Readme Version 4

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Version 4.0
Copyright 2005 John Finlay and others

This and other information can be found online at

# $Id: readme.txt,v 2005/11/03 18:43:16 yalnifj Exp $


     1.  LICENSE
     6.  UPGRADING
     8.  THEMES
    10.  RSS FEED
    13.  SECURITY
    14.  LANGUAGES
    19.  BACKUP


PhpGedView: Genealogy Viewer
Copyright (C) 2002 to 2004  John Finlay and Others

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

See the file GPL.txt included with this software for more
detailed licensing information.


PhpGedView is a revolutionary genealogy program which allows you to view 
and edit your genealogy on your website.  PhpGedView has full editing 
capabilities, full privacy functions, and supports multimedia like photos 
and document images.  PhpGedView also simplifies the process of 
collaborating with others working on your family lines.  Your latest 
information is always on your web site and available for others to see.  
For more information and to see working demos, visit

PhpGedView is Open Source software that has been produced by people from 
many countries freely donating their time and talents to the project.  All 
service, support, and future development is dependent on the time 
developers are willing to donate to the project, often at the expense of 
work, recreation, and family.  Beyond the few donations received from 
users, developers receive no compensation for the time they spend working 
on the project.  There is also no outside source of revenue to support the 


PhpGedView requires a web server with at least PHP v4.3 and around 20MB of
web space.  The default installations of PHP on most servers should provide
you with all of the PHP functionality you should need.

To use the reporting engine, PHP needs to be compiled with XML support.  
This is compiled into PHP by default unless it is specifically disabled.  

Some features of PhpGedView require the GD library and that PHP be compiled
with GD support.  Most precompiled versions of PHP include GD support.  If 
you are compiling PHP yourself you will need to configure it with the 
option.  See

The advanced calendar features of PhpGedView for converting Gregorian dates 
to the Hebrew or Jewish calendars require that PHP be compiled with the
configuration option.  See 
for more information.

For GEDCOMs larger than 2MB, you will likely need to research different
hosting options and find one that will accept a request to modify the
default memory and time limits built into PHP.  See the FAQ at for more information about large GEDCOMs.


Follow the instructions in this section to install PhpGedView if you are
already familiar with the program or are familiar with installing other PHP 
web applications.

 1.  Upload the files to your web server.
 2.  Set Write permissions on config.php and the "index" directory.  For 
     optimal security, you should move the "index" directory to a location 
     where it is not accessible from the Internet.
 3.  Point your browser to the directory where you uploaded your PhpGedView 
     files (for example,
 4.  Enter your configuration settings.  If you moved the index directory, 
     be sure to specify the correct location to it on this page.  Save the 
     configuration parameters.
 5.  Enter the default administrator user.
 6.  Login as this user and upload your GEDCOM file.
 7.  Save the GEDCOM configuration settings.
 8.  Import the GEDCOM.

Optional Steps
 9.  If you want to use the language editing features you will need to set 
     Write permissions for all of the files in the ./languages folder.
10.  If you want to upload media files using the Upload Media section of 
     the Admin menu then you need to set Write permissions for your ./media 
     and ./media/thumbs directories.
11.  If you want to edit your GEDCOM file online, the GEDCOM file must have
     Write permissions set for the PHP user.
12.  If you want to use the Backup feature of the Upgrade utility in 
     PhpGedView you will need to either set Write permission on the 
     PhpGedView folder itself or create a folder named "backup" with Write 
     permissions.  Write permissions for the PhpGedView folder can be 
     removed as soon as the backup folder is in place and has the 
     appropriate permissions.
13.  For security you should set the permissions back to Read-only when you 
     are done editing or uploading files.


Follow these instructions if you are not familiar with PhpGedView or 
installing PHP applications.

*A.  Upload Program Files:
To install PhpGedView, unzip the compressed package and upload the files to 
a directory on your web server.  If you have limited space on your server, 
you can save space in the following ways:
1.  Do not upload the "docs" folder.
2.  Delete the themes from the themes folder that you do not plan to use.
3.  Delete some of the language files that you do not want.  English files 
    are named configure_help.en.php, countries.en.php, facts.en.php, 
    help_text.en.php and lang.en.php.  French files, for example, are named 
    with ".fr." in place of ".en.".  Hebrew files use ".he." in place of 
    ".en.", and so on.  
    The English language files cannot be deleted.  They are always loaded 
    before the files for the selected language are loaded.  This ensures 
    that all language variables are defined, and that the English version 
    will be used when a given variable is missing in the new language.
4.  Do not upload the "places" folder.  This folder contains maps for some
    countries.  It also contains text files containing state, county, and 
    place names.  Its purpose is to allow you to enter place names by 
    picking them from lists.    

