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Blog: #prints-2.3

Family sheets

As part of my quest to start saving my genealogical research on paper, I built a small system for generating family sheet PDFs. (Kind of like my family group record redesigns.)

It takes input like this:

    name: José Antonio Fuentevilla Fuentevilla
      date: 13 Apr 1809
      place: Polanco, Santander, Spain
      date: 23 Dec 1878
      place: Polanco, Santander, Spain
      father: José Fuentevilla Piñera
      mother: Vicenta Manuela Fuentevilla Ruiz
      link: SE-0013

    name: Manuela Gándara Cobo
      date: about 1811
      place: Setién, Marina de Cudeyo, Santander, Spain
      date: 30 Nov 1879
      place: Polanco, Santander, Spain
      father: José Gandara Valdecilla
      mother: Josefa Cobo Palacio

    date: 30 Dec 1829
    place: Polanco, Santander, Spain

    - name: "[unnamed infant]"
        date: about 1830
        place: Polanco, Santander, Spain
        date: 14 Jan 1831
        place: Polanco, Santander, Spain

    - name: Josefa Fuentevilla Gandara
        date: 31 Jul 1832
        place: Polanco, Santander, Spain
        date: 5 Aug 1834
        place: Polanco, Santander, Spain


And then generates an HTML page which I can then load in a browser and print to get this:


I’m using a page-naming scheme that helps me know which side of my family it’s on. The numbering is in order of creation. The family sparklines show an overview of the family. There’s a notes section (not shown) where I include notes on the family and what research we still need to do. The age calculations are primitive but get the idea across.

It takes a bit of time to copy things out of FamilySearch and keep it up to date, but I’m finding that these sheets help me see what work I still need to do. And it’s nice having something material and persistent so I’m not always on a screen.

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Family sparklines

I’ve been thinking more about genealogy sparklines. Decided to pick up the recent work I did in that vein and make it work for families, for use in my new family sheets. This also riffs off my old family analysis project.

Introducing the first draft of family sparklines:


(At this point are they really still sparklines, you ask? Good question.)

These families are from my Spanish line, by the way, which is why there is an abundance of initials.

Basic idea: larger hollow circles are marriages, smaller filled circles are children. Vertical marks at beginning or end for birth and death. (If the vertical tick isn’t present, the birth or death date isn’t known.) Father at the top of the chart, mother at the bottom, children in the middle. Vertical line from father to mother for the parents’ marriage. In cases where the marriage isn’t known (like in the bottom right MA/CS family), the vertical line and circles are left out. People’s initials are at the right to help know who is who. The smaller vertical tick marks on each line mark ten years of age. If there isn’t a death date, it goes five years past the last known date.

It’s still a work in progress, but I like how it provides an at-a-glance overview of a family. With the JAFF/MGC family in the upper left, for example, I can easily see that:

  • The parents were alive for all three marriages of their children and most of the grandkids’ births
  • They had five children die young
  • I don’t have a marriage or death for MFG
  • I haven’t found any children for MLFG

You can also see a child born before the wedding, how old people were when they married, gaps where there might have been children, etc.

I’m sure I’ll refine it further in the future, but I wanted to post where it’s at right now.

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Tabular pedigree chart

Lately I’ve found myself wanting to have local, paper copies of my genealogical research. As part of that, I wrote a script that takes input like this:

- Maria Isabel Fuentevilla Gándara | 1848 | ? | Polanco, Spain
-- José Antonio Fuentevilla Fuentevilla | 1809 | 1878 | Polanco, Spain
--- José Fuentevilla Piñera | 1779 | ? | Polanco, Spain
---- José Villa Oyuela | 1737 | 1803 | Polanco, Spain
----- Juan Antonio Villa Cacho | ? | ? | Polanco, Spain
------ Santiago Villa | 1687 | ? | Polanco, Spain
------ Maria Cacho
----- Rosa Maria Oyuela | ? | 1740 | Polanco, Spain
------ Damian Oyuela | ? | 1720 |
------ Josefa Rio
---- Rosa Piñera Pereda | 1747 | 1817 | Rumoroso, Spain
----- Juan Francisco Piñera Velo | ? | ? | Rumoroso, Spain
------ Juan Piñera | ? | ? | Arce, Spain
------ Francisca Velo | ? | ? | Arce, Spain
----- Maria Pereda Fuente | ? | ? | Rumoroso, Spain
------ Francisco Pereda | ? | ? | Rumoroso, Spain
------ Anna Fuente | ? | ? | Rumoroso, Spain

And turns it into what I’m calling a tabular pedigree chart:


It’s not glamorous by any means, and it’s still a work in progress, but it was super simple to implement with HTML tables and a bit of CSS. I print it to PDF from the browser. Overall, I’m fairly happy with it.

