here I am looking at the standard landscape pedigree display on FamilySearch. At the center of the screen is an individual let's call him A. I want to look at individual Q. He's up to the right offscreen somewhere. The only way I know to move up there is to place my cursor in a blank area, press the left mouse key, and drag. The entire field moves as I drag. But all the couple rectangles go blank as they move. It's hard to distinguish Q from R from S when they all look identically blank.

    If I do a refresh it starts over (after about 3 minutes, assuming the system is not very busy) at person A.

    If I do a reboot it starts over (after about 3 minutes 30 seconds, assuming the system is not very busy) at person A.

    I do not want to return to person A. I want to navigate to person Q.

    Is this more understandable now? I can furnish a video if desired. Complete with expletives under my breath.

    I don't know of too many websites that drag around like this, but there's visualthesaurus.com. It works fine. In fact almost every website in the world works fine on my browser. Only familysearch doesn't. Everybody's out of step but familysearch.
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  • Do you have the latest version of Firefox? You might try using Chrome or Edge and see if you have the same problem.
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  • It really takes 3 minutes to draw the pedigree after a refresh? That seems really slow. What is your internet speed?
    Other sites that let you grab and drag are maps.google.com
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  • After you drag the boxes go gray.
    But do they end up painting after some time, like the 3 minutes for the initial paint? Or do they stay gray forever after the drag?
    Also do you have an older computer?
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  • I tried this out on my machine, (MacOS High Sierra), and it wasn't an issue on Firefox (10.13.5), Chrome (67.0.3396.87), or Safari (11.1.1). Maybe it's only happening on Windows?
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  • 1
    Windows 8.1 is one of those MS flops when it comes to operation systems. It had its own unique user interface and that may have an impact on what is happening to the display.

    Woody may have to try the current version of Chrome to see if that resolves his problem or at least lets him / us know that it is a browser-specific issue with his operation system.
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  • And to do that I'd have to install chrome. Couldn't I just clamp a file between my teeth and yank it out?
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  • Not sure what happened to my previous reply to this thread. This also happens on FireFox 60, Xubuntu 16.10 LTS. The boxes go blank when clicking and dragging on the screen. Click and drag again on the screen, the text in the boxes come back. Click and drag a third time, the boxes go blank.

    This also happened at a Family History Center. Latest version of Firefox, Windows 7.
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  • Woody

    Unless someone else reports the same problem, or it can be replicated, you really do have to consider alternatives to it being the responsibility of FamilySearch to resolve the issue. Why can you not accept, as suggested above, that the problem just might relate to your version of Windows and/or Firefox? FamilySearch is not necessarily totally compatible with every browser or operating system.
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    • I might add that as I am dragging, all the boxes always go grey. (Which Joe seems to confirm). After releasing the mouse, the boxes are redrawn in place, but for me this redraw normally happens "instantaneously".
    • I found the zoom in or out does help with the redraw as well.
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  • "After you drag the boxes go gray.
    But do they end up painting after some time, like the 3 minutes for the initial paint? Or do they stay gray forever after the drag?
    Also do you have an older computer?"

    This computer is a Dell Inspiron 15 5000 5555 Laptop with a 15.6 inch LED Backlit Display, AMD Quad Core A6-7310 Processor running at 2.0GHz, 4GB RAM, and 1TB HDD.

    The banner under Windows/Control Panel/System gives me
    Windows 8.1 (c)2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
    Processor: AMD A6-7310 APU with AMD Radeon Graphics 2.00 GHz
    Installed memory (RAM) 4.00 GB (3.44 GB usable)
    System type: 64-bit OS, x64-based processor
    ...
    Windows is activated

    I am using Firefox Quantum 57.0.4 (64-bit). That is exactly what their banner reads under Help/About Firefox.

    My internet connect goes thru a broadband service. Speedtest.net shows a download speed of 20.5 Mbits/sec.

    I have deleted all cookies and cache files. I open my browser to my own DIY home page and take the link to the pedigree chart centered around my father. FS asks me to log in. I type in my username and password, check the box, and click on login. It starts trying to load and the pedigree takes 22 seconds to load and display correctly. It appears to be zoomed to default zoom.[1]

    I move the cursor to a grey area between boxes, press & hold left button, and drag. The boxes immediately turn grey and the field of boxes moves with my cursor.

    I stop dragging but continue to press the left button. The field stops moving but the boxes all remain grey. (They are of course impossible to read all grey.)

