Difference between revisions of "Gramps and Windows"
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Revision as of 02:58, 18 January 2009
The following are experiences using GRAMPS installed on Windows XP (version 3.0.x).
GRAMPS version 3.0.x runs well on a Windows PC. For known problems or problem reports go to the Gramps Bugtracker. For past discussions about GRAMPS on windows visit the GRAMPS - Windows archive of the mailing list.
GRAMPS looks during the start-up-phase for some environment variables to control several features. It's better to use a ".CMD" or ".BAT" file to control this environment variable instead a permanent setting in the windows registry, to have the possibility to go back to the GRAMPS standard values (especially to go back to the GRAMPS standard language - English) in the case you want to report about a problem or a bug.
Before trying something, make a backup of your data. All the following details are for information purposes only.
The graphics reports of GRAMPS are available only if you also set the right path in your environment. The related lines of a .CMD or .BAT file may look like this (based on the default installation of Graphviz 2.21):
@rem for the graphics reports set path=%PATH%;C:\Programme\Graphviz 2.21\bin;
Setting the working language
GRAMPS looks during the start-up-phase for an environment variable (called LANG) to switch to a special language. It's better to use a ".CMD" or ".BAT" file to control this environment variable instead a permanent setting in the windows registry, to have the possibility to go back to the GRAMPS standard language (English) in the case you want to report about a problem or a bug.
One may use a ".CMD" file having this content:
@rem it's to switch to GERMAN SET LANG=de_UTF-8 @rem following the discussion of  there was added the next line SET LANGUAGE=de_UTF-8 gramps.py
Hints: You have to place the ".CMD" file into the same folder as the file "gramps.py" or to set your environment variable PATH to include the path to the file "gramps.py". At least in one case there was a problem using a line "phytonw.exe gramps.py" in a ".CMD" file: The usage of the environment and STDIN, SDTOUT and STDERROR does not work properly. May be, there is any where a Phyton-Windows specialist who knows more about this topic or is able to solve the problem.
Setting the configuration path
During the boot process of GRAMPS there is a check for an environment variable called GRAMPSHOME. Without this environment variable GRAMPS uses the default Windows path to handle (at the first time: to place) all configuration files there:
<system drive>\<userpath>\<application data>\gramps
For a German Windows it may look like this (if the system drive is 'C:' and the lock-in user name is 'Paul'):
C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\Paul\Anwendungsdaten\gramps
For an English Windows the example shoot look like this:
C:\Documents and Settings\Paul\Application Data\gramps
If the variable GRAMPSHOME is available, than GRAMPS uses the value to look for a directory 'gramps' inside to handle (at the first time: to place) all configuration files there. So, (together with the build-in setting for the storage place of the database files: Edit --> Preferences --> Database) it's a nice way to have the complete database including all family trees at one global place for backups or for a transfer from one PC to an other.
But be sure what you are doing! You may loose the link to the GRAMPS databases, if you play with this values without moving or copying related files already written by GRAMPS (e.g. your family trees or your configuration files!). There will be no problem if you change these settings without having any family tree (before editing any thing first time or before importing any file first time).
Here is an example for the related .CMD file command lines
@rem set the path for GRAMPS configuration files set GRAMPSHOME=E:\GRAMPS
Windows users will need to check the version of all dependencies for each version update. The Windows installer page lists the versions you will need. If you have trouble seeing which version you have, just install the recommended version to be sure.
Don't forget to adjust the environment path for Graphviz (see section "Installation"), because the default path for the binaries of this tool changes by every new version.
Building from source
See the documentation for more information to get the newest Python files (Installation, see chapter 'Obtaining the source'). As usual in this community the update includes only the GRAMPS part of the software. But if one did run first all steps of the installation there should be no problems using the update.
At least up to version 3.0.2 you have also to compile and replace your language file. You have to compile a new .mo file based on the .po file using a POcompiler:
- Get your special .po file from the upgrade package (e.g. de.po for German) from the folder called "po"
- Get the tools from http://translate.sourceforge.net  (e.g. Translate-Toolkit-1.2.0-setup.exe as a complete setup for MS Windows; but may be, there is a later version).
- Use the compiler (e.g.: C:\Programme\translate-toolkit\pocompile.exe de.po gramps.mo)
- Replace the old gramps.mo by the new one. It should be placed in "...\lang\de\LC_MESSAGES" (e.g. C:\Programme\gramps_prog)
Opening media files
GRAMPS has some predefined MIME types for some file types (e.g. ".JPG", ".BMP" or ".PDF") and uses the MIME definitions of your Windows System, to select the external application accessing the media file. This is not the usual way of the Windows Explorer where only the file's extension defines the default application for the file (the method is usual called File Associations)! If GRAMPS knows the MIME type of a special file this MIME type will be shown in the column "Type" of the table "Media". But it may be, that this MIME type is an unknown or incomplete MIME type of your system. In this case one has to define the correct MIME type. It’s possible but really not easy. So, a better way would be, to find an application where the MIME definition for file type of your choice will be defined as a MIME type or to focus onto the build-in file types of GRAMPS.
There is a general limitation for GRAMPS using MIME definitions: GRAMPS is not able to handle MIME definitions where the command "OPEN" is defined by using the method DDE. Because e.g. PaintShopPro in version 6.0.0 is using DDE, it works not as image viewer for GRAMPS.
Comment (12.10.2008): Up to release 3.0.1 for file and folder names standard ASCII letters are allowed only (e.g. no 'Ü', 'Ä', .... on a German Windows)! This issue is fixed in the 3.0.2 release (see )
The new possibilities for archiving versions of a GRAMPS database are available since GRAMPS version 3.0.2. There are some special hints to use the functionality:
- Get RCS for Windows from the internet: 
- Build the correct Windows Environment:
- GRAMPS needs to find the executables of RCS. That's why one should add the path to these files to the environment variable PATH. It's better only to change temporary the PATH variable by using a ".CMD" or ".BAT" file. And it's also better to place the "RCS-path" at the beginning of the value of the variable PATH. This is because other programs could use executable files having equal names as RCS executables. Known is CVS for Windows which uses it's own version of rlog.exe.
- RCS needs an environment variable (called TZ) for your time zone, e.g.: "TZ=CET-1" for Central European Time less one hour (that’s for instance for MUNICH).
So the complete “.CMD” may look like this:
@rem for the graphics reports set path=%PATH%;C:\Programme\Graphviz 2.21\bin; @rem it's to switch to GERMAN SET LANG=de_UTF-8 @rem following the discussion of  there was added the next line SET LANGUAGE=de_UTF-8 @rem RCS environment start @rem the time zone for RCS SET TZ=CET-1 @rem set the path to RCS bin files for Windows SET PATH=C:\Programme\rcs\bin\win32;%PATH% @rem RCS environment end @rem set the path for GRAMPS configuration files set GRAMPSHOME=E:\GRAMPS gramps.py