PAF on Linux (or alternatives)

Discussions around Genealogy technology.
rickety
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Postby rickety » Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:36 pm

I switched to using Linux over a year ago. Recently I tried running PAF in wine. It went through the installation OK, and it searched, and found my GEDCOM file. When I tried to enter data, it crashed. No complaints, I didn't expect it to get as far as it did. So I went with PhpGedView, which was surprisingly easy to set up. However, this is not a solution for most people.

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Postby rmrichesjr » Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:49 pm

rickety wrote:I switched to using Linux over a year ago. Recently I tried running PAF in wine. It went through the installation OK, and it searched, and found my GEDCOM file. When I tried to enter data, it crashed. No complaints, I didn't expect it to get as far as it did. So I went with PhpGedView, which was surprisingly easy to set up. However, this is not a solution for most people.


(Somebody please let me know if I'm posting this too much and I'll slow down or quit.)

If you want to try PAF 5 using a recent version of Wine, I think you'll be pleased with how well it works. With the exception of the help viewer, Wine 0.9.29 has worked very well for everything I have tried. With Wine 0.9.32, the help viewer now has basic functionality. If so inclined, please check out http://appdb.winehq.org/appview.php?iVersionId=1706 for the Wine AppDB page for PAF 5.

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Postby AlexEagar-p40 » Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:47 pm

I tried a few versions ago and it was crashing when I tried to enter data. I just tried again with Wine 0.9.32 on Ubuntu and it worked just fine. Of course there are graphics glitches which makes it feel alpha quality, but my 3 minute test went really well. I installed the Microsoft arial32.exe font so that I could see what I was doing.

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AdrianLP-p40
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Postby AdrianLP-p40 » Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:54 am

Tomj wrote:It's my belief that Paf Should be made Web-based, Companies such as Apple and Microsoft are always making changes to their OS's. I'm not sure, but does PAF work on the new windows vista? The best way I think to build it is on a web platform based on the standards that the W3C adopt.


W3C is all about presentation logic. You would need something like PHP or Perl or C for the backend, and the backend would be 80% of the work.

Besides which, good luck finding any two browers to have full W3C compliancy. Just look at the Acid3 test and see how badly pretty much all browsers render W3C specs :)


Tomj wrote:This way Mac users, Windows Users and Linux Users all have an equal oportunity to do there Geneology. This would also make the Family History classes work better on sundays.


C and C++ can be written to be portable (with recompile, but it'd be distributed in binaries of course), you just don't use non-portable librairies and system calls.


Tomj wrote:I think the church should take a close look at this one. It looks like it's built on Ruby on Rails or AJAX.


AJAX just pushes/pulls content though right. There has to be a backend.

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marianomarini
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PAF alternative

Postby marianomarini » Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:56 am

rickety wrote:I switched to using Linux over a year ago. Recently I tried running PAF in wine. It went through the installation OK, and it searched, and found my GEDCOM file. When I tried to enter data, it crashed. No complaints, I didn't expect it to get as far as it did. So I went with PhpGedView, which was surprisingly easy to set up. However, this is not a solution for most people.

Why not try GRAMPS that hold also LDS ordinances?
La vita è una lezione interminabile di umiltà (Anonimo).
Life is a endless lesson of humility (Anonimous).

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:49 am

marianomarini_vi wrote:Why not try GRAMPS that hold also LDS ordinances?

I actually use gramps on my system and quite like it. In San Diego, I was involved with a program where we would do basic genealogy research for our neighbors and then present them a nice binder full of their genealogy. I did all of my work in Gramps and it worked out nicely.

Tom

Marson
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Cross-platform capabilities

Postby Marson » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:23 pm

gordon wrote:… We are now looking for a Lead Engineer on this project. If we do are work right, this should easily be portable to the Linux world. …

I would recommend searching for someone with lots of experience programming in Python (and someone familiar with programming Unicode applications)—Python is great for things like this, and it would make porting it to all platforms quite easy, if not instant (not to say you have to do the whole thing in Python—you can have C modules and such, if desired, if you choose to use Python).

The only real problem with Python is that the debugging process is quite different from that of lower-level languages. I mean, you don't declare types for variables, and you declare them at the time you assign them. I'd love to see a language like Python where you can 'optionally' do these things (I don't like it to be one way or the other 'all' the time)—especially if it were a derivative of Python (throw in a switch statement while you're at it). Notwithstanding these things however, Python is quite a good choice.

GRAMPS is an example of a Family History program made in Python. I consider that a wise choice—many of my favorite cross-platform programs are made in Python, at least partially. GRAMPS is open source GNU software—so you could even use parts of it, or glean ideas from it, and learn from any mistakes/problems they might have. I like a lot of the navigational features they offer (e.g. right-clicking on a name in the pedigree view will allow quick menu access to children, spouses, siblings and parents; you can bookmark individuals in a favorites menu; etc.) I also like how it has an XML export option—too bad it's not a standard one, though, that other family history programs would support (I don't know if one exists—but these XML files are less than half the size of GEDCOM files; XML is a pretty good idea, in general, I think).

I'm not saying to make it exactly like GRAMPS or anything—just to use the good ideas from it. I'd like to see something more stable than GRAMPS, myself, however. Moving the database can cause problems, and I've had issues with importing files into it—plus there seem to be some backwards compatibility issues. I'm guessing they'll work these things out in future, though, as it is an excellent project.

What license is intended to be put on the software? Will it be GNU, a custom license, or something else? Is the church allowed to make GNU software? Just curious—it might be nice, though.

If you're doing a web application, porting it to other operating systems shouldn't be a problem at all, unless you're using technology owned by some proprietary company that is competing with certain opperating systems (I recommend against that, even if it's nice technology that no one else offers). Good web applications should work without regard to operating system (almost all web applications do anyway, except 'some' of those that use components from specific proprietary media players and such). It doesn't make much sense for them not to, especially since most are made with cross-platform scripting languages in the first place. I'm not sure which scripting language I would recommend for web applications—I don't have much experience in that regard, but any of the popular ones should work well (PHP, Perl, Python, and so forth)—I would recommend against using Java applets, however; server-side scripting should be better.


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