    I release the left button and the boxes immediately get repaired with the correct text & pictures of faces. From button release to fully correct display takes at most 3/10 second.

    These symptoms remain consistent under all conditions of cookies accumulated, cache load, number of windows & tabs open, other programs running, temperature, humidity & moon phase that I have been able to invoke.

    [1] zoom: a vertical 'stack' of boxes occupies the grey area with just under 4 boxes showing, as shown in the picture I posted above.
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    • or Power setting choking it
    • "On the Landscape pg go to Options and check Invert colors. Then try the load again, just checking to see if it draws at a different speed with the colors inverted."

      This takes 18 seconds. Trying the normal colors again, they take 14 seconds. The reload time seems to vary a little from try to try. Normal colors: 14,13,13,13. Inverted: 14,14,15,14.

      "And just to verify, no other website you use has this issue with 1st load or dragging. Joe suggested google.maps.com"

      https://www.google.com/maps ... to load the map all patches complete: 2.8 sec. Finished loading all the google goop at the left on the 8.2 sec mark. The map drags with no visible change other than just movement.

      Windows Photo Viewer, zoomed in, also drags with no visible change other than just movement.

      "I wonder of there is some video software/hardware acceleration switch option available?"

      In Firefox, I found a checkbox: "Use recommended performance settings". With this box checked, the effect continues. With it unchecked (the way it was) there is a 2nd box that appears: "Use hardware acceleration when available" ... not checked. Changing this to checked, the load time is 25.6 seconds. Dragging, boxes go grey as before. Option Invert Colors: effect continues, except that the boxes go dark grey instead of light grey, which would be what Invert Colors might be expected to do. Reload the pedigree page: effect continues, dark or light. Close Firefox and reopen it (thus flushing all cookies and cache): effect continues.

      Power settings are different for "battery" and "plugged in". It's plugged in, and all the settings are for maximum performance.
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  • The FamilySearch website must, MUST, work on a wide variety of computers and OS. There are for instance people in Africa trying to use it and they have demonstrated more faith than you or I ever will; if we don't serve them well our civilization will degrade and theirs will improve until they are running FamilySearch.
    • Actually, no, the website does not have to work on a wide variety of operating systems.

      Main support for Windows 8.1 ended on January 1 of this year (2018). Any support that Microsoft continues to provide 8.1 is to take care of any security issues, which has nothing to do with compatibility.

      Internet Explorer support was ended effective January 12, 2016. It was replaced by Internet Explorer 11 and by MS Edge, which is supported by Microsoft..

      If the situation was that desperate for peoples in less developed areas of the world, then the support for these operating systems rests with the owners and developers of those operation systems not the companies and organizations who use the internet.

      Your complaint for the problems with your operating system (if that is the case) needs to be sent to Microsoft.

      Mozilla, the developing organization behind Firefox, is very responsive in solving problems with their browser. You may want to raise the issue with them and be sure to mention that your operating system is Microsoft 8.1. It may be a compatibility issue between the browser and the operating system, which no longer has main support from Microsoft.
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  • 1
    Woody

    The FamilySearch developers obviously would take issue at your suggestion, "The FamilySearch website must, MUST, work on a wide variety of computers and OS." They have acknowledged Family Tree is no longer fully functional when using IE10, even though there must still be many, many patrons still using this.

    I am disappointed for you that no FamilySearch employee has been willing to help here - in suggesting any possible incompatibility issue or, as Tom has suggested, that it might be specifically a Windows 8.1 issue.

    Anyone out there using Windows 8.1 who is not experiencing this problem?
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  • I’m indifferent
    I've no problem using Google and Windows 7 I get a none compatible issue. Try using Google fewer problems.
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  • I'm surprised we'd cater only to folks who can afford the latest hardware and software. Some people have to make do with stuff a few revs back. We could get into huge arguments over the larger issues here. A specification would solve that. If the spec said

    "The website shall be fully functional under any endorsed browser. Endorsed browsers shall consist of those whose usage exceeds 4% of the usage on this planet. The website shall conform to released standards for HTML, CSS, SVG, etc."

    and it was signed by the First Presidency, then everybody would just work to make that happen. Or if it said something else, then we'd just do that. Old Rip Van Winkles like me could be ignored with placid contentment.
    • Not the latest operating system. Windows 7 is in the same state as 8.1 In fact mainstream support ended a year earlier than 8.1 so the only updates are for security purposes. I really do not want to move to Windows 10, but will as this laptop will eventually fail and I'll have to replace it.

