Recover data from older gramps version

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Recover data from older gramps version

Philipp Klaus Krause
Some time ago I wanted to organize some information on my ancestors in a
nice way.

Unfortunately I used gramps.

I think it was some 2.something version. Now I use different computer,
gramps 3.0.2 is installed. I still have the original .grdb file and
.gramps directory.
However didn't manage to get the data from these old files.

I tried the following:
-Just import the .grdb
-copy .grdb into the location were it originally resided, copy env
directory to new .gramps, import .grdb file
-Do the db_dump/db_load thing from the wiki, import the new file
-Do the db_dump/db_load thing from the wiki, change name of the
directory containing the logs to newfile.grdb, import the new file

Each attempt gives me an error message saying that opening
/tmp/tmpXYsBRD (or some similar filename) failed.

So I have two questions:
- Is there a way to get the data back? If yes, how?
- Why doesn't gramps use some way of storing data that works? Something
like a file that contains all the data? From wiki and list it seems the
only safe way of storing data is XML import and export. Why doesn't
gramps use that XML thing for it's data (instead of something that
breaks all the time)?

Philipp



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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

Benny Malengier


2008/10/20 Philipp Klaus Krause <[hidden email]>
Some time ago I wanted to organize some information on my ancestors in a
nice way.

Unfortunately I used gramps.

Not a very polite way to start to ask for help on the gramps list.
 


I think it was some 2.something version. Now I use different computer,
gramps 3.0.2 is installed. I still have the original .grdb file and
.gramps directory.

Did you keep the .backup.gramps file 2.2.6+ stored on exit in the dir of the .grdb? If so, use that, and all should be fine.
 

However didn't manage to get the data from these old files.

I tried the following:
-Just import the .grdb 

-copy .grdb into the location were it originally resided, copy env
directory to new .gramps, import .grdb file

-Do the db_dump/db_load thing from the wiki, import the new file
-Do the db_dump/db_load thing from the wiki, change name of the
directory containing the logs to newfile.grdb, import the new file

Each attempt gives me an error message saying that opening
/tmp/tmpXYsBRD (or some similar filename) failed.

So I have two questions:
- Is there a way to get the data back? If yes, how?

Above should work. Obviously  it doesn't presumably due to an version change between then and now, or perhaps you do something wrong. Feel free to send me the grdb privately, and the env, or a link to where it can be found, and I'll try it here then. I can debug the python to see the reason.
 

- Why doesn't gramps use some way of storing data that works? Something
like a file that contains all the data? From wiki and list it seems the
only safe way of storing data is XML import and export. Why doesn't
gramps use that XML thing for it's data (instead of something that
breaks all the time)?

Because xml has to be kept in memory, and can corrupt on power outage, kernel crash, .... Using a database does not have that drawback. Just do xkill on GRAMPS to verify that. The issue with grdb files has been worked around in version 3.0.x by embedding everything, so no files are offered to the user anymore, and he needs to forcefully export or backup the data when the pc is reinstalled/upgraded, or think the issue of backup through. As you kept the correct (but not ideal) files in backup, recovery should be possible

Benny

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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

Philipp Klaus Krause
Benny Malengier schrieb:

>
>
> 2008/10/20 Philipp Klaus Krause <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>>
>
>     Some time ago I wanted to organize some information on my ancestors in a
>     nice way.
>
>     Unfortunately I used gramps.
>
>
> Not a very polite way to start to ask for help on the gramps list.

Sorry, I was annoyed at not being able to open my old file in gramps,
just getting a not very useful error message, trying everything
recommended on the wiki for recovering data and having no success. The
type of data gramps handles is the one you still want to be able to
access decades later. Had I just writen down my data on a piece of paper
it might have lasted centuries. With gramps I wasn't able to get at data
I accessed just a year ago.
Maybe I'm just not accustomed to my data being somehow hidden from me.
With other programs, be it openoffice or just a text editor there's a
file or directory where it resides. I backup the file and unless there's
a serious bug in the program I can open it later, even with later
versions. This concept of having a file somewhere that cannot be used
without some hidden data (or can't be renamed, moved, etc) is rather
unexpected. Hiding all the data from me, as the newer gramps version
does seems strange, too.


>     I think it was some 2.something version. Now I use different computer,
>     gramps 3.0.2 is installed. I still have the original .grdb file and
>     .gramps directory.
>
>
> Did you keep the .backup.gramps file 2.2.6+ stored on exit in the dir of
> the .grdb? If so, use that, and all should be fine.
>  

The file is still around. However it has a may 2007 modification date
while my .grdb has a november 2007 modification date. Thus I tried to
get at the data in the .grdb since I assumed the data from the
.backup.gramps to be autdated.

