More "look and feel" comments: descendants expand all button? children always expanded?

Reports: In entering the name of the root person for a report, it isn’t obvious that a pick-list will appear when you start typing. Just looking at it, it appears that the form is going to expect you to remember and type in the whole name.

The Descendants Chart under “Tree” needs an “Expand All” button.

On a person’s display screen, you need to (1) make display of the children’s name & brief dates at lower right the default, and (2) remove the children’s births from the Timeline panel. (Add an option under settings to always display these birth events in the Timeline, if wanted.) Otherwise, in a family with a lot of kids, the list of events on the Timeline panel becomes quite long, requiring one to scroll down to find the death tag, etc. The goal should be to require as little scrolling as possible, wherever possible.

Thank you for this feedback, @emkaysmith. I’m adding this, and your other posts, to our roadmap cards.

Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve added cards for them on the roadmap:

(In the future it would be better if you could create a separate topic for each suggestion. This will make it easier to have conversations on each idea independently.)

Thank you!

I’ve added the first two suggestions above to the “To do” list on the roadmap, and the second two to the “Under consideration” list on the roadmap. I’d like to get others’ thoughts on these suggestions.

Regarding showing children by default, I worry that this will make the family column fairly long if there are a lot of siblings and children, but maybe this is ok.

Regarding hiding relatives’ events on the timeline, this seems like a good idea. The question is the best way to do this.

I’d suggest maybe a toggle button (like an expand/collapse) to control whether or not the births of children show up in the timeline.

I’m thinking of doing two things:

  1. Add a user setting to control whether relatives events are automatically “hidden” in the timeline, and

  2. Add a toggle button to “Show Hidden Events”, which would show relatives’ events for a specific person.

There’s another scenario where you might want to hide an event in the timeline. Suppose you have a death record that has an incorrect birth date for someone. You record the birth date in the death record because you want to remember it, but then the incorrect birth date shows up on the timeline. It would be able to click a button on that event to hide it. So similarly, we can re-use the concept of hiding events to automatically hide relatives’ events if you’ve checked the “Hide relatives’ events” in your user settings. And we’ll have a toggle button at the top of the timeline to temporarily show all hidden events.

How does that sound?

I think either (or both) of those two options would work fine. The
important thing is to have an option. I’m not saying my view of the issue
is the only valid one, only that a website that hopes to attract a wide
variety of users needs to be as malleable as possible, within certain
reasonable limits.

On the other scenario: You’re quite right about the “hide” button there
just as a matter of display preference, but there’s an underlying issue,
too. I’ve been playing around with RootsMagic lately and they have a set of
buttons for each “fact” you might enter, depending on how reliable you
think the source is. The choices (paraphrased) are “proven,”
“possibly/maybe/not necessarily,” and “known to be incorrect but this is
what the source says so here it is for the record.”

The later might be a bad date on a grave marker (compared to the actual
death certificate) because the stonecutter screwed up or the
daughter-in-law who supplied the info simply didn’t know. Everyone who
visits the cemetery is going to see the marker, though, so you can’t just
ignore it. In RootsMagic, you can choose an option in doing simple types of
reports that filters out those known-to-be-wrong facts. You have the info
for your own use but you’re not forced (by the fact that it exists in the
program) to promulgate it to anyone else.

In RootsCity, I can think of a couple of ways to handle “facts” of this
kind. You could color the display box in which it appears to denote “KNOWN
WRONG,” which would happen automatically if you choose that option when you
record the fact. That way, someone else viewing the screen would be aware
of the issue. Or, as you say, you could hide it – though I don’t think I
would favor that one. You want people to know it’s wrong so they won’t
gone on mistakenly repeating it themselves, as with the erroneous grave


That’s a good point about denoting a fact as “known wrong” vs hiding. Do you think that people would want to see “known wrong” facts in their timelines, or have the option to hide them, like they’ll have the option to hide relatives’ events?

As a sometime teacher, I would kinda like “known wrong facts” to be displayed in large, purple, blinking type. However, users should probably have the option (in the settings, I guess) to display them or not. And possibly to show an exclamation mark, or something, at the left of the column with the date.

FWIW, I think “known wrong facts” should be displayed differently in your personal tree than in a community (shared) tree, where many people collaborate on a person. Once you’ve marked a fact as wrong in your tree, I think you’ll likely want to hide it so you don’t have to stare at it all the time. But a known wrong fact in a community tree should be highlighted so people recognize that others have marked it as wrong.