The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding from Darrin Lythgoe.
The Next Generation of Genealogy SitebuildingÂ© (“TNG”) is a powerful way to manage and display your genealogy data on the Internet, all without generating a single page of HTML. Instead, your information is stored in MySQL database tables and dynamically displayed in attractive fashion with PHP (a scripting language).
You can import data from GEDCOM files (including multiple trees from multiple GEDCOMs that are kept seperate), or build a new tree from scratch. You can restrict access only to verified users. It will run just fine for Mac or Windows users.
There are quite a few Features you should check out. Official
Requirements: Web Server/host, PHP, MySQL
Version 5.0.5 – Aug 2005
- Developer’s Note: I think version 5 has now achieved a
significant degree of stability, seeing as the number of updates
included here is fairly small. Here’s the rundown:
1. Surname counts included living individuals even when living
individuals were screened out, resulting in some minor
2. Suggestions submitted using the “Suggest” tab must now have
something entered in both the Name and Comments fields.
3. Some place searches with more than one page of results were
displaying inaccurate counts for the total number of
4. Several problems related to branches and branch relabeling were
5. The Advanced Search, when used with “Other Events”, was displaying
duplicate names if an individual matches multiple
search criteria (fixed).
6. Suggestions submitted using the “Suggest” tab would fail if the
suggestion was too long (fixed).
7. The GEDCOM tab was appearing on the “Show Headstone” page even if
GEDCOM downloads were blocked (fixed).
8. Documents and photos were not being properly renumbered and sorted
if any them were reclassified (ie, photo becomes a
9. The Find button for places did not work when editing an existing
10. Browser detection algorithm was incorrectly detecting Safari 2.0 as
Netscape 4, causing improper display of several
One other item to note: The change made in 5.0.4 to distinguish from
standard English alphabet characters and other
similar characters has been rescinded, since it made searching for many
become case sensitive. The conventions put in
place for that change are still there, however, so if you liked the
5.0.4 change, you can have it back by changing the
“binary” line near the top of globallib.php from this:
$binary = “”;
$binary = “binary”;
I am also working on a handful of other small issues, including the
fact that the Advanced Search page does not work if
you have too many custom event types defined. If you notice that
happening on your site, let me know and I can tell you
what to do.
Also, a very small number of text messages were added in 5.0.5, so I
will be adding those to the alternate language
packs very soon.
Version 5.0.4 – Jul 2005
# Addresses attached to events were not always being imported or displayed (fixed).
# Spaces and periods have been removed from TNG cookie names because some servers couldn’t handle them.
# Thumbnails on the What’s New page were not aligned with the top of their respective rows (fixed).
# The “Suggest” tab was not changing to “Edit” on the showsource.php page, even after logging in with rights (fixed).
# When displaying surnames first, the Register report was sometimes using the surname where it should have used the first name (fixed).
# When the TNG menu was displayed as a dropdown list (instead of icons), the list would only take you to a new page if it was accompanied by a language switching dropdown (fixed).
# The menu dropdown list did not include a link to the “Browse Sources” page (fixed).
# If the max pedigree generations was set to less than 4, the number would revert to 1 instead (fixed).
# Selecting a tree on the Headstones or “Show Map” pages would still show all headstones instead of narrowing the list to the selected tree (fixed).
# When adding spouses to a family record, the gender of each spouse is no longer constrained (husband as male, wife as female).
# Due to a typo, sources could not be deleted with the “Delete Selected” button (fixed).
# The Marriage Type was not being displayed (fixed; bug introduced after 5.0.0).
# Changing the order of multiple parent sets did not work and did not affect the pedigree chart (fixed).
# An HTML-only version of the home page (called index_html.html) is now available (cannot do language switching or show if visitor is logged in).
# The widths of the “Page” and “Citation Date” fields have been increased on the Add/Edit Citations screens.
# When displaying “Photos & Histories” for an individual, logic now requires both a photo link *and* an actual photo be present (fixed; was previously only checking for links).
# The Report generator’s custom SQL function did not allow a query to end in a semicolon (fixed).
# The “Remember login” function was not working in the Admin area (fixed).
# Addesses exported in a GEDCOM were not adhering to GEDCOM 5.5 standards, which meant data loss when the same file was imported back into TNG (fixed).
# The presence of a DEAT tag without an accompanying date or place was not enough to get an individual labeled as deceased (fixed).
# CSS validation errors removed from the standard pedigree chart, but Safari 2.0 problem persists. Additional bug reports submitted to Apple.
