Four queries about the Narrative Web Report (NWR)

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Four queries about the Narrative Web Report (NWR)

adrian.davey
In evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the Narrative Web Report
(and the Dynamic Web Report), I am trying to understand how to select
the most appropriate combination of options that might meet various needs.

Query 1—Attributes of the different stylesheets

The wiki tells us there are seven built in style sheets, and gives us
their names, but so far I have not come across any description or table
of their various attributes, with a comparison of similarities and
differences. For example, I can report that an NWR generated with the
"Basic-Ash" stylesheet provides no visual cue of the existence of any
hotlink until the mouse hovers over it (at which point the link turns to
underlined text format). I would much prefer to use a stylesheet, if
there is one, that provides a clearer visual cue of which parts of the
visible page are hotlinked, regardless of pointer position (in the same
manner as the note editor in Gramps makes a clear distinction on the
screen between a part of the text that has been hotlinked using the link
editor, compared with some other part of the text within the note that
might happen to contain a valid URL but which has not been linked).  If
someone has already compiled a comparison table of the similarities and
differences of the 7x stylesheets please share it, but otherwise I will
compile one. When it has been compiled and commented on, we should add
this information into the wiki.

Query 2—Obfuscation of media filenames

Media objects in a NWR get an obfuscated filename. I am sure there must
be some good reason for this, but it does not seem to be solely to avoid
duplicate filenames (since the DWR successfully allows retention of
original filenames).

But what if we expressly do not want obfuscated filenames?

I know from experience that family members to whom an NWR might be
distributed will often save & redistribute any media object that
interests them, giving it their own meaningful name in the process (even
perhaps if it already has one). All my original media objects start out
with meaningful names, including as much of the important metadata as I
can embed in the filename (while still balancing this with path length
considerations). I also know that many ordinary users are oblivious to
the metadata that might be embedded within some file types, but of
course some of the software they may use to rename, crop or otherwise
manipulate a media object will overwrite or strip the metadata anyway. I
also make extensive use of protected pdf files, which at least ensures
the metadata gets preserved. But I would much prefer that the original
file name is what gets distributed when I distribute any report with
media. The lack of an option to retain original filenames is the main
reason I abandoned using the NWR in favour of the DWR some years ago.

Should I raise a feature request to have the option of retention of
original filenames in the NWR?

Query 3—Media missing from events on the narrative pages

Is it normal (with the option to include media files selected), that the
base page for an individual in a Narrative Web Report (NWR) includes
ONLY those media objects that are linked directly from that individual's
gallery?

For example, events of birth, census, residence, migration,
naturalization, military service, etc which appear in the narrative for
a person automatically include any notes that may be attached to that
event, and include them in context just after the event, in the order of
attachment on the notes tab of the event. But the media objects that are
linked directly from the gallery of that event (even though the media
may explain &/or illustrate much of the story in the event narrative),
do NOT get shown as links or thumbnails anywhere on that page—not in
proximity to the note relating to the event, and not consolidated in the
media section further down the page near the very end of the entire
narrative for that individual. A user of an NWR has to know to click on
the link from event type label on the narrative page to the event page
(assuming they have even noticed there is a hotlink, hence query 1),
where they will finally discover there are media objects.

It is of course possible to attach the media objects for any event to
the individual (as well as or instead of attaching them to the event),
but doing so still leaves the narrative relating to the event completely
devoid of the media objects that may make sense of what it says, and
aggregates all media objects in a section well off the screen to the
bottom, where it is much less obvious which of the events might provide
the context for which media objects, and likewise it is less obvious
which media objects relate to which events.

Do I need to raise a feature request to enable display of media links (&
thumbnails) immediately following events and their notes on an
individual's narrative pages (as well as on the event pages)?

Query 4—Labels on blocks of narrative

At the moment in an NWR, successive notes attached to an individual (or
any other object) print out in the order they are attached on the notes
tab, preceded with a header row that just says "Narrative". Ideally,
there might be provision for a descriptor that enabled each note to have
a title that relates to the subject matter of the note, rather than the
repetitive title "Narrative". At the moment, a Gramps note has an ID, a
type, its content, privacy & preformatting flags, date of last change,
and can be tagged. Enabling a title would presumably require the gramps
object schema to make provision for such things as a title (and maybe
other things like attributes)? Are there any such plans for future releases?

