2010/5/29 Juliusz Gonera <jgonera@gmail.com>

> 2. Files (such as photos) are not stored in a database, but in the
> file system. The decision was based on the idea that file systems were
> designed to hold files. If you put those in a  folder structure, you
> can use them outside of Gramps, too.

I agree with that. Databases are not for files. But I consider photos
such an integral part of the family tree (I'm talking about 1-3 photos
per person, just to be able to identify each person) that it just
bothers me that they're somewhere else. Maybe an option to add a photo
to the family tree while adding it to the media would be a good idea (so
the user could decide whether they want to make it an internal or
external resource). This way I could make those few photos an integral
part of the family tree. And I'm not talking about putting them inside a
database. I'm thinking rather about two solutions:

1. A new file metaformat which would contain the database files and
media files.
2. Or simpler, a project file and a directory with all the data, e.g.
name of the file: my_family_tree.gramps
name of the directory: my_family_tree
(both in the same path)

I'm not in favor of this. It might be useful, but it is a lot of complication in the code for little gain.

> 3. When you make a Gramps XML Package, it copies all of the files into
> a file structure that mirrors their current locations. This works
> across platforms. You do not need to use Linux. This is the most
> flexible way to accommodate all of the ways people use Gramps.

Yes, but this just doesn't seem convenient when more people want to work
with one family tree on more than one computer. Let's say that I want to
give the family tree to my mother on a pendrive so that she can edit
some things. Then, I want to copy it back to have all the updated data.
The way I understand it works right now is:

1. I export the family tree to XML Package.
2. My mother creates an empty family tree on her computer.
3. She imports the package.
4. She makes the changes.
5. She exports the family tree.
6. I delete my old family tree on my computer.
7. I create a new empty family tree on my computer.
8. I import the family tree from my mother.

This really seems like too many steps to me (and I still skipped the
part about changing the absolute path and moving media files).
I would rather see it like this:

1. I copy my family tree directory/project file to a pendrive.
2. My mother opens it on her computer.
3. She makes the changes.
4. I copy the updated family tree back to my HDD replacing the old one.

Moreover, I could even do such a thing as setting a version control repo
for the whole thing and writing a script for my mom that would get the
newest version from the repo before she opens Gramps and commit the
changes after she closes it. This is quite more difficult if my family
tree files (that is database + media) can be scattered all over the HDD.

Some things here.
*Some people set their database location on an NFS share, and can work on different computers like that. This works provided that the bsddb versions on the different computers are compatible, and the same Gramps version is used.
*You can open/save a family tree from a different place via the command line. So it is possible to create .desktop files per family tree. The main reasoning to stick with the current layout is simplicity. The average Gramps users is not a PC-guru, so it should just work. For jour use case where you give 8. steps, I can give you this:

1. I export the family tree to XML Package.
2. My mother clicks on the file
3. She makes the changes.
4. She exports the family tree.
5. I click the xml file
6. with manager I change the file name and delete the old one

> 4. The Gramps-developer environment is very open to discussions of
> productive, alternative methods of operation. Especially if those come
> with a thoughtful analysis and understanding of the current state, and
> a clear direction to head. We have a series of Gramps Enhancement
> ProposalS: http://www.gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=GEPS
How can one add another proposal?

> 5. The idea of the central location of all databases is one that was
> made based on the best understanding of the technology at the time, by
> the small number of developers at the time. I think that this can be
> improved, and I'm working on an idea along these lines.
Good to hear that, I'm curious to see it.

> So, if you (or anyone) would like to work on making Gramps better, you
> might want to join the gramps-developer mailing list. We discuss stuff
> like this every day. Of course we also get people that pop in, claim
> that they don't like X, and move on. That's fine too. But we do cater
> to those people that actually use Gramps, and understand the way it
> works before they suggest alternative methods.
OK, I'll subscribe. I doubt I'll be able to help right now but who knows.

Thanks for the reply. I'm positively surprised of how fast I received
those replies ;)


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