Welcome & FAQ reincarnate

A recent thread highlighted that the Welcome to Gramps! and FAQ dashboard content have become very dated. (Of the 16 FAQs, 7 are linked to sub-sections that no longer exist on the Wikipages!) But that text is hard-coded so it isn’t easy to revise by a non-programmer. And that means they not tend to be localized either.

Perhaps these 2 Dashboard gramplets could be retired in favor of a expanded NotesGramplet based replacement with a ReadOnly mode? If it could be set to show specific content from a Gramps XML file (rather than the current Tree) with a couple Notes records, it would be something that could be Translated by WikiContributors as well as GUI Translators.

FAQ_DashboardDetached The current FAQ gramplet, detached from the Dashboard.

I copied this content to a Notes records and (laboriously) reset the links. The first line is the Title normally shown on the Dashboard gramplet & the link on that 1st line is to the Help page for the Gramplet.

Since I don’t know how the Gramps GUI designates the language, I indicated that the Note was ENGLISH in the ID. It seemed like this would allow a unique ID for each variation of the content to co-exist in the same master database or to be distributed with the translation. It seemed like the Gramplet might be made smart enough to give preference to the Note in the GUI language over the default English. And, perhaps, if the same ID existed in the Tree, that would be the preferred Note to be displayed… allowing users to override the generic Welcome & FAQ with content more germane to their audience.

FAQ content transcribed to a Gramps Note

I added the Notes Gramplet to the Person view category (since it needs an Active Person and Family and so isn’t a Dashboard compatible gramplet). Then detached it and used the ‘ignore all’ spellcheck option. (Have you noticed that the terms ‘Gramps’ and ‘Gramplet’ are not included in the embedded Dictionary?)

Notes_GrampletDetached Note content displayed in the current NotesGramplet

A similar concept based on the ToDo grampet could be adapted for distributing the Gramps application Release Notes and a newsletter style note introducing a Tree being distributed and pointing out changed people & research break-throughs. (This is related to the the ToDo somehow recognizing some sort of a ‘Done’ flag? Perhaps this is related to the ‘Edit’ Button that would allow a user to change the Type from ‘To Do’? That might also allow the user to replicating a System note to the local Tree as an Override. They could then annotate the note.)

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a Gramps XML file with 4 Note objects (this FAQ & 3 variant of the Welcome text) is attached to Gramps bug 11742

@GulliblePangolin pointed out that the outdated FAQ content might become more flexible if it were handled like the Headline News Gramplet which collated the content from 3 internet sources rather than having static content. He wonders if it could import the Table of Contents (autogenerated by MediaWiki) for the the wiki FAQ page

That’s an interesting line of thought. Anyone know how the Headline News content can be safely updated? I tried adding a couple bullet items to one of the sources it polls (added the 5.2 roadmap & this Discourse forum to the news wiki page) but those additions caused the Gramplet to fail.

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I just filed a similar feature request 11867 to be able to:

  1. set a default ToDo note
  2. switch to Dashboard view upon import
  3. add the ToDo gramplet to the Dashboard.
    as part of the .Gramps format.

This would allow an Introduction to the Tree to be included with each archive.

If you wrote a re-usable ‘Gramps Genealogy Trees for Beginners’ note for your relatives, you could hotlink that in your initial ToDo Note… which would probably be more like an interactive family newsletter about recent discoveries & additions to the Tree.

This would require moving the Add-on ToDo gramplet to the built-ins. (And improving the way it decides which note is on top.) Also changing the default Dashboard from the Top Surnames & Welcome! Gramplets to ToDo & Welcome!. If the Add-on Headline News actually started being updated, it might another good Introductory dashboard candidate.

What else would encourage people to explore?

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Here’s another take on the Welcome to Gramps! gramplet text:
Frankly, I prefer adaptations of the ToDo and Note gramplets to the Welcome. It is easier to edit, has spellchecking, and allows more formatting options.

Introduction

Gramps is a software package designed for genealogical research. While similar to other genealogical programs, Gramps offers some unique and powerful features. Gramps does not enforce a particular genealogical “best practice” on researchers. There are often several ways to do any task… so Gramps tries to be flexible and conform to your style of research.

