Jump to content
TNG Community
Rob Severijns

Help function in TNG

Recommended Posts

Rob Severijns

Hi everyone,

Not everyone visiting my TNG familytree is very skilled in navigating the familytree and there are older familymembers who aren't skilled in browsing the web either.

This leads me to believe that for those who visit a TNG website for the first time or not frequently can easily get lost in the tree.

Not exectly knowing what they are looking at and/or where to find certain information can be a major reason for people not to return to the website.

With that in mind I have started to create some instructions on what can be found where in the familytreee and how navigation works in the familytree.

Basicly I made a Help function that works from within TNG itself. Remeber though that this doesn't replace the TNG WIKI

For the Help to work I took the following steps.

  1. I downlouded the free History template form GWT - History template which is available for free and will fully intergrate with your own TNG installation.
  2. I created a Help directory in the TNG directory (FTP)
  3. I used Notepad++ to create the help content. Made several PHP files that reflect the help topics so each helptopic has it's own php file.
  4. Created a Help link on my familytree homepage.

Clicking the Help link will open a new tab in the browser which shows the help template in a two collumn format. (See screenshots)

The left collumn is a menu with hyperinks to the different Help topics.

The right collumn contains the explanation of the specific Help topic.

Since I'm still working on it, the translation is Dutch only at the moment but as soon as all is ready I will start working on an English translation.

Bare in mind that the Help topics are based on my personal TNG installation including some installed Mods.

So for you to make it work in your own TNG installation you need to tweak the PHP files to your own needs.

This also means you will need some basic knowledge of writing PHP files. It's not to difficult for I did it too. Trial and error combined with Notepad++ and worked perfectly for me.

If anyone else is interested in this Help functionality please whisper (PM) me.

If you can't wait just let me know and I will gladly send you the current PHP files for you to work on.

Hope this is useful to others too and if you have any comments or question don't hasitate to share them.

Added are a few screenshots.

Help_start_page_Du.png

Help_ancestors_Du.png

Help_person_page.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Newfloridian

Hi Rob

I have always used template 4 for my website. This has the advantage of a left hand column which can be used as a navigation chanel. My site consists of the classical "internal" TNG display pages (individual people, places etc) and a sectional ("external") magazine made up of some 550 illustrated articles written using historytemplate.php. This is the lead page to one of those sections:

The Craxford Family Genealogy Magazine; The Red Pages

Several years ago, there were two articles created using historytemplate.php entitled "Help" and "FAQ". I think there are many people who have used these for exactly that function. They can be accessed from the Info dropdown menu. This is what our Help page looks like:

Help

Cheers Alan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rob Severijns

Hi Alan,

Thank you for your reply and a view on how you work with Help and FAQ topics.

What you did is what I'm trying to accomplish too in just a slightly different way.

Your help and FAQ pages will surely help users find their way within the familytree and that's what those pages are all about.

Well done !

Looking at your Help and FAQ pages gave me some interesting ideas too. Thank you for that :-)

I haven't used screenshots yet mainly because I'm not at that point yet but will certainly do so in the future.

Not sure whether I will incorporacte them directly on the webpage or as a thumb you can click on to see the full size picture.

 Anyhow, ideas enough but not always the amount of time needed to implement all of it.

Thanks again for your reply and helpful insights.

Rob

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ken Roy

Rob,

Examples of the FAQ information can be found on the TNG Wiki at FAQ - User

and the Help - User page as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rob Severijns

Hi Ken,

I know for I have seen it and refered to it.

Those wiki pages work as an external page I could have linked too but I wanted something from within my own TNG installation.

Btw, I will actualy use information available in the wiki.

2 hours ago, Rob Severijns said:

Basicly I made a Help function that works from within TNG itself. Remember though that this doesn't replace the TNG WIKI

The reason for an internal Help/FAQ page is because many of the older users (75 - 90+) aren't able to read and understand the English language all that well let alone browse the internet the way others do.

So I needed something in Dutch that is easy accessable and available in the same layout as the website.

None the less, the info on the wiki pages is very useful too.

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ken Roy

Rob,

Maybe I was too cryptic in my reply.  The TNG Wiki provides links to other user sites that have created such pages as Alan Craxford indicated.  I thought I have created a French translation to my How to Navigate page, by unfortunately I did not.

As was no recommending that you point users to the TNG Wiki

If you created a Help function that works within TNG, maybe you should encourage Darrin to make it part of TNG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rob Severijns

Ken,

No worries,

I've looked at the pages of other users too and most of them turn out to be much alike which I guess is good for it is apperently something that works well.

Once finished I will inform Darrin and we'll see if he wants to use it.

Btw, not all the links to the sites are still working.

I will send you a list of the broken links later this week.

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ken Roy

If anyone has Graham Chamberlain's download files, they should be posted to the TNG Wiki for download.

