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Publish online website issues

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#1 TomH

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:48 PM

I have been playing extensively with the Publish online tool and am quite pleased with its fresh look. Although it behaves in some ways like the old Create HTML websites with static HTML pages, it actually uses Javascript and XML files to generate the pages on the fly (Dynamic HTML) in the browser. That requires that the browser fully support all the features of Javascript employed by the website.

So far, I've observed the following problems:
  • Chrome is my default browser. RM requires me to close it and let it reopen Chrome with special settings in order to "Preview this website in my browser" from the local drive. That's a pain, especially if I lose where I'm at on some other website. Apparently, it's a security issue with Chrome that requires that it be launched afresh with the switch "--allow-file-access-from-files" which raises some risk.
  • Internet Explorer 9 is happy to view the local website. Is it inherently more risky?
  • Right-clicking on the Pedigree, Person or Family page for Print produces a nicely formatted report with footnotes but there is no hint of that that I have found. The average user might not even try. I would like to see a hover tip or a button labelled "Print formatted report".
  • These print reports work well in Chrome but my IE9, latest update, makes a mess of it, at least in Preview; I don't have an Apple Air printer or other way of printing from iOS so I cannot speak to how these browsers do.
  • The website is more or less friendly to tablet and phone screens. It displays fairly well on my iPad2 with some browsers but the touch areas are so small as to be error-prone without zooming, which is absolutely necessary for screens smaller than 9" or so.
  • In all browsers that work at all, the popup for Notes has the last line obscured by the Note bar, unless it has trailing white space. That is not the case for the Source popup, although the Source bar crowds the last line.
  • I have not found one iOS browser that works fully with the website. I have tried Safari, Chrome, Opera Mini, Atomic Lite, and DligoBrowser. Safari and Chrome are the most compatible. Except for Opera, perhaps, they all share an underlying Safari development kit. A common problem is that once you zoom when a popup is open, you cannot close the popup; you have to close the tab.
  • Navigation down the Pedigree Chart seems to be governed by your historical navigation through the Pedigree View in RootsMagic. So is the dropdown child list under the + hotlink on the chart; the child at the top being the one that the < hotlink goes to. I don't think that makes much sense as I will have navigated the Pedigree View in ways that had more to do with adding and editing persons and families than with any aims as to how I want the website to work. I'm not sure if there is one right way but I would have thought that listing by birth order or by the child order I have arranged in RootsMagic would be sensible, with < leading to the top of the list as it does now. For navigation down the ancestral path to one person, it would be helpful if the drop-down child list color-coded the names. Additionally, instead of putting the next-in-chart child at the top of the list, that the name be highlighted in the drop-down child list. To override the navigate according to RM's historical navigation, I have come up with a SQLite query that clears the navigation history with the result that the website default navigation is to the first child in the RM arranged child order (I think); that also clears such history from the RM Pedigree View, losing whatever advantage it may have afforded.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#2 Miranda

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:57 PM

There's not really any risk running Chrome like that if all you are doing when you start it up with that switch is testing the RootsMagic files... as long as you trust RootsMagic.

Normally, javascript code running on a web page cannot interact with resource files (such as the XML files that this is using) unless they originate from the same web site. It's not an issue when your web pages are up on the RootsMagic server or another host, because the web server handles setting the origin headers. Your browser sees that the headers for the XML files that it is trying to read originate from the same web server as the javascript and it allows you to access them.

When you are testing the files locally, since you are likely accessing it directly as a file rather than via a web server running on your computer, Chrome treats your XML files, even though they are right there on the hard drive with your HTML and javascript, as though they originate from a different source. It's basically just a different choice that the Chrome developers made on how to deal with viewing web pages from the local disk... and kind of an annoying one. I run into this occasionally testing my apps at work, too.

#3 TomH

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

Thanks for the explanation, Miranda. I guess the concern is that using that session of Chrome launched by RM, or using any subsequent Chrome session while the RM-launched one or its successors was open, on the public Internet exposes the computer to greater risk.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#4 Miranda

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:33 PM

Unfortunately, yes. I don't do anything with multiple profiles in Chrome, but I wonder if you might be able to have separate profiles and open the lower security window in a second testing profile instead of your normal one.

I would probably just test the files with another browser. If the concern is making sure that the site looks ok in Chrome, you can install Safari and test with that... Chrome and Safari are both WebKit browsers and should render things the same.

