New events tabs

Before leaving on holiday, I committed yesterday evening the present state of the reworked event tabs for version 3.2

There is still time to tweak this or change things. I like the state it is in though. To recap, what is it about? The idea is to show in the list of events also the family events. This makes the person editor more useful as it shows all events a person is involved in, allows to see possible errors more easily, and it is an often requested feature.

The way things are done is by changing the event list in a tree list, with nodes for the personal events and for every family. See the screenshot:

Person event list

Person event list

Let me tackle the main comment people will have: is it not possible to just show a flat list with a column or color indicating what are the personal and family events? Yes, that would be possible, but it is not done for the following reasons:

  • The person editor is not a report. The Timeline quickview is a report that can do ordering. It could be made a gramplet making it perhaps more usefull. The most important use case for the person editor is to enter new information. Therefore, information overload must be avoided.
  • The event tab must be understood by looking at it, so as not to scare new users.
  • The event tab must educate users also in good practices. It is important to understand the difference between personal events, and family events. This distinction comes from the GEDCOM standard. In GRAMPS events are stand alone objects that can be shared, with a unique event reference for every person or family it is coupled too. This is a great feature, but can lead to uncertainty in how to use the events. The new event tab should make the use case obvious: a family event is an event the parents of a family share (and perhaps influences the children), whereas all other events should be personal events shared between all participants.

So what is possible on this new event tab?

  1. Everything that was possible in the old event list
  2. See which families the person is a parent in. Specifically, one can now already in the person editor see how many times a person married, when this happened, …, without needing to open the relationship view. This implicates that a family which has no events is also shown in the event tab.
  3. Reorder these families using the up/down buttons on the group line. This up to now was only possible in the relationship view but not many users know this is even possible. The tooltip of the reorder button now clearly states it too.
  4. Go with one click on the edit button to the families a person is part of. That is, one cannot change the family events in the person editor, if one tries that, the family editor opens instead. Now many people are annoyed they have to move from a person editor to a view to open the family or the editor of the spouse. This can now be avoided.
  5. Drag a family event to the personal events so as to make a copy of it as a personal event. There should be no reason to do this as the person is already part of the family event, but yes, it is possible now.

One thing people will note is that family events of families a person is child in are not shown. My interpretation of family events is that they first and foremost involve the parents of a family, not the children, though obviously something like a divorce might have a big impact on the children. I’ll see how users react to determine to include family events as a child always, never, or via a preference option. My fear is adding parent family events will start to make the event list very crowded, and be confusing to newer users and to what a family event really is about.

Well, having changed person events, also the family event tab has undergone a similar change:

Family event list

Family event list

Again, here only the events of the parents are shown after the family events, no children events. Again, I’m not sure how relevant children events are for a family in se. A nice gramplet/quickview seems like a better idea as determining what is relevant can be very difficult. Eg, death of a child is important to a family if it happens while the parents are still alive, but not afterwards as the family in essence does not exist anymore. So what to show? Let’s see how this presentation is recieved and go from there.

The family event tab does not add real extra features as the person event tab does. One can edit the parents from the event tab now, but one could already to that in the family editor. One sees all events, but in present editor father and mother birth and death where already shown too.

Some things to note. Sorting in the columns works, but only sorts inside the groups. The database order is what is shown on start up, and as soon as one starts to drag the view will also change and revert to this original order. After all, drop changes how things are stored in the family tree. One obtains the original order also by clicking on the first column, so clicking there does not sort on description, but reverts to database order. In the present version there was no way to return to the original database order after doing a sort.

As a post scriptum, a screenshot of the final version of the names tab, for those not running the development version.

Person Name list

Person Name list

Note that there are 3 new columns. One now sees the group as value of the name, if the name has sources attached to it, and a preview of the first note if that is present with the name.



1 Comment

  • Doug Blank

    Very nice! Another nice step towards making this a very useful interface.

    (By the way, you said “The Timeline quickview is a report that can do ordering. It could be made a gramplet making it perhaps more usefull.” That same link describes how to make that quickview a gramplet. In fact, any quick view can be a gramplet in this manner. )

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