For optimal security, you may want to move the "index" directory to a 
different location outside of your Internet accessible space.  You will 
specify the location of this directory during the online configuration.  
See the SECURITY section for more information.

*B.  Required File Permissions:
PhpGedView requires that Read permissions be set for all files in the
PhpGedView directory tree.  Some hosts also require Execute permissions
(chmod 755).  PhpGedView requires full Write permissions on the index 
directory (chmod 777 under most hosting configurations).  PhpGedView also 
requires that Write permissions (chmod 777) be set temporarily for the 
config.php file.

To help with the setting of permissions a file called setpermissions.php 
has been included with the project.  This file will attempt to set 777 
permissions to the config.php, ./index, and all of the files inside the 
./index directory.  Because host settings vary on the ability of PHP 
programs to set file permissions, you have to run this file manually.

If at any time you have trouble during configuration, check your 
permissions again.

There are some advanced features that require more Write permissions to be 
set.  If you want to use the language editing features you will need to set 
Write permissions for all of the files in the ./languages folder (chmod 
777).  If you want to upload media files using the Upload Media section of 
the Admin menu then you need to set Write permissions (chmod 777) for your 
./media and ./media/thumbs directories.  If you want to edit your GEDCOM 
file online, the GEDCOM file must have Write permissions set to the PHP 
user (chmod 777).

*C.  Configuration:
Next point your web browser to the PhpGedView folder
(for example, to automatically 
begin the online configuration process.  Information about each of the 
configuration options can be found online by clicking on the question mark 
(?) near each label.

PhpGedView has support for importing your GEDCOMs into a PEAR:DB supported 
database like MySQL or PostgreSQL.  Currently, MySQL is the only fully tested 
database.  Using a database requires that an existing user, password, and database already

You may reconfigure PhpGedView at any time by going to PhpGedView/admin.php 
and logging in as an administrator user and clicking on the "Configuration" 

*D.  Create Admin User
After you click the Save button, you will be asked to create an 
administrator user and login as this user.  Then click on the link labelled 
"Click here to continue" where you will be taken to the "Manage GEDCOMs" 
area.  In the "Manage GEDCOMs" area you can add GEDCOMs to your site, edit 
the GEDCOM configuration, edit Privacy settings, and import the GEDCOM into 
the data store.

*E.  Add GEDCOM file
To add GEDCOM files to the system, you can upload your GEDCOM file using 
the "Upload GEDCOM" option from the Admin menu.  All files uploaded using 
the "Upload GEDCOM" page are saved in your index directory.  You can also 
upload your GEDCOM manually using FTP or any other file upload method.  
Most hosts limit the size of files that can be uploaded from a web form for 
security reasons, so you may be forced to use a manual method.  You may 
also upload your GEDCOM in ZIP format, either manually or using the 
"Upload GEDCOM" option.  Make sure to enter the filename of the ZIP file.  
PhpGedView will automatically unpack the ZIP file and use the GEDCOM file 
inside it.  Be sure to create the ZIP file to contain only one GEDCOM file.

*F.  Set GEDCOM Configuration Settings
After uploading your GEDCOM, you will be asked to set the configuration
parameters for it.  There are too many parameters to list all of their 
options in this document.  Please use the online Help documentation to 
guide you through the configuration process.

*G.  Validate GEDCOM
After you save the GEDCOM configuration PhpGedView will validate your 
GEDCOM and automatically fix any errors that it can.  If any errors found 
in the GEDCOM require user input, you will be prompted to choose how to 
proceed.  Again use the online Help ? for more information.

*H.  Import GEDCOM
You are almost done.  This is the final step before you can begin viewing 
your data.  After validating the GEDCOM and fixing any errors, you will 
need to import the GEDCOM into the data store.  During the Import you will 
see a lot of processing statistics printed on the screen.  If the Import 
completed successfully you will see a blue "Import Complete" message.  
Everything is now set up and you can begin using PhpGedView with your 

*I.  Deleting GEDCOMs
You may delete GEDCOMs from your site from the "Manage GEDCOMs" area.
Deleting a GEDCOM from the site will remove it from the database but will 
not delete the original GEDCOM file that you imported.  It will also not
delete any of the cache or privacy files related to this GEDCOM.  These 
retained files, which are no longer required by PhpGedView, are all located 
in the "index" directory.

