Wow! What a fiasco at Find A Grave! It's given me a whole new positive impression of WeRelate...and 3x5 cards! If you're reading this and thinking about Find A Grave - run away!
Defects that I encountered in the management and community:
- Life is just too short to go through these...
Defects that I encountered in the software:
- Directed relationship implementation artifact (computed relationship screen noise). Since the system precludes links established from both sides (A->B AND B->A) - the fact that a link was established from A->B doesn't really imply anything about the reliability of the link. A directed implementation is fine under the covers, but it shouldn't be exposed to users if it has no general genealogical context/meaning.
- Redundant relationship creation bug. Not sure how I did it, but I was able to create a spousal connection from A->B _AND_ B->A. The result should have simply been a single connection without an asterisk on either side. It was actually two copies of the spousal connection on each page (at least for a time). Perhaps an administrator or a job automatically cleaned it up. Still, it shouldn't have happened to begin with.
- Sluggish edit handling due to requirement to wait 30 days in all situations. Obviously many memorials have been contributed by people who have not been active for an extended period (months or years). If someone has been notified that they have pending edits, and they've not made a single edit in an extended period (perhaps 60 days or more) - then making active users wait 30 days just isn't reasonable. Slower edit handling is a real dis-incentive to use of the site.
- The FAQ item for the "What is the new Edit tab" is - thankfully - dated. It notes that "In the near future, we hope to add the ability to submit relationship links via this system. The system is indeed able to submit relationship links, but they seem to exhibit the directed artifact problem noted previously.
- Attempting to edit an item for a person, for which an edit is already pending, seems badly behaved. The UI indicates there is already an edit pending, and refuses to accept another. Instead, it should open the appropriate editing display initialized with content from the pending edit request - along with a note asking whether you want to update the existing edit operation.
- The only way to indicate a duplicate memorial at present, is to write a free-form message to the managers of the respective memorials. Instead, the ordinary edit submission process should be able to be invoked on either of the duplicate pages, where the user is given an opportunity to enter the memorial id for the "other" page in the duplicated pair.
- Some xml (italics begin/end) allowed when editing a biography section that already exists. Initial creation of a biography with those same xml tags is not supported (the tags are eliminated).
- No way to submit a single image explicitly for use on multiple memorials. Not strictly a bug, but seems like a needless complication for the many situations where husband and wife (or more) are memorialized on a single stone.
- Non-members should be able to send mail related to a particular memorial FROM that memorial. That would keep all edit requests and activity for a memorial together. Non-members having to send delete, copyright, and similar requests to "info" - effectively stripped of their context (putting the memorial in by hand) - has got to make administration less timely and more error prone. A clever lawyer might even claim that it's in Find A Grave's INTEREST to let this mechanism be needlessly sluggish and harder to use - that it's providing Find A Grave a way to extend inappropriate use of copyrighted material. Therefore, Find A Grave should be held liable. Perhaps even in a class action.
- They have an absolute rule against putting link syntax in biographies - yet they don't preclude entry of the text! Do they need a remedial course in "strcmp"? I had a cute idea - but boy, cute is not appreciated by that community. Apparently it's seriously wrong thinking. My effort to do this openly and with engagement of the community was so awful - I just gave up and pulled down everything I had placed there.