WordPress 3.5.1 updates

Past days I updated both WordPress sites (Dutch and English) to WP version 3.5.1, PHP 5.3 and mySQL5.
So far, so good. Until now, no update of the WordPress-TNG plugin was needed.

Next step is to look into upgrading TNG to newer version.

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WP 3.2 and TNG 8.1 integration

Few days ago WordPress version 3.2 has been released.
Which means all Plugin and Theme builders have to validate their products against this new release.
Curious as I am, as the TNG-WP plugin is no longer supported I liked to know what about this plugin?

So I had my test website updated to PHP 5.3 and mySQL to 5.0 and installed TNG 8.1, WP3.2 and loaded the new Twenty-Eleven theme.
Then I installed the WP-TNG plugin 0.25 and had it updated to 0.26. Finally I created a ‘familytree’ page in WP and configured the plugin.

The result: it worked as expected but of course with same issues as recognized on WP 3.1.  See my other post on how to fix most of these issues.

However, when you make use of additional plugins or when you’re using another Theme, then my advise to you is to wait until all plugins and the Theme you use at your site have been qualified for WP 3.2.

For me the WP-TNG plugin has been qualified for WP 3.2 already.


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Install updated WP-TNG plugin

How to integrate WP and TNG in 10 steps

Since my previous post I received some questions on how to install the updated WP-TNG plugin. As this update does not include all needed files, I will describe the steps I followed.

The basic sequence is: install TNG, install WP and WP-Theme 2010, install WP-TNG plugin, update the WP-TNG plugin, configure WP-TNG plugin, reconfigure TNG, upload gedcom, configure another WP theme, add other WP-plugins, and finally change TNG stylesheets to match your WP environment.

  1. Install TNG in its own folder as officially documented. Configure basic settings and check for correct behavior of this application. However, DO NOT INSTALL ANY TNG TEMPLATE (THEME) when you want to integrate TNG with WordPress.
    No need to upload any Gedcom file yet.
  2. Install WP in another folder and set your WP site theme to be the basic Twenty-Ten theme for now. At later moment you can change the theme. Most WP themes have a screenwidth of approx 500px. Unfortunately TNG prefers some more space (approx 700px wide).
    Please note that your website folder structure should like this:
  3. Create a new page by using the WP dashboard. On this website it is this ‘Familytree’ page as can be found in the menu above. This page will be the page on wich TNG will present its own homepage (at the bottom half) and all other data within the WP theme. You might add some default text on your ‘familytree’ page in case the WP-TNG plugin did not load a TNG page correctly.
    In my case, if that happens you will read:
    “When you read this message, unfortunately the content of the family tree cannot be presented because of a mismatch in database configration. Please come back later.”.
    A small note about the TNG homepage: For my needs the default TNG homepage contains too many options. So I heavily modded that page. These changes are described in the document (see previous post) at page 11.
  4. Download & install the original TNG WordPress Integration plugin version 0.25.3 as you will find in the WP plugin directory and written by Marc Barnes. Do not activate this plugin it. If you have activiated it, just deactivate it now. Furthermore, do not install other plugins yet, but wait until you have TNG integration working. I have noticed that other plugins can impact correct working of the WP-TNG plugin, so for now deactivate those to have a clean as possible WP installation.
  5. Download the update for the WP-TNG plugin from this location (tng.php) or from this location (tng.zip). (In IE: right click the link then choose ‘Save target as..’ to store it locally on your computer disk). This file is not a fully working plugin, however, it is just one (updated) file named ‘tng.php’.
  6. Start your FTP utility (e.g. FileZilla) and connect to your WP site.
    Find the folder  ‘<your WP folder>/wp-content/plugins/tng-wordpress-plugin’ and rename the existing file ‘tng.php’ into e.g. ‘tng_0253.php’.
  7. Next upload the updated tng.php file as obtained in step 5 from your local disk also into the folder  ‘<your WP folder>/wp-content/plugins/tng-wordpress-plugin’.
  8. Set Permalinks. Using your WP dashboard go to SETTING -> PERMALINKS. Then set under ‘Common Settings’ the permalinks option to some other value but the Default, e.g. have it set it to ‘Numeric’
  9. Activate the WP-TNG plugin version 0.26. Within your WP dashboard, you will note two WP-TNG Plugins of different versions, now activate the WP-TNG plugin of version 0.26.
    Note: DO NOT DELETE the original WP-TNG plugin version 0.25.3!
  10. Configure the updated plugin through its own configuration page. You will find two entries in the WP dashboard under the “TNG” heading: ‘Options’ and ‘Admin’.
    For the WP-TNG option settings please read the document (see bullet #3) as described in my previous post and configure the WP-TNG plugin.
    I did not got the WP-TNG option on Integration of TNG-WP logins working. Instead it fooled up my WP configuration. As I did not wanted to use that option anyway, I did not investigate what I did wrong.
    The selection ‘Admin’ should bring you to the TNG admin page right away.

