How you can help
How can you contribute to Gramps?
Why we need help
We have become victims of our own success. By 2007, the reputation of version 2 had solidified Gramps as a good alternative to commercial genealogy tools. And Gramps suddenly grew to thousands of users. Consequently, demands for support and enhancements kept increasing each day. By 2019, the downloads of Gramps from GitHub measured downloads in hundreds each month. Unfortunately, the development team does not grow in the same manner.
Forward progress on the project is continually restrained by the increasing support load. In order to continue to support the needs of the community, we need additional support.
What you can do to help
Below is a list of programming tasks where we want to increase momentum. If you can contribute in these areas, please let us know.
- Improved GEDCOM import and export
- It seems that no matter how hard we work at supporting more GEDCOM attributes, there is something that always needs to be improved. If you are a GEDCOM expert contact the developers.
- Resolving bug reports
- Bug reports arrive all the time, often several a day. Resolving bug reports is a major way in which you can help the team to be able to spend more time enhancing the system. See Bug triage
- Profiling the application on large datasets, and speed improvements
- See Gramps Performance and Tips for large databases
- Streamline the import of data & merging of duplicates
- if more sources are used and data is imported from those sources, it is sometimes very hard to find duplicate data.
Gramps is an open source project developed under the GNU General Public License policy. Please protect our project by contributing ethically and within those guidelines.
But what if I don't know how to program?
You don't need to know how to program for your labor to be of great help to the project.
How users can help the Developers
There are more parts to Gramps than the developer team can stress test. Software testing is a vital component of any software project. Users can:
- Develop database test cases
- We need sample databases that handle all the features of the program. If possible, expand the example data file.
- Help with interface testing
- Either testing the interface by hand, or help writing dogtail tests for automated testing.
- Identify problems
- If you encounter a bug, file a good Bug Report. Filing a unique & reproducible Bug Report is an enormous help.
- Validate aging Bug Reports
- As new releases enhance Gramps and address known problems, it is helpful to confirm old Bug Reports are still be valid. It is best to validate your own Bug Reports first and amend with any new insights.
How users can help other users
Even absolute novice users have unique insights into the usability of Gramps and the documentation. The idiosyncracies actually become more invisible as workarounds become habitual.
Help us identify where the Gramps interface, workflow & documentation could be more intuitive or flow more naturally.
- Write for the Wiki
- Here is where you can make a highly visible contribution to Gramps. If you request a Wiki Contributor account, you can help expand our most underdeveloped user tools.
- As a user, you can best explain how you go about its use. And sharing this knowledge is a great thing to do. An interesting side effect of writing documentation is that it causes you learn the features more fully and learn how to take better advantage of them.
- The more you use Gramps, you will gain more & more knowledge of the reports, how they work, and how they can be made better. Expanding the Reports documentation will make the original learning curve less steep for other and easier for you the next time.
Please enhance the Wiki - particularly the User manual section.
- Develop screencasts
- vnc2flv, recordmydesktop, Cankiri, VLC, xvidcap, gifsicle or SWFTools programs can be used to create screen movies that could be used to show people how to perform different tasks. Imagination and OpenShot could help us to generate a video with some screenshots addition. Also see the list of screencast tools on wikipedia
- Provide a translation
- Gramps supports many languages, but the more languages we support, the more we serve our community. See also Translators
- Package the program for a distribution
- Installing Gramps from source code is more than most new users can handle. If you can provide a package for your system, it will make it easier for new users to starting using Gramps.
- Participate on the mailing lists
- If the users of the community can answer each others questions, it can significantly reduce the load on the developers.