Difference between revisions of "Family Group Worksheet V9"

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== TNG User sites using this add-on ==
== TNG User sites using this add-on ==
If you download and install this mod, please add your TNG site to the table below
If you download and install this add-on, please add your TNG site to the table below
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Revision as of 15:07, 16 January 2014

Family Group Worksheet V9
Summary Provides a form for visitors to organize and submit family information for inclusion in the website.
Validation n/a
Mod Updated {{{mod_last_update}}}
Download link fgw_v90025.zip
TNG 9.0
Download stats view statistics
Author(s) Rick Bisbee
Homepage Bisbee Family Connection
Mod Support Support for Family Group Worksheet V9
Contact Developer Rick Bisbee
Latest Mod
Min TNG V 9.0.0
Max TNG V 9
Files modified
Related Mods
Self installing -- does not use Mod Manager

Level: Intermediate

Should not be attempted by novice users.

The administrator must understand how to upload files and folders using an FTP client or the Control Panel, navigate to website pages using a browser, be able to grasp basic concepts of data structures, and learn to write code for HTML links.


The Family Group Worksheet (FGW) is an add-on for TNGv9 that provides a form to be filled in by site visitors who wish to add their own families to the website. Depending on the options chosen by the site administrator, the form can be made accessible to all visitors, or limited to registered users who are logged in. If opened via tabs on personal or family group pages, it is pre-populated with data for editing. When submitted, the worksheet formats the data and emails it to the site administrator for consideration.

If the user enters a valid person ID for either head of family, information from the TNG database will populate the form so that it can be edited or extended. The user will only see living/private persons according to privileges granted to them by the website.

FGW comes with support files for several languages -- Dutch, English, French, German and Spanish. Some of these files were developed using Google Translate. If a native speaker cares to submit files that are more idiomatic, we will be happy to replace them. There is a master help file in English -- others will be provided as they become available. There are also help links on the form for some of the data fields.

A Mod Manager file to automatically add tabs to personal and family group pages for opening a copy of the worksheet for user input is available above.

The worksheet includes its own log file to track user access as well as attempts to spam the website.

Nobody much likes Captcha's as a means of fighting spam. The FGW avoids the use of a Captcha in favor of some other techniques. These can be expanded if spam becomes a problem with a worksheet that is accessible to the public.

We've now experienced spam from public users. Beginning with version v9.0.0.15, the worksheet will display the website's default captcha (if any) for the first access to a worksheet; the challenge will not be issued again for subsequent worksheets for the remainder of the session.

FGW is well integrated into the website and does not modify any native TNG files. If used, the companion mod -- fgw_tabs.cfg -- modifies genlib.php.

There are environmental circumstances that may prevent third party script from working correctly. Please see the Section on Known Problems below if you suspect you will have difficulty.

