www.familyfolklore.co.uk – Feedback and Future Plans

Thanks to family members who have commented on my website at www.familyfolklore.co.uk.  Please bear in mind that it is “a work in progress” and has only limited content (Mary Louisa Wilson’s story) at present.  The comments fall into three categories audience, navigation and presentation.

Audience

The primary audience for the website are family members and genealogists/family historians.

I have previously provided a copy of my Family Tree Maker database to individual family members to give them access to the information, but this has several drawbacks:

  • It is not practical to give database copies to more than a few people who have the software to access the file. Recent versions of FTM are less intuitive to use and are not backwards compatible.
  • My FTM database is a working database. As such it contains incomplete research, errors and dead ends. The data stored is not necessarily clean or in a suitable presentation format.
  • It also contains data on living people some of which is sensitive. Consequently, it would not be responsible to disseminate this data.

Therefore I do not want to publish the contents of this database in this raw state.

I could have uploaded a file to one of the websites that publish your database for you (e.g. GenesReunited, Ancestry), but this approach  adds to the genealogical haystack without putting things into historical context.

I believe that genealogists would be better served by searching original sources.  Family members will get more out of a family history narrative that summarises the data and sets it  in context.  After all, it is the folklore that gets transmitted to future generations.

Navigation

Currently this is restricted to the links provided to story chapters, charts and a few sources in the left hand navigation bar and  page turners at the bottom of the page.

The people index is just a list of names and only 1 link to Mary Louisa Wilson.  Any other apparent links are not pointing to a destination.  Indexing is a bit tedious and I should investigate how to automate it and perhaps use JavaScript for the top menu.

The charts are just images at present, so there are no links to the people on them.  I want to convert these to HTML, but that is not easy at all.  Drawing the links is the difficult part.  It is possible to use the borders of a table cells (or divs) to construct the connecting lines.  This is a pretty clumsy way of doing things and is not good for accessibility.  Most of all it is not semantic HTML.  I want the links to be elements that have the meaning of person A is connected to person B with a type X relationship.  Perhaps XML may be a good approach…

I must also add a link to this blog!

Presentation

CSS fiddles:

  • Footer text colour has insufficient contrast
  • Center text vertically in top navigation bar
  • Expand area of links colour change
  • Change emphasis on names of sons on ML1 page so they don’t look like links

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