GEPS 007: Report Reorganization

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Proposed changes for enhancing GRAMPS reorganizing the Reports menus and dialogs.

Motivation

(This from a gramps-dev discussion)

Users usually either have an idea of a particular kind of report that they would like to run (something to show their ancestors), or they are browsing to see what reports are available. However, the first set of categories that the user encounters are: Code Generators, Graphical, Text, View, and Web. These are a mixture of what is in the report (graphics vs. text) OR where it is going (web vs. View) OR what is used for (code gen) OR its supported status.

Those categories don't make any sense to a new user, and even after using GRAMPS for a while, I have to stop and think. But even beyond that, these categories are largely arbitrary and irrelevant. If a text-based report includes pictures, does that then make it graphical? The Ahentafel report can go to the web, but it isn't in the webpage category, it is in Text.

After a user selects a report to generate, the very first questions are: Filename, open in, and output format. Some reports can be saved as PDF, others as images, LaTeX, RTF, and others. What determines the output options? It isn't clear why all output options aren't available for all reports.

Some general suggestions:

  1. Create categories that are more meaningful to the user, not the programmer.
  2. After the report is displayed, all reports should then have 3 options, "Preview", "Print", and "Export"---and you can do each multiple times.
  3. Make it so that you can print all reports, even those that originally just went to the screen.
  4. Make the export options the same (or mostly the same) for all reports.

Plan

Rearrange the menu

Suggest grouping reports by conceptual relations, rather than output format.

  1. Person
    1. Individual Complete Report
    2. Individual Summary Report
  2. Relationships
    1. Relationship Graph
    2. Hourglass Graph
    3. Kinship Report
    4. Narrated Web Report
    5. Fan Chart
  3. Family
    1. Family Groups Report
      1. Family Group Report
      2. Family Lines Graph
      3. Family Lines Report
      4. End of Line Report
    2. Ancestors
      1. Ahnentafel Report
      2. Ancestor Graph
      3. Ancestors Comprehensive Report
      4. Detailed Ancestral Report
      5. Number of Ancestors
    3. Descendants
      1. Descendant Chart
      2. Descendant Graph
      3. Descendant Report
      4. Detailed Descendant Report
  4. Events in Time
    1. Birthday and Anniversary Report
    2. Calendar, by Month
    3. Web Calendar
    4. Timeline Graph
  5. Miscellaneous
    1. Book Report
    2. Generate Web Site
    3. Marker Report
    4. Statistics Chart
    5. Summary of the database
    6. Title Page

Some of these really should be tools, I think. If it goes to the screen, I think that is a tool, no?

Dialogs

The goal of this part of the plan is to make the flow a bit more smooth in printing, previewing, and creating various kinds of output.

The current dialog look like this:

Oldreport.png

The first step might be to make a clean separation from getting the core elements of information, to what you are going to do with it. The following is a mock-up of what the first dialog might be for selecting a report.

Newreport.png

Some items to note:

  1. removed output-oriented options from top
  2. "center name" removed from top, as that can be selected
  3. moved style to a text option tab
  4. removed Page Options tab
  5. added help tab, so users will see what this report does and is for
  6. removed ok, and close buttons
  7. added export, preview, print buttons, and close

The main idea is that this screen will remain open until you are finished with this report. You might preview it some, then print, or export. Export would handle all of the other ouptut forms other than the gtk print (including HTML, Pdf, text, etc.) Not all reports have the gtk print option, but we can probably make similar print and preview pages for them as well.

Printing and exporting would bring up a second dialog requesting information on Page options, etc.