Family released, villagers rejoice

Hey folks,

So for those of you who are interested in some of the stuff that we each do outside of Adium, take a look at this link to Family.

Evan and I have been working on Family for a while now, and we just released version 2.0. If you’re interested in Genealogy (family tree stuff) then definitely give it a gander.

– Chris


  1. Very nice application. It isn’t quite a Renunion killer yet, but if the interface for modification can get another layout otherr than the tree/flow layout, then it’d be well on its way.

  2. Sorry if this is a wrong place to ask but is msn having server problems again?

    Adium acts just like it did on November 15, 2006…

    Do you have some kind of information about this?

  3. Anonymous 1: Thanks. I don’t know that we meant for it to be a “Reunion killer” but suggestions are definitely welcome.

    Anonymous 2: Aye, they have been. Check the forums.

  4. Cool! I’ve been playing around with trying to write something like this, so it’s interesting to see. Offhand:

    Same-gender relationships get drawn badly (two hearts, one half-cut-off). It’s very easy to mess up the graph – a ‘regraph’ option (while algorithmically a big bite) would be handy, next to ‘shrink to fit’. And, I’d be intersted to know if/how you deal with multiple relationships (divorce, re-marriage, &c).

  5. can you show divorces?

  6. Encouraging beginning! I’m a cocoa programmer myself and I like the way this feels. It could be a pay-for program but not quite yet in my opinion. A few comments if you want them:

    When fit to grid is selected, adding space to the sides should do it in appropriately sized blocks. Also using the arrow keys to move people ruins the alignment. Shrink to fit also throws the alignment off grid. I appreciate there’s a lot of work in terms of algorithms but this point was infuriating for me.

    It is hard to show divorces and remarrages as a previous person said. I realise this is inimplemented but I think it’s one of the next priorities ‘cos who doesn’y have a broken marriage somewhere in their family!! Also consider gay marriages; as previous mentioned these are buggy.

    I realise the whole GUI is designed to map generations horizontally. However, mapping it vertically produces very poor results and this, I feel, is a big limitation. Perhaps a preference pane with check box or radio group?

    Further down the line, how about some sort or option to spread the selected people evenly and maybe some auto align options. Same generations should auto-align horizontally with an equal horizontal distance between them. Also, an equal vertical distance between people.

    Lastly, how about an add child and add partner option in the edit window. This could open a new edit window and populate some expected defaults (gender, surname etc.) and users could still change them in special circumstances. For maximum kudos how about shifting the existing layout to create some space for them? All these things remove customisation option make the program more usable but less customisable so it should be an option which can be disabled, but on by default, I think.

  7. the new beta version of adium isnt working well for QQ, it will be going crash while sign in QQ. i just aware that a problem among so many ppl from other discussion board.

  8. “Anonymous 1: Thanks. I don’t know that we meant for it to be a “Reunion killer” but suggestions are definitely welcome.”

    (not the original poster, but i know what they are getting at)
    Reunion is considerd the de facto standard in OS X genealogy, some PC users i know just use a mac to use this software. The poster was inferring that Family is not quite up to a caliber to beat out Reunion.

  9. sam, those are some great suggestions, thanks — look for at least fixes for some of the gridding options to be in the next version, and hopefully some of the other items in the not-too-distant future 🙂

  10. While acknowledging the previous comments, I think the interface lets you draw a pretty picture. But this app does what so many others do, lock up your hard work. I was very disappointed to not see any options for exporting. I know there is an Export… menu item, but I’m sorry, producing an image from all this data is not “export”, it’s “print”.

    If I had gone through the effort of putting in a substantial number of persons, I would’ve been pretty irritated to find that I can’t reuse my data.

    Here’s a page with some of the export format options …

    Yes, there are many options, but picking one or two of them would allow my hard work to live beyond the lifetime of this application. I hope you’ll consider it.

  11. I would like to see support for divorces (multiple, preferably, though I don’t know how you would implement it with the interface you use currently) – also an “auto-arrange” for the family would be awesome.

    An “easier” option to add is support for adoptions (just a dotted line to children, for instance). If you wanted to go for extreme, make another graphical overlay (with the option to turn it on and off) and allow all sorts of relationships (best friends, enemies, bed-buddies, the like) – that could be fun, and could be used to link family trees together. Implement that and the ability to put in “events” for each person and you’d swiftly take down Reunion, which is bloated in that faux-professional sorta way.

    Key things to get now though are divorces, adoptions, perhaps a vertical layout, auto-sizing for the tree (which is convenience, mostly – just have it adjust the zoom maybe. My tree isn’t big so if it does that already than that’s awesome).

    Oh, and as put above, GEDCom (I think it’s called) or whatever the common file format would be awesome – but not only exporting, as importing is important as well. Open the tree in a side-window so the user can drag it in, or later you could have it scan the tree, suggest an integration pattern (if one is found), point out conflicts in that case, integrate the trees, and then resize it. That would bring the people with 10,000+ size libraries running over.

    This is an awesome product with an amazing amount of potential, especially as you all have demonstrated actually working on it, unlike alot of other programs. I’m looking forward to what you all turn out!

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