TNG 11 is almost here! The currently estimated release date is about March 16 or 17, 2016. This major upgrade includes nearly a hundred fixes, enhancements and new features. Here’s a summary of the most significant changes:
- DNA: Aid your research by keeping track of DNA tests taken by the people in your tree. Enter the specifics once and link them to those affected.
- Fan Charts: A fan-oriented chart of ancestors can now be displayed for each person in your tree.
- Data Validation: Several preconfigured validation reports will help you spot potential errors in your data.
- New Design: Another new template has been added.
- Family Chart: This view shows a person’s spouse, children and parents all together on one page in graphical fashion.
- Mobile-Friendly: More improvements here will make your site even more usable on mobile devices.
- Administration: Enhancements to the Admin menu show quick totals for all data categories, plus an “Important Tasks” area to remind administrators of items that need attention.
- Heat Maps: Color codes on the Places, Surnames and Search Results pages now show the global distribution of surnames and places.
- Search: A Google search page now allows you to search across your entire site using Google’s indexes.
- Timeline: The Simile Timeline layout has been redesigned to be more readable, with separate bands for family and general events.
- Compatibility: Pro-active changes will make sure TNG remains compatible with the latest versions of PHP.
You’ll be able to get the upgrade at a discount ($14.99) by going back to your previous downloads page. If you’ve lost the URL or access info, send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send it to you again. If you only purchased TNG or the v10 upgrade recently (in the past 6 months), you’ll be eligible to get the upgrade for free.
Also take note that Simply Hosting does not install upgrades. A helpful 15-minute video will be available to walk you through the process, but there will also be an option to pay an extra $15 to have the upgrade installed for you. If you’re doing the upgrade yourself, take a minute to review the post here from the v10 release on helpful tips for a successful upgrade.
If you’ve forgotten your TNG admin login, here are a few things you can try to regain access to your site:
1. Go to the TNG login page (either on the public side or the admin side) and use the form there to ask TNG to email you your username or (if you know that already) a new password (your password is encrypted in the database, so it can’t send you that). The message should arrive within a minute or two. If you don’t see it, that could mean that you never entered an email address, or your address has changed since you set up your account, or maybe that your host is not allowing TNG to send email. In any case, if the mail doesn’t arrive, you’ll need to try something else.
2. Log in to your site control panel (not part of TNG) and find a tool there called phpMyAdmin (ask your provider to point you to it if you don’t see it right away). Launch that tool, then find your database on the left side and click on it to select it. Once the tables appear, click on the tng_users table to display all of your user accounts. At this point you have two choices:
2a. Delete all of the records in the tng_users table. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to enter the TNG admin menu without a login (so do it quick and recreate your accounts).
2b. Alternately, you could edit your account record, take note of the username, then change the password_type field to “none” (no quotes). Next, edit the password field and change it to something you’ll remember, then log into TNG with that password. Now your password will *not* be encrypted in the database. If that doesn’t bother you, you can leave it as it is. If it does, then go in TNG to Admin/Users and create a new admin account for yourself and delete the old one.
3. If you can’t find phpMyAdmin or can’t figure out how to use it, you can ask me to do it for you. If you do that, know that I will need access to your site control panel, so you can save us a step by sending me that login to begin with.
With TNG 10 being released today (Feb. 12, 2014), I thought I’d take a minute to go over some of the things to watch out for while you’re upgrading your site. All of these apply no matter which version you’re installing.
Install the upgrade, not the full version. When you get to the v10 downloads page, the first link near the top will be for brand new TNG users. What you want is a little further down in the Updates section. Also take note that a new version of the full version readme.html file will be included with your upgrade, but the installation instructions for the upgrade will be in a different file. The name of that file will be listed next to the download link. For example, if you’re coming from version 9, the file will be called readme9x-1000.html or readme922-1000.html. If you accidentally open readme.html, it should warn you that you’re about to install the full version. If you see that, go back! Installing the full version on top of an existing install will cause you to lose your data and your customizations.
Make sure you choose the right upgrade. Before you begin, go to your TNG Admin menu and look at the top of the screen. It should say there what your current version is. Anything that starts with “9” (like 9.0.1 or 9.1.1) counts as “9.x”. You will see links for several different upgrades on the v10 downloads page. Be sure to get the one most appropriate for your currently installed version. If you have v8 but you install the upgrade for users with 9.x, you will likely notice errors when you’re done.
Don’t forget the backup. At the top of the instructions, you’re advised to back up your key files (mainly the configuration files, like config.php, pedconfig.php, etc., but also any others that you may have customized). If you do make a mistake at some point, having a backup can save you a lot of headaches. Once the upgrade is finished and everything is running smoothly, back up your tables again.