#5 TomH

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:43 PM

This Chrome forum discussion suggests a technique to run two instances of Chrome, one normal and one for development with local file access. Either way, the problem is that RM currently launches the Windows-defined default browser so I don't want to change that to lower security or a different browser. Unless and until RM allows one to specify a different browser, I guess I will have to open the local website with a different browser outside of RM.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#6 bookwalk

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:24 PM

Cannot access my newlypublished Tree!

I created an account, username and password and then when I go to the link www.myrootsmagic/username and try to log in (I just see a GoDaddy site and it was difficult to find where I sign in, but I did and it says: "Authentication failed. Please try again"

It looks like I have to recreate an account at Go-Daddy, for which I have to pay????

PS--since the url only showed momentarily while I was creating the account and I could not copy and paste it into my URL, I used a wrong url--could there be a menu item that says "My RootsMagic Account" to click on and it goes directly to the site?

If this is a public website and someone finds my tree--I see no way for them to contact me, so I am trying to determine the benefits of posting this online?

#7 bookwalk

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:32 PM

Also, how private is this? Since the home page looks pretty bare and I see no way to customize it, how would I share it privately?

#8 Renee Zamora

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:47 PM

Confirming enhancement requests and issues are noted in our tracking system.
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#9 Renee Zamora

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:53 PM

Cannot access my newlypublished Tree!

I created an account, username and password and then when I go to the link www.myrootsmagic/username and try to log in (I just see a GoDaddy site and it was difficult to find where I sign in, but I did and it says: "Authentication failed. Please try again"

It looks like I have to recreate an account at Go-Daddy, for which I have to pay????

PS--since the url only showed momentarily while I was creating the account and I could not copy and paste it into my URL, I used a wrong url--could there be a menu item that says "My RootsMagic Account" to click on and it goes directly to the site?

If this is a public website and someone finds my tree--I see no way for them to contact me, so I am trying to determine the benefits of posting this online?



Not sure how you got GoDaddy involved in your website. Maybe because you put www in front of the url. If you uploaded to my.RootsMagic.com your username would be added at the end - http://my.rootsmagic.com/sample/ .
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#10 Renee Zamora

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:57 PM

Also, how private is this? Since the home page looks pretty bare and I see no way to customize it, how would I share it privately?


Search engines are not able to index the websites created with RootsMagic online publishing. You would need to give family and friends your URL for them to locate and search it. That is the only way it is private at this point. If you don't want to use my.RootsMagic.com to upload your site you could add the files to your own website and make it private.
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#11 Ludlow Bay

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:14 PM

Cannot access my newlypublished Tree!

I created an account, username and password and then when I go to the link www.myrootsmagic/username and try to log in (I just see a GoDaddy site and it was difficult to find where I sign in, but I did and it says: "Authentication failed. Please try again"

It looks like I have to recreate an account at Go-Daddy, for which I have to pay????

PS--since the url only showed momentarily while I was creating the account and I could not copy and paste it into my URL, I used a wrong url--could there be a menu item that says "My RootsMagic Account" to click on and it goes directly to the site?

If this is a public website and someone finds my tree--I see no way for them to contact me, so I am trying to determine the benefits of posting this online?


Your problem is that it is not "myrootsmagic.com", it is "my.rootsmagic.com", and you don't log in directly from the website. You login through RootsMagic (Internet > Publish Online > Manage)

#12 alansogd

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:24 AM

Hey everyone,

I am a relatively new member of the RootsMagic team and responsible for the website design and the server side of the uploading service. I appreciate the generally positive feedback, and your patience as we iron out bugs that will inevitably sneak through our quality testing for the first release of a service such as this one. I'd like to take a little time to address some of the issues and questions posted in this thread.

1. As far as I have been able to find, there is no way around the problem with Chrome. I've looked into ways of allowing it without a full browser restart but haven't come up with anything. There is *some* risk involved in the switch but it is minor. And yes--browsers like Firefox have this risk enabled by default. As the switch name implies (allow-file-access-from-files), this will allow Chrome pages to access local files on your computer, but *only* pages that are also local files. Another page from the Internet would not have any new access to your machine with this switch. The risk is that if you open a malicious html document that is a file on your computer, it will have access. It isn't recommended to open any html pages you download in this way from untrusted sources, but most people never do this anyway. For casual browsers, the risky scenario will probably never come up.