From now on all TNG information will be displayed within the WP theme at your ‘Familytree’ page. However, because of the screenwidth of the Twenty-Ten theme of approx 500px, the presented TNG information might run outside these WP boundaries or even worse will be clipped at the WP boundaries. These are just ‘cosmetic’ errors and can be corrected otherwise. To repair them one need to alter the TNG files (not the plugin). Please read page 5 of the document on what I have changed to correct some of such cosmetic errors.

For debugging purposes access to your WP-mySQL database is very handy. There you can  check the option values as as stored by the wp-tng plugin. If TNG does not display information at your ‘familtree’ page at all, check your WP-configuration settings in the mySQL database. Especially check the WP-TNG option values stored (also read page 7 of my document).

Note: As TNG and WP have been installed next to each other in seperate folders at any time TNG itself (without WP) should still work (see step 1 above). Through the regular TNG admin pages you should be able to reconfiger TNG as well, upload gedcom files, add TNG users, etc.

  • ‘http://<your-website>/tng’ will bring you to your regular TNG application
  • ‘http://<your-website>/wp’ will bring you to your regular WP application, from where your TNG information can be viewed as well.

If all went well, and TNG displays its information within WP too, you can continue. Now you can add other WP-plugins, change the basic WP-theme, add WP-widgets, WP-Footer, etc. Please note that WP widgets will not be shown at all TNG pages.
Within TNG you now can add additional users, your gedcom files, etc. Furthermore you probably want to repair the ‘cosmetic’ errors and update the .css stylesheets to have TNG’s colors match the WP theme (read page 8 & 9 of the document). However, do not select ever a TNG template (theme) as this will clobber up your graphical TNG presentation within WP! Also the TNG footer can be changed now to match the WP footer.

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WordPress TNG integration

Integration of WordPress and The Next Generation (TNG) genealogy software keeps many people busy. When my dad past away in 2002 he left me few Gedcom files with the genealogical data of our family and a Microsoft Frontpage website to present this data on the web.
As I like Wordpress for blogging, few months ago I thought to revive this old website by using WordPress instead of Frontpage, but I had to solve the issue how to present the family tree too.

While searching the web I found quite a few WP-plugins to present a family tree, but none of them could import a Gedcom file. Then I ran into the TNG software. It has almost all I needed BUT I found many complains about WordPress-TNG integration too. A WP-TNG plugin is available but this plugin is still in Beta and was not updated since WP version 2.8.
Fortunately I found that Darrin Lythgoe had created a update of this WP-TNG plugin for usage together with WP 3.1.3. so I decided to give it a try.