Philipp


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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

Brad Rogers
On Mon, 20 Oct 2008 17:05:43 +0200
Philipp Klaus Krause <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hello Philipp,

> versions. This concept of having a file somewhere that cannot be used
> without some hidden data (or can't be renamed, moved, etc) is rather

Check out the thread "what to backup", posted a few days ago.  Details
are given as to how to go about moving the db to a more visible place.

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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

Stéphane Charette-2
In reply to this post by Philipp Klaus Krause
> file or directory where it resides. I backup the file and unless there's
> a serious bug in the program I can open it later, even with later
> versions. This concept of having a file somewhere that cannot be used
> without some hidden data (or can't be renamed, moved, etc) is rather
> unexpected. Hiding all the data from me, as the newer gramps version
> does seems strange, too.

Yes, older versions of GRAMPS suffered from the problem where a .grdb
file was "fragile" -- if it was moved or renamed, it couldn't easily
be used again.  This has been fixed in GRAMPS 3.x.

And yes, your 2nd point is also quite valid.  If you use GIMP, or
OpenOffice, or ..., your end result is normally 1 document that you
can save wherever you want and easily move around.  People are used to
this.  In GRAMPS 3.x, the databases are named, but not saved to the
desktop or other easily-accessible place by default.  Note that this
can be changed in the preferences.

I also like having a specific file I know I can work with -- in my
case, to backup.  Here is what I do:

1) create a shell script which does this:
2) run gramps
3) if gramps exited normally, run:
    gramps --open="My Family Tree" --output=~/Desktop/Family.gramps
--format=gramps-xml

(Source:  http://www.gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=How_to_make_a_backup)

> The file is still around. However it has a may 2007 modification date
> while my .grdb has a november 2007 modification date. Thus I tried to
> get at the data in the .grdb since I assumed the data from the
> .backup.gramps to be autdated.

I was under the impression the backup file is created every time you
exit from gramps with modifications.  I'd take a look at it since this
may be the easiest method you have of opening your old database.

Stéphane

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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

Duncan Lithgow-2
>> The file is still around. However it has a may 2007 modification date
>> while my .grdb has a november 2007 modification date.
Interesting!
>> get at the data in the .grdb since I assumed the data from the
>> .backup.gramps to be autdated.
As Stéphane syas, It should be the latest info, so that's the way to go.

I otherwise agree with all your criticisms, and also think that the
current solution is far from ideal. I would be much happier to wait
each time I close GRAMPS for an xml file to be written or updated.

Duncan
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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

Philipp Klaus Krause
In reply to this post by Stéphane Charette-2
Stéphane Charette schrieb:

>> The file is still around. However it has a may 2007 modification date
>> while my .grdb has a november 2007 modification date. Thus I tried to
>> get at the data in the .grdb since I assumed the data from the
>> .backup.gramps to be autdated.
>
> I was under the impression the backup file is created every time you
> exit from gramps with modifications.  I'd take a look at it since this
> may be the easiest method you have of opening your old database.
>
> Stéphane
>

OK, I could import the backup file. I don't know if I made any changes
between may and novmeber 2007. If yes it's probably not that much data
that is lost. At least I don't remeber making any important additions.

Philipp



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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

Benny Malengier
The xml file on exit in 2.2.x was only created if the changelog was larger than 2 I think. So only small changes can have happened.
Just opening a grdb file to look at the data will also change the file I believe, as it is a database.

About the problem with the database. Point is that a database is _not_ a file. I use Amarok here which makes a large collection of my media. Where is this data stored? I have no idea from the preferences. It is in an embedded database however.
Obviously your genetic data is somewhat more important than the collection info you can rebuild. Openoffice, gimp, ... all get slower as the file increases, with a database one can avoid that (GRAMPS get's slow too after a while, but that is due to interface code that could be rewritten quite performant should the need arise). Anyway, it is a difficult tradeoff. Best would be to use a real database backend (like webapps can do), but that would confuse normal user much too much working locally (eg postgressql must be set up as we would need it, ....) ...

Benny

2008/10/20 Philipp Klaus Krause <[hidden email]>
Stéphane Charette schrieb:

>> The file is still around. However it has a may 2007 modification date
>> while my .grdb has a november 2007 modification date. Thus I tried to
>> get at the data in the .grdb since I assumed the data from the
>> .backup.gramps to be autdated.
>
> I was under the impression the backup file is created every time you
> exit from gramps with modifications.  I'd take a look at it since this
> may be the easiest method you have of opening your old database.
>
> Stéphane
>

OK, I could import the backup file. I don't know if I made any changes
between may and novmeber 2007. If yes it's probably not that much data
that is lost. At least I don't remeber making any important additions.