Since Gramps is “Free and Open Source Software”, you are invited to modify Gramps to more closely suit your purposes. We just ask that you share any improvements so they can inspire the entire community! Another aspect of an Open Source Software package, is that you are free to make copies and distribute it to anyone you wish.

Learn more about Gramps by visiting the Gramps Project website.

Who makes Gramps?

Gramps is created by genealogists for genealogists, organized in the Gramps Project.

It is developed and maintained by a worldwide team of volunteers whose goal is to make Gramps powerful, yet easy to use. (You have a standing invitation to join as one of those volunteers!)

There is an active community of user volunteers available on the mailing lists and Discourse forum to answer questions, share ideas and techniques.

Explore the Gramps online manual
Ask questions on the gramps-users mailing list
Share knowledge on the Gramps Discourse Forum

Getting Started

The first time Gramps is started, most of the Views will be blank. There will be very few menu or toolbar options. Gramps needs a Tree with People before more menu and toolbar options appear.

This is because options are offered on a contextual basis. (If an option does not apply to what is displayed or selected, that option is not actively displayed.) The basic context of a Family Tree is needed for any activity to happen. Family Trees are your “blank document” or “new project” workspaces.

To create a new Family Tree (sometimes called a ‘database’), select “Family Trees” menu, pick the “Manage Family Trees…” option, press the “New” button, and name your Family Tree. Then click the “Load Family Tree” button to make the selected tree active and ready to accept genealogical research data.

If you are just exploring, scroll down to bottom of this text and learn about importing the example Tree that is included with Gramps. Make any “beginner mistakes” there instead in your research. After a bit of exploring, you will be ready to begin entering your first family, or importing a genealogy file. For one strategy for filling in the Tree, please read the information at the links below.
Start with Genealogy and Gramps
Discourse forum list of Gramps tutorial videos

Enter your first Family

Switch to the “Relationships” view and, from the “Add” menu, select the “Family” to bring up the “Edit Family” window. Here you can click the [+] icon beside the “Father/partner1” or “Mother/partner2” to begin entering that person. Start with just the basic Name information for one person. (We’ll come back to add Birth and Death data later.) Clicking the “OK” stores the record, creating your first Person. You can add an immediate relative in one of the other spots or Click the “OK” button to store that first family.

This establishes a starting point for your tree. With the context of this first person and family, all of the menu options and toolbar icon functions will have become available. Spend some time moving your mouse over the icons. As your cursor passes over an icon, a hint message will appear telling you the icon’s function. The same hint system is useful for exploring any of the edit windows. Moving the mouse cursor over an item will tell you what that control will do.

You can now expand families by adding parents, a spouse and children. Under the tabs of the lower section of the Edit windows, the [+] icon under the Events tab allows adding landmark life occasions (with dates and places) to People and Families. Under the other tabs, you can add Sources, Citations, Notes and other types of information to provide documentation for your entries.

As you start using Gramps, you will find that information can be entered from all the various Views. There are multiple ways of doing most activities in Gramps. The flexibility allows you to choose which fits your work style.
Entering and editing data (a brief overview)

Importing a Family Tree

To import a Family Tree from another program, first create a GEDCOM (or other data exchange format) file from your previous program.

Create a new, blank Gramps database (Tree) file as described in the “Getting Started” section above. Then use the “Import” option under the “Family Trees” menu to import the GEDCOM data.
Import from another genealogy program

Dashboard View

You are currently reading from the “Dashboard” view, where you can add your own gramplets. You can also add gramplets to any view by adding a sidebar and/or bottombar, and right-clicking to the right of the tab.

The Configure… option in the View menu (or clicking the icon in the toolbar) opens the “Gramplet Layout” tab. This allows you to subdivide the dashboard into more or fewer columns. You can also drag the Properties button to reposition the gramplet within this dashboard or click to detach the gramplet to float above Gramps or place on a second monitor.

While the Dashboard view is about using Gramps more efficiently, the other view categories allow data entry and understanding of how your data interconnects.
Gramps View Categories

Addons and "Gramplets"

There many Addons that are available to assist you in data entry and visualizing your family tree. These addons provide reports, filter rules, View modes, “Gramplets”, and more.

