Plans for the New Year

I have had a number of interesting requests for new modules recently, as well as increased demand for simple hacks to achieve things not possible with add-ons. I aim to release some of these to coincide with the next upgrade of webtrees, which will be version 1.4.0.

The add-ons will include:

  • A couple of alternative solutions to adding Google AdSense (either as a front-page block, or as an individual page side-bar element.
  • A new theme called “simpl_designer” (see this demo for an idea of its look). This is new for a number of reasons, including a unique set of configurable options in its own administration page.
  • A PayPal “donations” module (front-page block).

For things that can’t be achieved through add-ons, I will start a new discussion page to provide solutions for a few commonly requested “hacks”. These include Google AdSense in the page footer, Share42.com social links, and a cackle.me comment system.

If you have any more requests, feel free to add them here.

webtrees 1.3.2 released in last today (20th October 2012) !!!

The latest version of webtrees, 1.3.2, has been released (20th October 2012)
This latest release includes:

  • New “core” languages (Brazilian Portuguese and Ukrainian) and new “extra” language (Korean)
  • New “patrilineal” surname tradition.
  • Reduce some unnecessary steps during data entry.
  • Improve performance by re-factoring access to configuration settings.
  • Fix approximately 40 reported bugs.
  • Fix a privacy issue that can cause some privacy rules to be ignored.
New add-on for webtrees released here.

Simple_branches has just been added to our Simpl-add-ons selection.
This is a replacement for the standard webtrees Branches list (Main menu>Lists>Branches). It’s basic function is the same, but allows each family branch to be expanded or collapsed to make viewing easier. It also has an optional styling feature that can display numbering for each family member using the d’Aboville numbering system.

New webtrees add-ons…

Our page of  “Simpl” add-ons for webtrees has undergone a major make-over.

  • All are now fully compatible with webtrees‘ latest version (1.3.1).
  • Updated versions of simple_menu (now simpl_menu2) and simpl_gallery (now simpl_gallery2) have been added.
  • We have an exciting new theme. We’ve called it “simpl_skyscape”. You’ll know why as soon as you see it. 🙂
  • To allow for the new theme, the existing “simpl_theme” has been renamed “simpl_grey”.
  • At last we have added ouur “simpl_pages” module. It’s great for adding almost any sort of HTML page you can imagine!
webtrees 1.3.1 released (31st August 2012)

The latest release of webtrees is now available for download at  https://launchpad.net/webtrees .

This is primarily a maintenance release, but still  includes several redesigned data interfaces, improved import-export options, increased use of CSS for standardization and customizing, and important tweaks in responsiveness. webtrees now has a total of 54 supported languages (33 core plus 21 additional), including newly added Ukrainian. With nearly 48 reported bug fixes (and more than 30 unreported ones) since the last release (June 4, 2012) and over 1,000 code changes, webtrees is still under very active development.

Why do credits expire?

This is my “rant of the month”.

Whenever you sign up for most of the commercial genealogy data sites, like ancestry, find-my-past and so on, unless you buy a full subscription you have to buy “credits” that allow you to view a few pages. Often you have to buy minimum amounts, perhaps more than you need. Then some time later you find the credits you paid good money for have “expired” and you no longer have them.

I’ve tried asking various sites why these credits expire. Some even have FAQs to answer the question, so lots of people must be puzzled by it. But all they ever tell you is when they expire. This is the FAQ from the fairly new British National Newspaper Archive site:

Why do credits expire
We put emphasis on the time period available to view the archive rather than the credits. We strive to provide the best value per page view which is why our credit packages provide a generous number of credits for the time provided. We feel that it’s important that you don’t feel as though your credits will run out within your package. You will always receive a warning email when you credits are due to expire.

I even try tried a firmer approach once, with an official complaint. But they just pointed me to their small print, where I had clearly bought the things knowing they would expire.

All true, but none of this answers the simple question, “why do credits expire?” Why do they ever need to expire? After all, I paid for them so why don’t I get to use them, all of them, when I want to?

I guess, to be honest, I know the answer. Simple commercialism. They do it because they can, and because they make more money than if they didn’t do it. Sad, but I suspect that is the only true answer.

BUT, there might be light at the end of the tunnel. While researching for this rant, I found a site, admittedly a music site not family history, that says:

We were tired of using credit systems where the credits expire after a period of time. For this reason credits on our new site do not expire. You can use them anytime, whenever you like. This year, next year, whenever – You paid for them, so why not?

So, let us all hope the word spreads, and this silly practice disappears, soon!

Hear endeth this month’s rant.

webtrees 1.2.7 released today.

webtrees have just released the latest (1.2.7) version of this great software.

It contains fixes to approximately 50 reported bugs, improvements to the sitemap module, a new translation (Bulgarian), improved login page, and hundreds of minor updates.