FGW Revision History

Version Date Description
v9.0.0.25 15 Jan 2014
  • Fixes configuration error to prevent unauthorized users from seeing data on living persons.
v9.0.0.24 27 Jul 2013
  • Adds person or family ID to subject line of message to aid in archiving.
v9.0.0.23 19 May 2013
  • Fixes omission in setup.php to restrict this file to the admin only.
v9.0.0.22 12 Apr 2013
  • Includes marriage and divorce info when pre-populating family.
v9.0.0.21 30 Mar 2013
  • Fixes error in sex designation for wife and children on non-English worksheets.
v9.0.0.20 3 Jan 2013
  • Fixes error in emailed link back to person or family page caused by omitting trailing slash in Genealogy URL during TNG setup.
v9.0.0.19 19 Sep 2012
  • Suppressed error message if Captcha is not used.
  • Stopped form elements from overrunning the page.
v9.0.0.18 28 Aug 2012
  • Cleaned up the package and reissued German language files.
v9.0.0.17 23 Aug 2012
  • Updates German language files.
  • Fixes bug that allowed access to public visitors when only registered users are allowed.
  • Fixes bug that caused form to redirect to home page after changing language.
v9.0.0.16 28 Jul 2012
  • Adds repeating background image option for form.
  • Fixes bad path to suggest.php in error msg.
v9.0.0.15 2 Jul 2012
  • Removed fgw_tabs.cfg mod from package. It will be updated/published separately, but still downloadable on this page.
v9.0.0.15 27 Jun 2012
  • Issues a captcha challenge to anonymous visitors if one is used for TNG documents on the site. See below for Using a Captcha with the Family Group Worksheet
  • Prevents data on living persons displaying to visitors without living/private privileges.
  • If you are using the fgw_tabs mod, You must install the new version (v9.0.0.2) provided in this package.
v9.00.0.14 25 Jun 2012
  • Allows for tabs on personal and family group pages to open the worksheet pre-populated with information from the calling page. A TNG Mod Manager file (fgw_tabs.cfg) is included in the package for those who would like to automatically place 'Worksheet' tabs on personal and family group pages.
  • Title of a worksheet called from a TNG page is changed to reflect the associated person or family group.
  • Changing a tree selection causes the worksheet to be cleared after warning the user.
  • If website only uses one tree, the drop down menu of trees for selection is not displayed.
  • Adds an option to limit trees available to the worksheet and to list them in the drop down menu in any desired order. If only one tree is specified in the options, the drop down menu is not displayed.
v9.00.0.13 21 May 2012
  • Adds setup option to reduce requirement for submission from two persons to one.
  • Fixes failure of Spanish language file to load (names were wrong).
v9.00.0.12 8 May 2012
  • Template 8 display anomaly fixed.
  • Fixes retrieval error for multiple parents.
  • Makes backward compatible with php4.
v9.00.0.11 17 Apr 2012
  • Fixes warnings caused by clash between scalar and array variables.
  • Adds notice if website file permissions are set incorrectly.
v9.0.0.10 16 Apr 2012
  • Major change to package -- no longer needs to be installed. Place 'fgw' folder on TNG site and navigate to it. See new instruction in Upgrading / Installing FGW V9 below.
v9.0.0.9 14 Apr 2012
  • Additional enhancements and fixes suggested by Bart Degryse.
v9.0.0.8 11 Apr 2012
  • Fixed bug in database download
  • reworked user log so cannot be read in browser
  • fixed bug in language support for user log
  • added back link button to user log viewer
  • removed link for saving deployed files back to distro package
  • replaced universal code symbols which were not displaying in all browsers.
v9.0.0.7 9 Apr 2012
  • made compatible with PHP4
v9.0.0.6 5 Apr 2012
  • Adds name of family tree to admin message.
v9.0.0.5 5 Apr 2012
  • Initial public release (earlier versions distributed for testing only)


Form shown is in the default styling, open for public access and with LDS event fields hidden (all configurable by the administrator.)


Upgrading / Installing FGW V9

If you are installing Family Group Worksheet for the first time, go to the third step below.

Beginning with FGW v9.0.0.10 there is no installation. Everything now works inside the fgw folder, so it is important to completely uninstall any previous version to get rid of all unnecessary files that may have deployed to various places on the website.

  1. If you are still using the Family Group Worksheet for TNGv813, go to your Mod Manager and Remove it.
  2. To upgrade TNGv9 versions prior to v9.0.0.10, make sure to use the Family Group Worksheet setup program to uninstall and then completely remove the fgw folder from the website.
  3. Download and unpack the zip file and place the fgw folder on your TNG website. It can be in the TNG root directory, extensions folder, or anywhere else you want it.
  4. Navigate to the fgw folder with a web browser and you should see the Family Group Worksheet ready for user input.
  5. Change or create links to the fgw folder for user access. See the Custom Drop Down Menu mod if you would like help adding a link to a TNG drop down menu.
  6. Navigate to the setup.php program inside the fgw folder to set your preferences for how it looks and works. You can bookmark the setup program in your browser to return to it in the future.

The Family Group Worksheet can be removed by deleting the fgw folder, removing the fgw_tabs.cfg mod, if used, and any custom links you created to reach it.