*J.  Reset config.php Permissions
For security you should set the permissions of config.php back to Read-only
(chmod 755) when you have finished configuring for the first time.  Write
permissions will only need to be set for config.php when you use the
Admin->Configuration link.  Everything else will be stored in the index

*K.  Custom Themes
You can customize the look and feel of PhpGedView by modifying one of the
provided themes.  See the THEMES section of this readme file for more

*L.  HTTP Compression
Pages generated by PhpGedView can be large and use up a lot of bandwidth.
Compression of the data between the server and browser using GZip 
compression can compress the bandwidth by up to 90% (usually 80% - 90% for 
PhpGedView that were tested) If your web server is Apache, configuring this 
is very easy.  Add the following 2 lines to your php.ini file:
    php_flag zlib.output_compression On
    php_value zlib.output_compression_level 5

If you have no access to the php.ini file, create a blank file named 
.htaccess (including the dot) and add the lines to that file (or add them 
to an existing .htaccess file and upload the file to your PhpGedView 

Note: If your host is using mod_gzip or an other compression method, using 
this technique can cause problems.  Compression will have no effect on 
browsers that do not support it.  You can test the compression at

If you need help or support visit


Use the following steps to upgrade to v4.0.  These steps assume that you 
are familiar with PhpGedView and have successfully installed it before.

Version 4.0 no longer includes support for index files.  If you do not have 
PHP 5 with built-in SQLite support or a database account then you should not 
upgrade to PhpGedView 4.0.  Maintenance releases will continue for the 3.3.x 

**Note to SQLite users: Unfortunately SQLite does not support the ALTER TABLE
  SQL command.  This means that we must first drop the tables and recrate
  them.  It is highly reccomended that you run the backup before upgrading.

1.  Upload the new 4.0 files to your server replacing the old files with the 
	new files.  Do not replace the config.php file or the index directory.
2.  Go to upgrade33-40.php in your browser.
3.  SQLite users will need to reimport their GEDCOM files.
4.  You can now use your upgraded site.  One change with this version splits
    user's full names into first and last name fields.  If you have users
    who only entered a single name then their first and last name will be the
    same and it will appear doubled on some screens.  You may want to review 
    your user list and check your user's names.
5.  If you are using a customized theme you will need to update your theme
    with new stylesheets and variables.  An excellent tool that can help 
    you to merge themes is the WinMerge project

When you change your genealogy data outside of PhpGedView, it is not 
necessary to delete your GEDCOMs from PhpGedView and start over.  Follow 
these steps to update a GEDCOM that has already been imported:

1.  The first step is to replace your old GEDCOM on the site with your new
    GEDCOM.  You can do this using FTP, or by going to the "Upload GEDCOM" 
    page and uploading a new GEDCOM with the same filename as the old one.  
    Please remember that file names are case sensitive.
2.  Re-import the GEDCOM file by going to 
    Admin->Manage GEDCOMs->Import GEDCOM.  The GEDCOM will be validated 
    again before importing.
3.  The Import script will detect that the GEDCOM has already been imported 
    and will ask if you want to replace the old data.  Click the "Yes" 
4.  You will again see the Import statistics and the Import Complete 
    message at the bottom of the page when the Import is complete.

If you use a ZIP file to upload the GEDCOM, the only way to do it is by 
either using the "Upload GEDCOM" option, or the "Add GEDCOM" option.  The 
GEDCOM file in the zipped file has to have exactly the same name as the 
already existing GEDCOM.  This way existing GEDCOM settings will be 


PhpGedView uses a theme based architecture allowing you to have greater
flexibility over the appearance of the site.  The "themes" directory 
contains the standard themes that come packaged with PhpGedView.  You may 
customize any of these themes to your liking or create your own theme by 
copying any of the standard themes to a new folder and modifying it.  When 
you configure PhpGedView, you should tell it to look in your new theme 

A theme directory must contain at least the following 6 files:
  footer.html        # PHP/HTML for the bottom of every page
  header.html        # PHP/HTML for the top of every page
  print_footer.html  # PHP/HTML for the bottom of every print preview page
  print_header.html  # PHP/HTML for the top of every print preview page
  style.css          # A CSS stylesheet containing all styles
  sublinks.html      # PHP/HTML to print the links to other places
  theme.php          # The PHP design variables that you may customize
  toplinks.html      # PHP/HTML that appears just below the header.html

For a guide to building your own custom PhpGedView theme, go to:

If you really like a theme that you have done and would like it included 
with the project, you should send your theme files to the developers at


The GEDCOM 5.5 standard supports multimedia files of all types.  Currently
PhpGedView supports multimedia objects only as external files.  Multimedia
embedded in the GEDCOM file itself will be ignored.  To use the multimedia
support in PhpGedView you must copy the multimedia files external to your
GEDCOM to the "media" directory in the folder where you installed 

In choosing which picture to show on charts, PhpGedView will choose the 
first one with the _PRIM Y marker.  If there are no _PRIM tags in your 
media object records then the first object found will be used.  You can 
disable all photos on charts for a particular person by setting _PRIM N on 
all media objects.  Most genealogy programs will do this for you 

You can find all of the images referenced in your file by opening your 
GEDCOM in a text editor and looking for the OBJE or FILE tags.