2. I wouldn't say IE9 is more risky, because it also blocks access to local files until you choose to allow it from the ActiveX popup at the bottom of the screen. Firefox does nothing to prevent it so in this instance it could be considered the riskiest browser, but I still believe the risk is insignificant. I believe (but have not tested) that Firefox will limit which files can be accessed in this way to only files in the same folder or a subfolder from the document being displayed. It is possible the other browsers do this as well.

3 and 4. The printable reports were added as a bit of an afterthought when I realized that printing the pages would hide a lot of information (notes and sources, specifically). They haven't been tested thoroughly in every browser and it is not obvious that they are available. This is because I felt they are a fairly minor feature for the initial release, but still wanted it to be reasonably functional for those who really want to be able to print. Once it is functioning properly in every major browser, you can expect it to be more 'advertised'. Until then it is hidden as a kind of 'beta feature'.

5. Improved mobile device support is definitely on the list, but something I have not spent any time on yet. In the meantime, it will have to suffice to zoom in for the small buttons, but it will get better in the future.

6. In trying to fix a last-minute cosmetic bug involving long picture captions wrapping over the picture, I inadvertently messed up the "Sources" and "Note" caption. My bad. This has already been fixed and in the latest update, so the next time you update RootsMagic, newly generated sites should not have this problem.

7. The site has not been tested thoroughly on mobile devices. I noticed the issue you mentioned just yesterday and can confirm it is in my todo list. I am using an external library for my popup boxes and the issue is in that library. However, I have the advantage over desktop RootsMagic that all the libraries I use are in straight JavaScript, so I can dig around and fix this issue myself.

8. The reasoning behind this is that most people would probably be most interested in their own particular line, which may be through people who are not the oldest sibling. It would not be terribly difficult for me to add support for users to change the default selection from the 'default child' to the oldest child. I'll do this if it sounds like people really want this functionality, but in the meantime I still think that mirroring RootsMagic's routing by default makes the most sense.

#13 Gierhart

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:41 AM

Deleting and re-publishing file with changes, these are the steps that I followed:

Internet tab, Publish Online box, Manage My.RootsMagic.com account, logged in, Delete current site, Yes, Return to account options, Check site status, "No site associated with this username", OK, cancel, Internet tab, Publish Online box, Publish my information online, next, next, next, This website project already exists. Replace it with this one? Yes, "Clearing Old Website", creating website, Preview this site in my browser (everything looks good), Publish this site to My.Rootsmagic.com/......, login, Publish, Publish, Uploading site, Return to account options, Check site status, Complete 100%.

Opened website and these are the results:

The pedigree chart opened to a random person, not the one in my preview browser (everthing looked good then).
The people colors that I changed did not change in the opening pedigree chart but random ones did in other pedigree views and in the Name Index (again everything looked good in my preview browser).

Any suggestions?

#14 alansogd

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:05 AM

Gierhart, if you are using a different root person in your pedigree chart than your previous site, and if your colors changed between the two, it is quite possible that your browser is caching some of the data files with your old information and settings. If it looks as you expect in preview mode, then browser caching I think is the most likely cause. This is a known problem with the sites right now and in the future I'll be implementing some cache-busting techniques to prevent it. You may want to try clearing your browser cache and reloading the page to see if that helps.

#15 Gierhart

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 06:22 PM

alansogd, you are correct. I cleared my browser cache on my desktop computer and reloaded the page and it matched my file. I should have checked on my laptop. It only effected the computer that I used to upload the file.

One other thing I noticed is that the photos in the Pedigree Chart overlap the first names.

Thanks for a great product. I was on the webinar Tuesday November 20 and have had the pleasure of meeting Bruce 2 years in a row at the Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont,Ohio where I live.

#16 alansogd

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:22 AM

Gierhart,

I have seen this issue with the overlapping pictures, and as far as I know it only appears in Internet Explorer. I'll be looking into this next week, so hopefully you'll be seeing an update next week or the week after with this resolved.