Many of these addon tools are already distributed with the basic installation of Gramps. Many more are freely available to download and install.
List of Addons and “Gramplets”

Example Database

Want to see Gramps in use? There is a demonstration database that was used to illustrate the documentation. You can create a blank tree and then import that Example database.

Create a new Family Tree as described in the “Getting Started” section above. (A good name for that Family Tree would be “EXAMPLE”.)

Import the example.gramps Gramps archive file. (The webpage below describes what is in that archive and the file location for the different Operation Systems that run the Gramps program. It also describes where the file is available on the web.
Example.gramps

A revised Welcome Gramplet was recently merged to the master

Intro

Gramps is a software package designed for genealogical research. Although similar to other genealogical programs, Gramps offers some unique and powerful features.

Home Page

Who makes Gramps?

Gramps is created by genealogists for genealogists, organized in the Gramps Project.

Gramps is an Open Source Software package, which means you are free to make copies and distribute it to anyone you like. It is developed and maintained by a worldwide team of volunteers whose goal is to make Gramps powerful, yet easy to use.

There is an active community of users available on the mailing lists and Discourse forum to share ideas and techniques.

Gramps online manual

Gramps-users mailing list

Gramps Discourse Forum

Navigation Views

There are several Views in Gramps that display lists of the database components. “People”, “Families”, “Events”, “Places”, “Media”, “Notes”, “Citations”, “Sources” and “Repositories”.

There are views that display People and Families together. “Relationships” and Charts’ views like “Pedigree” and “Fan Chart”.

Gramps View Categories

Getting Started

All Views are blank when Gramps is first started. Begin by creating a Family Tree.

To create a new Family Tree (sometimes called ‘database’) select “Family Trees” from the menu, pick “Manage Family Trees”, click “New” and name your Family Tree. “Load Family Tree” to make the tree active and ready to accept data. You can enter your first family or import an existing family tree.

Start with Genealogy and Gramps

Enter your first Family

You can now enter your first Family by starting with the first Person.

Switch to the “People” view and from the menu click “Add” and then click “Person”, or use the [+] icon. Enter the basic information and save the record. Select this Person’s record and switch to the “Relationships” view.

With this first person all of the menu options and icon functions have become available. Spend some time moving your mouse over the icons. As your cursor passes over an icon a message will appear telling you the icon’s function. The same is true for any of the edit windows.

You can now create families by adding parents, a spouse and children. You can add Events to People and Families. Sources and Citations can provide documentation for your entries.

As you start using Gramps you will find that information can be entered from various Views. There are multiple ways of doing most activities in Gramps. The flexibility allows you to choose which fits your work style.

Entering and editing data (brief)

Import a Family Tree

To import a Family Tree from another program first create a GEDCOM, or other data file, from the previous program.

Once you have created a new Gramps database file use the “Import” option under the “Family Trees” menu to import the GEDCOM file.

Import from another genealogy program

Addons and "Gramplets"

There many Addons or “Gramplets” that are available to assist you in data entry and visualizing your family tree. Many of these tools are already available to you. Many more are available to download and install.

You are currently reading from the “Dashboard” view where you can add Gramplets. You can also add Gramplets to any view’s sidebar or bottombar.

Addons and “Gramplets”

Example Database

An example database is available for you to explore. It will show how the various components of Gramps come together to create a Family Tree.

Create a new Family Tree as described above and import the Gramps file ‘example.gramps’.

Follow the instructions for the location of the file stored with the Gramps program.

Example.gramps

Yes, the one above is a mod of that recent post.

After running the example, it seemed that creating the First Family entirely from within the Relationships view bypassed a few hitches. In particular, creating a new person in the People view does NOT make that the Active Person.

So if the newbie missed the selecting step, the Relationships View is still blank after the first person was created. That’s too confusing.

Also, in response to a Feature Request, added a link to the Tutorial Videos posting here on Discourse. The list on the wiki is mixed with reviews (going back 2 decades!) and is WAY too cluttered. The Discourse one is nearly too cluttered now too. Deciding between more than 20 choices can be overwhelming.)

Dave, how about posting the revised Welcome (under a different ID) as a 3rd-party Add-On?

These newbie instructions need to go through a broader beta than the technically oriented audience currently reviewing it.

You could add a link at the end to the Discourse firum thread about the wording.