PhpGedView includes a "media/thumbs" directory where you can place 
thumbnails of your media files for display in lists and on other pages.  
PhpGedView allows you to create your own thumbnails so that you can 
maintain artistic control over your media and to avoid the installation of 
other server side software.  Make a copy your images and reduce them to an 
appropriate thumbnail size somewhere around 100px width and upload them to 
the "media/thumbs" directory.  Keep the filename the same as the original.  
Thumbnails can be created for non-image media files as well.  To do this 
create a thumbnail image in either gif, jpeg, png or bmp formats and name 
them the same name as the media file including the file extension (even if 
the media is a non image such as a PDF or an AVI file, name the thumbnail 
IMAGE with the PDF or AVI file extension).

You can configure PhpGedView to recognize subdirectories in your media 
folder.  The subdirectories must be the same names as the subdirectories in 
your media file paths pointed to in your GEDCOM file.  For example, if you 
have the following media references in your GEDCOM file:

With the media depth set to 1 you need to set up your directory structure 
like this:

With the media depth set to 2 you need to set up your directory structure 
like this:


PGV now includes an RSS feed.  RSS is an XML format that allows other sites
to get news and other data from your site.  The language used is the 
default language of the site.  The language of the feed can be set to any 
language supported by PGV by changing the URL that your RSS aggregator uses 
from the default /phpGedView/rss.php to /phpGedView/rss.php?lang=english 
(or any language supported by PGV such as rss.php?lang=french).  

Currently only the default site GEDCOM is supported for the feed info.  
Other options available in the RSS feed are the ability to specify the feed 
type via the rssStyle parameter.  The PGV default is "RSS1.0".  Passing any 
supported type including "PIE0.1", "mbox","RSS0.91", "RSS1.0", "RSS2.0", 
"OPML", "ATOM0.3", "HTML", "JS" will change the feed type.  

For example, calling  /phpGedView/rss.php?rssStyle=HTML will create HTML 
output suitable for inclusion in an other page via an iFrame.  The JS 
option will output JavaScript that can be included in an other page without 
using an iFrame.  

You can also specify a module that you want to output (only 1) so that only 
that module will be output.  This is done via the module parameter.  For 
example, /phpGedView/rss.php?module=GEDCOMStats will only output the GEDCOM 
Stats block.  

These parameters can be chained so that
will output the GEDCOM Stats module in Hebrew in HTML.


PhpGedView uses a very simple database table layout because it operates
primarily on the GEDCOM data and only needs the database for search and
retrieval.  There are only a few tables in the database:
  pgv_blocks        # Description of each user's Portal page
  pgv_dates         # Stores decoded date information from GEDCOM records
  pgv_families      # All the families in the GEDCOM
  pgv_favorites     # Stores users favorites
  pgv_individuals   # All the individuals in the GEDCOM
  pgv_messages      # Messages to and from users
  pgv_names         # Stores decoded name information from GEDCOM records
  pgv_news          # Stores news items for the Index and Portal pages
  pgv_other         # All other level 0 GEDCOM records (i.e., repositories, 
                    #   media objects, notes, etc.)
  pgv_placelinks    # Cross-reference between places and individuals and
                    #   families
  pgv_places        # Place hierarchy
  pgv_sources       # All the sources in the GEDCOM
  pgv_users         # Table for user data (only exists if using default 
                    #   mysql authentication module)

The tables are all very similar.  They each have a field for the GEDCOM ID, 
a field to tell which GEDCOM file the record was imported from, a few 
fields for things like quick retrieval of name information, and a field for
the raw GEDCOM record data.

Following is a more detailed description of each table:
    i_id VARCHAR(255)      # GEDCOM individual ID
    i_file INT             # ID number of the GEDCOM file the record is from
    i_rin VARCHAR(30)      # Individual's RIN number
    i_name VARCHAR(255)    # Person's primary name taken from the first
                           #   1 NAME line stored in GEDCOM name format
    i_isdead int(1)        # Alive/dead status of individual
                           #   -1 = not calculated yet 0 = alive 1 = dead
    i_GEDCOM TEXT          # Raw GEDCOM record for this individual
    i_letter VARCHAR(5)    # First letter of the individual's surname
    i_surname VARCHAR(100) # Person's surname

    f_id VARCHAR(255)      # GEDCOM family ID
    f_file INT             # ID number of the GEDCOM file the record is from
    f_husb VARCHAR(255)    # ID of the husband
    f_wife VARCHAR(255)    # ID of the wife
    f_chil TEXT            # List of children IDs, semi-colon (;) delimited
    f_GEDCOM TEXT          # Raw GEDCOM record for this family
    f_numchil INT          # Number of children in this family

    s_id VARCHAR(255)      # GEDCOM source ID
    s_file INT             # ID number of the GEDCOM file the record is from
    s_name VARCHAR(255)    # Abbreviated title of the source
    s_GEDCOM TEXT          # Raw GEDCOM record for this source

