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  TimeMap example         

Author: Philip Durbin
Date: Aug 31, 2008 15:34

I'd be curious to hear what people think about this example of using
TimeMap for GEDCOM data:

It seems like a nice way to explore your roots in both space and time.


p.s. TimeMap:
1 Comment

Author: Ron Savage
Date: Aug 17, 2008 17:14

Hi Folks

Here is a summary of the problems reported. Please address them one at a

1) Put the code in a public repository

2) The include_spouses option may not always work

3) User control of the vertical size of the HTML window

4) User control of the XML file name in the HTML file

5) Adoption of various Timeline options

6) Using 'cpan' and packaging and -h under MacOS

7) Fuzzy dates and Gedcom::Date

8) Support for ~/.timelinerc

9) bach.ged 'James Durbin' death date hack

10) validate() fails for email tag in Gedcom file

11) The -ancestors options may not always work

12) Duplicate names and names using " (in Gedcom file) cause problems

13) Horizontal slider problem

14) First and last date displayed should be first and last date of
selected people, not first and last within Gedcom file
Show full article (0.91Kb)
  Re: A couple of errors (was Re: timelines from GEDCOM files)         

Author: Nathan Gregory
Date: Aug 14, 2008 17:11

Ah, Timeline.html.. the light dawns. Yes, how simple it is, once the critical pieces of info come together.

Ok, I have spent more time with it, and can offer some feedback. I hope it's not more than is desired, but here goes...

(1) I simply cannot make the "-everyone" tag work. No matter what size the Gedcom file, it blows up with the error:

Can't call method "name" on an undefined value at C:/Perl/site/lib/HTML/ line 280, line 22085.

The part line nnnnn changes as I change the size of the file, but it still blows up. So much for my theory that my large file was at fault.

(2) I simply cannot get -ancestors to work. If I specify a root name at the end of the timeline, i.e. me, and run with the -ancestors tag, it appears to work. But when I load the html I get a dialog that says "Javascript application
Caught Exception: TypeError: v1 has no properties"

If I look at the output file, there is no data. No entries for the timeline scale.

(3) If I specify a name near the middle of the file and let it default, it gives a beautiful display. i.e. I can specify my grandfather, and get good results for all generations from him to my grandson. However, even then, I have nits to pick.

(3a) Lack of a horizontal slider. Makes it difficult to see the whole display. In some cases, one simply cannot expand the window enough.

(3b) I am not yet sure, but it seems as if duplicate names are a problem. If I specify a root name where more than one person has that name, even if one is Jr. and the other is Sr. it fails as in #2. If names are identical, that's one thing. But it should handle suffixes, I would think. But for identical names, perhaps an additional qualifier, such as birth date, etc, might be a good solution.

(3c) Related to 3A, the beginning of the timeline does not start with the oldest entry in the tree, i.e. The root person, in my examples. Instead the left-most date seems to be derived from the oldest date in the Gedcom. Sort of understandable I guess, as I might presume the scale is laid out before the entities are placed upon it. But it would be nice to truncate the blank space to the left of the first entry.

(3d) Similarly, for entries placed on the right edge of the scale, i.e. my Granddaughter's birth in April 2008, the right scale stops at 2010. Fine, except that the text denoting the items placed in 2008 is cut off. A bit more smarts in placing labels would be welcome.

(3e) Even in the case of unique names, I get the same failure as #2 for some names as root person, without obvious reason.

All these points aside, I really must congratulate you on a good job, even if still a work in progress. But then all software is a work in progress, isn't it...

This will be a nicely useful tool for those searching genealogy.

If you would like to use my sample data for testing/debugging purposes, let me know and I will happily forward my gedcom file.

Best regards,
Nathan Gregory
Show full article (3.77Kb)
1 Comment
  timelines from GEDCOM files         

Author: Philip Durbin
Date: Aug 4, 2008 22:35


I recently finished a little script that parses GEDCOM files and
creates timelines of birth and death dates using MIT Simile Timeline:

Writing this script has been a good exercise for me because while I've
always trusted that I'd be able to parse a GEDCOM file exported from
the genealogy software I use (GRAMPS), I know for sure it's possible
now, thanks to Paul Johnson's module.

