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"V1.0/Dublin Spec" - Family View

Topics: Project Discussion
Jan 24, 2013 at 9:03 PM

The next reply will be a proposed, preliminary specification of a new feature - the "Family View". Feedback, ideas welcome.

Jan 24, 2013 at 9:07 PM
Edited Jan 24, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Family Lines - Functional Spec

"Family View"

V1.0 - Kevin Routley - 20130111


Provide another "view" of people in the tree. This view will focus on a single "family unit": spouses/partners and their children. Visual navigation gadgets will be provided to change the active family to a child, other spouse, or parent. The view will respect the "current person" mechanism as well.


The full tree view is complex and potentially overwhelming. The "single family unit" is a comfortable simplification, especially when entering, reviewing or updating a single family's data. The family view corresponds to a "family group record" sheet and should be convenient to record data from such a sheet into Family Lines.

The family view should make it convenient to explore the full tree, family-by-family. The family view is potentially a simple view readily translated to a Web presentation.


This spec assumes an existing mechanism to "host" the view. This view is assumed to be swappable with the existing tree and family-data views.

This first version is assumed to show only a single family pairing. Expansion of this view (e.g. to be able to show grand-parent and other spouse data simultaneously) could be explored for a future version.


- Show a single family-unit

- Show details for each member of the unit

- Provide edit widgets to enter or update an individual's data

- Provide navigation widgets to view the family unit for grand-parents, other spouses, or children.

- Provide widgets to add new people


The following mock-up attempts to show the major pieces of the view: (cannot post pictures; see attached RTF in Issue tracker) 1412

The final implementation of the view should be much more streamlined/minimalist: the above mockup, with large buttons and empty space, is not intended to be the final appearance. The "parents" should be larger, the children smaller; parents are the same size, children are all the same size. Children are laid out left-to-right, top-to-bottom, based on date of birth (or customizable). I.e. a view approximating a treemap. A different layout could be considered with the parents on the left, and the children on the right.

The proposed appearance for each person is that of the current tree view "tooltip", but with more details. I.e. the person's picture is shown (if available); their name, birth and death information. For the partners, information about marriage/divorce should be shown [consider placing it between them]. For children, an indication of whether they have spouse(s) should be shown, but no details.

One of the two partners is the "current person". It doesn't matter which one. I.e. if "Mary of Teck" is selected in the Family List, the family view shows this family unit.

The navigation widgets, shown in blue, allow the user to change to a different family-unit. E.g. if there are parents recorded for "George Windsor" then his parents widget is enabled, and clicking on it changes the "current person" to one of his parents. The family view would then show his parents and he (and his siblings) as children. In the case of "other spouse", the widget needs to permit the user to select which other spouse/family-unit to view.

The navigation button shown for each child makes that child the "current person". The family view changes to show that person's family-unit. In the case of a child who has multiple spouses, the navigation widget should allow the user to select a family-unit, or at the least default to showing the "earliest" family-unit.

Additional navigation widgets (not shown) should provide access to the full details editing mechanism for each individual. This includes details, documents, pictures, and stories.

The 'Add' widgets, shown in green in the mockup, allow the user to add additional related people. The user may be starting with a family: they enter the parents' data, then add children with the child 'add' button. Once they've fleshed out a family (e.g. referring to their family record sheet) they might click 'add' to start entering the family data for the parents of the father (e.g. working off a new family record sheet).

This view is an alternate view to the current "tree" view. This view is presumed to be enclosed in a window which can toggle between this view and the tree or family-data views.

This feature has no impact on data handling: this is merely another view of the existing data.


A very simple mock up framework has been started in the Experimental branch.