    o_id VARCHAR(255)      # GEDCOM record ID
    o_file INT             # ID number of the GEDCOM file the record is from
    o_type VARCHAR(20)     # Type of GEDCOM record
                           #    (REPO, ADDR, NOTE, OBJE, etc)
    o_GEDCOM TEXT          # Raw GEDCOM record for this item

    n_gid VARCHAR(255)     # Individual ID that this name corresponds to
    n_file INT             # ID number of the GEDCOM file the record is from
    n_name VARCHAR(255)    # Name in GEDCOM format,
                           #   with / / around the surname
    n_letter VARCHAR(5)    # First letter of the surname
    n_surname VARCHAR(100) # Surname for this name record
    n_type VARCHAR(10)     # Type of name,
                           #   P = primary, A = additional, C=calculated

    b_id INT(11)           # Record ID
    b_username VARCHAR(100) # User name whom block belongs to
    b_location VARCHAR(30) # Location of the block.  
                           #   Main column or right column
    b_order INT(11)        # Position of the block within the column
    b_name VARCHAR(255)    # Name of the block
    b_config TEXT          # Configuration settings for this block

    fv_id INT(11)          # Record ID
    fv_username VARCHAR(30) # User name whom the favorite belongs to
    fv_gid VARCHAR(10)     # ID of the favorite
    fv_type VARCHAR(10)    # Type of favorite (currently only INDI)
    fv_file VARCHAR(100)   # File that this favorite belongs to
    fv_url VARCHAR(255)    # The URL for this favorite if it is not one of 
                           # the basic types
    fv_title VARCHAR(255)  # A title for URL based favorites
    fv_note TEXT           # Optional descriptive information about this favorite

    m_id INT(11)           # Record ID
    m_from VARCHAR(255)    # Name or email address of the sender
    m_to VARCHAR(30)       # Destination user name
    m_subject VARCHAR(255) # Subject of the message
    m_body TEXT            # Body text of the message
    m_created VARCHAR(255) # Time stamp when the message was created
    n_id INT(11)           # Unique identifier
    n_username VARCHAR(100) # User name or GEDCOM the News item belongs to
    n_date INT(11)         # Time stamp of last update
    n_title VARCHAR(255)   # Title of the article
    n_text TEXT            # Body text of the article

    p_id INT(11)           # Unique identifier
    p_place VARCHAR(150)   # Place name
    p_level INT(11)        # Level of the place in the hierarchy,
                           #   0 is the country or state
    p_parent_id INT(11)    # ID of this item's parent place in the 
                           #   hierarchy.  A city's parent would be the 
                           #   county it is in, a county's parent would be 
                           #   a state or province, and a state or province
                           #   would have a country as parent.
    p_file INT             # ID number of the GEDCOM file the record is from

    pl_p_id INT(11)        # Unique identifier
    pl_gid VARCHAR(30)     # Family or individual ID referencing this place
    pl_file INT            # ID number of the GEDCOM file the record is from

    u_username VARCHAR(30) # User name
    u_password VARCHAR(255) # Encrypted password
    u_fullname VARCHAR(255) # User's full name
    u_GEDCOMid TEXT        # Serialized array representing the GEDCOM IDs
                           #   for this user
    u_rootid TEXT          # Serialized array representing the root IDs 
                           #   for this user
    u_canadmin ENUM('Y','N') # Is the user an admin or not
    u_canedit TEXT         # Serialized array indicating the editing 
                           #   privileges a user has for each GEDCOM
    u_email TEXT           # Email addres
    u_verified VARCHAR(20) # User self verified
    u_verified_by_admin VARCHAR(20)  # User has been verified by the admin
    u_language VARCHAR(50) # User's preferred language
    u_pwrequested VARCHAR(20)   # User requested a new password
    u_reg_timestamp VARCHAR(50) # Registration timestamp
    u_reg_hashcode VARCHAR(255) # Self-registration hash key
    u_theme VARCHAR(50)         # User's preferred theme
    u_loggedin ENUM('Y','N')    # User's login status
    u_sessiontime INT(14)       # User's last login time stamp
    u_contactmethod VARCHAR(20) # User's preferred method of contact
    u_visibleonline ENUM('Y','N')  # Whether or not the user is visible in
                                   #   the logged on users block
    u_editaccount ENUM('Y', 'N')   # Whether or not the user can edit his
                                   #   own account information
    u_defaulttab INT(10)           # Default tab on the individual page
                                   #   for this user
    u_comment VARCHAR(255)         # Admin's comments on this user
    u_comment_exp VARCHAR(20)      # Alert date for the admin, for instance 
                                   #   for temporary accounts.
    u_sync_gedcom VARCHAR(2)    # If the user has a GEDCOM record ID, then 
                                #   should some of the data for the user (name,
                                #   email) be synchronized with the GEDCOM data.
    u_relationship_privacy VARCHAR(2)  # Should this user use relationship privacy
    u_max_relation_length INT   # The maximum path that the user is allowed to see
    u_auto_accept VARCHAR(2)    # Are changes made by this user automatically 
                                #   accepted into the database

This table layout has received criticism from some for its simplicity, 
size, and because it does not follow a genealogy model like GENTECH.  
We admit that these tables can be hard to interface to because the code has 
to understand GEDCOM in order to get information out of them.  We also 
admit that storing the raw GEDCOM data could make the tables very large.

