I recently received a copy of a statement attributed to the New FamilySearch/Family Tree production team that seems to contradict much of the information about the FamilySearch Labs Family Tree program, we have been told for the past year. I decided to post the questions raised by the document and see if anyone out there had any further information.
The first issue raised by the statement is that the program on FamilySearch Labs, is now correctly referred to a "the Family Tree project." I did a search in New FamilySearch Help Center and found nine documents using the term "Family Tree Project." The earliest document was dated 13 April 2009, only two days ago. Apparently, this is a very recent designation of the program. In a search on the term "Family Tree" there were 90 documents, most of which referred to instructions on how to use the program, which are, by the way, entirely missing now from the FamilySearch Labs Website. The gist of the statement I received, was that the "Family Tree" program was not equal to the New FamilySearch program and should always be referred to as "a project on labs." By the way, the "What's New in FamilySearch" page on the New FamilySearch Website hasn't been updated since February of 2009. Apparently, there may be a newer version of the "What's New" page circulating waiting for final publication.
Over the past 18 months, I have been present at a number of briefings on the New FamilySearch program from representatives of the LDS Church who have consistently lead me to believe that the the program called "Family Tree" (the Labs program) was ultimately (or close to it) the way the whole New FamilySearch program would look at the time the program was finally introduced in a release version. It is my understanding that New FamilySearch is still considered to be a "beta" version or pre-release version of the program.
Based on the idea that Family Tree was close to what the New FamilySearch program would become, we have been watching the program development closely and starting to introduce the program to new users as the "way the program will look when it is introduced." This was especially true lately, with the beginning of the introduction of the New FamilySearch program in Utah and Idaho. I was also lead to believe that there was a goal to have the final (or close to final) version of the New FamilySearch program available for introduction about the same time the program went live in Utah.
It appears that this whole idea may now be out the window. Apparently, there has been an abandonment of the idea to substitute Family Tree for the New FamilySearch interface now in operation. [As an aside, it is somewhat comforting to know that our relatives in Utah and Idaho will have to go through he same learning curve we went through with the New FamilySearch program and won't get a revised version, you know, misery loves company].
Resorting to rank speculation, it may well be that the so-called "individuals of unusual size" have done in both the New FamilySearch program and any plans to supplant the present interface with FamilyTree. Anyone out there have more information or something more concrete?
More later if I get any more information or comments.