When you run GED2HTML, it outputs a directory structure consisting
of a number of subdirectories (
D0003/, etc.) and files within subdirectories
etc., depending on whether you have asked for multiple individuals to
be placed in a single output file).
For the purposes of discussion, let's suppose that the
directories are all located under a single top-level directory
HTML/ (this is the default under Windows).
Now, suppose you wish to include the output of GED2HTML in a hypertext
book you are writing. You might create a top-level directory
BOOK/, and with the
HTML/ directory a subdirectory.
The text of your book might be in files
chap3.html, etc. under a
TEXT/ subdirectory of the
So, you would have the following directory and file structure:
Suppose you want to put a link in the HTML file "chap1.html" that links to individual "Joe Blow" with RIN "I151", whose HTML file output by GED2HTML happens to be in file
G0000003.HTM) that contains the individual with RIN I151. The last "#I151" is a bookmark that indicates where this individual's data is in the file "G0000003.HTM".
The relative URL as above has the advantage that you can move the whole
BOOK/ directory tree somewhere else on the system,
and you won't have to change any of the links. However, if you change the
position of the file "chap1.html" relative to the
directory, you will have to change the URL to reflect the difference.
Now, let's consider what happens if you add more data to your GEDCOM,
and you'd like to reprocess it for your book. Ideally, you would just
re-run GED2HTML and replace the contents of the
directory by the output files from the new run. This works, as long
as you don't change the number of individuals in your GEDCOM.
If you change the number of individuals between runs, then on the
second run, GED2HTML might decide to use a different number of directories
than it did on the first run. This is because the default behavior of
GED2HTML is to figure out how many directories you need to hold all your
data, with the default number of files per directory and individuals per file.
If GED2HTML decides more directories are needed on the second run, then
after this run all the links in your book will point to the wrong places.
Fortunately, there is a way around this difficulty. GED2HTML includes a "stable filenames" option in which the subdirectory and file a particular individual should go in is calculated from the individuals cross-reference ID using something technically known as a "hash function". If "stable filenames" are enabled, then as long as the same number of subdirectories and files per subdirectory are being used, the same individuals will end up in the same places, regardless of what other individuals have been added to or deleted from the GEDCOM.
By default, GED2HTML has a certain number of individuals that it tries to put in each file. It computes the required number of subdirectories and files per subdirectory based on this parameter and the total number of individuals in the GEDCOM. However, if you change the number of individuals in your GEDCOM and you wish to take advantage of the stable filenames option, then you need to tell GED2HTML to use a specific number of directories and a specific number of files per directory. GED2HTML permits you do to this by specifying the appropriate processing options.
So, suppose the first time you run GED2HTML you use the default options,
which under Windows are 10 individuals per file, 100 files per subdirectory,
and as many subdirectories as are needed. Suppose you ended up with
D0003/. You then add links from the text of your book into
the HTML pages in these subdirectories. At a later date, after modifying
your GEDCOM, you decide you want to re-run GED2HTML on the new GEDCOM.
You should tell GED2HTML on this second run to use three subdirectories
and 100 files per subdirectory. As a result, all individuals that were
present in the original GEDCOM will end up in the same files after the second
run as they did after the first.
There are two disadvantages to the "stable filenames" feature, which might make you want to disable it if you are not trying to link into your database from external documents. The first disadvantage is that the assignment of individuals to files using stable filenames appears random, so that individuals from the same family group will not likely end up in the same file. The second disadvantage is that using stable filenames GED2HTML is not always able to do a very good job at packing a uniform number of individuals in each file. If you disable the stable filenames feature, then GED2HTML assigns individuals to files in alphabetical order by surname, and it always puts the maximum number of individuals in each file.
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Copyright © 1995-2000 Eugene W. Stark. All rights reserved.