I welcome comments & suggestions. Adrian Davey


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Re: Four queries about the Narrative Web Report (NWR)

prculley
I have not looked into the various stylesheets; I'm sure a comparison page in the wiki would be appreciated.  The style of the hotlinks can probably be changed, (I think the 'a' style type is the one to modify for links).  For basic ash it looks like:
a {
    color: black;
    text-decoration: none;
    word-wrap: break-word;
}
a[href]:hover, a[href]:active {
    text-decoration: underline;
}
for basic blue it looks like:
a {
    text-decoration: underline;
}
a:hover {
    background-color: #BCEAF6;
    text-decoration: underline;
}
Which I think would leave the underline active always.

The media filenames 'obfuscation' is because it is entirely possible that the original filenames have conflicts, perhaps coming from different directories.  The obfuscated name also makes finding the thumbnail easier.  You may want to raise a feature request to have a "save as" function somewhere that can restore the filename from the title as it saves to a user's location.

Events with attached media do show the media up when you click on the event.  I guess you can ask for a thumbnail as part of the event, I'm not sure if this would be considered by the usual coder...

I would not expect the idea of a 'note title' to get much traction; this would be a significant change to the Gramps data model, and such changes happen rarely and take a long time to get approved (witness the hopefully upcoming changes to the place data model).

Paul C.



On Mon, Dec 16, 2019 at 2:33 AM Adrian Davey <[hidden email]> wrote:
In evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the Narrative Web Report
(and the Dynamic Web Report), I am trying to understand how to select
the most appropriate combination of options that might meet various needs.

Query 1—Attributes of the different stylesheets

The wiki tells us there are seven built in style sheets, and gives us
their names, but so far I have not come across any description or table
of their various attributes, with a comparison of similarities and
differences. For example, I can report that an NWR generated with the
"Basic-Ash" stylesheet provides no visual cue of the existence of any
hotlink until the mouse hovers over it (at which point the link turns to
underlined text format). I would much prefer to use a stylesheet, if
there is one, that provides a clearer visual cue of which parts of the
visible page are hotlinked, regardless of pointer position (in the same
manner as the note editor in Gramps makes a clear distinction on the
screen between a part of the text that has been hotlinked using the link
editor, compared with some other part of the text within the note that
might happen to contain a valid URL but which has not been linked).  If
someone has already compiled a comparison table of the similarities and
differences of the 7x stylesheets please share it, but otherwise I will
compile one. When it has been compiled and commented on, we should add
this information into the wiki.

Query 2—Obfuscation of media filenames

Media objects in a NWR get an obfuscated filename. I am sure there must
be some good reason for this, but it does not seem to be solely to avoid
duplicate filenames (since the DWR successfully allows retention of
original filenames).

But what if we expressly do not want obfuscated filenames?

I know from experience that family members to whom an NWR might be
distributed will often save & redistribute any media object that
interests them, giving it their own meaningful name in the process (even
perhaps if it already has one). All my original media objects start out
with meaningful names, including as much of the important metadata as I
can embed in the filename (while still balancing this with path length
considerations). I also know that many ordinary users are oblivious to
the metadata that might be embedded within some file types, but of
course some of the software they may use to rename, crop or otherwise
manipulate a media object will overwrite or strip the metadata anyway. I
also make extensive use of protected pdf files, which at least ensures
the metadata gets preserved. But I would much prefer that the original
file name is what gets distributed when I distribute any report with
media. The lack of an option to retain original filenames is the main
reason I abandoned using the NWR in favour of the DWR some years ago.

Should I raise a feature request to have the option of retention of
original filenames in the NWR?

Query 3—Media missing from events on the narrative pages

Is it normal (with the option to include media files selected), that the
base page for an individual in a Narrative Web Report (NWR) includes
ONLY those media objects that are linked directly from that individual's
gallery?

For example, events of birth, census, residence, migration,
naturalization, military service, etc which appear in the narrative for
a person automatically include any notes that may be attached to that
event, and include them in context just after the event, in the order of
attachment on the notes tab of the event. But the media objects that are
linked directly from the gallery of that event (even though the media
may explain &/or illustrate much of the story in the event narrative),
do NOT get shown as links or thumbnails anywhere on that page—not in
proximity to the note relating to the event, and not consolidated in the
media section further down the page near the very end of the entire
narrative for that individual. A user of an NWR has to know to click on
the link from event type label on the narrative page to the event page
(assuming they have even noticed there is a hotlink, hence query 1),
where they will finally discover there are media objects.

