I've written previously about my genealogy web site.  The site uses PhpGedView, an open source application, to manage the server side genealogy content. 

PhpGedView, like other CMSs, has a user interface that supports data entry; however, in the case of genealogical data, entering data online is very tedious when there are more than a few updates to apply.  Until recently, I did the data entry and updating locally using  a commercial application called Family Tree Maker.  I then exported the updated information to a GEDCOM file and  uploaded the file to PhpGedView.

This procedure worked well for me until my recent acquisition of a new desktop PC running Windows Vista.  It was no big surprise to find out that my ancient version of Family Tree Maker was not compatible with Vista and I needed to either update it or find an alternative way to do my local genealogy content management.  I thought about this for a while and decided to see if there were any open source applications that met my needs.  That's when I found the Genealogy Research and Analysis Management Programming System (GRAMPS).  The only problem was that although there is a Windows version of GRAMPS, it is not actively supported by the GRAMPS developers, and, in addition, is dependent of a number of other software packages that are typically present in Linux installations, the most notable of which is Python.  I thought about this for a few minutes and decided that I really did not want to go through the pain of installing GRAMPS on my Vista desktop.  Better to stick with Family Tree Maker in this case.  But then it hit me...I have a laptop that runs Ubuntu Linux!

Until now, I had not used the laptop for much other than your typical web browsing, email and other network-centric activities.  But I figured why not give it something more challenging to do.  So I installed GRAMPS, did a bit of testing and found out that it does everything that I need it to do, and in many cases, does it much better than Family Tree Maker.

And, in  closing, I can finally say that I found a "Killer App" for my laptop running under Ubuntu Linux. 

One caution: if you are running Ubuntu Linux 8.04 LTS, do not install the GRAMPS package included in the distribution.  It is a 2.x version and current releases are 3.x versions.  Instead, download and install the latest Ubuntu 8.04 LTS version from the GRAMPS download page.


Thanks for the nice comments! Installing on Windows is fairly easy... all of the parts have installers. GRAMPS is now very pretty well supported on Windows. Version 3.1 of GRAMPS will be out in March after cooking for a year. Adds some nice things.

For the reference...