Looks like wherever his site is hosted got upgraded to a more recent PHP version that his site cannot handle.  Last I knew Graham was fighting cancer so he is likely no longer in a position to keep his site current.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
edglimited
On 8/3/2022 at 6:32 AM, Ken Roy said:

If anyone has Graham Chamberlain's download files, they should be posted to the TNG Wiki for download.

Looks like wherever his site is hosted got upgraded to a more recent PHP version that his site cannot handle.  Last I knew Graham was fighting cancer so he is likely no longer in a position to keep his site current.

Ken, I can offer you an alternative for now, until the downloaded files are back on TNG Wiki...

https://www.katiandgraham.com/genealogy/extrapgs/faq.php

Just to add, I downloaded and compiled two doc's, from info off Graham's Site, one called Help and the other, FAQ. They are raw and not formatted in anyway. WYSIWYG. I can format them in pdf etc, but you will have to wait a week, rather busy on a project. Sorry about that, or you can use them "as-is" and compress.

 

Graham Chamberlain_FAQ (no longer available)

Graham Chamberlain_Help (no longer available)

NOTE: I have removed the download links to these files, as they contain original formatting to https://www.katiandgraham.com/genealogy/extrapgs/faq.php and may cause confusion to some people.

As @Ken Roy has pointed out in the last reply at the end of this page, the files are now available for download at Help_FAQ Files.

Thks to @bhemph for the files.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rob Severijns

Made some changes tot the TNG Wiki at FAQ - User and Help - User page.

Also making a referal to the alternative offered by edglimited

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
edglimited
10 minutes ago, Rob Severijns said:

Made some changes tot the TNG Wiki at FAQ - User and Help - User page.

Also making a referal to the alternative offered by edglimited

Hi Rob,

Please be mindful, that Grahams WebSite is unstable. If you visit it and arrow towards the bottom, you will see what I mean.

"Warning: Illegal string offset 'basicfooter' in /homepages/42/d42111854/htdocs/genealogy/templates/template8/footer.php on line 6"

Cheers Drew..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rob Severijns

Hi Drew,

Thx, I noticed that too.

Have you sent them a notification?

Otherwise I will.

Not sure if and who is maintaining the website atm but we'll see if there's any response.

Greetings Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ken Roy

View page source indicates that Graham's site is at TNG 12.0.1.  Last I knew Graham was fighting cancer so he is likely not in a position to maintain his site, but his hosting service appears to have upgraded the server he is on to a PHP version that TNG v12 cannot handle.

As Alan indicated above, Graham's pages would have been created using the historytemplate.php so the look and feel format is done by the TNG Template used on the site.

15 hours ago, edglimited said:

Just to add, I downloaded and compiled two doc's, from info off Graham's Site, one called Help and the other, FAQ. They are raw and not formatted in anyway. WYSIWYG.

Drew,

I am not sure I know what you mean by compiled.  The page text should be inserted into a historytemplate.php and not a PDF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
edglimited
7 hours ago, Ken Roy said:

Drew,

I am not sure I know what you mean by compiled.  The page text should be inserted into a historytemplate.php and not a PDF

Sorry Ken, maybe my comment was a bit cloudy.

As I have no prior knowledge on how Graham had his Help / Faq files originally, I don't know how and in what format, he made them available for people to download. Were they winzip, a mod, in pdf, rtf, txt..??? Your original comment was....

On 8/3/2022 at 6:32 AM, Ken Roy said:

If anyone has Graham Chamberlain's download files, they should be posted to the TNG Wiki for download. 

Looks like wherever his site is hosted got upgraded to a more recent PHP version that his site cannot handle.  Last I knew Graham was fighting cancer so he is likely no longer in a position to keep his site current.

I simply copied Grahams Website, so that if any info was required, it would now be on file, as per my compiled doc's.. Who knows how long his current Website will be up, until it goes offline for good. Then all his info is lost. My first thought was, in what format would you like them posted to TNG Wiki for download and where. Assuming that no-one came forward, with the originals of course. As mentioned, I did the doc's in raw format, so if yourself or anyone else knew where they were to go, it would then be a simple case of copy and paste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ken Roy

Drew,

Thanks for your explanation.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell from the TNG Wiki page because Graham did not indicate what file name he added to Click Counter II which no longer works with the recent PHP versions and generates all the warnings from the download link

Graham never upgraded his click counter to Click Counter III when it was made available.  I tried to save a copy of the source for his Help page but suspect it was not save successfully since I cannot open it with Notepad++ which goes into a Not Responding condition.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ken Roy

Thanks to Brent Hemphill for providing Graham's help&faq zip file that I have renamed Graham_Chamberlain_help_faq.zip and uploaded to the TNG Wiki.

I have updated both TNG Wiki articles to reflect the change.

Note that Graham's files were created using the old historytemplate.php file so might need to be updated to use the new historytemplate.php format since TNG moved the Template Settings to the database and the template variables are now only provided from the tng_begin.php file.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×