Monday, November 10, 2008

Open Source Family Tree Software: Family.Show

I stumbled on a free open-source software written on MS .Net (C#, WPF) that is really intriguing and cool. This software is a "family tree" software. It is a simple one - but for my use - it is more than sufficient.

The software itself is called Family.Show. It was mad by a company called "Vertigo". It is very user-friendly and easy to use. It came with a sample family; the Windsor (English Royal family).

Did I mention that it is also open source? Yes, so you can go to codeplex and download the source code for the app. You will need Visual Studio 2008 to be able to open the solution fully, but you can use any text editor to view the code in C#.

So OK, I downloaded it and started my family tree. I happen to keep most of my family members data in my Outlook, so I can enter them right away. After you enter a person, you can add related person to the existing one. So you cannot add somebody who is not related to anybody in the system. For example: once I added myself, I can only add person who is directly related to me: spouse; brother/sister; mom/dad; son/daughter. If I want to add my cousin then I have to add my mom, then add her sister, then add my cousin as my mom's sister's daughter.

The software is pretty intuitive to use and quite simple. You can drag photo to the edit pane to assign a photo to a person in the system. You can add "story" to a person - a free text format where you can have some kind of a biography for the person.

Another feature is that you can filter the family data to find certain family members easier. Clicking "Expand" button will expand the list of family members into a big table, where you can filter, sort, search, etc - as well as displaying stats about age distribution, birthdays, etc. Clicking on the age distribution chart will filter the list automatically by age.

A super cool feature is the time slider. You can slide the time slider to see people's age on certain year. For example: if you want to know the age of your dad when you were born, you can slide the age slider until your age reaches 0 (zero) and see your dad's age displayed appropriately under his name. When you slide the age slider closer to current year, you can see his age is increasing.

The data is saved in an XML format - so you can send it to your families and ask them to install the software and complete/add missing data and send the xml file back to you. You can also export it into a GEDCOM format - which is the "family tree" standard format for most "family tree" software.

Check it out!


Anonymous said...

family show wont run on Mac or XP

Joe said...

I am not sure about mac, but it runs on XP (in fact I am using an XP machine here). When you downloaded the 3.0 version installer from Vertigo, the Windsor example is problematic, so every time you open it - it will crash. But using your own file or creating your own works just fine.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,
Thanks for providing attractive family show source code.
This is the windows aplication can u provide or help me to find out family show which is written in ASP.Net with C#

Thanks in Advance

Joe said...

@Anonymous Family Show is not my creation. I am just sharing an open source software that I have been using with my family tree. I do not know of any family tree software written for the web with & C#.