Web based family history software

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  • lotusmaikel
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8 months 1 week ago - 8 months 1 week ago #1 by lotusmaikel
general questions was created by lotusmaikel
Hi,

I'm new into the world of genealogy. and looking for software that will fit my needs. via via i'm now here to take a look. the software looks promising to my needs. what am i looking for in the software?
- can be edited/maintained by multiple persons
- easy reporting for non website users, for example some helping family like grandparents who won't use a computer. (so something lika a readible PDF)
it seems that the above expactations can be done by the software.

something i haven't found, but is a nice to have:
- is there something like a task list, where you can enters tasks on which still to do? (eg. find birth certificate etc)?

i have tested multiple software programs so far, but been dissapointed most of the times, so before making costs i would like to test it, or speak to some people which are using it already.

is there someone who will show me/tell me a little of the software via teams/google meet whatsoever session (i'm living in the netherlands)? (i've looked at the demo already, which still looks promising to me).
for my understanding, for the webhosting part, what is a reasonable size of webhosting that has to be bought? i can imagine that with pictures and so on, the database (and costs) will grow rapidly.

Kind regards,
Maikel
Last edit: 8 months 1 week ago by lotusmaikel.

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  • bertkoor
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8 months 1 week ago - 8 months 1 week ago #2 by bertkoor
Replied by bertkoor on topic general questions

something i haven't found, but is a nice to have:
- is there something like a task list, where you can enters tasks on which still to do? (eg. find birth certificate etc)?
Yes, you can configure the drop-down list of often used facts & events on persons etc. You can add the tag "_TODO" there, so the person gets an item you want to have done. Then on the "home" page of the user that added the todo-item, you can configure an extra block showing the todo list. I think you can only have a list of your own todo items.

so before making costs i would like to test it [...] what is a reasonable size of webhosting that has to be bought?
The costs are mainly in the time you spend on it. My only real costs is for web hosting, which is about worth one cup of coffee per month. I have the cheapest hosting plan of my provider: shared hosting with I think 2.5 GB storage. I have multiple trees, each with thousands of individuals. I store only some portrait photos, not each document scan.

You can set up a local test environment with XAMPP before committing yourself to a hosted environment. There are also people that use the NAS they have for backing up files & pictures as a server for webtrees.

Since I have not upgraded to the latest version, I'm not the best candidate to talk to ;-)

stamboom.BertKoor.nl runs on webtrees v1.7.13
Last edit: 8 months 1 week ago by bertkoor.

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8 months 1 week ago #3 by FransW
Replied by FransW on topic general questions
Personally, I have a hosting package of 5 GB, which is sufficient for many images.
However, instead of uploading a MB size image, I do reduce the size (length and width) and store the image as jpg with a much smaller size (only a few 100 KB).

I also live in NL, feel free to contact me via this forum when you have questions. Personally, I will not be able to do a live Teams/Whatapp season.

Frans

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8 months 1 week ago #4 by lotusmaikel
Replied by lotusmaikel on topic general questions

You can set up a local test environment with XAMPP before committing yourself to a hosted environment. There are also people that use the NAS they have for backing up files & pictures as a server for webtrees.

Since I have not upgraded to the latest version, I'm not the best candidate to talk to ;-)


Setting up a local test environment sounds the most logic next step indeed, i will dive into it. Out of interest; do you have a reason for not upgrading to the latest version? (is it difficult, is it risky in terms of losing data etc?)

However, instead of uploading a MB size image, I do reduce the size (length and width) and store the image as jpg with a much smaller size (only a few 100 KB).

Hopefully i will be able to teach the other editors to do so ;-) but the size of 2.5 and 5 GB surprised me, i was thinking about 10 GB already. my wish would be to store all the media files together in one place and thus online.

Kind regards,
Maikel

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8 months 1 week ago #5 by bertkoor
Replied by bertkoor on topic general questions
When v2.0 was in early stage there were still some showstopper bugs in the web forms. These are all solved now with v2.1. I've never encountered loss of data, that risk is very low. Especially if you have backups.

So it's just my own laziness now stopping me from upgrading. My server needs a PHP upgrade first.

stamboom.BertKoor.nl runs on webtrees v1.7.13

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8 months 1 week ago #6 by lotusmaikel
Replied by lotusmaikel on topic general questions

So it's just my own laziness now stopping me from upgrading. My server needs a PHP upgrade first.

Thanks for your honest answer!

btw is it me, or does this forum not have any possibillity to send DM to other users? (if not, that's ok, but then i can stop searching ;-))

Kind regards,
Maikel

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8 months 1 week ago #7 by norwegian_sardines
Replied by norwegian_sardines on topic general questions
It is best to keep your questions with the eventual answers on this forum so everyone can learn! No question is dumb/stupid.

I’ve been with webtrees and it’s predecessor for along time! I’m still on v2.0 because I made some code mods that I have not ported to 2.1, I have yet to understand the new design!