Fortunately the GEDCOM standard is not a very complex or large format; it 
only requires 6 characters per line, which is very good compared to 
something like XML.  However, there are some very compelling reasons why 
this table structure was chosen:
1.  Simpler tables mean fewer and simpler database queries.  This takes a
    large load off the database and makes the program run faster.
2.  Nothing is lost in the Import.  Even though GEDCOM is a standard, each
    genealogy program interprets the standard a bit differently and adds 
    its own tags.  Creating a database model that conforms to all the 
    GEDCOM outputs of different genealogy software programs would be very 


Advanced users who understand PHP may want to configure manually by editing 
the configuration file config.php  When you have finished editing 
config.php make sure that the variable $CONFIGURED=true; so that the 
program does not try to forward you to the configuration.php script when 
you launch it for the first time.

You can manually add GEDCOMS to the system by adding them to the $GEDCOMS 
array in the index/GEDCOMs.php file.  The GEDCOM array looks like this:
  $gedarray = array();
  $gedarray["GEDCOM"] = "surname.ged";
  $gedarray["config"] = "./index/surname.ged_conf.php";
  $gedarray["privacy"] = "./index/surname.ged_priv.php";
  $gedarray["title"] = "Surname Genealogy";
  $gedarray["path"] = "./surname.ged";
  $GEDCOMS["surname.ged"] = $gedarray;
"surname" above could be anything, for example, "johnson" or "private".  
You must pay attention to the case of what you enter.  PhpGedView is case 

Each GEDCOM will need a configuration file.  You can copy the 
config_GEDCOM.php file which has all of the default values for each GEDCOM 
you add manually.  Then set the "config" item of the GEDCOMS array to point 
to the file you copied.

Each GEDCOM also needs a Privacy file.  Make a copy the privacy.php file 
for each GEDCOM and set the "privacy" item of the GEDCOMS array to the 
location of the new privacy.php file.


Even though PhpGedView gives you the ability to hide the details of living
individuals, whenever you post the personal details of living individuals 
on the Internet, you should first obtain the permission of EACH living 
person you plan to include.  There are many people who would not even want 
their name linked with their family history made public on the Internet and 
their wishes should be respected and honored.  Most family history programs 
allow you to choose the people who are exported when you create your GEDCOM 
file.  The most secure option is to deselect all living people in your 
genealogy program when you export your genealogical data to a GEDCOM file.

If you wish to protect your GEDCOM file itself from being downloaded over 
the Internet you should place it outside the root directory of your web 
server or virtual host and set the value of the $GEDCOM variable to point 
to that location.  For example, if your home directory is something like
"/home/username" and if the root directory for your web site is
"/home/username/public_html" and you have installed PhpGedView in the
"public_html/PhpGedView" directory then you would place your GEDCOM file in
your home directory at the same level as your "public_html" directory.  You
would then set the file path to "/home/username/GEDCOM.ged" by editing the
GEDCOM configuration.

You can also manually set the location by changing the "path" line in
    $gedarray["path"] = "../../GEDCOM.ged";
    $gedarray["path"] = "/home/username/GEDCOM.ged";

Since your GEDCOM file resides in a directory outside of your web server's 
root directory, your web server will not be able to fullfill requests to 
download it.  However, PhpGedView will still be able to read and display 
its contents.

In the end it is YOUR responsibility to guarantee that there has been no
violation of an individual's privacy and YOU could be held liable should
private information be made public on the web sites that you administer.

For more privacy options visit:


PhpGedView has built-in support for multiple languages.  PHP does not 
support unicode (UTF-16).  It does support UTF-8 and that is the 
recommended character encoding for GEDCOMs with PhpGedView.  If you have 
characters in your GEDCOM outside the standard ASCII alphabet, you should 
probably use the UTF-8 encoding.  There are many differences between UTF-8 
and UTF-16, but anything that you can encode in UTF-16 you should be able 
to encode in UTF-8.  It is also quite easy to convert from Unicode to 
UTF-8.  Simply open your Unicode GEDCOM file in Windows Notepad and select 
"File->Save As.." from the menu and choose UTF-8 as the encoding option.  
You shouldn't lose any of the characters in the translation.