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Links — Prints 2.3

Still Eating Oranges on the significance of plot without conflict. I ended up using kishōtenketsu with the story I’m about to release.

Erlend Hamberg’s short overview of GTD. Helpful refresher.

Swarthmore’s explanation of the rope-around-the-earth puzzle. Hadn’t heard of this before but I love it.

Alex Trost on generative SVG grids. Fun.

Victor Shepelev reverse engineering {Shan, Shui}*. Love this.

George Francis on generative textures. I haven’t been doing art lately but this makes me want to get back into it.

The Verge on being able to edit and unsend iMessages in iOS 16. Finally. Finally.

Joris Peters et al. on where chickens were originally domesticated. (Appears to be central Thailand.)

Artvee, free high-resolution public domain art. So much to see here!

Huge straw sculptures at Japan’s Wara Art Festival. These are amazing.

The Browser Company on optimizing for feelings. Intrigued to see where this leaads.

Blender 3.2 is out.

Paul Katsen using GPT-3 in a spreadsheet. Weird new worlds!

“Farm vehicles approaching weights of sauropods exceed safe mechanical limits for soil functioning.” Obviously a bad thing, but the title delights me for inexplicable reasons.

Robin Sloan on his new Spring ’83 protocol. I love new internet protocols. I’m thinking about borrowing the idea and implementing it as a “whiteboard” page on my site. Kind of like my now page, in that it would be updated periodically. But this would have its own style (rather than inheriting the overall site style). No idea yet if it would actually be useful or usable, but the idea intrigues me.

Len Falken on posting plain text. Interesting idea. The lightweightness of it, in particular.

Nicholas Rougeux’s 17th-century watercolor swatches. Love this. Also see the making of.

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Reading — Prints 2.3

Of note: I discovered a few days ago that Marvin (the ebook reader I use on iOS) lets you import custom fonts. Works great, love it. Marvin continues to be by far the best ebook reader I’ve found. It’s been four years since it was last updated, though, and I worry that it’s eventually going to stop working. Probably going to bite the bullet at some point and build my own web-based reader so I’m not dependent on outside apps that may disappear.

Recent nonfiction reads

  • I got partway through the first volume of Boswell’s Johnson, but then bailed. The letters were a little too much detail for me, given that I don’t actually know much about Johnson the writer (my interest is more in his lexicography). Might still come back to it.
  • This was more of a fictiony couple of weeks.

Recent fiction reads

  • Black Sun, by Rebecca Roanhorse. I almost gave up around fifty pages in, but then things got interesting. (Which is why I usually try to give books at least a hundred pages.) Loved the setting and the magic.
  • Diamond Dogs, by Alastair Reynolds. Novella. A tower progression story like Sufficiently Advanced Magic, but much darker. Brutal and violent. More math, too, which was the most disturbing thing of all. (I jest.) The story was interesting in a detached, cold sort of way, but it didn’t really speak to me.
  • Wakers, by Orson Scott Card. While I still prefer OSC’s early style more than his recent barebones style, and while I could certainly do without the juvenile humor, and while every character being sarcastic in the exact same way is now maybe a bit much for me, the story was compelling and the world was intriguing.
  • The Last Witness, by K. J. Parker. Novella. Oof, that ending. I would not say this is a happy story. Liked it a lot, though. Parker’s style fits my brain really well.

Books acquired since last post

  • SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome — Mary Beard
  • The First Human — Ann Gibbons
  • Valor — John Gwynne
  • A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa — Alexis Okeowo
  • Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century — Alice Wong
  • Lightblade — Zamil Akhtar
  • The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America — Ethan Michaeli
  • Steve Jobs & The NeXT Big Thing — Randall Stross
  • Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed — James C. Scott
  • Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down — J. E. Gordon
  • Aristotle’s Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Middle Ages — Richard E. Rubenstein
  • The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution — Peter Hessler
  • Saint Death’s Daughter — C. S. E. Cooney
  • Writing Mormon History: Historians and Their Books — Joseph Geisner
  • Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy — Adam Jentleson
  • Tractor Wars: John Deere, Henry Ford, International Harvester, and the Birth of Modern Agriculture — Neil Dahlstrom
  • James Patterson: The Stories of My Life — James Patterson
  • Black Earth: A Journey Through Russia After the Fall — Andrew Meier
  • The President’s Man: The Memoirs of Nixon’s Trusted Aide — Dwight Chapin
  • What Makes This Book So Great: Re-Reading the Classics of Science Fiction and Fantasy — Jo Walton
  • Academ’s Fury — Jim Butcher
  • Cursor’s Fury — Jim Butcher
  • The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World — Patrick Wyman
  • The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years — Sonia Shah
  • Convictions: A Prosecutor’s Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves — John Kroger
  • The Tragedy of Great Power Politics — John J. Mearsheimer

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