Way back in the phpGEDVIEW days, the predecessor to webtrees, I used XAMPP on a stick to test out the program. The biggest issue with webtrees is that it does not have all of the reports that many of the desktop programs have. The ones it has are ok, but just not the best! The upside is that the data is all on the web and most people, once they learn the program, don’t need paper to see most of the data they want, and they can help you with data entry, no more sharing data via email or text message.

A few members of this forum also run their own web service tuned for webtrees!

Ken

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8 months 1 week ago #8 by FransW
Replied by FransW on topic general questions
> does this forum not have any possibillity to send DM to other users
No, as mentioned by others ask questions in the forum! But when you really want to have one-on-one contact: you might be able to see the persons email adres (pictograms under profile picture) in this forum when logged in or you can see a link to their website, and on their webtrees website there is a generally a contact link in the footer

> i was thinking about 10 GB already. my wish would be to store all the media files together in one place and thus online
I would start small. Upgrading is always possible when needed. But also be carefull, internet sites (including webtrees) with multiple large images will load slow. In addition you will need a powerfull server to handle large size images (needed for generating thumbnails or for adding a watermark). See also: webtrees.net/faq/thumbnails/

Frans

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8 months 1 week ago #9 by lotusmaikel
Replied by lotusmaikel on topic general questions
Thanks for all the answers, good to see there is an active online community for help when needed.

This evening i started playing with the software in a localhost environment, it's definitly different than other software, so its a bit of a trial and error, but so far it does everything that i want.

there is no "best practice" document/video on how to use the software is it?

Kind regards,
Maikel

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8 months 1 week ago #10 by Handy
Replied by Handy on topic general questions
Hi Maikel, I'm pleased you decided to take a look at WebTrees after your previous post on the RM forum. I'm still a new user of this software too, and think it is brilliant. Currently I only have it installed as a localhost as I'm still learning to use it properly. I just wanted to share that a localhost setup can be done very simply without having to go down the XAMP stack route. I use a Mac computer with PHP and MYSQL installed. I then use the PHP built in server to load WebTrees for localhost setup. Good luck with your investigations. Andy

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8 months 1 week ago #11 by lotusmaikel
Replied by lotusmaikel on topic general questions

Hi Maikel, I'm pleased you decided to take a look at WebTrees after your previous post on the RM forum. I'm still a new user of this software too, and think it is brilliant. Currently I only have it installed as a localhost as I'm still learning to use it properly. I just wanted to share that a localhost setup can be done very simply without having to go down the XAMP stack route. I use a Mac computer with PHP and MYSQL installed. I then use the PHP built in server to load WebTrees for localhost setup. Good luck with your investigations. Andy

Hi Andy,
i'm using Xampp now, and it works fine, but thanks for your tip! as far i'm into my testing i'm very pleased as well with the software.

for the others (and Andy as well ofcourse ;-)) i have a few questions where i haven't found the answer for myself, perhaps someone can help me on the right track.
  • Clipping carts (stamboom knipsels) > what is meant with this feature, perhaps it is my basic knowledge about geneology so far, but i just don't understand this part of the software (and it isn't designed for nothing, so possibly im missing something very handy).
  • Repository (opslagruimte), perhaps im lost in translation, but what is meant with this part of the software, how is it designed to use?
  • in the control panel, under modules and than "blocks" there is a possibillity to switch on/off the "research tasks" button, to me this indicates i can enter research tasks (todo list), is this what @bertkoor meant earlier in this topic, because i have the feeling it is something different.

Kind regards,
Maikel

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8 months 1 week ago #12 by drblam
Replied by drblam on topic general questions
Hi Maikel,
There is some webtrees documentation available here

The German-only manual is mentioned quite often in discussions on this forum. One can use google translate to produce an acceptable version in other languages.

Your question about Clipping carts is covered in the Guide for Members (Chapter 3) section 2.1. Only users with Administrator privileges can export a copy of the full GEDCOM file, so the Clipping cart is provided to allow a Member to extract information about a subset of the data. You add records one at a time into the Clipping cart, and when you have finished it will export a fully-formed GEDCOM file containing only those records.

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8 months 1 week ago #13 by norwegian_sardines
Replied by norwegian_sardines on topic general questions
In GEDCOM a source has three components.
1 Source_Citation. Specifics about were in the source the information was found, typically a PAGE
2 Source_Record. The title, author, publisher, etc of the source
3 Repository. The place where you and others can find the source. For example the library, church, government entity were you found the source. The source_record is connected to the repository using a catalog or location of the source. Sourcing in GEDCOM is geared toward books in libraries, or manuscripts in a church. Web pages get a little harder to fit into this concept but a repository could be the website like Ancestry.