It is of course possible to attach the media objects for any event to
the individual (as well as or instead of attaching them to the event),
but doing so still leaves the narrative relating to the event completely
devoid of the media objects that may make sense of what it says, and
aggregates all media objects in a section well off the screen to the
bottom, where it is much less obvious which of the events might provide
the context for which media objects, and likewise it is less obvious
which media objects relate to which events.

Do I need to raise a feature request to enable display of media links (&
thumbnails) immediately following events and their notes on an
individual's narrative pages (as well as on the event pages)?

Query 4—Labels on blocks of narrative

At the moment in an NWR, successive notes attached to an individual (or
any other object) print out in the order they are attached on the notes
tab, preceded with a header row that just says "Narrative". Ideally,
there might be provision for a descriptor that enabled each note to have
a title that relates to the subject matter of the note, rather than the
repetitive title "Narrative". At the moment, a Gramps note has an ID, a
type, its content, privacy & preformatting flags, date of last change,
and can be tagged. Enabling a title would presumably require the gramps
object schema to make provision for such things as a title (and maybe
other things like attributes)? Are there any such plans for future releases?

I welcome comments & suggestions. Adrian Davey


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Re: Four queries about the Narrative Web Report (NWR)

GRAMPS - User mailing list
On 16/12/2019 16:27, Paul Culley wrote:
> I would not expect the idea of a 'note title' to get much traction;
> this would be a significant change to the Gramps data model, and such
> changes happen rarely and take a long time to get approved (witness
> the hopefully upcoming changes to the place data model).
>
There is already feature request for this:

10555: Notes should be capable of identifying a Title field

https://gramps-project.org/bugs/view.php?id=10555

I have no objection to adding a title field to notes if there is enough
support for the idea.


Nick.




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Re: Four queries about the Narrative Web Report (NWR)

J. Allen Crider-2
In reply to this post by adrian.davey
1.  I use the Mainz style and make one change to narrative-screen.css
(at line 138) to always have links underlined:
        a {
            color: #7D5925;
            text-decoration: none;
            word-wrap: break-word;
        }
to
        a {
            color: #7D5925;
            text-decoration: underline;
            word-wrap: break-word;
        }

2.  I wouldn't object to an option in the NWR to keep media file names,
but I wouldn't want to lose the option to use the obfuscated file names.
  For historical reasons, I have a mixture of short semi-meaningful
names and numerical names with no meaning to most people, so it has
worked better for me to have the obfuscated names.  Also, due to the
size of my database, I rarely distribute reports to others that include
media options, although I do include most media objects on the public
website that doesn't include private or hidden information.

3.  One thing to consider is not generating event pages in NWR.  Unless
there has been a change in a recent release, the only benefit to the
event pages is that they show all persons involved in the event in the
case of shared events. I found that I cannot use either event pages or
family pages on my public website because the hosting service I use
restricts the number of inodes, and including event pages would exceed
the limit.

The problem with too many inodes in the NWR when event and family pages
were generated is the primary reason I started using the DWR part of the
time.  What keeps me from abandoning the NWR and switching entirely to
the DWR is the fact that media pages attached to a citation only give
the source in the references list, and if there are multiple citations
for the same media object, the source will be listed multiple times.  As
a result, finding the proper citation and the person(s) associated with
the citation can be very difficult, especially if there are hundreds or
thousands of citations for a source (as I have with most U.S. Federal
censuses and some other sources).  I realize that most users of the
report will be starting with one or more persons and arriving at media
objects associated with that person, so they wouldn't care if the media
references aren't very useful, but for those that are browsing the media
and want to see what people they are associated with, it can be almost
impossible in the DWR.  By comparison, the NWR list each citation, each
event, and each person in the references.  If the references section of
the media pages in the DWR was improved, I would probably quit using the
NWR and only use the DWR.

4.  The easiest approach for now to this would be to include whatever
heading you want in the note itself and format it if you desire.

