GedSite News #013


In this issue:

GedSite Version 1.3.5 Released

This is a free upgrade that features the new List of People User Item. Use the List of People item to make custom lists, and configure the list to include data from the person record, or from one or more events per person. Several other new features are described in the sections below.

I recommend that all users upgrade to this version. See the Change Log for other enhancements and changes.

Building Blocks

I am excited about releasing the List of People item because it provides some very useful functionality—the ability to produce custom lists—but it also demonstrates that GedSite includes the building blocks required to create compelling content that enhance the data contained in the GEDCOM file. The building blocks are:

  • the flexible GEDCOM import facility that makes it possible for GedSite to load data from a variety of different applications,
  • the fast and flexible sentence template engine that allows users to choose the content they want to display,
  • and the filter terms that provide the means to select people and events.

The List of People User Item is the first GedSite output feature to combine all three of those building blocks, but it is only the first. In future releases, new features will leverage those building blocks, and existing features will be enhanced.

For example, the Indented Descendant chart was released in GedSite v1.2 on January 4th. The Indented Descendant chart is useful because it's compact and visitors may expand or contract segments of the chart, but it become more interesting if the chart publisher adds an accent to the chart: an Indented Descendant chart that highlights the direct ancestors of the publisher helps guide the visitor through the chart.

The accent feature does not exist now, but it's relatively easy to add using the filter terms introduced in the last release and extended in this release. The same filter terms will be used in all the features that allow the user to select people and events, and that makes it easier for users to develop the comfort required to make good use of filters.

New Filter Terms

This release includes three new filter terms. Two of the new terms support filtering by date, and the other filters by attribute value.

  1. The Last Edited filter term is important because it enables users to filter a List of People based on the date of editing activity. Date filters include the "Within" operator which compares dates to the current date, and that's intended primarily for use with the Last Edited date so users can create a list of people whose records have changed recently.
  2. A key element of any event is the date, and the new Tag Date filter allows users to filter events based on a date or a date range.
  3. The Attribute filter term filters people based on attribute values. This is very valuable for Family Historian users because Family Historian's flags are loaded as attribute values in GedSite. That means Family Historian users can control the output in GedSite based on flag assignments in Family Historian.

    Enhancements to the Person Entry Attribute item enable more visitor-friendly output based on Attribute values.

Copy / Paste User Styles

One of the more powerful capabilities in GedSite is the ability to customize the CSS styles that control how the site looks. Multiple features contribute to that result, and one of the most important is User Styles: they allow users to override or extend any of the CSS provided by Themes or the other facilities in GedSite. When users ask if a particular graphic result is possible in GedSite, the answer often begin with, "Yes, if you add a User Style..."

User Styles are powerful, but they rely on free-form text fields and new users often need help to use them effectively. The ability to copy and paste User Styles makes it easier to share User Styles via email or text-based documents. If you see an email message that includes text in the format below, anyone who wants to experiment with the User Style can easily copy and paste it into their own GedSite configuration. The text is from an answer I provided to a user earlier this month. The user wanted to imitate the style of an existing site that used the Three Columns Format with some special treatment of the columns.

parameters-1: border-collapse: separate; border-width: 0;
selector-2: .gs-pan-td-label, .gs-pe-label
parameters-2: background-color: #e5ebeb; width: 7em;
selector-3: .gs-pan-td-date
parameters-3: background-color: #f6f4e4; width: 7.5em;
selector-4: .gs-pan-td-value, .gs-pe-value
parameters-4: border-width: 0;

Switch your Format to Three Columns, copy the text above, and then use the Paste User Style command as described on the help page to see how the User Style changes the look of the columns.

Family Tree Maker

This release includes some tweaks to improve results when using GEDCOM files from Family Tree Maker. GedSite has a few new customers who use Family Tree Maker and I am pleased to provide some enhancements for them. See the Change Log for details.

Wishlist Items

I pay very close attention to feature requests. It's not practical to implement every feature, but I try my best. When a user requests a feature that I believe will help multiple users, I add the request to the wishlist, and I try to include one or two wishlist items in every release.

In this release, there are two features based solely on customer requests:

  1. The new Caption Preference property lets users decide whether GedSite uses an exhibit caption provided in the GEDCOM file or the caption provided as metadata inside the image file.
  2. The new Banner Header Script makes it easy to include a banner image in the header of the site. That was already possible, but the solution involved multiple steps and the PageScripts facility in GedSite was intended to provide an easy solution to this type of request.

How to Download

Existing customers may download the current version from the Downloads page.

To use the current version, you need a license for GedSite 4.

How to Buy

For purchasing information, see the Purchases page.

Prices and policies mentioned on this page were current when the page was published. Prices and policies are subject to change. See the GedSite home page for current version and price information.

This copyrighted material may not be redistributed.

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