Ken

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8 months 1 week ago #14 by bertkoor
Replied by bertkoor on topic general questions
I found an older thread with an in-depth discussion of sources & repositories, perhaps worth reading:
www.webtrees.net/index.php/en/forum/2-op...-s-genealogist#79591

stamboom.BertKoor.nl runs on webtrees v1.7.13

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8 months 1 week ago #15 by Handy
Replied by Handy on topic general questions
Data aggregation sites such as Ancestry, FIndMyPast, MyHeritage, FamilySearch etc, etc can be a repository, however, they could be viewed as being Publishers of digital content rather than a repository representing the primary source of truth. When looking at those sites, more often than not, they have their own "standard" regime which they use to refer to originating repositories of physical information. Citing of sources can be a complex issue for the uninitiated. I think it is well worth the effort to research and identify an approach that works for you and then consistently apply that approach. The GEDCOM standard is very rudimentary on this subject and does not offer an informed approach in my opinion. On a positive note, the simplicity described in the GEDCOM standard gives flexibility of choice for the family historian as long as they stay within the three layers / components mentioned.

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8 months 1 week ago #16 by norwegian_sardines
Replied by norwegian_sardines on topic general questions

Data aggregation sites such as Ancestry, FIndMyPast, MyHeritage, FamilySearch etc, etc can be a repository, however, they could be viewed as being Publishers of digital content rather than a repository representing the primary source of truth.

In general I would disagree with this statement, in the science of research, “aggregators” are never the “source” of an item like a census, birth record, church record, etc. The source of that information is always the creator, while the holder of that information (the aggregator) is the repository.

Science uses terms such as “Theory” (as in the “ Theory of Evolution”) differently that colloquial uses. Here Theory is not a Hypothesis/Proposition it is a tested result, Just like a “Source” is is not who/where you got an item (colloquial use) from it is who created the item (scientific use)

HOWEVER, I would agree that you need to be consistent so you can retrieve the data from the same place consistently!

Ken

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8 months 1 week ago - 8 months 1 week ago #17 by FransW
Replied by FransW on topic general questions
I think your question on research task hasn't been answered:

The block you refer can list all excisting research tasks, but is not the place where you create a new research task.
You add a research to the individual (or family). Go to the bottom block "add a fact" and select research task. Then add this task.


Frans
Last edit: 8 months 1 week ago by FransW.

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8 months 1 week ago #18 by lotusmaikel
Replied by lotusmaikel on topic general questions

Hi Maikel,
There is some webtrees documentation available here

The German-only manual is mentioned quite often in discussions on this forum. One can use google translate to produce an acceptable version in other languages.

Your question about Clipping carts is covered in the Guide for Members (Chapter 3) section 2.1. Only users with Administrator privileges can export a copy of the full GEDCOM file, so the Clipping cart is provided to allow a Member to extract information about a subset of the data. You add records one at a time into the Clipping cart, and when you have finished it will export a fully-formed GEDCOM file containing only those records.

Thanks for your answers! the german wiki will help me (with the help of my good old friend Google). your answer about the clipping cart makes it also more clear to me, thanks again!

I found an older thread with an in-depth discussion of sources & repositories, perhaps worth reading:
www.webtrees.net/index.php/en/forum/2-op...-s-genealogist#79591


Thanks, i know what to do during my holidays, read the forum a lot more than i did already ;-)

The block you refer can list all excisting research tasks, but is not the place where you create a new research task.
You add a research to the individual (or family). Go to the bottom block "add a fact" and select research task. Then add this task.


thanks, seems to be a nice feature, i will test!

Kind regards,
Maikel

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  • lotusmaikel
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7 months 1 week ago #19 by lotusmaikel
Replied by lotusmaikel on topic general questions
I may be overlooking it, but I'm stuck with the following. I would like to add witnesses to a birth, for example, what is the most convenient way if these people are not yet in the tree? I think just create a new record for this person? and how to deal if this person does not appear in your family tree? (for example an official on duty?) I cannot find this last option (adding a "foreigner").

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Maikel

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7 months 1 week ago - 7 months 1 week ago #20 by bertkoor
Replied by bertkoor on topic general questions

I may be overlooking it, but I'm stuck with the following. I would like to add witnesses to a birth, for example, what is the most convenient way if these people are not yet in the tree? I think just create a new record for this person? and how to deal if this person does not appear in your family tree? (for example an official on duty?) I cannot find this last option (adding a "foreigner").
A witness or godparent for a baptism event should indeed exist before you can link it.

On the Control Panel there is somewhere an option to create an Unrelated Person. I personally find that a bit cumbersome, so what I do is:
  • Create the new person as a child within any family I happen to have open already
  • Copy the Xref / ID from the browser url, so it can be pasted in the child's Event as associate
  • Edit Family Members of the "donor" family and remove him/her so it's not linked anymore
Perhaps it is more steps and a bit error prone, but editors which have no Admin rights and thus may not access the Control Panel can do this as well.

There was a feature request to make "Add unrelated person" accessible from outside the Control Panel, but I don't remember how that worked out.

stamboom.BertKoor.nl runs on webtrees v1.7.13
Last edit: 7 months 1 week ago by bertkoor.

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