La Chrestotheque de L'ArchiTope

RhizoScaphe: Program GEDaRHIZ
version française

 Although I consider useful to read the following explanations in order to get an idea of the functions included in GEDaRHIZ (exploration and adaptation of Gedcom; HTML page generation), visitors who dislike reading may prefer to click here under:


 This page is intended to introduce you to a program (GEDaRHIZ) the main function of which is to read a genealogy file in the gedcom standard and allow an exploration of its content. A secondary function of the same program is to export the data included in the gedcom to a web page (in HTML). The web page so produced includes a tool to navigate through the genealogic tree. I called this tool "Le RhizoScaphe". To date, only one version of the program including this function is available: GEDaRHIZ, a Windows (tm) application written with VB5 (Visual Basic v.5). Another program is available as a complement to the first one. This alternative program - ged2rhiz - is written in VBA for Excel 97 (and up). It was developed to import gedcom files into an Excel data base. This Excel data base, modified or not, or another pre-existing Excel data base, can also be exported to a new gedcom file.

 The two programs ged2rhiz and GEDaRHIZ have different options.
The Excel program will first import the gedcom content into an Excel data sheet. This operation is useful to get the genealogic information in an Excel data base. The reverse process, i.e. exporting an Excel data base to a gedcom (v.5.5) is also possible. This would be particularly useful for people having started to build a genealogical data base with Excel and willing to share it with others or migrate to a "real" genealogy program. The only condition to this possibility is to prepare the data base using ged2rhiz template. A help is given to convert a base using a "classical" numbering (Sosa-Stradonitz or von Ahnentafel...). Also, an option is present to create columns with the names of the parents, of the spouse and of the children of the individuals. Unfortunately, there is a limitation of the size of a cell content in Excel. This limitation may prevent a correct importation of Notes and Sources.
 The Windows (tm) program includes: the exportation of list of selectable items for each individual as a text file and the exportation of the data in a text file for any WorkSheet. As an option, one can also use the program to convert a gedcom file from ANSEL or DOS characters set to ANSI (Windows) or the reverse. Other kind of conversions can be made, like lower to upper case for names (persons or towns) or like the order of the place elements (town, county, country...). Last but not least, it is possible to explore simultaneously 2 gedcom files. This will greatly facilitate the visual comparison of 2 files. This comparison can be made on the basis of alphabetic lists of individuals or of alphabetic lists of towns or of ascending or descending trees. The original gedcom is also visible (and can be modified) in a text window. An individual can be automatically localized selecting from one of the alphabetic lists. NB other options are included to facilitate the search for the presence of a name in the data using a phonetic approach (kind of Soundex). Don't you think you should try the program?

 However, as stated earlier, the aim of the program was different. It was to produce a web page (HTML file) which would allow to navigate into a reasonably small genealogical data base (range 300-400 individuals). This HTML export would satisfy a genealogist having only found a few hundreds of acestors. Alternatly, genealogists who are able to separate their data base in "branches" having no more than the suggested number of individuals, would also be happy to use "Le RhizoScaphe". This separation can be made using the appropriate function in your favorite genealogy program (I presently work on a version of the program which would automatically do this job). Please note that the suggested limitation to 300-400 individuals does not result from the conception of the program itself. Web pages produced with data bases having more than 1500 individuals were successfully tested. But the size of such pages would lead to a much too long loading time for normal use on the Net. I consider that a reasonable size is between 30 and 40 Kbytes. This is obtained if the data bases contain no more than 300-400 individuals (depending on the quantity of information associated with each). But it's up to you to make the final choice ;-)
 Another possible use (this one not affected by the above mentioned limitation) is to prepare a CD containing a version of your genealogy visible by anyone having a browser on his/her computer. The possibility to include the Notes associated with individuals and events have been added for this kind of use.
Nota: GEDaRHIZ does not recognize all the information that the gedcom 5.5 standard allows to cram in a file. GEDaRHIZ only selects the data useful to "Le RhizoScaphe" (family links, dates and places for birth, wedding, death and associated Notes and Sources). Accordingly, the Excel 97 version cannot thus be used for an exhaustive importation of the gedcom. I believe that other gedcom to HTML converters do not do much better.

Rhizoscaphe: program written in javascript and normaly included in a HTML page. Such a script is executed when the page is printed on screen. "Le RhizoScaphe" is a tool allowing to navigate into a genealogic tree in any direction (ascending, descending...) using simply mouse clicks. A RhizoScaphe demo can be found in my own genealogy page on this site. In addition, a page including an alphabetic list of the individuals names, one including the list of towns and another optionnal one including the Notes are associated to the main page.

Javascript: programming language used to place elements in a web page with which the visitor may interact. The program (called a script) is most often included in the head section of the web page. When so, it is executed as soon as the page is loaded. At the present time most browsers have a script interpretor. However some differences exist in the way a given interpretor would interpret some instructions. This could lead to unexpected results, including a blockade of the browser. I tried to do so that "Le RhizoScaphe" is as "compatible" as possible with the different browsers. I would appreciate receiving a report of any problem found with one browser;-)

Gedcom File: text file, containing genealogical data organised in a structured manner to preserve the family link as well as individual information (at the present time -june 2000- the gedcom version is 5.5). This file format was developed by the Mormons to satisfy their need of a standard to transfer genealogical information between them and to their main data base in Salt-Lake-City (Utah, USA). I believe that you can find many pages explaining how to build a working gedcom file.

HTML File: text file containing information on how the text (or images) should appear on the screen. Such information is interpreted by the Internet browsers. It consists of 'tags' which are also readable and can be modified when the file is opened using a simple text editor.


 

To get registered with the mailing list
of the Users of GEDaRHIZ / ged2rhiz,
gedarhiz-subscribe_to_yahoogroups.fr.

But first read the following !

 First please replace "_to_" by "@". Then sending a message to YaooGroups.fr which puts you in the queue to be a registered user. When Yahoo will have validated your registration, you will receive further instructions on how to directly download the program GEDaRHIZ or ged2rhiz from the web site of the list. This procedure is free.
 Please note that for security reasons, it is not possible to send the message automatically. You will have to copy the above adress "by hand" in an empty message.
 Warning: the author Jacques Louvel reserves for himself the exclusive right to distribute his programs. This means that he denies to anybody the right to give a copy of one of his programs, be it for free or not. The fact to ask to be registered and to receive one or both of the authors' programs constitutes an implicite acceptance of this limitation.
 The programs being still under development and considering the variability of the gedcom files, it is unavoidable that some update become necessary from time to time. This is the reason why you are asked to register with the list. Being known as a user, you will be informed when important improvements will be made available. Hence note that it is wise to remain a subscriber even after having downloaded the programs. If you do not want to receive mails from the other users, you may switch your subscription to "web only" and thus keep the possibility to read the archives and download future releases.
 To shorten the loading time, the programs have been compressed and made autoextractible. To extract a program, simply double-click on the file name in the Windows Explorer.
 The file ged2rhiz.xls (if you choose to download the Excel version) should be opened in Excel 97. You will have to accept to run the macro included in the file otherwise the program cannot work! My configuration is tested and declared "safe" by the antivirus program MCAfee (which I update regularly).
 More precise instructions will be included in my answer to your request.


You may have a look at the end of the french page to control that the programs are regularly updated and to check wether or not any change occured since your last download.

Thank you for trying ged2rhiz/GEDaRHIZ.

Jacques Louvel

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Last updated on the 2000/07/07