Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, August 25, 2012 Programming Errors

Programming errors are commonly referred to as bugs. They occur for a huge number of reasons, but basically come from the complexity of programming code. They are a bother to the user and bedevil the programmers. is usually quite error free but it is apparent that adding new features constantly is taking its toll on the programmers. Some very bothersome bugs now show up regularly. Currently, there is a bug that cancels out your sign in at very random times. The effect is uniform across most of the website. I have been adding content to the Research Wiki and had the program kick me out at random times, losing my work to that point. The same thing has been happening in Family Tree, I will be adding a source and suddenly the program is asking me to log in again and I have lost my work.

OK, programming errors are common and part of life in the computer world. What is also a common part of life in the computer world is either denying the existence of the problem or ignoring it. Now, I am certain, from what has happened in the past that FamilySearch will fix the problem shortly, but it would be a nice idea and helpful to the community, if this type of bug were publicized so that we don't all think it is our own computers that are going wacky. I realize publicizing bugs runs counter to the secretive nature of the computer programmer and will likely never happen.

I realize that FamilySearch has a Feedback function where such things can be reported, but I am also aware that this particular bug has already been reported a number of times. 


  1. James, from my experience with the site behavior you describe, I suspect it is a mechanical failure rather than software. It is intermittent and suggestive of disconnects that reset the user's connection. At times this means the FS-Family Tree access-routing forgets that one has signed in, the sign-in form often does not respond to input but redirects back to itself, and image downloads sometimes halt midstream. There have been many such intermittent server failures in the FS-FT for weeks: saving fails, error messages appear announcing inability to display family members, display formatting sometimes is awry, and other items.

  2. I opened a ticket with FamilySearch for this same issue. This is the response I got:

    Thank you for contacting FamilySearch. We were experiencing problems with how our pages were syncing with the authentication server. The engineers as of 27 August 2012 have corrected the issue. If you continue seeing this issue please let us know.

  3. Yes, I think there is a large element of wishful thinking.
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