Tangled Web - Publishing Gen Data on WordPress Site

The Tangled Web is a set of tools for publishing Gramps data on a self-hosted WordPress site. I still have to post code on my GitHub page, which is my next task. But as a test, I’ve published my data on my web site. If you want to see what I’ve been working on for the past few months, check out this page:

Comments and suggestions welcome.

Cheers! Hans


You evil, evil man! Putting in a sudoku section to entrap people with poor impulse control. Tangled Web? maybe ‘Hotel California’ instead.

[Ummm, maybe you could block my IP range from visiting that section? Pretty please?]


You want evil? I can give you some Sudoku puzzles that will keep you busy for hours!

Back in 2005, I was stuck at home on short term medical leave. I just spent my time working on the creation of Sudoku puzzles. Heck, I get just enough contributions in my “Tip Jar” to pay the costs of the web site.

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The site name should be Molly Boldts (with the trailing ‘y’ and ‘s’ differentiated. (Superscript, subscript, or graffiti style font… )

Tie in the hardware concept of Molly anchors for bolts. Scatter a few styles of ‘unused’ molly’s & bolts for where it’s work-in-progress or you’ve ‘hung’ a few pictures but it seems underdecorated … like it needs more.
:see_no_evil: :hear_no_evil: :speak_no_evil:

Oh! I never knew those things were called Molly Bolts!

After due consideration, I think I’ll pass on those suggestions. :wink:

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What can I say. You’re reading a posting from someone who arranged a special surprise for the only nephew in our line.

When he was old enough to start using tools, we (maternal uncles) got together and got him starter tools sets for Christmas. Then replaced all his gift-wrapped presents under the tree with gag gifts: a gift wrapped hammer from his parents and gift-wrapped different styles of 60penny nail from everyone else. (His stocking, for all the non-snack items, was packed with sample boxes of other size nails… and a pair of nail clippers.)

When he was thoroughly confused and aggravated, we let him in on the gag: “We all heard that, for a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So we figured there was no reason to give you anything else!”

(I still keep hoping to have a relative give birth on April Fools Day and convince them to tell the kid their birthday was the 3rd … all the way until they are an adult. It would be the ultimate April Fools Joke … and I might even be able to pass the idea off as a way to save the kid from all sorts of adolescent cruelty from their classmates. So a joke on the parents in the bargain!)

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I’ve written an introduction to the Tangled Web Project on my blog:

It will take me a few days to write up some documentation and upload the code to my GitHub page.


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If anyone is interested in trying out my code, I have updated the content on my GitHub page, GitHub - hgboldt/Tangled-Web: Tools to publish Gramps data on WordPress.

For this release, I recommend trying it out first on a test server and inspecting the code before deploying it in a production environment.

For the next release, I plan on improving the update capabilities. That is, I want the Gramps plugin to communicate directly with the WordPress plugin to update data on the server.

All comments on the code or functionality appreciated.

Cheers! Hans

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I was wondering if it is possible to tweak the hyperlinks in Notes?

When I am reading an annotated transcription or citation in a browser on a PC, I tend to use the options to spawn a new window to follow the link. (So I do not lose my place in the annotated document.)

If the hyperlinked in the Noted were targeted (with a named browser, not just a _blank) then I could drag the target window off to the side and just click each annotation as it piques my interest. Rather than spawn a host of new windows, the named browser window would just update.

This would make discovering how all the people in a obit are connected much easier.

It would also make a good way for a Historical Society of modernizing a classic local reference book. They could fully link the book page-by-page. Then distribute the static WordPress site on a DVD or USB. It should be a pretty stable historical distribution that could run locally.

And, if they started with exporting just the reference book, Gramps could autocrop out all the unrelated material before spinning a Tangled Web.

Hi Brian! I’m not quite sure what you’re asking for. If you want to open the link in a new window, you could do a right-click on the link, and then click on “Open link in new window”. Does that not work for what you want to do?

Unfortunately not. Although it is close.

Using the “new window” approach, you have to reposition & re-size each new window. Then kill the window before opening the next “new window”. Otherwise, the window count rises and the Browser engine keeps eating more resources like a little piggy.

Having a default action of a targeted hyperlink, once you’ve positioned the new window, each subsequent click (no modifier or context menu) simply refreshes the no-longer-new window.

So you get to spend more time immersed in the research & less time managing windows.

Okay, I get what you’re saying now. I’m not sure I want to force that kind of behavior on all users. But I’m now playing with adding an icon open_in_new after the link, clicking on which opens a new window.

I’d find the extra icons disruptive during reading & a misery if you cut & paste anything.

Perhaps it could be an option? So the webmaster could choose the behavior of their own site BEFORE generating it for upload? It would just omit the extra “target” parameter in the Note hyperlinks if the option is to have standard links.

This is how it looks at the moment:

Screenshot from 2021-12-17 17-20-36

Just trying out things at the moment. An alternative is to add an item to the right-click menu, but I think that will take much more code. I’m not sure I want to go down that route.

I’m not sure I want an option chosen by the webmaster. It’s not their place to impose a link behavior on the user, in my opinion.

Well, external link indicators would be a judgement call. I find them too intrusive in the Gramps-Project wiki. But much of the styling there is sacrifices reading comprehension for the sake of heavy-handed contextual cues. So the WikiMedia external link markers are less egregious than some of the other flow.

We will probably disagree on the next point but… the presentation & flow of information is the webmaster’s responsibility and a matter of personal style… and an reflection of their understanding of the audience. Channeling that flow can influence the level of comprehension as much as writing style. So yes, the ability reshape the reading experience in unusual ways should be a tool in their toolbox.

With a different WordPress theme, they can completely change the styling of hyperlinks. Hopefully your external hyperlink markers are being done via CSS, aren’t they?

I agree fully. However, how external websites are reached is beyond that. It should be up to the user to decide where an external website should be displayed. That said, currently, I do open external sites in a new tab, but I’m still on the fence on that point, and I’m thinking of staying in the same tab. The user will still have the choice using the right-click menu.

One problem with opening websites in a new window is that there’s no consistency. Consider Chrome, for example. Opening in a new window using the right-click menu is different than using window.open(). And even regarding the latter, there are significant functional differences among different browsers.

Apparently, targeting anything other than _blank was deprecated in HTML5 with FORMS.

So… the whole idea is not gonna fly.

I don’t think the concept is not valid. I think it’s more a function of finding a way to implement it in a form that’s acceptable for everyone. Another possible approach would be a site setting to indicate how external links should be opened: same tab, new tab, or new window. Just brainstorming here, I’m not sure I want to do that.

As far as I can tell from my own reading is that technically it’s just the target="framename" form that’s officially deprecated from the anchor tag. But for all practical purposes, the target="_blank" is the only one that still has any real use.

Anyways, after considering how annoying it can be, I’ve now removed the target="_blank" from my links. I first coded it that way before I properly understood how history worked with dynamic content.

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