Sunday, 28 November 2010

A Genealogy Gem for a Website

Ever since I launched my Ferguson One-Name website some 3 years ago, I have not been very happy with the Family Group style web pages compiled from Legacy, nor did I really like the output from TNG Software. So, I have regularly browsed the web to look for an alternative.

At last, I think I have found it in HuMo-gen which is made by Hubb Mons, who says: "I originally wrote this software for myself, because I was dissatisfied with the features of other Gedcom-to-HTML converters, but I readily offer HuMo-gen for use by the wider public". Exactly my thoughts!!

And furthermore it is free, open source software. What more could one ask for?!

You can select what to include on the Main Index (Opening Page), as shown below:

Whilst it is written in PHP, it is claimed that no knowledge of PHP or HTML is required in order to use the program. I agree, in fact anybody used to Wordpress will find it very easy.

This shows the options available from within the program, but with only a little knowledge of PHP and HTML one can easily customise this page to include other items, for example a picture of oneself, or maybe a brief description of the site. On this page there is also a Person Search Box.

It is possible to select various levels of permissions, for example one can limit the display of Sources, to say, oneself, or family etc. or, as I do, publish them for all to see, as on the right.

Clicking the filing card icon next to the name produces as a range of other options, such as different report formats, and a range of tree charts. From these charts clicking a name will go to the report for that person.

As can be seen, the sources on this screen are links and these lead to others who use this source.

I think that this software is relatively new, from the HuMo-gen website I would think around 2009, so are there any snags? Well, yes, but none are terribly important and most can easily be overcome, some are specific to its use with Legacy. Like similar programs which rely on importing GEDCOMs it suffers from the limitations of the long outdated technology of this format.

For my usage, the fields for the genealogy sources are too short, but should be easy to enlarge in the MySQL database (I haven't done this yet). The PHP scripts are, understandably, largely in Dutch which makes following them more difficult for those of us who do not speak this language (I am not monolingual btw.) and in the Sources List, the descriptions have yet to be translated, but nevertheless the meaning of them is pretty clear.

I recommend that anyone trying this program should first try it on their own PC and not the web. This involves installing a stand-alone server and the manual gives a full description of how to to this for XAMPP-lite. This also a free open-source application. Be prepared to do some work for yourself to get the output to that which you wish, but if you do hit problems the site has a Forum which I have found to be very responsive and helpful.

I have yet to put my site on-line using HuMo-gen, but only because I wish to fully familiarise myself with its workings, and I will do so at the end of December. To those, who like me, are not happy with what has been around for a while, I would say "give it a run".

© Ron Ferguson 2010

1 comment:

  1. I like this article :-)
    One comment: I am busy translating the dutch comments in the PHP files into english...