You should check the Patches section of to get the latest language 

Discussion and questions about the multiple language features of PhpGedView
including translations, should be posted in the Translations forum 
available from the PhpGedView project page here:

To translate PhpGedView into another language that is not currently 
supported you must first login to PhpGedView as an administrator and go to 
the Language Edit Utility by clicking on "Admin-> Translator Tools".  At 
the bottom of that page is an option to Add a new language.  Choose your l
anguage from the dropdown list and click on the "Add new Language" button.  
A popup window will appear that allows you to edit the default settings for 
your language.  Each of the settings has online help available by clicking 
on the "?".  You might want to look at the settings for some of the other 
languages on the edit language page to see how they are set up.  When you 
have finished editing the settings, click the Save button.  This will 
create a new lang_settings.php file in the index directory.  You will 
notice that your language now appears in the supported languages list.

Next create a copy of the "configure_help.en.php", "facts.en.php", 
"help_text.en.php", and "lang.en.php" files located in the "./languages/" 
and change the "en" part to match the two letter language code of your 

The "facts" file contains all of the translations for the various GEDCOM 
tags such as BIRT = Birth.  The "lang" file contains all of the language 
variables used throughout the site.  The "configure_help.en.php" and
"help_text.en.php" provide configuration and help instructions.

You can translate these files using the online Language File Edit utility.
Just select your language from the drop-down list and then select the file 
you want to edit and click the Edit button.  Your file will be compared to 
the English language file so that you can easily translate the files 

You can also translate these files manually by opening them in any text 
editor.  If you manually edit the files, you must be sure to save them in 
the UTF-8 character set.  Some text editors like Windows Notepad add a 
3-byte Byte-Order-Mark (BOM) to files they save in UTF-8.  PHP does not 
like the BOM and it should be removed before testing the files in 
PhpGedView.  PhpGedView's Translator Tools section has a utility program
for removing these BOMs.

You should obtain a flag file from and size 
it to match the other flags in the images/flags directory.

To help maintain languages, a language change log is provided in the 
languages directory.  This change log is named LANG_CHANGELOG.txt.  All 
changes to the English language files are recorded here.

If you make a new translation of PhpGedView or update another translation, 
and would like to contribute it to the community please post your language 
files and your index/lang_settings.php file to the Patches section of the 
SourceForge project site at


The GEDCOM 5.5 standard has a defined set of codes.  You can read the
specification online at  Part of the
standard allows for genealogy software to define their own codes, and 
requests that they begin with an "_" underscore.  

When PhpGedView comes across a tag that is not defined it will display an 
error message.  You can disable these error messages by setting 
$HIDE_GEDCOM_ERRORS=true; in the config.php file.  PhpGedView can also be 
customized to work with these codes by adding them to the facts array in a 
new language file named facts.en.extra.php.  If you add it to the English 
facts file you should also add it to the other facts language files you are 
using on your site if you want other languages to translate the tag 

The format of the facts file is a PHP associative array.  Each tag requires 
one line in the array.  The following line defines the label "Abbreviation" 
for the ABBR GEDCOM tag.
    $factarray["ABBR"] = "Abbreviation";

As an example, if you use a genealogy program that generates the tag 
"_ZZZZ" you can customize PhpGedView to accept this code by adding the 
following lines to the facts.en.extra.php file:
    $factarray["_ZZZZ"] = "Tag Label goes here";


Language extension files are custom PHP files that you can use to make your 
own language specific extensions to PhpGedView.  To add a language file 
extension, create a new PHP file called lang.xx.extra.php replacing the 
"xx" with the code for the language you want to extend.  These files are 
not automatically included with the package so that when you upgrade, your 
extensions are not overwritten.

If this file exists for the language that is chosen, it is the very last 
thing that is loaded before the display starts.  These files were designed 
to be language file extensions, but you could easily use them to make 
settings changes based on the chosen language.

What sort of things can you do with language extensions?
 - Customize any of the text that appears on the site,
 - Change configuration options based on language,
 - Change to a different GEDCOM when someone views your site in a different

The only settings that you should not override in this file are the Privacy

If, for example, you wanted to change the GEDCOM title when you changed the
language, you could change the title for each language by adding the 
following line to your lang.xx.extra.php:
    $GEDCOMS["surname.ged"]["title"] = "Title in Chinese";

In this file you could also change the text on the buttons:

With this file you could also change the GEDCOM that is displayed when the 
language is selected.  Suppose you had a GEDCOM that was in German and one 
that was in English.  In the file you could add the 
following lines:
    if ($GEDCOM=="english.ged") {
      header("Location: $SCRIPT_NAME?$QUERY_STRING&ged=german.ged");

These lines say that if we are using the German language files, but are 
using the English GEDCOM, then we need to reload the page with the German 
GEDCOM.  You need to reload the page so that the configuration settings for 
the GEDCOM get loaded.  This assumes that you have both "english.ged" and 
"german.ged" imported into the database and that the english.ged and the 
german.ged have the same people in them, just in a different language.  
Thus I0001 in english.ged should refer to the same I0001 in german.ged.