See Known Problems below if you experience any difficulties.

Administrator's Setup Page

When you navigate to ... fgw/setup.php you will see a setup screen where you can set your preferences or you can revert to the default settings. Bookmark this page in your browser for easy access in the future.


Linking to the Worksheet

You will need to add a link to the worksheet (... fgw/index.php) for users to access it. If you want, you can use the Custom Drop Down Menu mod to place a link to the worksheet in any of the standard TNG drop down menus, or create a custom drop down menu and add the link there.

If you are already using this mod for your links, and are upgrading from a previous version of fgw_v9, you will have to modify the link in your customconfig.php file to point to the fgw folder. For instance, if you put the fgw folder inside 'extensions', and you want your link in the TNG 'Find' menu, your customconfig link would look like this:

$link_nr = 0; 
$findmenulinks[$link_nr]['target'] = "extensions/fgw/index.php";
$findmenulinks[$link_nr]['sprite'] = "";
$findmenulinks[$link_nr]['icon'] = "extensions/fgw/img/families.gif";
$findmenulinks[$link_nr]['text'] = "Submit Family";
$findmenulinks[$link_nr]['literal'] = true;
$findmenulinks[$link_nr]['admin'] = false;

See the entire article for the Custom Drop Down Menu mod on the TNGWiki for more information.

FGW Tabs Mod

For those who would like to have a tab at the top of each personal or family page to open a Family Group Worksheet pre-populated with data from the source page, see the companion FGW Tabs Mod.

Using a Captcha

If the website uses a captcha for TNG documents, it will also be used to challenge the Family Group Worksheet for anonymous users. After successfully passing the challenge the first time, it will not be issued again for access to subsequent worksheets for the remainder of the session.

If admins do not want to use their captcha here, or if their captcha does not work correctly for some reason, it can be suppressed in the code. Click on the support link above if this is an issue for you.

Checking Safe Mode Status

To see if your website is running with PHP safe mode turned on, go to your TNG Admin page, click on Setup and then click on the Diagnostics tab at the top of the page. Safe mode is no longer supported in PHP, so ask your hosting service about turning it off for your website.


I would like to thank the many people from the TNG users' list who contributed lots of ideas and suggestions as well as language translation files. I also want to thank those who contributed their time testing the initial versions.

Thanks to Chuck Bush who helped with the code for installing Worksheet tabs on TNG pages for individuals and families.

Many thanks to Friedhelm Kaemper for rewriting the German language files to make them more idiomatic.

Known Problems

Environment Problem Comment
PHP4 PHP5 Compatibility issues. We have been able to fix those problems that have been brought to our attention.
PHP in Safe Mode Write restrictions Safe mode will not permit third party scripts to write files if the owner of the folder/script is not the owner of the website. Site admins can either turn off safe mode or can somehow make themselves owner of the folder and its files. It may be that only the isp provider can resolve this for you. If anyone has a workable solution, please let us know and we will document it here.
Apache File Permissions Write restrictions On some Apache servers, the server (which runs the script) does not seem to be identified as owner or part of the 'group' for file/folder permissions. You may be able make it work by giving write permission to the whole 'world' (7-7-7), but that is not recommended for security reasons. It may be that only the isp provider can resolve this for you. If anyone has another solution, please let us know and we will document it here.
IIS server Write restrictions According to information on the Internet, IIS does not allow third party scripts to write files by default. Admins must set permissions for them. If you have experience doing this, please let us know and we will document it here.

TNG User sites using this add-on

If you download and install this add-on, please add your TNG site to the table below

URL User Note Mod-Version/TNG-Version User-language
A Bisbee Family History Rick Bisbee Developer of the FGW v9.0.0.6/v9.0.4 EN
Mitchell Families Online Roger Mitchell Public site v9.0.0.25 / TNG 9.2.2 EN


There is no warranty. Use the script at your own risk. It has been tested in all the TNG template styles without any particular problems. If you experience difficulty or would just like to comment, please Contact us here