My script is feature complete for my purposes (I can export all
descendants or ancestors of an individual or export everyone in the
GEDCOM file) and my family likes the timelines I've made, but I'm
wondering if anyone else would be interested in creating timelines
like this and if I should bother to tidy up my script and make it open

Thanks for your time and any feedback you may have. You are welcome
to reply to me directly if you prefer.

  Re: GEDCOM to Wiki, anyone?         

Author: Paul Johnson
Date: Feb 17, 2007 12:14

On Fri, Feb 16, 2007 at 03:52:25AM +1100, Mike Hamilton wrote:
> Some subscribers to this list may feel that this thread is drifting away
> from the topic of Paul Johnson's Gedcom module. A humble defence:

No defence required.

As I recall, the charter of this list says something about using Perl
for genealogical purposes. We're not limited to my module. We're not
even limited to GEDCOM. We should probably stay reasonably close to
Perl though. At least for the majority of the threads.

There is a large number of very bright people on this list. Many of us
are facing similar problems. I'm always happy to hear of how others
have approached matters, of what has worked and what hasn't, and why.
So if you have any interesting software to show, questions, anecdotes,
tips or just thoughts that could be interesting to the subscribers of
this list, please feel free to post.
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  Re: GEDCOM to Wiki, anyone?         

Author: Bruce
Date: Feb 17, 2007 10:09

I do this same thing. First I start w/Family TreeMaker then moved to

In either case, the pc software is the master and the web database
(PostgreSQL w/php fron end) is just used for sharing.

Stephen Woodbridge wrote:
> As an alternate to this approach,
> I maintain my genealogy in FalimyTree maker and dump a GEDCOM file
> that gets loaded into a database. This is then used to serve genealogy...
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  Re: GEDCOM to Wiki, anyone?         

Author: Stephen Woodbridge
Date: Feb 14, 2007 12:08

As an alternate to this approach,

I maintain my genealogy in FalimyTree maker and dump a GEDCOM file that
gets loaded into a database. This is then used to serve genealogy pages.
The database is a drop and reload when I have new data. and I maintain
the INDI ids to preserve continuity of bookmarks.

The application hides people that are living unless you have a family
login. There is some risk that someone could hack it, but then they can
dumpster dive also.


Jim Seymour wrote:
> Mike Hamilton wrote:
>> I did some preliminary work on exactly this quite some years back. I
>> think I can claim to know the Paul's (excellent) Gedcom module pretty
>> well, having...
Show full article (2.05Kb)
  Re: GEDCOM to Wiki, anyone?         

Author: Joel Parker
Date: Feb 14, 2007 06:02

There have been several projects over the past couple years that have
tried to do this. Most haven't been well thought out and either failed
to gain any support, or collapsed under their own weight.

The one with the most momentum right now is (no
connection to me, except I'm an enthusiastic user). They have a beta of
GEDCOM import up right now. It's Mediawiki-based, with an optional Flash
UI, and allows source attribution and many other GEDCOM goodies. They
don't allow details on living individuals, however.

- Joel

On Tue, 2007-02-13 at 23:25 -0600, Andy Lester wrote:
> On Feb 13, 2007, at 10:02 PM, Jim Seymour wrote:
>> Hello, all. I'm new to this list - and don't know if I'm talking
>> to one person or...
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  GEDCOM to Wiki, anyone?         

Author: Jim Seymour
Date: Feb 13, 2007 20:02

Hello, all. I'm new to this list - and don't know if I'm talking to one
person or a thousand...

I run a DokuWiki-based genealogy site at and would like
to generate Wiki pages based on GEDCOM files.

I see this as a one-time conversion project and perl seemed the right
solution - which is how I found Paul Johnson's Gedcom module at CPAN and
this list.

Has anyone attempted such a conversion before? If so, do you have any
pointers? If not, do you have any advice on how to start?

Jim Seymour