# Validation for name and comments fields added to the “Suggest” page (text messages forthcoming).
# GEDCOM media export now includes complete path (within “photos” or “histories” folder), whether Local Path is specified or not.
# Photos linked to a living individual but marked “Always viewable” were still showing “Details withheld” on the What’s New and Browse Photos pages.
# Some users were being directed to the correct page after a login, logout or change language operation (fixed).
# Sources that directly followed notes in a GEDCOM were being assigned to the note and not the individual on import (fixed).
# Database queries could not tell the difference between standard English alphabet characters and other similar characters (for example, “n” and “Ã±”; fixed).
1. The “Tentative Edit” and “Allow LDS” user rights were not restricted
to assigned branches (where applicable; fixed).
2. Users could not be assigned to a branch if no people had yet
received that branch label (fixed).
3. Person and Family IDs for new records were not being automatically
generated when the New Person/New Family pages
were loaded (fixed).
4. Citations attached to the LDS Sealed to Parents event were not being
5. Source citations immediately following notes in a GEDCOM file were
being incorrectly assigned to those notes on
6. Names for the username and password fields on the Admin login page
were changed to “tngusername” and “tngpassword” so
that Firefox would not automatically plug the admin login into every
new user created or existing user edited.
7. Marriages between a living and a deceased spouse were being shown on
the Register page without proper rights if the
deceased spouse came second on the page (fixed).
8. Messages “photo available” and “history available” were not
translatable (fixed, requires translation from English in
9. Hidden feature allows you to control the number of leading zeros in
imported IDs (see top of
10. “Repeat last search” did not work on Admin/Places (fixed).
11. Photos and thumbnails for living individuals were not being
displayed if election was made to always show living
12. Add New User and Modify Existing User pages rearranged to remove
13. Total “Histories and Documents” on Statistics page did not include
v5 “documents” (fixed).
14. Logout was not working properly, due to bug introduced in 5.0.2
15. Import “Append” feature was not working as of 5.0 (fixed).
16. Field length for Custom Event “Type” was not long enough
(lengthened to 90 characters).
17. Notes were not being renumbered on import with “Append” feature
18. Different MySQL concatenation function now used (CONCAT_WS instead
of CONCAT) when gluing name parts together.
19. E-mail addresses with a period after the first character were not
being validated (fixed).
Version 5.0.2 – Jun 2005
Version 5.0 – May 2005
Listing of all changes at the author’s site.
* Tentative Edit: Allow users to make suggestions or submit changes that only become permanent upon your review.
* Dates & Anniversaries: Quickly find all individuals associated with any date in history.
* Places: Search all places, drill down through localities and merge duplicates.
* History Creator: Easily build histories and biographies with the same look and feel as the rest of your site.
* Timeline Events: Graph and compare the lifespans of an unlimited number of individuals on top of a backdrop of historical events important to your heritage.
* Easier setup: The installation guide has been redesigned to get you up and running faster and easier.
* Improved public interface: New tabs and icons put more options within reach of all visitors.
* More search options: Advanced Search page now lets you search on almost every event type.
* Better control over GEDCOM imports and exports, custom reports, display of “Living” information and much more.
* Plus many more improvements, including new pedigree views, collapsible descendancy charts, image maps and support for scanned documents!
1) Deleting a person record resulted in a PHP parsing error (fixed).
2) Footer now includes current copyright year (only fixed in full
version, so as not to overwrite your custom footer).
3) The header for “Linked to” on the What’s New page was not visible,
and the Last Modified date was not correctly
aligned in one section (fixed).
4) Report pages would always number items the same, even when the
results went to a second page (fixed).
5) IDs for living spouses were visible on the Report pages even when
the user did not have rights to see them (fixed).
6) When exporting media links in a GEDCOM, slashes were being
duplicated or were facing the wrong direction (fixed).
7) LDS “Sealed to Parents” information was not being imported in some
8) Doing a search for a person’s first name would still yield results
for living individuals when “Show Names for
Living” was set to “No” or “Abbreviated” (fixed).
9) A Divorce event was not being imported if the GEDCOM contained only
a “Y” instead of a date or place (fixed).
10) A few problems relating to the importing of multimedia links from
Family Historian were fixed.
11) Burial place was not being displayed on the Register report if no
burial date existed (fixed).
12) Some source records would throw an error when imported under PHP 5
13) Custom events with extra CR/LFs would cause blank lines in exported
14) Multiple cross-reference notes attached to the same individual were
not being exported properly (fixed).