Philipp




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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

Gary Burton
In reply to this post by Philipp Klaus Krause
Hello Philipp

>Sorry, I was annoyed at not being able to open my old file in gramps,
>just getting a not very useful error message, trying everything
>recommended on the wiki for recovering data and having no success. The
>type of data gramps handles is the one you still want to be able to
>access decades later. Had I just writen down my data on a piece of paper
>it might have lasted centuries. With gramps I wasn't able to get at data
>I accessed just a year ago.

This is why it is recommended to export/import Gramps XML. When you export to Gramps XML format you get a file similar to that produced by OpenOffice.org - a compressed XML file. Being XML the contents of the file are human readable - not a binary file.

Read:
http://www.gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Generate_XML

For information on how to perform a command line backup see

http://www.gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=How_to_make_a_backup

The other advantage of using this approach is that your backup files are considerably smaller than backing up the BSDDB files. Think of the Gramps database files as something that is useful at run-time only. They are there just to help with transaction management and performance. For backup and archiving, GrampsXML is the way to go.

Bye

Gary

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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

ssc1478
On Mon, 20 Oct 2008 18:16:57 +0000 (GMT)
Gary Burton <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> This is why it is recommended to export/import Gramps XML. When you
> export to Gramps XML format you get a file similar to that produced
> by OpenOffice.org - a compressed XML file. Being XML the contents of
> the file are human readable - not a binary file.
>

Since it's compressed it's not human readable.  I tried opening it in
open office thinking it would uncompress it but I was prompted with a
dialog to select the encoding.  I tried a few (utf8, unicode)
but none were correct.

Phil

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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

Benny Malengier
just open it with fileroller or ark, then read the contents.

Benny

2008/10/21 ssc1478 <[hidden email]>
On Mon, 20 Oct 2008 18:16:57 +0000 (GMT)
Gary Burton <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> This is why it is recommended to export/import Gramps XML. When you
> export to Gramps XML format you get a file similar to that produced
> by OpenOffice.org - a compressed XML file. Being XML the contents of
> the file are human readable - not a binary file.
>

Since it's compressed it's not human readable.  I tried opening it in
open office thinking it would uncompress it but I was prompted with a
dialog to select the encoding.  I tried a few (utf8, unicode)
but none were correct.

Phil

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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

Benny Malengier
In reply to this post by Philipp Klaus Krause
The recovery of the file you send me privately went fine.
I will send you the resulting .gramps file (created with 3.0.3) privately
If you extract the data, you could compare with your present database.

Benny

2008/10/20 Philipp Klaus Krause <[hidden email]>
Stéphane Charette schrieb:

>> The file is still around. However it has a may 2007 modification date
>> while my .grdb has a november 2007 modification date. Thus I tried to
>> get at the data in the .grdb since I assumed the data from the
>> .backup.gramps to be autdated.
>
> I was under the impression the backup file is created every time you
> exit from gramps with modifications.  I'd take a look at it since this
> may be the easiest method you have of opening your old database.
>
> Stéphane
>

OK, I could import the backup file. I don't know if I made any changes
between may and novmeber 2007. If yes it's probably not that much data
that is lost. At least I don't remeber making any important additions.

Philipp




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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

ssc1478
In reply to this post by Benny Malengier
On Tue, 21 Oct 2008 13:22:31 +0200
"Benny Malengier" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> just open it with fileroller or ark, then read the contents.
>
> Benny

I get an "Archive not supported" error from file roller.  I have a few
gramps xml database files and a gramps package file and I got the same
error on all of them.

Phil

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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

Stéphane Charette-2
On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 16:16, ssc1478 <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, 21 Oct 2008 13:22:31 +0200
> "Benny Malengier" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> just open it with fileroller or ark, then read the contents.
>>
>> Benny
>
> I get an "Archive not supported" error from file roller.  I have a few
> gramps xml database files and a gramps package file and I got the same
> error on all of them.

http://www.gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Generate_XML

Stéphane

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Re: Recover data from older gramps version

ssc1478
On Wed, 22 Oct 2008 16:21:43 -0700
"Stéphane Charette" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 16:16, ssc1478 <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Tue, 21 Oct 2008 13:22:31 +0200
> > "Benny Malengier" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> just open it with fileroller or ark, then read the contents.
> >>
> >> Benny
> >
> > I get an "Archive not supported" error from file roller.  I have a
> > few gramps xml database files and a gramps package file and I got
> > the same error on all of them.
>
> http://www.gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Generate_XML
>
> Stéphane

Thanks! That worked perfectly.

Phil

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