Comprehensive Ancestor report suggestions

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Comprehensive Ancestor report suggestions

Tim Allen
I've just started experimenting with the comprehensive ancestor report
in gramps 2.0.5 and have a bit of feedback.

First some good points. I like the list of sources at the end, and the
fact that the notes for the sources are quoted - in my database I have
most of the actual information from the source in the notes, so it makes
the report quite complete. I also like the amount of information
reported about each person - other reports tend to have too little, this
one seems about right.

Now some suggestions for improvement. Showing photos when they are
present is good, but if there is no photo then there doesn't seem to me
to be much point drawing attention to it with a huge box labelled "no
photo". If there is no photo, then surely the absence of any actual
photo is sufficient to make that evident? If you go back more than a few
generations, then unless you're extremely fortunate you're not going to
have too many photos, so having more than half your report cluttered up
with "no photo" boxes doesn't look good. If there's no photo, just leave
it out.

There is a formatting glitch where if you have death details but no
birth details for someone, it runs the words together between the name
and the death details. I should check this again at home, as to exactly
what happens, I'm describing from memory.

It seems that the thumbnails that get shown are the person's own photo
on the left, and the person's spouse, if any, on the right. Since the
person's spouse will almost certainly also feature in the report, with
their own photo, I suggest it'd be better to instead put a second photo
of the same person on the right, if there is one. The spouse's photo
could be a fallback if there is only one photo.

The gap between the list of children of one person and the next person
is sometimes a bit indistinct, and easy to miss. Maybe there needs to be
a more pronounced change in formatting, or even something as unsubtle as
a horizontal line. Perhaps underlining the name of the person (but not
their children)?

The use of "is" vs "was" seems a bit inconsistent. I presume the
intention is that "is" is for people who either are alive or could be,
and "was" is for the departed. In many cases I have ancestors who would
be well past 150 if they were still alive, but are reported using "is" -
should some heuristic be applied? I recall reading that the oldest
recorded living human reached about 124, so how about assuming anyone
over 124 is no longer with us? In my database I have many more people
with documented births than I do with documented deaths. A simpler
option, which would be acceptable in my opinion, would be to just use
"is" for everyone, punt on the whole issue, and say that our ancestors
are in some sense still with us - else why would we be bothering to
document them? :) This thing must be lots of fun to translate, by the way!

I gather the general plan for reforming reports is to try to unify them,
and introduce lots of knobs to twiddle that will let you emulate the old
ones, as well as do different things. Sounds like a good plan to me, but
I don't envy whoever actually implements it - getting the factoring
right is going to be hard :-).

BTW, unrelated to the reports as such, I just remembered a cool feature
that GeneWeb has - it has a page that tells you about upcoming birthdays
and anniversaries. That wouldn't be too hard to do, would it? Might save
a few people from the embarrassment of forgetting important dates due to
spending too much time buried in their genealogies :).

Thanks for a truly useful piece of software, hope my feedback is of some


Tim Allen          [hidden email]
Proximity Pty Ltd

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