Allen Crider

On 12/16/19 2:32 AM, Adrian Davey wrote:

> In evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the Narrative Web Report
> (and the Dynamic Web Report), I am trying to understand how to select
> the most appropriate combination of options that might meet various needs.
>
> Query 1—Attributes of the different stylesheets
>
> The wiki tells us there are seven built in style sheets, and gives us
> their names, but so far I have not come across any description or table
> of their various attributes, with a comparison of similarities and
> differences. For example, I can report that an NWR generated with the
> "Basic-Ash" stylesheet provides no visual cue of the existence of any
> hotlink until the mouse hovers over it (at which point the link turns to
> underlined text format). I would much prefer to use a stylesheet, if
> there is one, that provides a clearer visual cue of which parts of the
> visible page are hotlinked, regardless of pointer position (in the same
> manner as the note editor in Gramps makes a clear distinction on the
> screen between a part of the text that has been hotlinked using the link
> editor, compared with some other part of the text within the note that
> might happen to contain a valid URL but which has not been linked).  If
> someone has already compiled a comparison table of the similarities and
> differences of the 7x stylesheets please share it, but otherwise I will
> compile one. When it has been compiled and commented on, we should add
> this information into the wiki.
>
> Query 2—Obfuscation of media filenames
>
> Media objects in a NWR get an obfuscated filename. I am sure there must
> be some good reason for this, but it does not seem to be solely to avoid
> duplicate filenames (since the DWR successfully allows retention of
> original filenames).
>
> But what if we expressly do not want obfuscated filenames?
>
> I know from experience that family members to whom an NWR might be
> distributed will often save & redistribute any media object that
> interests them, giving it their own meaningful name in the process (even
> perhaps if it already has one). All my original media objects start out
> with meaningful names, including as much of the important metadata as I
> can embed in the filename (while still balancing this with path length
> considerations). I also know that many ordinary users are oblivious to
> the metadata that might be embedded within some file types, but of
> course some of the software they may use to rename, crop or otherwise
> manipulate a media object will overwrite or strip the metadata anyway. I
> also make extensive use of protected pdf files, which at least ensures
> the metadata gets preserved. But I would much prefer that the original
> file name is what gets distributed when I distribute any report with
> media. The lack of an option to retain original filenames is the main
> reason I abandoned using the NWR in favour of the DWR some years ago.
>
> Should I raise a feature request to have the option of retention of
> original filenames in the NWR?
>
> Query 3—Media missing from events on the narrative pages
>
> Is it normal (with the option to include media files selected), that the
> base page for an individual in a Narrative Web Report (NWR) includes
> ONLY those media objects that are linked directly from that individual's
> gallery?
>
> For example, events of birth, census, residence, migration,
> naturalization, military service, etc which appear in the narrative for
> a person automatically include any notes that may be attached to that
> event, and include them in context just after the event, in the order of
> attachment on the notes tab of the event. But the media objects that are
> linked directly from the gallery of that event (even though the media
> may explain &/or illustrate much of the story in the event narrative),
> do NOT get shown as links or thumbnails anywhere on that page—not in
> proximity to the note relating to the event, and not consolidated in the
> media section further down the page near the very end of the entire
> narrative for that individual. A user of an NWR has to know to click on
> the link from event type label on the narrative page to the event page
> (assuming they have even noticed there is a hotlink, hence query 1),
> where they will finally discover there are media objects.
>
> It is of course possible to attach the media objects for any event to
> the individual (as well as or instead of attaching them to the event),
> but doing so still leaves the narrative relating to the event completely
> devoid of the media objects that may make sense of what it says, and
> aggregates all media objects in a section well off the screen to the
> bottom, where it is much less obvious which of the events might provide
> the context for which media objects, and likewise it is less obvious
> which media objects relate to which events.
>
> Do I need to raise a feature request to enable display of media links (&
> thumbnails) immediately following events and their notes on an
> individual's narrative pages (as well as on the event pages)?
>
> Query 4—Labels on blocks of narrative
>
> At the moment in an NWR, successive notes attached to an individual (or
> any other object) print out in the order they are attached on the notes
> tab, preceded with a header row that just says "Narrative". Ideally,
> there might be provision for a descriptor that enabled each note to have
> a title that relates to the subject matter of the note, rather than the
> repetitive title "Narrative". At the moment, a Gramps note has an ID, a
> type, its content, privacy & preformatting flags, date of last change,
> and can be tagged. Enabling a title would presumably require the gramps
> object schema to make provision for such things as a title (and maybe
> other things like attributes)? Are there any such plans for future
> releases?
>
> I welcome comments & suggestions. Adrian Davey
>
>


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