I have just started using GRAMPS, over the last two days, and have lost
about a day's input typing.
I am using version 0.8.1-1, running on Red Hat Linux 7.3.
When I installed GRAMPS, I set it to "open last database".
I imported a GEDCOM file, with about 1000 people, and then typed in more
people and information.
At the end of the first session, when I exited, I got a dialogue box,
saying that the database had been modified, and asking whether the
changes should be saved. I selected the "Save Changes" option.
When I went to run the applicatioon today, it did not load the
database, and I could find no trace of the database. The source GEDCOM
file was unchanged, so the work had all disappeared.
I set up a dedicated directory to store databases created by GRAMPS.
I then restarted entering the data. After a few records, I used the
export to GEDCOM facility. I tried to do a save of the database, but it
defaulted to my home directory, and not to the dedicated GRAMPS database
directory. I have write permissions to the dedicated directory, as me,
user. Due to the time taken to reroute to the dedicated directory, I
left the save.
Some time later, after entering more data, I exited the program, to save
When I reloaded the program, it did not open the database.
There was no database.
I then imported the GEDCOM file again, and found that it had saved four
extra records (the few that I had entered before the Export as GEDCOM).
I then created a new database, with a dummy person, then closed the
database, then reopened it.
I then imported the GEDCOM file again, and deleted the dummy record.
I have reloaded the program, and it has reopened the file created and
then into which the GEDCOM file was imported.
Now, what happened when I loaded the program, yesterday, and the first
time that I ran the program today, is that, when loading the program, it
came up with the dialogue box that has the two options "Open an existing
database" and "Create a new XML database". I wanted to create a database
from the importing of the GEDCOM file, so "Open an existing database"
did not work". "Create a new XML database", where I had to enter all the
data, was not wanted I wanted. So, I clicked on a file name, that
resulted in an error message to the effect that "<filename> is not a
directory", and the dialogue box crashed, leaving the application open,
so that I could access the File menu. If I just selected the "Cancel" on
the dialogue box, it closed the application. So, having access to the
File menu, I then imported the GEDCOM file, and modified it. I then, at
the end of the set of modifications, wen to the File menu, and selected
the Exit option. The dialogue box "Unsaved changes have been made to the
database" appeared, with the options "Save changes" and "Discard
changes". I selected "Save changes", and the application closed without
error, apparently with no problems, and with the changes saved. However,
it did not save any database.
I do not know in what language the application is written, but, for
example, if it is written in C, using error trapping on fopen , thence
write and fclose, could require that, since the application itself does
not automatically create a file without the user creating the file, the
user specify a file name to be generated (eg, a dialogue box, with "No
database file for saving the data, exists - please input path and
filename to which information is to be saved"), thus requiring the
creation of a database file, before the application is closed, and,
also, therefore, to prevent the loss of data.
Also, I note that the "Export to GEDCOM" facility did not remember the
path and filename to the GEDCOM file either last imported or last
exported via the application, in the absence of the created database
file, but, with the created database file open, the "Export to GEDCOM"
returns to the path and filename of the last GEDCOM file exported by the
Thus, I believe that there is a problem with the creation of the
database file, and the error trapping relating to the opening and
closing of a database file for the application.
Also, an option perhaps worth considering, is an option (in the
settings), for the user to choose between using the XML file formt
database for storing data, and simply using a GEDCOM file for accessing
and storing data.
However, I believe the issue of the file opening and closing, and the
error trapping of that and the writing of the data and the closing of
the application (whether the data is successfully written aty the
closing of the application), are more important.
"So once you do know what the question actually is,
you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
Chapter 28 of
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
A Trilogy In Four Parts",
written by Douglas Adams,
published by Pan Books, 1992