Remember to view the upgrade readme from your browser, not your home computer. One of the first steps is to upload the files to your site. After that, you need to load the instructions again from your site. In other words, if your site is www.mysite.com and you’re upgrading from 9.0.1, open your web browser and go to http://www.mysite.com/readme9x-1000.html from there. If you continue with the local copy you opened immediately after downloading, some of the later steps won’t work.
Don’t skip any steps. A lot of people think they just have to upload the files, but there’s a little more to it than that. The step most people still skip is the one relating to database structure changes (if you see a bunch of database query errors after installing the upgrade, this is probably what you did). There’s usually just a simple link you have to click. Doing that will open another page that runs through a list of database updates. Depending on the version you had previously, some of the items may say “Failed or done previously”. Don’t be alarmed if you see some of those.
Update your template. OK, this step can be a little confusing. Prior to TNG 8.1, templates were installed by uploading the template files directly into the main TNG folder, overwriting the existing files with the same names. Since 8.1, however, the template files have all been moved to a folder called “templates”. If you’ve been around since before 8.1 and want to keep your old template, there are a few extra hoops to jump through, and those are explained in the instructions.
Also, if any of you have tinkered with your template files (not the Template Settings or the mytngstyle.css style sheets) and you want to keep those customizations, then you’ll probably want to merge your changes in with the latest files. Some of the new features won’t work unless you’re using the latest template files.
For most people, however, this should be simple. Just upload the entire “templates” folder from the upgrade and that’s it.
- Clear your browser cache. Once you’re done, go into your browser settings or preferences and clear the cache (or “temporary Internet files”). Until you do that, your browser might decide to hang on to some of the old pages, and that could present a conflict. Some features might not work. The instructions for clearing the cache vary from one browser to another, so do a Google search on this if you’re not sure how to do it.
If you still have issues and you think you may have botched the instructions, feel free to ask for help from me or the user list (tngusers2). If you think you might have found a program bug, please contact me directly (email@example.com).
Despite the possible pitfalls described here, the upgrade process should be fairly easy. If you’re still sure you won’t be able to do the upgrade yourself, there are other options though. Simply Hosting no longer does upgrades, but I can do it for an extra $15, and others could be hired as well. I might be swamped at first if too many people request this, so please be patient.
RootsTech Attendees are now able to come and buy TNG from our booth in the exhibit hall! Come stop by and say hello!
Tomorrow will be the first launch of TNG10! It will be initially only available to those purchasing in person at our booth at RootsTech. We’ll be in booth 318 near the middle of the hall. Stop by to see for yourself, or come to the product demo Saturday morning in the exhibit hall.
Today’s featured preview is my personal favorite. TNG now comes with three new templates!
Along with the three new templates comes a new way of selecting your templates. Just click on “Show Previews” and you can see a thumbnail preview of how your site will look in all fourteen included templates quickly and easily!
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading the feature previews and if you’ll be at RootsTech, please stop by and say hello!
The “Show/Hide Events” mod originally written by Jeff Robison has been incorporated, meaning that you can configure your Custom Event Types so that some of them start “collapsed” (all lines hidden except the top one).
Visitors may still expand those lines at will.
There are two ways to set this. It can be done on each custom event individually:
Of you can do it in bulk by clicking the ones you want to display collapsed and choosing the button at the top to collapse:
Here’s what it looks like before and after. There’s only a small amount of data here, but if you had a large amount of text to display, this would make a real difference:
Thursday marks the first day the RootsTech exhibit hall is open, and also the first day you can get your hands on TNG10. We will be in booth 318 near the middle of the hall, come by and see it in action for yourself!
Labeling individuals and families to create branches is now easier than ever. In the edit branch area, you start by choosing an individual as the “starting individual” and then define any number of ancestor or descendant generations. You can append a new label, replace labels, or remove labels if you no longer want to use the branch designation.
Can’t remember what you did before? You can choose to show the people included in the branch when editing a branch:
There is now a public “Branches” page (found under the “Info” menu), which shows a little detail for each branch you have created.
Don’t you hate it when you get a million search results, and you have to keep clicking “next results” a million times to get to results you KNOW are in the middle? Not any more! TNG pagination of search results now has the ability to “jump to” a certain page of search results. Just one of the little things that makes life much easier!
It’s February, and that means that you can have TNG10 up and running on your site THIS MONTH!
Today’s preview is a new feature in the Ahnetafel (pedigree) & Register (descendants) reports: There is now a “More detail/Less detail” toggle in the upper right corner of this page that will show or hide custom events and notes.
Looking forward to seeing all our users at RootsTech! Stop by our booth and be among the first to upgrade to TNG10.
Today we are highlighting another simple change that makes the TNG experience so much easier. TNG10 now allows admins to export just a specific branch, and has the option to exclude or include living or private people. Your Site. Your Choice.