Thursday, March 19, 2009

Debut of my Genealogy via PHP and my new Web Page

Genealogy has been a big hobby of mine for about a decade or more, and I have collected a lot of information, both from my own research and info others have shared with me. I've used Family Tree Maker from the beginning, and still do, though I haven't liked the newest versions since Version 11.
Well, anyway, I've wanted to put my collection on the web, but didn't like Ancestry.com's layout, and debating on the LDS Family Search site. With a bit of Googling, I came across a program called The Next Generation. It's a PHP program, which until I found it had no idea what PHP was, but I looked at the other users' pages, and samples, and liked it very much and decided that's how I wanted to do it. All this was last Friday, the 13th. So, I paid my $30 and haven't hardly looked up since. Last year I had tried doing my genealogy with HTML, but it was crap. We had Hurricane Ike and I never got back to it, mainly because I wasn't happy with it anyway. So, I'm more than excited about this program.
It was a bit complicated to get installed because I had to convert my webspace with GoDaddy from Windows to Linux, then later I had to call them back to get MySQL, which I still don't know what that is. And finally before it was all over with, I opted to pay GoDaddy for my space, $5 a month as I had been using their free space with the ad. The ad, as it turned out, interferred with the program.

An individual, Darrin Lythgoes, http://lythgoes.net/ wrote this amazing program. There's also a pretty extensive mailing list and TNG Forum. It's quite a "club" I guess you could call it. Though I have communicated with questions to Darrin, I haven't taken part in these other vehicles of support yet. So far it seems most of the users are way advanced of my non-existent PHP abilities.
But I'm up and running. I've installed the program, carefully according to the ReadMe instructions, and created my gedcom, and uploaded that. My Cute FTP client crashed, and GoDaddy told me about FileZilla Client, which is free and is working great. Anyway, I started uploading cemetery pictures and documents I had already scanned, like marriage records, obit, and assigned them to the corresponding individuals.
By now it's Wednesday, yesterday; and I realized before I went any further I needed to create a web page that would incorporate my other web pages as well as the genealogy pages. So, after some thought, and browsing through my own photos, I came with a plan and created as I went, taking my old web page and totally redesigning it - all with basic html. That took me all day yesterday. Now, short of a bit of tweaking, I think I'm ready now to get back to uploading documents. I have sooo many, and will probably never finish that task in this lifetime.
Well, I guess this is the official unveiling. I have told a few select friends and relatives about it, but I have not listed it with Ancestry or posted it on any of their boards yet. That will come when I get more of my documents added and linked up to more individuals. But for now, here's my new site: http://sherrysharp.com/ Of course the Genealogy Link takes you to the wonderful, fabulous TNG program!

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