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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FamilySearch Alpha is now Beta

For some time now, on Labs.FamilySearch, there has been an alpha version of the new homepage for FamilySearch. An announcement on November 17, 2009 introduced the beta version of the new homepage. The announcement was made on the FamilySearch Labs Blog. As explained in the announcement:
The FamilySearch Beta is a project that will eventually replace the current website with a new site at the same address that integrates all of the new technologies and record sets we’ve been working on (like Record Search, Family Tree, Research Wiki, etc.) into one easy to use experience. Instead of using these tools individually, you will simply go to to work on your family history.
This first version of the FamilySearch beta is limited, The search feature does not currently search Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File, the International Genealogical Index or new FamilySearch. The Family History Center Locator is not yet implemented. The Family History Library Catalog is not yet implemented. And last, the FamilySearch Wiki is not yet integrated although it can be accessed through the FamilySearch Beta through the Learning section.

FamilySearch invites everyone to visit the site from time to time to see the changes and to make comments.

The integration of the various Websites is long overdue. Comparatively few people use or know about the FamilySearch Wiki mainly because there are no links to the site from any of the more popular FamilySearch Websites. Although there has been some progress in listing the items in the Record Search Pilot on the FamilySearch Wiki site, the implementation is less than complete. Additionally, very few users of the New FamilySearch Website have any idea about the relationship of the other sites and what they offer. Except for the link to the original FamilySeach Website on the startup screen of New FamilySearch, there is no mention of the other Websites or what they do or can do for the users.

Let's hope that the integration continues more rapidly than expressed in the Blog.

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