Modern Software Experience

2012-03-01

planned improvements

SourceQuest: ezGED 1.0

SourceQuest's ezGED is a GEDCOM viewer for Android. SourceQuest ezGED version 1.0 does not use a proprietary file format, but reads GEDCOM files directly. That makes ezGED 1.0 simple to use; just transfer your GEDCOM file to your Android device. It also limits the size of the databases that ezGED can handle, as GEDCOM files are rather large, and memory on mobile devices is relatively limited.

ezGED 1.01 Importing

fan value

Stan Mitchell realised that Eventually someone will try a 20 megabyte GEDCOM file and be disappointed with the result., and decided to determine ezGED's fan value himself. In his 2012 Jan 10 blog post ezGED's file size limits, he determined that ezGED 1.01's fan value is 13 on a LG Optimus V smartphone phone, and 14 on a Acer Iconia Tab A100 tablet.
The difference in fan value is because of a difference in the amount of memory available to the app. On the LG Optimus V smartphone phone, apps are limited to a 24 MB application heap, while the same app running on the Acer Iconia Tab A100 tablet tablet gets a 48 MB heap to play in.

Samsung Galaxy S 16 GB

The heap size differs between Android versions and devices. On my Samsung Galaxy S 16GB (GT-i9000 but 16 GB instead of 8 GB) running Android 2.3.3, the heap size is 64 MB. On this configuration, ezGED version 1.01 manages to load FAN14.GED just fine, but suddenly terminates, without any error or warning, after importing about 84% of FAN15.GED from the SD Card. That confirms a fan value of 14.

memory usage

The ezGED app fails to load larger files because it runs of out memory while loading the file. The app displays a progress bar while loading, and Stan Mitchell provides a table that shows the file size and the percentage of the file that ezGED managed to load before it is forces to closed. On a smartphone (24 MB heap), ezGED fails to load the FAN14.GED file after loading just over ⅔ of the nearly 3 MB file, and fails to FAN15.GED file after loading just almost ⅓ of this the 6+ MB file. A quick bit of mental arithmetic suggests that ezGED 1.0's memory usage is about 12 times the file size.

The fan value is a benchmark that follows the well-established benchmarking tradition of providing a synthetic number that's better than what you'll ever attain in practice.

smallish

A fan value of 13 or even 14 is smallish. The fan value is a benchmark that follows the well-established benchmarking tradition of providing a synthetic number that's better than what you'll ever attain in practice.

A fan value of 13 (8.191 individuals) or 14 (16.383 individuals) suggests that ezGED could handle a medium size genealogy containing about ten thousand individuals, but real world genealogy databases contain so many birth and death events, dates, places, and notes that even a small file of just a few thousand individuals already stresses ezGED 1.0's limited capabilities.

planned improvements

Stan Mitchell plans to improve ezGED to support larger GEDCOM files:

ezGED's file size limitation is clearly an area that needs some rework. There are two things we hope to improve in future versions:

  • Provide an appropriate message when the application is going to run out of memory and gracefully terminate or abort the file load.
  • Improve the fan number by using SQLite storage rather than keeping everything in memory.

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