A busy week
It has been a busy week. I didn’t get any coding accomplished this week on GRAMPS, but plenty of other things happened. Since this was spring break week, the family was off from school, and my parents came out for the week. My father was the original inspiration for GRAMPS, and every time he visits I get a few more ideas. He’s also volunteered to be a beta tester on the new unstable branch. While he is not a developer, he represents our target user. After playing with the current CVS version for a short period of time he caught several things that I had overlooked.
We also managed to get 1.0.11 out the door this week. This release is just a minor bug fix release, but it cleans up a lot of loose ends. This release is entitled, “What have the Romans done for us?” For those of you who have not caught on yet, we get the names for the release from various Monty Python movies and skits. So, the question for the day is, “Where did this quote come from?” The first person to get the answer right, gets a free download of GRAMPS 1.0.11
I’ve been playing with Richard Taylor’s ScratchPad extention for GRAMPS. You can drag and drop Sources, Address, Names and other items onto scratch pad for temporary storage. Once the item is on the scratch pad, you can drag and drop to a valid destination. This solves a major problem we’ve had – how to implement a default Source. Sources don’t have to be reentered all the time now. Enter it once, drag it to the scratch pad, and it is available for reuse.
In fact, we like it so much, that we have promoted it from a plugin to a standard part of the program, accessible from a button on the primary toolbar.
This is the type of innovation that we like to see. A user sees a problem and contributes a solid contribution to the project. Isn’t this what Open Source/Free software is all about?
We’ve had some good discussions on the gramps-devel mailing list about database implementations. GRAMPS doesn’t use a traditional relational database, and I was curious how a particular problem would have been solved using something like MySQL. I got a lot of good answers, and learned a lot. While GRAMPS isn’t going to move to a relational database model (since it also has to support native GEDCOM and GRAMPS XML editing), I found the discussion interesting enough that I bought the O’Reilly MySQL book.
Finally, its been a week since I’ve been on the #gramps IRC channel on freenode. I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks, but it has proven to be a valuable resource. I’d encourage you to give it a try sometime.