Announcing Grampshub - a hosting provider for Gramps Web

Dear all,

as mentioned here and there, I’ve been working on a hosted solution of Gramps Web powered by the multi-tenant capabilities added in recent releases. The main motivation for this is to lower the entry barrier to Gramps Web and increase adoption. In this and other forums, we have seen that the main challenge for many potential users is deploying a multi-container application, and understandably so.

That’s why today, I’m launching Grampshub, a hosting provider for Gramps Web.

The idea is to get started with a couple of clicks, no docker or Linux expertise required, without compromising security or privacy.

The service is not for free - setting it up and running it isn’t either - but I’m trying to make it roughly self-supporting; in particular, the smallest subscription is cheaper than the smallest DigitalOcean droplet you can use to run Gramps Web.

Some things I want to stress:

  • This does not change anything about Gramps Web being 100% open source and staying like that
  • This does not change the fact that Gramps Web will always allow being self-hosted, for users who have the abilities
  • There will not be any paid/premium features

That being said, I’d be happy if you try it out and give me feedback.

As a bait, the first five people to sign up with the promo code GRAMPSHUBPIONEER will get 3 months for free (rather than just 7 days) :slight_smile:

:brown_heart:

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The “about us” webpage is more of an “about our products”.

I expected to learn more about your background as the founder of David Straub Analytics and why you created GrampsHub.com and your goals. Also, if there is a team (or a fallback) behind you.

From reading the footer linked pages, I gather that that this has been and will be an expensive proposition for you:

  • Helpdesk automation and AI (SaaS) through Freshdesk by Freshworks Inc
  • payment processing through Stripe Payments Europe Ltd
  • Cloud storage and cloud processing through Google Ireland Limited.
  • domain registration through Google Domains (acquired by Squarespace June 2023)

And so long as there a low volume of GrampsHub customers, it is likely to be expensive for them too.

Hi,

thanks for the feedback :slight_smile:

I expected to learn more about your background as the founder of David Straub Analytics and why you created GrampsHub.com and your goals. Also, if there is a team (or a fallback) behind you.

Yep, good point. I didn’t feel comfortable writing too much about myself, but you are right it would be useful for people to know. Perhaps I should write a blog article or something.

Well, depends on what you consider expensive. Freshdesk is free so far, Stripe is a small fee per transaction (so it’s a small factor in the cost), the domain is 12 €/year. Google Cloud computing cost scales with the usage.

What is expensive is getting a lawyer to write the terms of service :astonished: but unfortunately compulsory.

Not sure what you mean - as long as there are just 4 or 5 users, the fixed costs might be higher than the subscription fees, but I still think this is the cheapest way to run such a web app.

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I dont know if its just me, but for me, the site does not look right, text is missing, in Firefox. It is working fine in Vivaldi tho.


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:scream: thanks for the heads-up @Mihle. Can you please check the browser console (F12) whether it throws any error? What is your browser’s language?

After a little while this shows up.
bilde
My browser is in Norwegian.

EDIT: I just saw Vivaldi, that the site work with, is in English, but it still works when changing it to Norwegian…

EDIT: That error doesnt always show up.

Ok I think I got it. Can you please refresh and see if it works now? (Should be in English)

It works fine Now :slight_smile:

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On my phone, the progressive loading comes extremely late… I won’t see the next section until I’m like 2/3 up…

And another mobile glitch:

And this is how it looks when I dezoom:

(by the way, I’m using Firefox for Android 105.2.1)

I would imagine that a lot of potential users of Gramps Web would be those with home servers already running for some other purpose like a simple family website or even for small family minecraft servers. In my case, I am interested in Gramps Web, but my server is already running on apache2 and the ports are already assigned. I have not been able to figure out how to get a Docker with nginx to work with an existing apache2 server, and I doubt I am the only amateur server administrator with this problem. Perhaps if you want more adoption of Gramps Web, an apache2 version with a repo package for Debian or even a downloadable .deb for a home server compatible with apache2 would help. I was not able to do this a couple years ago, but I would have made a PR at the Github if I had.

Hi,

I don’t disagree that it would be nice to have a setup example using apache2 and a contribution would be highly welcome, but what I can tell you is that I do not intend to spend time on this. I already invested lots of time to make all the other examples with various means of deployment work (DigitalOcean, Docker, Raspberry Pi, …). And for those that are not proficient enough, I am now offering Grampshub - that’s the message of this thread.

apache2 is another option, sure - just look at the forum at what others have asked for. Use Nginx Proxy Manager instead of acme-companion! Use Caprover instead of DigitalOcean! The options are endless. And all of them are welcome. But it’s a community task.

I prefer working on features (and genealogy, which happens to be another hobby of mine :sweat_smile:).

If we don’t want to see this project stall, maintaining more than a core server package is not something that we want to have on the back of the fork architect. (Although being the maintainer of 1 package tends to inspire a desire for easy maintenance in the architect!)

So we probably need to recruit maintainers for various Gramps Web server packages. Just like has happened in the primary (Gramps for workstations) fork.

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I see very positively on Gramps Web and David’s hosted solution. Some family societies have asked about possibility to allow their members to edit directly their common Gramps family tree in Isotammi service. With above mentioned combination we could solve this need and grow Gramps audience here in Finland. A small fee is not too much for good service. Go on David!

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I wanted to test the Grampshub and chose a plan.
When selecting a Family Tree I pointed at my FamilyTree.gramps … went OK but the latest changes in the family tree didn’t show up. I suspected that I should have taken an exported .xml file
I then made an export from desktop to XXX.xml and tried to import it in GrampsWEB but got an error

??? Unknown Error:Unknown

Is the away to delete the first database I imported (FamilyTree.gramps) and reimport the XXX.xml?

Appreciate help … Grampshub seems to be an elegant solution.

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Hi @rajan,

the .gramps file is the right solution (that’s the default extension for Gramps XML files). Why the latest changes do not show up is weird. However it’s always good to run check & repair in Gramps desktop before the export to avoid any inconsistencies.

You can also rebuild the search index (under “Settings”) to make sure that’s not causing the problem

Not directly from the web interface. There is a feature request to an uploaded XML, but it’s not implemented yet.

However I recently added a feature to the Gramps Web Sync addon that is called “reset to local”, that will reset the Gramps Web database to your local (desktop) one. You will have to install the addon manually from GitHub - DavidMStraub/gramps-web-sync: Development version of a Gramps addon to synchronize Gramps Web with Gramps Desktop, as it has not been merged into the official Gramps addon repo yet.

I am running DigitalOcean and had installed Gramps Websync already.
After I have installed Grampshub and started ‘Tools/Family Tree Proccessing/Gramps Web Sync …’
and the dialog with Server URL/username/password pops-up I changed the Server URL from DigitalOcean’s URL to Grampshub’s URL (Gramps Web) but got

Error 405 while connecting to server

How can I change the Server URL permanently from DigitalOcean to Grampshub?

Hi,

have you installed the latest version from the above repository? There was an issue causing 405 that has been fixed in the meantime.

Thanks … works like a swiss clock after download & installation

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Great, but please don’t forget doing regular backups to XML, especially when using the development version of the Sync plugin.