[Gramps-devel] 2.0.5: "Open Database" dialog comments/bugs

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[Gramps-devel] 2.0.5: "Open Database" dialog comments/bugs

John Stoffel

Hi Don and Crew,  

I've finally found a few more minutes to keep testing gramps 2.0
against my simple sets of data and I'd like to file some bug/comment
reports tonight while I'm cranking here.  Let me know if you want
these in seperate emails.  And sorry, but I don't have the time to
open bugzilla reports right now...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

First, when opening an existing DB using the "Open database" dialogue,
I selected the directory which holds the database I wanted to use and
hit the 'Open' button.  Instead of opening the DB, it surprised me a
bit by moving into the directory and then offering to open the
'data.gramps' DB file.

Would it make more sense to just allow users to open a directory if
there is just one data.gramps file in there?  


Second, there are two dropdown (pulldown?) selections just above the
'cancel/open' buttons.  One has a label which says "Select file type:"
but doesn't do anything.  The other just has a default name of "All
Files", but without a label.

It's not clear (to me at least) how these two should be used, though
with a bit of playing around and thinking (ouch!) it became more
clear, I think.  But this could use some cleanup, and probably when
you are opening a database, you shouldn't be allowed to select the
file type of read in.  

A) When I change "Select file type:" from 'automatically detected' to
   'GEDCOM', but leave the upper box at "All Files" and then select a
   'data.gramps' file to read in, I get a dialog with a a bunch of
   warnings.   Annoyingly, the "Warning Messages" text box doesn't
   word-wrap, or expand the width of the window to handle the text
   widgth nicely.  I personally hate horizontal scrolling text boxes
   and I think we should just word-wrap here.  

B) when I make the format be "GRAMPS (grdb)" I get a dialog called
   "Loading Database" which immediately bombs out with a warning dialog
   saying "Cannot open database ... unexpected file type or format",
   which is true, but not friendly.

C) When I make the format "Geneweb" I get a warning dialogue which
   says "Opening non-native format New GRAMPS database has to be set
   up when opening non-native formats." which I think is EXCELLENT!
   This, IMHSHO, should be the default for all formats other than the
   standard gramps DB backed format from now on.

   But when I then proceed and open up a new DB called
   'untitled-1.grdb', it blows chunks on the console about the
   problems it has parsing a gramps compressed XML file as a Geneweb
   format file.  Pretty neat actually.


Third, I also think that the _width_ of the two pulldowns in the "Open
database" dialog should be made similiar, and have a label added to
clear up the meaning of the top one.

Fourth, if I open an old 'data.gramps' format file, would it be good
to offer to convert it into the new gramps.grdb format and make that
the default from then on?  

Thanks,
John


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Re: [Gramps-devel] 2.0.5: "Open Database" dialog comments/bugs

Don Allingham
John Stoffel wrote:

> Hi Don and Crew,  
>
> First, when opening an existing DB using the "Open database" dialogue,
> I selected the directory which holds the database I wanted to use and
> hit the 'Open' button.  Instead of opening the DB, it surprised me a
> bit by moving into the directory and then offering to open the
> 'data.gramps' DB file.
>
> Would it make more sense to just allow users to open a directory if
> there is just one data.gramps file in there?  

Actually, this is the expected behavior now. The limitiation that 1.0.X
imposed of having to deal with a directory as the database has been
removed in 2.0.x. Also, the required name of "data.gramps" has been
removed as well.

As a result of this, it is possible to have several databases in the
same directory. So, entering the database is the correct behavior.

File types are now opened based on mime-types, so opening a directory
would not work, since its mime-type is x-directory, not
application/gramps-xml.

While the new FileChooser gives us some flexibility, there are some
things we can do, even if we really wanted to.

> Second, there are two dropdown (pulldown?) selections just above the
> 'cancel/open' buttons.  One has a label which says "Select file type:"
> but doesn't do anything.  The other just has a default name of "All
> Files", but without a label.

This is a result of limitations with the MIME type system. GRAMPS
databases are Berkeley DB format, so we have to rely on file extenstions
for this. Not the best solution, but we can't register all Berkeley
databases as GRAMPS databases.

This means that it is possible to have a .grdb file that is actually not
a GRAMPS database. For example, if you accidentally save a GEDCOM files
as "mydatabase.grdb", the MIME type system might think this is a GRDB
file, not a GEDCOM file.

So, the current scheme provides a filter to help view the file system,
but allows you to override the database format if you know that the mime
type is wrong.

Not a good solution, but it is the best we've been able to come up with.
Fortunately, for most cases, the automatic selection should work.

> A) When I change "Select file type:" from 'automatically detected' to
>    'GEDCOM', but leave the upper box at "All Files" and then select a
>    'data.gramps' file to read in, I get a dialog with a a bunch of
>    warnings.   Annoyingly, the "Warning Messages" text box doesn't
>    word-wrap, or expand the width of the window to handle the text
>    widgth nicely.  I personally hate horizontal scrolling text boxes
>    and I think we should just word-wrap here.  

Well, any time you force a file type, the import parser is going to
assume that you know what you are doing. In this case, the GEDCOM parse
is desparately trying to make sense of what you said was a GEDCOM file,
even though it isn't. So, it is trying to report any syntax errors. This
is a particular problem with GEDCOM, since it is a horribly abused
"standard", when everyone adding their own extensions - GRAMPS reports
syntax errors/warnings so problems can be debugged.

> B) when I make the format be "GRAMPS (grdb)" I get a dialog called
>    "Loading Database" which immediately bombs out with a warning dialog
>    saying "Cannot open database ... unexpected file type or format",
>    which is true, but not friendly.

I'd like to give a better message here. However, the a Berkeley database
can fail for many reasons, and we can only take the error message the
the database gives us. On a failure, the database reports an error, and
gives us the text string that you see. This one is out of our control.

> C) When I make the format "Geneweb" I get a warning dialogue which
>    says "Opening non-native format New GRAMPS database has to be set
>    up when opening non-native formats." which I think is EXCELLENT!
>    This, IMHSHO, should be the default for all formats other than the
>    standard gramps DB backed format from now on.
>
>    But when I then proceed and open up a new DB called
>    'untitled-1.grdb', it blows chunks on the console about the
>    problems it has parsing a gramps compressed XML file as a Geneweb
>    format file.  Pretty neat actually.

Again, if you override the format, there is only so much we can do. Can
you send us an example of the messages you are seeing? We should never
send messages to the console if we can help it, so if you can send us
what we are seeing, we might be able to catch the error and give a more
reasonable message.

> Third, I also think that the _width_ of the two pulldowns in the "Open
> database" dialog should be made similiar, and have a label added to
> clear up the meaning of the top one.

Unforunately, this is beyond our control, since this is the from the
FileChooser widget.

> Fourth, if I open an old 'data.gramps' format file, would it be good
> to offer to convert it into the new gramps.grdb format and make that
> the default from then on?  

Atually, we fully support editing the old XML files. Some people prefer
to work directly on the XML files, because they use XSLT to report
generation (one of the advantanges of XML).

You can accomplish the same thing by opening a database an importing the
XML file.

Thanks for your comments.

Don


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