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The McGee Genealogy Is Back!

The old software, PhpGedView, was orphaned a few years ago, and I noticed that it was throwing more PHP errors and warnings than it was useful information.

So here we go, with the same data ported into Webtrees. Have fun!

Technical Asides

Interested? Let’s go ahead then.

What I had been using was version 4.3 — dating back to 2010. It required PHP 5.2, which was released in 2006 and has been unsupported since 2011. So it should come as no surprise that when I upgraded my server’s PHP to 7.1, all kinds of mayhem would erupt.

Error messages image
Genealogy page of errors. This is a fraction of what the home page delivered!

Webtrees is a fork of PhpGedView first introduced in 2010. The original is essentially abandoned; while the web site for it is still up, there hasn’t been an update since 2009. The original team of Webtrees developers had been volunteers on PhpGedView but, like many open-source projects, they decided it needed to move in a different direction to meet modern standards.

webtrees screen captureBless their little hears for keeping it up to date, but especially for writing a very nice wizard for porting in your old data! Seriously, even with my hundreds of names the prospect of updating it all was simply too much. In fact I was so worried about it that I’d put it off for over a year, hoping for a time when I’d have several uninterrupted days to do the project.

I needn’t have worried. Despite the lack of step-by-step instructions, the import went well. In the interest of being helpful, here’s what they left out.

  1. It will be helpful to create a new directory for this, not just plop it into your existing genealogy directory.
  2. Create an empty database.
  3. If you create a new user, make sure that user has access rights to your PhpGedView database.
  4. You should download your media files now.
  5. You have to go through the setup to install the package, including formatting the new database.
  6. THEN you have the option to import your old data. This is where you’ll want to have given permissions to your new database user account.
  7. The media firewall isn’t really a filesystem thing; it’s just a deeper directory where media is stored. If your media had been in /media, it will now be in /data/media/media. If your thumbs had been in /media/thumbs, they will now be in data/media/media/thumbs/media/.
  8. You can figure out where things go in your particular installation if you upload a media file and then locate it in the new filesystem.

After running the installer and FTP-ing up my media files, I added an .htaccess redirect to my old genealogy subdirectory, and it was all set.

[cc]RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /webtrees/$1 [R=301,NC,L]
[/cc]

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