Problem with first use of GRAMPS 2.x

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Problem with first use of GRAMPS 2.x

Bret Busby

Hello.

After a while of not having used GRAMPS (not having had time for
genealogy for a while), I tried to run GRAMPS, in response to an email,
to try to find whether a name was in my data.

I was not aware that my version of GRAMPS had been updated to version
2.x; from the XML backend version to the BerkelyDB backend version.

I use Debian Sarge.

When I tried to run GRAMPS, I got a dialogue box, that said "Welcome to
GRAMPS 2.0x", the something to do with the now using BerkelyDB. That
dialogue box did not mention any problems with opening existing GRAMPS
databases, so I closed that dialogue box, and then got another dialogue
box , with the two options "Open an existing database" or "Create a new
database". As I had an existing database, I selected that option.

The problem is that apparently, the newer version of GRAMPS eliminates
all of the settings of the previous version of GRAMPS, and in that, lost
the path to the GRAMPS databases used previously, as the response to
"open existing database", instead of automatically locating and
importing the GRAMPS database last accessed using the previous version
of GRAMPS, opened up a file browser window, pointing at the home
directory.

The effect of this, is that I now have to find the path for the GRAMPS
databases, that I had previously (a number of years ago) set up, to try
to run GRAMPS again, to input the path, and to thence try to import the
previous GRAMPS databases from the XML backend, to the newer BerkelyDB
backend.

So now, I have to leave using GRAMPs, and responding to the email, until
I have time to fix all of this up.

I think that a means of retaining the previous settings, including the
paths to the pre-existing GRAMPS databases, would have been useful and
more user-friendly, and also, at the first or second dialogue box, the
option of staying with the XML-backend format.

--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
  you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
   Chapter 28 of
   "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
   A Trilogy In Four Parts",
   written by Douglas Adams,
   published by Pan Books, 1992

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Re: Problem with first use of GRAMPS 2.x

Don Allingham
On Thu, 2005-07-21 at 11:17 +0800, Bret Busby wrote:

> When I tried to run GRAMPS, I got a dialogue box, that said "Welcome to
> GRAMPS 2.0x", the something to do with the now using BerkelyDB. That
> dialogue box did not mention any problems with opening existing GRAMPS
> databases, so I closed that dialogue box, and then got another dialogue
> box , with the two options "Open an existing database" or "Create a new
> database". As I had an existing database, I selected that option.
>
> The problem is that apparently, the newer version of GRAMPS eliminates
> all of the settings of the previous version of GRAMPS, and in that, lost
> the path to the GRAMPS databases used previously, as the response to
> "open existing database", instead of automatically locating and
> importing the GRAMPS database last accessed using the previous version
> of GRAMPS, opened up a file browser window, pointing at the home
> directory.
>
> The effect of this, is that I now have to find the path for the GRAMPS
> databases, that I had previously (a number of years ago) set up, to try
> to run GRAMPS again, to input the path, and to thence try to import the
> previous GRAMPS databases from the XML backend, to the newer BerkelyDB
> backend.
>
> So now, I have to leave using GRAMPs, and responding to the email, until
> I have time to fix all of this up.
>
> I think that a means of retaining the previous settings, including the
> paths to the pre-existing GRAMPS databases, would have been useful and
> more user-friendly, and also, at the first or second dialogue box, the
> option of staying with the XML-backend format.

Brett,

Thanks for your report. I hope I might be able to clarify things a bit.

First, GRAMPS 2.0.X can read and write multiple formats. These include
the new GRDB files (based on Berkeley DB), the previous default of
GRAMPS XML, and (with the possibility of losing some data) GEDCOM. If
you have a smaller database, then continuing to use the XML is still a
valid and viable option. You can stay with the XML backend - just select
the XML file in the open file dialog.

This should be fairly clear if you look at the File Chooser dialog box.
The box allows you to select the file, and by default GRAMPS will
automatically figure out the file type. You can even filter based of the
XML, GRDB and GEDCOM types, and you can override our file type detection
if you so desire (which usually is not a good idea).

We honestly made every attempt to preserve the user's settings during
the upgrade to 2.0. All of the settings should not be lost. However,
sometimes the old settings may not directly apply to the newer version,
and can't be migrated.

With GRAMPS 2.0, we significantly enhanced the file handling. In
addition to supporting two new file formats, we removed several
restrictions that were causing confusion for people. The major change
was that we no longer force you to specify a directory as your database
- instead we allow you to directly specify the file. This allows us to
handle the two new formats (GRDB and GEDCOM), and removes the naming
restriction of "data.gramps" for the XML file. You can now have all your
GRAMPS XML files in a single directory, and you can have XML files, GRDB
files and GEDCOM files in the same directory.

The side effect of this is that the old "last used database" setting was
not longer valid, since it reflects a directory name and not a file
name. With only a directory name, we do not know what file you want. The
directory can contain many files.

We could make an assumption about the database identified by the old
setting, but this could be dangerous. A person may get a database that
they did not expect. It seemed safer to have the user re-select the file
the first time to make sure the correct file was opened. Once this as
been specified, and we have a valid filename, we should be able to
safely store that as the default.

Don




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Re: Problem with first use of GRAMPS 2.x

Bret Busby
On Thu, 21 Jul 2005, Don Allingham wrote:

>
> Brett,
>
> Thanks for your report. I hope I might be able to clarify things a bit.
>
> First, GRAMPS 2.0.X can read and write multiple formats. These include
> the new GRDB files (based on Berkeley DB), the previous default of
> GRAMPS XML, and (with the possibility of losing some data) GEDCOM. If
> you have a smaller database, then continuing to use the XML is still a
> valid and viable option. You can stay with the XML backend - just select
> the XML file in the open file dialog.
>

This is one thing that tends to amuse me (no reflection on you, Don);
the term "smaller database". One of my files has (from memory) a couple
of thousand names in it; another has a couple of hundred. What a
"smaller database" means, depends on the user of the term, I think. I
expect that a file that has under 10,000 names, should be okay with XML.

I have today found a web page on the Debian stable web site, that has
GRAMPS 1.0.11-1, which I understand was the last stable 1.x release of
GRAMPS, and which was released just a few months ago, I believe.

I have installed that (downgraded from 2.x), and it seems to open up the
last opened file okay. I think that I will probably keep using that for
a while, until I can get my data sorted out.

I have got some files that a cousin gave me, in Family Tree Maker
format, so I have to open them using FTM, export them to GEDCOM, then
import them from GEDCOM, as one of the lines that I have been trying to
research in the last week, appears to be buried in there. And, due to a
buggy system, the computer on which are the FTM and data, takes about 30
minutes, to boot into Win98.

All of this demonstrates, along with the problems that I mentioned with
going to GRAMPS 2.x, the need for regular backing up of data into a
GEDCOM file, so that the data is easily accessible, if anything
unforeseen arises.

--
Bret Busby
Armadale
West Australia
..............

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
  you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
   Chapter 28 of
   "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
   A Trilogy In Four Parts",
   written by Douglas Adams,
   published by Pan Books, 1992

....................................................


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