Basically it's possible to switch a PhpGedView installation from Index to 
DATABASE mode or vice-versa without losing any settings.  The following 
steps have to be made:

 1.  Make sure you have all rights in the ./index/ folder on your web site 
     and on the file ./config.php
 2.  Copy the file config.php to configsql.php (or any other name) to 
     backup the old configuration.  You may also use the Backup function 
     from the Admin menu to backup all vital files before switching mode.
 3.  DO NOT remove any files from your index directory, as some of them 
     (Privacy and GEDCOM settings) will also be used in Index mode.
 4.  In DATABASE mode, log in to PhpGedView with Admin rights.
 5.  Go to the Administration page and select the User Information 
     Migration tool.
 6.  Choose the Export function.
 7.  User Migrate will try to create the following files:
       - authenticate.php  - user accounts and settings
       - favorites.dat     - user and GEDCOM favorites
       - blocks.dat        - block layout of Welcome and MyGedView pages
       - news.dat          - User and GEDCOM news
       - messages.dat      - User messages
     If any of the files already exist in your index directory, you will be 
     prompted to overwrite them.  If there are problems creating the files, 
     when, for instance, you don't have sufficient rights, you can always 
     correct the problem and run the Export function again, as nothing 
     irreversible has happened.
 8.  Check that the above files exist in your index directory.
 9.  Go to Admin, Configuration, change mode to Index and save the 
10.  As all Index mode related files are already present, you should be 
     able to use your web site in Index mode immediately.
10.  Import your GEDCOM files again to build the Index database.  You don't 
     need to change any GEDCOM settings, as they still exist in the index 
     directory and will be used again.
11.  Test all settings and functions thoroughly before you remove your SQL
     database from your web site.

 1.  Make sure you have all rights in the ./index/ folder on your web site 
     and on the file ./config.php
 2.  Copy the file config.php to configindex.php (or any other name) to 
     backup the old configuration.  You can also use the Backup function 
     from the Admin menu to backup all vital files before switching mode.
 3.  DO NOT remove any files from your index directory, as all of them 
     (Privacy and GEDCOM settings) will also be used in DATABASE mode, or 
     will be used to migrate the information to DATABASE mode.
 4.  Connect to your SQL DBMS with your regular administration tool, and 
     define a database, without any tables.
 5.  Create a user in your SQL-DBMS with the following rights on the 
 6.  In PhpGedView, go to Admin, Configuration, and change mode to 
     DATABASE, fill in the appropriate SQL-DBMS and database name, user and 
     user password and save the configuration.
 7.  PhpGedView will ask you to create an admin user.  Create one.  This 
     user will be overwritten later with the migrated information.
 8.  From the admin menu, choose the User Information Migration tool, then 
     choose Import.
 9.  PhpGedview will now import all settings from Index mode to DATABASE 
10.  Go to Admin, Manage GEDCOMs and Edit Privacy, and then import all your 
     GEDCOM files again.  There is no need to change GEDCOM settings and 
     Privacy settings, as all settings made in Index mode will be used.
11.  Test all settings and functions thoroughly before you remove Index 
     related files (.\index\*.dat and .\index\authenticate.php) from your 
     web site.


PhpGedView can integrate with PostNuke and phpNuke so that your users do 
not have to login twice.

After you have PhpGedView up and running, you should follow the 
instructions in the readme.txt file in the pgvnuke folder.

The files that make the integration magic happen were donated by Jim Carey.


With the Backup function in the administration menu, you can make a simple 
backup of all important PhpGedview files.  With this backup, it's possible 
to rebuild your PhpGedView site to the situation at backup time.

The backup can contain the following files, as selected on the Backup page:
  - config.php with all configuration settings of your installation
  - all GEDCOM files that were present in your installation
  - all GEDCOM options and privacy settings for the above files
  - counters, PhpGedView- and search-logfiles
  - user definitions and options (block definitions, favorites, messages 
    and news)

The files will be gathered into a ZIP file, which can be downloaded by 
clicking the link on the page.

Note: The database itself will not be included in the backup, since it can 
be rebuilt using the files in the backup.

Note: All pending changes (not approved or rejected yet by the 
administrator) will be present in the GEDCOM files but can no longer be 
identified as changes.  If the database is rebuilt using the GEDCOMs, these 
changes therefore can no longer be rejected.

The Backup function uses the PclZip library, which is written by Vincent 
Blavet and can be found at