Newbie intro for Gramps Web

( @DavidMStraub please ignore this item. This is something the Admins and Owners should work on.)

We need volunteers to write a SHORT and uncomplicated introduction to the basics for first time visitors to a Gramps Web site. Without it, Tree owners are going to spend a LOT of time repeating the same introductory instructions to clueless relatives. If it is more than a page, they won’t read it. (The portions about collaboration can be a separate document. Avoid discussion of adding, editing or syncing in the Introduction.)

(Since RTFM is going to happen anyway, a simple memorable link would be good. You’re going to be sending it out incessantly.)

Hopefully, there will be some Home Page content that helps to herd visitors towards the focus of the Tree or an interesting recent discovery.

Hi, you can ran this through Google Translate and see if it suits your needs - at least that was exactly the intention of that article.

That GrampsHub posting is “Getting Started” documentation for the “Owner” of a Gramps Web tree.

The introduction that needs to be created is for “Guest”, “unconfirmed” and “Member” visitors. (Perhaps with a foray into “disabled”, in case that happened by accident.)

For instance, if you invite your Aunt Martha to visit the site (is there an invitation eMail form?), this is what she will see when following the link:

She might become hesitant because there is no text identifying what she is logging into or registering for. There is no privacy/cookies policy link or pop-up. Perhaps that will make her think that the invitation was spoofed and the registration will be phishing for information (e.g., her true name, eMail and a pattern of initial password)

Then on to Registration of new accounts: Say that the registration fails (username in use, the “lost password?” recovery fails, is there an approval waiting period?), there is no recourse path indicated.

For the demo login, I tried getting a “Reset Password” for the “owner” account. It said “Error: User not found” (and “Error: Error 429” when I clicked again impatiently) But the real problem is probably that no eMail address exists for that Valid User.

These entry-level problems pop-up before the new visitor ever gets to Tree data. And they are the sort of documentation that needs to exist before going public for collaboration. Then similar hand-holding docs are needed for 1st time visitors about how to browse the Tree data.

Agreed. This can all go into the “First steps” section here Introduction - Gramps Web, which is incomplete (and partially outdated).

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For problems with the demo, can you please open individual issues at Issues · gramps-project/gramps-web · GitHub? I will move the to the API repository if necessary. It’s more efficient for me if I can focus on the problem solving and not the testing. Thanks!

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Filed reports for the 4 issues used as examples.

I must respectfully disagree. The section marked “User Guide” primarily contains Owner/Editor documentation. (That section would more appropriately be labeled “Tree owner”) That will be used by 1 or 2 people per Gramps Web instance

Since the “Contributor” level is partially implemented and the docs advise against using it, that leaves “Member” and “Guest” as the majority of 1st time users. Expecting the majority to wade through features of a few (although the most prominent) users and figure out which few features they can actually use is unreasonable.

I think the Wiki might be the right place for End-User docs. We already use it that way for the Help links in Gramps for Desktops.

MediaWiki is a bit painful for composing documents. (Discourse and the GitHub markdown are far, FAR easier for posting illustrations… simply paste instead of uploading a file and using non-intuitive syntax.)

Fair, in that case we should split the “User Guide” section into subsection for owners (tree administration), editors/contributors (how to edit data), and members (how to browse data).


That sounds right. Hopefully, most of the real newbie information about browsing will be straight-forward to create. Documenting intricacies of using the search & reports will be in constant expansion.

Alternatively, you could create a separate “User Guide” and “Administrator Guide”. The “User Guide” could have sections for browsing and editing.

We already do


The tricky thing is that there are actually four levels:

  1. Administration of the installation & server, updates, etc.
  2. Administration of the tree (user management, data import/export, backups etc.)
  3. Editing data
  4. Viewing data

At the moment 1. is in the “Administration” section and 2.-4. in the User guide.

We could reorganize this to “Setup” (1.), “Administration” (2.), “Usage” (3. & 4.).


When you think about it, there are levels of setup: for the hosting configuration and creating the tree containers (single or multi-tree) are entirely different skillsets.

And the tree administration content has setup and maintenance phases. You set up the core Users (admins need an Owner account and testing accounts for the various permission levels), initial genealogical content, the Blog and tasklist (the last 2 can be used as guidance tools for visitors).

That makes sense to me. As @emyoulation points out “Setup” requires a very different skillset to “Administration”. The “User Guide” will also have a bigger audience than “Administration”. Combining viewing and editing seems logical. Users without editing permission may still be interested in reading the editing section of the manual.

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I can only contribute to this discussion by commending everyone for their efforts.

It’s encouraging to someone like myself, setting up for the first time.


FYI I just split up the documentation site into Setup/Administration/User guide as discussed, but with no additional content yet. Will try to improve the content over the next days/weeks. Contributions welcome of course.