      As far as browsers are concerned, they are subjected to the whims of internet sites. With Internet Explorer, the system was so behind the times in terms of use that most users had moved to another browser. Currently, Chrome is the most widely used with over 50% use and market share. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_s... for the stats.

      As far as how the browsers operate, Chrome and Firefox are based upon different principles. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of... for more information.

      As far as operating systems go, there are over 56 separate systems developed over the years. Many have disappeared and only a few have survived to dominate the marketplace. Technology has changed and forced many companies to either continue to pour money into keeping their operating systems current or giving up and adopting one of the more common systems.

      The same is true of internet browsers. As the technology changed, the browsers changed with it. In some cases, Microsoft was found guilty of anti-trust legislation and thus forced to allow other browsers to be installed. The last version of IE that was integrated into the operating system was IE 10. 11 and Edge are like the other browsers where MS operating systems are concerned -- add on, which means they can be uninstalled.

      I maintain both Chrome and Firefox on my laptop. The amount of disk space is insignificant and I only use Firefox at this time for testing purposes. If something doesn't work in Chrome, I'll open Firefox and perform the same test to see if it browser-related.

      One factor that has not been mentioned is the CPU of the computer involved. While AMD processors are similar to Intel, they are not the same and the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is different between the two. That could also have an adverse affect.

      That said, Woody should have no problems installing Chrome and using that to see if the problem is a combination of this computer's processor, Operating System, and Browser or just the browser. The engineers will need to know that in order to troubleshoot this particular problem.

      In this case, resistance will not resolve the problem or help engineering to resolve the issue.
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  • I'm using the latest Windows 10.

    In the latest Firefox, if I grab a pedigree chart with my mouse to move it, the boxes grey out until I release the mouse, as Woody describes. All the text vanishes (apart from the word "Children"!) and the borders to the boxes go solid white. Then, on releasing the mouse, everything comes back. (The Firefox performance setting "Use recommended performance settings" is ticked).

    The same greying effect is also observed as you zoom in and out, although that's pretty quick, just being confined to the time spent zooming.

    On the same machine, in the latest Google Chrome, if I grab a pedigree chart with my mouse to move it, nothing happens to the boxes other than they move with the mouse. They don't grey out, the borders remain in their original colours, and the text remains visible as it is moved.

    The latest Microsoft Edge browser behaves identically to Firefox because it greys on both zooming and grabbing & moving.

    It therefore appears to me that this is nothing to do with Windows 8 and, probably, more of a Firefox and Edge thing.

    Only FS can say whether the FS FT tree graphics routines are coded to react differently in Chrome compared to Firefox and Edge.

    As I said, I don't find this greying behaviour a problem. I can say that (a) under all normal circumstances I refuse point blank to use Chrome, which treats me like an idiot by hiding commands and (b) I normally do use Chrome for BBC iPlayer (the television catch up service) because - said through gritted teeth - it is much smoother in its graphics.

    I'd be interested in anyone else's experiences under Edge and Firefox - the question is - do your boxes blank when you drag them?
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  • I just tested Firefox (Windows 7 Home Premium) and no blanking of the landscape pedigree when I moved it. Performance between Chrome and Firefox was essentially the same.

    But...

    I am my daughter's home in Overland Park, KS, and they have an extremely fast internet connection and that could be making the difference. I am running a Dell inspiron 17" laptop with Intel processor i5-2540 CPU @2.50 GHz with 6.00 GB RAM. At home, my connection is much slower, so I do not know how that will impact performance.

    I was a die hard Firefox user for years until it started stalling out for me when on FamilySearch as well as other sites. At that point in time, FamilySearch recommended using Chrome and had us set our FHC computers to default to Chrome as the browser. These were all Windows 7 computers -- the FHC computers were Church-provided and imaged running Windows 7 Enterprise edition.

    I finally conceded that I should use Chrome after starting to get used to it on the FHC computers. I downloaded it and FamilySearch performance improved dramatically. This was just before Firefox rewrote their browser to what it is today.

    Since there was no blanking with Firefox with this computer, I have to think that connection speed may be part of this problem. I will do some additional test next week after I get home, to see if the problem exists there. The following Saturday, I'm serving in our FHC and will test all three browsers with Windows 10 if the problem still exists. The building also has a fast internet connection.
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    • Thanks Tom - so the fact that you don't see greying of the boxes on Firefox / Win7 indicates that it's not a blanket issue with Firefox.

