Second Site News #015

20 April 2004

In this issue:

Second Site Version 1.6 (Build 0) Released

The latest release of Second Site is packed full of new features!

You now have the choice of seven different page formats, including the familiar Narrative and Grid Formats as well as five new choices:

The examples above mostly show pages with a stark white background. I did that deliberately to draw attention to the structure of the content. You can also combine more graphically rich Themes with the new Formats, as shown in this example that combines the Carla's Graphics Theme and the Two Column Format.

I've added a new Theme and Format Examples page to the Second Site home page. This should help you choose between the various Formats.

The new Formats are implemented using XML and XSLT. The average user doesn't have to know what those acronyms mean, but for some advanced users, it means you can now define your own custom Formats! See the Custom Formats page for more details.

A new feature that is related to the new Formats is the Format.Detail Format property. It allows you to use either raw data (date, place, memo, other principal's name) in the columnar Formats, or the output of the sentence associated with the event. For users who focus on narrative reports but prefer one of the grid or table-based Formats, you can have your cake and eat it, too! For advanced users who have defined Second Site-specific sentences, you can now leverage those sentences in one of the grid or table-based Formats.

Second Site now has the ability to Suppress Details for Living People. With this new feature, you now have four options with respect to living people:

  • You can use Exclude Living to exclude them completely from the site.
  • You can use Exclude Living in combination with the Detail Filters in the People Section to show the names of excluded and living people, but reveal no further details.
  • You can include living people in the site, but use Limit Details for Living People checkbox to hide most of the details about those people.
  • You can include living people as full members of the site.

Details in the list above were updated to reflect changes in Second Site 3. If you are using a prior version, refer to the Help pages installed on your PC.

You can now sort the person page entries by TMG ID or by surname. See the Page Sizes.Person Page Sequence property.

The main window of Second Site now supports scroll bars. Perhaps it's inappropriate to brag about this feature, but people have been asking for it for a while. For reasons that I won't describe here, it was more difficult to implement than you might guess. I also added the File > Preferences > Font... command to control the font used in the main window of Second Site. Vision-impaired users can use this new command to increase the size of the text in the main window.

Relationship tags can now be translated. For international users, it's now easier to make sites that are completely faithful to the target language. The new feature also provides a benefit to English-speaking users: Second Site now uses more user-friendly terms such as "Father" rather than "Father-Bio", and "Stepfather" rather than "Father-Ste".

The new Make Styles command makes it more convenient to experiment with style parameters. After building the site, and seeing how it looks, you can

  1. change entries in the Stylesheets section,
  2. press [F2] to trigger the Make Styles command, and
  3. refresh the page in your browser to see how the changed styles affect the page.

That's a lot faster and more convenient than making the site again.

There are many other new features, too many to cover here. Please see the Change Log for a complete list.

All existing customers can download this free upgrade here. If you are a registered Second Site user and the About Second Site window (Help > About command) does not show the same version number and build number as above, I recommend that you download this new version and install it. You will not lose any SDF files or sites you have already made.

You may need your registration information when you install the new version.

Is Your PC Ready for the New Version?

Version 1.6 of Second Site requires a Microsoft subsystem called Microsoft XML Core Services (MSXML) 4.0. If you do not have MSXML 4.0 installed, you'll have to install it. Version 1.6 also requires Microsoft Windows Script, but that has been true since the initial release of Second Site.

I do not include the two Microsoft components for the following reasons:

  • For Microsoft Windows Script, it is not clear that it is legal for me to include it in the Second Site installer.
  • Adding the two components would make the install program much larger. Most PCs already have both components installed, so people would have to download multiple megabytes for no reason.
  • Your PC may have a version of the components that is newer than what I would include in the installer.
  • It's difficult to make an install program that installs those components properly.

If it turns out that you need to install one of the components, read the appropriate help page: MSXML or Windows Script.


Second Site is available via download only. See the Downloads page.


For purchasing information, see the Purchases page.

This copyrighted material may not be redistributed.

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