Brainstorming: Preferences interface

I think the “General” tab in “Preferences” menu should only contain global settings at Gramps level.
The “Base path for relative media paths” parameter (and perhaps also “Max generations for relationships” because I don’t know the exact use) would be better placed in the “Family tree” tab which contains parameters specific to each database.

Regarding the “Base path for relative media paths” parameter I also think that it would be nice to display the default directory used when it hasn’t been determined by the user (currently it’s an empty field).

Best regards.

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[The following was incorrect. The Media base path is stored in the XML header. There’s also a space for Researcher… but that does not seem to be implemented yet.]

The unfortunate aspect of this suggestion is that it gives the impression that Gramps has preferences that are Tree specific rather than global.

It does not. It’d be nice… but it doesn’t.

Actually, the “Base path for relative media paths” is specific to the current Database.

I had thought to move this to the Family Tree tab with the expanded caveat that is not a global but a database setting.

I would love to see the “Third Party Addon management” moved to its own tab. The problem there is that there are already 10 tabs scrolling past the window, plus an addon Theme tab.

Does anyone know if there can multiple rows of Tabs so that all tabs could be viewed at once?

I wasn’t meaning that the feature wasn’t Tree specific. It is just that they all seem to be stored in the gramps.ini file rather than transported with the Tree. So you can’t keep those preferences from being changed if you’re in another Tree.

There are similar other features besides Media (Like ID oriented Filter Rules, Report layouts, Research info) that really belong with the Tree rather than in the gramps.ini file.

One of the good hints is that they are listed as not being omitted from a backup.

Just to be clear. The Base Media Path is NOT stored in gramps.ini. It IS stored in the database.

Multiple tab rows are a bad design and should be avoided. The settings should use sidebar lists instead.


Actually, it should be clear differences so users know what’s global and what’s local to each database.

so a change to something like:

  • Global Application settings
  • Database specific settings

And it should also be possible to create backups of any settings that exist in any .ini file without having to drill down and find the files.
This should be done with a normal backup of any database, but it could have been a selection, a checkbox to also include or exclude backups of any .ini file or other settings.

  • Or it should at least be possible to chose both the location for configuration files and Gramplets.

I was thrown off-track by the other media path into in the gramps.ini file. Here’s the XML psuedo sample:

    <created date="2020-11-01" version="GrampsAIO64-5.1.3-2"/>

Hi all. I have been doing a lot of cut and paste moving various components of Preferences. I learned (or stumbled over) the grid function to set the display. Some components do do play well with others.

Attached are what I came up with. All existing settings are still there. I have just moved the groupings around. I also tried to add a little contextual help to better explain the setting’s function when it may not have been clear.

The ID Format, Warnings, Researcher, and Symbols panes have not changed. I have tentatively shortened the Genealogical Symbols name down to Symbols to allow more tabs to be displayed at once.

Here is what I came up with:

Alternate groupings?

Order of the tabs?

Or — Keep as is and do not change?

Note: The entries are my settings and are not the Gramps defaults.

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I like this sidebar list option but well past my ability. I can do cut and paste with a lot of error messages and some displays that would not behave.

Also, I discovered a major stumbling block. @prculley added the Theme tab to the Preferences. And it works for Themes, the lone addon with a Preference tab. But how would another addon have the same ability?

Again, well past my coding ability and maybe something for greater minds to ponder.

Reminds me of

which was rejected and lead to the creation of the Plugin Manager Enhanced addon

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Some of the reorganization is somewhat arbitrary and arguable.

A change this big seems to need a GEPS discussion. Changing the Preferences twice would create an unreasonable burden in revising the wiki.

That is why I am starting here. Feedback here can help make it better. But better can be to do nothing. Any modification from feedback can then be sent up to github where furthure discussions can occur. But I can only propose the change. Someone else with more authority will be the one to actually make anything happen.

So which changes do you have an issue?

As an example?

The Date related items moved from ‘Display’ to ‘General’ when there is a Dates tab.

Those were the first that struck me as odd. But there are a bunch.

You brought up a good point with Symbols & Themes. Those ought to be rolled into the core so the items can be integrated into the organization. Like having label on the Toolbar (Theme) should be on the same tab as labels on Navigator (Display/General) … along with the Text font size & family.

The other item is … we need a Language & dictionary selection (and possibly adding a language outside the installer) somewhere in the Interface.


That was my first thought. But as I said some of the boxes and lists do not play well with each other. Adding the Date and Age preferences to the Dates tab with those existing items caused havoc because of the underlying grid structure.

Themes is an addon so it is limited with what can happen. Its Preference tab cannot take on any other settings. If you do not have Themes installed one of it’s parameters cannot be found on another tab. Yes, if integrated into the core, other configuration options could occur.

The Symbols (Genealogical Symbols) is in the core code. but that tab has so much going on, it would be easy to “break”. And @SNoiraud has done work on Symbol use for 5.2 so I have no idea what changes he needed if any.

And to add something to be considered, the size of the Tab’s display area needs to be confined to what I am showing because of screen considerations. This limits the real estate available to adding more settings to each Tab.

  1. I did not even attempt to add new configuration options. Maybe that would advocate having ample “blank” space in each tab for something new being added down the road.

  2. The language setting has been a feature request for a while. One was recently added but closed in favor of an earlier request.


I understood that your thought was on existing features.

But a re-organize without adding new features (or integration of those 2 added tabs or the re-write of the Plugin Manager) is a tough sell. It means another re-organize would have to occur in the near future.

And layout work before the feature set is defined is premature.

The best that I can do, is offer some modest changes. I attempted to bring common “settings” together. And yes, part of the strategy was to not overpopulate the window with too many tabs. By adding an Addons tab meant redistributing the Display tab content. But I am open to ideas and one of those ideas is to do nothing at this time.

I started looking at the code wanting to put the Tabs in a different order, moving my most used tabs to the front, and that led to looking at what was on each tab.

The feature from @sam888 first opened in 2015 morphed into the enhanced Plugin Manager. I did not see any further activity on that branch. Sam raised an issue and went in another direction.

I could send my branch up and the same can happen to it or it could sit there gathering dust.

The benefit here is that users have a better chance to weigh in on possible changes. I am open to making changes… move this… ungroup these… add a new tab… make this tab first… last… I use these most often…

Right now the Themes tab, as an addon, will be last.

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I did suggest an language option, I want it.

I also agree with you people that the preferences tabs need to be reworked, I personally think it’s a mess currently.