      I have an AMD A8-7410 APU with AMD Radeon R5 Graphics, 2.2 GHz and 8 GB installed. I'll bet that my internet is appreciably slower than your daughter's - and it's also coming over WiFi from my Router. So it could be connection speed or it could still be the way the respective hardware works under (particularly graphics) pressure. Or both.

      Certainly, given the smoothness of iPlayer in Chrome when showing video from the BBC compared to Firefox, where it is prone to freezing on an irregular basis, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Firefox handles intermittently heavy loading worse than Chrome.
    • Curiouser and curiouser - I just tried running the same commands on my laptop, splitting the screen 50/50 Firefox and Chrome. Only a very rough test because I can't use the mouse to click the same button in 2 browser sessions at once. Clicking them one after the other, it pains me to say that Chrome did seem to paint the screen of a landscape pedigree faster. (And it was the 2nd button I pressed)

      But the seriously weird part is that on initial entry in Firefox, I could drag the tree around and the text and borders were unchanged. Afterwards, it went awry and I got greyed out boxes when dragging. And then, later, It's OK again. But I can't pin down what causes the good version - it might be improved line capacity, it might be the clean loading of a fresh copy of the tree drawing software.
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  • Being too mean to pay for a fast connection, I usually only get download speeds of around 5.0 Mb/s. Nevertheless, I have never encountered the problem being discussed (using Windows 7 and Firefox OR Chrome).

    (Also manage to cope excellently - no buffering problems, etc. - when using iPlayer, Adrian!)
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  • Ron Tanner (FamilySearch.org Product Manager) June 26, 2018 14:26
    The new client screens do wire speed detection and discovers if the connection is really slow. If it is slow, then we do not update the nodes as the user pans the screen because people were complaining about slow and jerky panning. However if you drag and then stop panning, it will repaint.
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  • I just got home and have a dialup DLS connection. The speed ranges from minimal to so-so - Right now, 5.19 -- Certainly not as fast as at my daughter's.

    Regardless -- no blanking of the landscape pedigree view on either Chrome or Firefox. But I did notice that with Firefox, there was some occasional instances during fast movements of blue background around part of the text.

    There is a decided difference between Firefox and Chrome in the way they are constructed. But not enough to cause the kind of thing that Woody experienced.
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  • Let's make a little experiment. Y'all try it at your end.

    A. Hypothesis: I think that the internet connection has absolutely nothing to do with the blank out problem.

    B. Experimental Procedure:

    1. First, I open FS and get the pedigree chart. I determine that the blankout occurs. Your Mileage May Vary. If you don't get the blankout the experiment can still be valuable.

    2. Now, I set my computer to "airplane mode", ie. disable the wireless chip set. At least it should. The funny name is for non-technical peeps who think there really is an airplane problem. Cap'n comes on the PA and sez "everybody turn off their cell phones' and laptops' wireless functions" but do the flight attendants check? If they really thought there were a problem they would make you put your cell phone in a big bucket of water when you board.

    3. OK, now I'll check if it really does. In a different window from the pedigree, I try to navigate to Dilbert, the JPL Small-Body Database Browser, and the Deplorable Climate Science website. For me, all these are inaccessible. The browser reports that it cannot find them. It suggests that my internet connection might be down. OK, so the Wireless Function of step 2 is indeed off.

    4. Now, back in the pedigree window, I try the drag operation.

    C. Results:

    The pedigree drags exactly as before. The boxes blank out exactly as before.

    D. Conclusion:

    The Pedigree Blankout problem has nothing to do with the internet connection.

    I may share this with my grandchildren for their Science Fairs.

    Oh, and E: Cleanup... turn wireless function on again.
    • This comment was removed on 2018-06-29.
      see the change log
    • I decided to delete my previous comment.

      What is there about "The new client screens do wire speed detection and discovers if the connection is really slow. If it is slow, then we do not update the nodes as the user pans the screen because people were complaining about slow and jerky panning." that you do not understand.

      Ron Tanner is reporting how the system works! They are not going to change it and if Firefox is not eventually repainting the screen, then that is a Firefox problem.

      Use Chrome. It is free and you can delete it if you do not want to use it. But at least load it up and test with it.
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