I had a few requirements. IMHO not that spectacular:

  • Language translation should be possible:
    As our family origins from the Netherlands, the website language being used should at least be Dutch, and as few family branches emigrated to USA and Australia, English would be needed too. The WordPress translation plugins I tried performed translation by using Google translate. Although readable and understandable these Google translations did not met my own quality requirements. I had an issue to solve here.
    The TNG translations are not performed by Google but are presented by customizable phrases and coding is available in quite a few languages, so this could perfectly be used.
  • Functionality:
    WordPress has a number features not available in TNG and vice-versa of course. In fact I wanted best of both, ability to change website theme easily, ability to present the family tree not just in plain text, but if possible in graphical format or PDF as well, ability to upload/download Gedom files, multiple columns layout for advertisements, ability to install plugins for e.g. SEO and Google Analytics and the ability to blog.
  • Security:
    The WordPress site should be open and available to every reader. However, the TNG site should have both: open and not showing details of living persons to every visitor and a closed user group for family members to be able to see details of all persons.
  • Social Media:
    Connecting Email, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, RSS feeds, etc. should be possible.

I’m not that smart on WordPress capabilities nor on TNG, but I figured I would need two WordPress installations loaded on my web server: one for the English language and one for the Dutch language. Furthermore, as TNG has its own language translation capabilities both WP sites should point to the same TNG installation.

This all resulted in three software installations on the same webportal which caused another requirement:

  • GUI Look-and-Feel:
    The User interface of all three websites should have similar look-and-feel: the unaware or average user should notice as little as possible change when being moved from WordPress(English) to WordPress(Dutch) or to TNG. This seemed the daring part of all. Reading on the internet about WP-TNG integration I found more sad stories then love stories. So I had to focus on this part for sure to make this happen.

This updated document describes the odds I encountered when integrating WP 3.1.3 and TNG 8.1 and how I solved few of the issues. This is not a guide how to integrate your WordPress site with TNG, it just describes how it worked for my site. I am aware that not all requirements have been met yet. Also not all issues have been fixed so far, therfore I will be pleased if you let me know your suggestions or remarks.

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TNG Color scheme updates

Today I updated the colors in the .css files of both WP and TNG. Now color settings of both applications match even more. Still to do is to figure out why the Google maps will not be displayed anymore (since WP 3.1.3 this is).

Furthermore as you might have noticed I started to update the family tree data too. First is to apply changes I have received in past years. Thank you all for those emails and please keep sending me your updates.

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SEO plugin

Today I added the WordPress SEO plugin of Yoast. A great plugin which has a seperate MS-Word document to guide you true many many settings. Once you have enable this plugin the WordPress dashboard will show additional settings for the pages, posts and categories plus it gives advice how to optimise your settings.

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The Next Generation

The other day I ran into TNG (The Next Generation) software. Great software as you can view at this site. It can run standalone without WordPress and with a WordPress Plugin. Unfortunately this TNG plugin for WordPress (Beta version 0.25) has not been updated since WordPress version 2.xx. But fortunately Darrin Lythgoe updated this plugin (now version 0.26) to work with TNG version 8.1 and WordPress 3.1 for most needed feautures.

However, as can be read at many blogs, the TNG screenlayout does not match up completely with most WordPress themes and multi column layouts. For that reason I tweaked a couple of TNG files just a little:

  • WP Theme file changed: footer.php
  • WP-TNG plugin file changed: tng.php
  • TNG files changed to fit the WP theme are: genstyle.css, tngtabs1.css, pedigree.php, surnames.php, index.php, places.php.
  • Furthermore for Dutch & English languages both text.php and cust_text.php files have been changed.

On my ToDo list are still some changes related to font settings and the color scheme and updating the gedcom file being used (the current data has not been updated since 2003).

Select Familytree in the menu above to have a view on the cooperation of TNG 8.1.1 within WordPress 3.1.3 using the TwentyTen theme.

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Genealogy plugin

Struggling Gedcom and Genealogy plugin

So sorry for the delay to present the real Familytree.
Currently the WordPress Plugin I selected to use at this website does not show me any data. As a result it will take some more investigation what it is caused by: either the 8 year old Gedcom file containing all the recorded relatives or the plugin being used to present the contents.

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After few years we are back!

Welcome, after being offline for few years, this site is back to present the family tree of relatives with the name “Ringersma”. Although not all data has been made available yet, you will have a rough idea what to expect soon.

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