2012/10/1 Shree Kumar <shree.shree@gmail.com>

I have data for about 10 generations in my gramps database. This data came from a book, and I'm now trying to create another book with my data.

Now, GRAMPS does provide ways to piece together a book with various components. But I didn't get satisfactory results out of this.  E.g. I asked gramps to create a descendant tree for all ten generations, and the gramps gave me a PDF file with 430 pages.

At this point, my hacking instincts kicked in and I did a good amount of python coding to do the following:
   - walks the gramps tree and automatically partitions the graph into multiple pages
  -  creates graphviz  files for each page, while merging pages that represent small fragments of family tree where it makes sense
        - when the family tree for a person ends on a page, the continuation page is displayed close to the name of the person.
  -  run 'dot' and generate PDF files
  - insert these PDF files into a template Scribus document - this document contains other details of family history in a text format
  - formatting of personal information varies in my tools
       - names are formatted as "(Title) firstname lastname",
       - dd/mm/yyyy for dates

Right now, my PDF file is 45 pages and looks OK. Some graphs could look better - and some more tweaks are needed to prevent the graphs from overflowing the page in some circumstances. But I feel I am close.

After I did all this work, I realized I hadn't asked any questions on the mailing list and had silently done my thing without looking around. While I feel stupid for not having done this earlier, I have to ask you guys : how do you generate your books ? Any other tools that I need to be aware of, please do let me know.

Thanks for your time

Everybody creates their own workflow for a book. Gramps provides the basis. As you were interested in a descendant tree, you noticed that was not very strong.

The most professional book that was created where Gramps was also one of the tools is this one:

Also there, the author hacked Gramps plugins to optimize the layout.

If you think your code is sufficiently general that it could be an improvement, do share your work. The easiest way is to provide a plugin via gramps-addons showing the improvements, or if things are possible with not a very large patch, a patch against the Gramps plugin.

-- Shree

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