15) A variable containing the spouse name was not being reset properly
on the individual page, resulting in improper
relationships when a single-spouse family followed a 2-spouse family
16) Setting a Default Tree would cause link errors on the Browse Photos
page when switching to a new tree (fixed).
17) Ahnentafel requests were being logged as Descendancy requests
18) The “Find…” window did not work with individuals who had double
quotes in their name (fixed).
19) Logging out returned you to the home page instead of the last page
visited and did not preserve the selected
Version 4.2.5 – Jan 2005
* Deleting a record resulted in an error message on some systems,
although the record was still successfully deleted
* Photos with spaces or special characters in the file name were not
being displayed (fix was included with 4.2.4
shortly after its initial release)
* Deleting the last record from a set of search results would display
a “No results” message (people fixed in 4.2.4,
everything else fixed here).
* Deleting a photo or headstone would cause the physical file
associated with the record to be removed even if other
records were still linked to the same physical file (fixed).
* Procedure for creating new People/Family/Source IDs has been greatly
improved, speeding up the process for large
* The graphical descendancy tracker was not showing thumbnails flagged
as “Always viewable” (fixed).
* The “Show Map” page under Cemeteries was hiding names of deceased
individuals it thought were living (fixed).
* Using the Search feature or tree selection on “Browse Photos” or
“Browse Headstones” correctly limited the number of
entries displayed, but this limitation was not carried forward after
entering the “Show Photo” or “Show Headstone” page
* General family source citations (those not linked to a specific
event) were not being imported (fixed).
* Blank IDs could be submitted on the Add Person/Family/Source pages
by entering spaces (fixed).
* Install guide amended to recommend tighter security on Backups
Version 4.2.3 – Dec 2004
Note from Darrin: … you’ll notice that the public messages are now available in
Icelandic (special thanks to Ã“mar MagnÃºsson).
Thanks again for all your help & suggestions, as well as your patience.
Very soon now I plan to start implementing quite
a few of your more involved suggestions.
1) The expand/collapse capability added to the standard
chart. There’s obviously more we can do here (allow
you to choose collapsed or expanded to start, provide a switch to
expand/collapse all, add a small legend at the top),
but I’ll save that for the next version with text message updates.
Thanks to the many of you who helped evaluate this.
2) The new compacted display for the Browse Photos/Histories/Headstones
pages, plus the What’s New page. I just decided
that it was more space-efficient to put the notes under the main title
and call it all “Description”.
3) The Advanced Search now searches all note types (remember the
contest?). I was actually pretty close to finding the
answer myself before I threw it out there. My problem was that I wasn’t
making use of “foreign keys”, and my queries
were dreadfully slow, so even though my solution was correct, it wasn’t
ever coming back. You’ll notice that the
dbupdate portion of this update creates quite a few foreign key
relationships for your tables, so hopefully this will
speed things up a bit for you as well.
1) Text on some pages put in “DIV” container to allow for greater
flexibility in custom formatting.
2) Standard descendancy chart now collapses and expands by family
3) Simple and advanced search will no longer return matches for living
individuals if search criteria would give clues
to their identity.
4) The “Browse Photos” and “Browse Histories” pages were sometimes
indicating an incorrect number for total
5) A “Select” button on the Data Import screen now allows you to select
from files in your GEDCOM folder.
6) The Backup utility now sets rights to 664 on all files created
7) Foreign keys added to many tables to speed up queries.
8) Advanced Search with Notes criteria now searches all note types.
9) The “Find…” window (Relationship, Timeline) was not recognizing
surname prefixes (fixed).
10) When the number of photos or histories necessitate “Prev” and
“Next” links, these links will now appear beyond the
first and last page number links.
11) Report fields now convert CR/LFs to HTML line breaks in many
12) Improved, compacted display for Browse Photos/Histories/Headstones.
13) The thumbnail and Individual/Family/Source name that appear at the
top of related pages are now displayed inside an
HTML table to allow for greater flexibility in custom formatting.
14) History links for living individuals were sometimes being displayed
even though visitor did not have proper
15) Users may no longer delete their own tree unless they are the
system administrator (not assigned to a tree).
16) Notes attached to sources were not being deleted when data was
re-imported, resulting in duplicate note entries
17) Unnecessary upper-casing of search criteria eliminated from search
function (was causing a problem with one version
18) The “Show death/burial information” option on the Advanced Search
page would not work on subsequent pages if search
yielded more results than would fit on one page (fixed).
Version 4.1.3 – Sep 2004