If you generate your site from the latest update, it is *kind of* fixed, in that sometimes it detects the margin correctly and sometimes it doesn't, and if you refresh the page it almost always works. Still not quite there yet, though :P

#17 Glenn

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:00 PM

I have seen this issue with the overlapping pictures, and as far as I know it only appears in Internet Explorer. I'll be looking into this next week, so hopefully you'll be seeing an update next week or the week after with this resolved.

Is this enough of an issue to consider switching web browsers, or is IE "quick on the fix" like the Roots Magician?


Good real estate may be based on location, location, location;
but
good sources are based on citation, citation, citation!


Glenn


#18 alansogd

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:34 PM

Glenn, I'm not sure what you mean. I consider it enough of an issue that I want it fixed next week, because IE is a major browser and this is definitely a negative experience for IE users. I have a couple other issues that are more pressing first, but I am sincerely hoping that you will see a fix here within the next update.

#19 J P

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:11 PM

I have been playing extensively with the Publish online tool and am quite pleased with its fresh look. Although it behaves in some ways like the old Create HTML websites with static HTML pages, it actually uses Javascript and XML files to generate the pages on the fly (Dynamic HTML) in the browser. That requires that the browser fully support all the features of Javascript employed by the website.

So far, I've observed the following problems:

  • Right-clicking on the Pedigree, Person or Family page for Print produces a nicely formatted report with footnotes but there is no hint of that that I have found. The average user might not even try. I would like to see a hover tip or a button labelled "Print formatted report".
  • These print reports work well in Chrome but my IE9, latest update, makes a mess of it, at least in Preview; I don't have an Apple Air printer or other way of printing from iOS so I cannot speak to how these browsers do.
  • The website is more or less friendly to tablet and phone screens. It displays fairly well on my iPad2 with some browsers but the touch areas are so small as to be error-prone without zooming, which is absolutely necessary for screens smaller than 9" or so.
  • I have not found one iOS browser that works fully with the website. I have tried Safari, Chrome, Opera Mini, Atomic Lite, and DligoBrowser. Safari and Chrome are the most compatible. Except for Opera, perhaps, they all share an underlying Safari development kit. A common problem is that once you zoom when a popup is open, you cannot close the popup; you have to close the tab.


Hey everyone,

3 and 4. The printable reports were added as a bit of an afterthought when I realized that printing the pages would hide a lot of information (notes and sources, specifically). They haven't been tested thoroughly in every browser and it is not obvious that they are available. This is because I felt they are a fairly minor feature for the initial release, but still wanted it to be reasonably functional for those who really want to be able to print. Once it is functioning properly in every major browser, you can expect it to be more 'advertised'. Until then it is hidden as a kind of 'beta feature'.

5. Improved mobile device support is definitely on the list, but something I have not spent any time on yet. In the meantime, it will have to suffice to zoom in for the small buttons, but it will get better in the future.


Just thought it was worth throwing in some observations of my own on a couple of the areas mentioned above. NOTE that the numbering in the list from TomH has changed when I deleted some of his points.

I'm not sure I agree with TomH about the iPad support - on my iPad 2 (again) I find that (in landscape mode) I can hit the icons pretty consistently and have not seen the need to use the zoom capability, so I haven't stumbled across the inability to close a pop-up window. BUT now I have by experimenting. However use of the Back button seems to get one out of it without needing to kill the tab. Until then I found the experience under Safari in iOS pretty acceptable. However, I would guess some experience on an iPad mini could well confirm his view about use on tablets smaller than 9 inches.

Have just experimented with iOS print support, though using an Airprint "simulator" on OS X called Printopia. The results are pretty good other than that the Pedigree chart boxes are spread a little too wide to the right, so that they exceed the rounded background box. Similarly, on the group sheets, the detail lines extend beyond the right-hand side of the rounded background box. In both cases, to allow for this "overflow", the background green background colour is printed down the righthand edge as far to the right as the end of the foreground data where the foreground detail does not over-write it.

The results with iOS are in some ways better than with Firefox 17.0 on Mac, where the Pedigree chart loses the colouring of the boxes, though the Group sheets print correctly including colour where appropriate. In both cases, the "scaling" is correct.

The results with Safari on Mac are the same - the colouring of the boxes on the Pedigree chart is also lost, but the Group sheets print OK.

#20 TomH

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:05 PM

Thanks for adding your observations, JP. On the printing of the Individual and Family pages from iOS, are you seeing Notes and Endnotes or just what you see on screen?

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.






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