So I quite like Family.Show as an end to end solution of WPF goes... but I think what's been more fascinating is seeing how my (beautiful) Financee is finding it as a working product.

So she's a big genealogy zealot - and for the first time when saying "hey have a look at this" for some random piece of tech I could see here interest was piqued, so we click-once'd it onto her machine and she's been playing around with it for the last day or so - having loaded around 300 people into it so far.

First off the good - it's pretty, and very fluent - you can see immediately who's being edited, current vs. past relationships, dead vs. alive (hollow people are dead... ) And it performs nicely... 200+ vector "people" on screen and the machines not sweating a bit.

Surprisingly it's also pretty quick for data entry, something I had my doubts about when first looking at the application vs. something a little more traditional - after about 5 minutes of experimentation she was an expert.

Second the bugs... well the main one is that certain characters in a name like a double quote causes the "stories" data screen to crash upon saving...  And every now and then it just flakes out completely... I might throw some logging into and see just what's going on, it doesn't even let you get a stack trace *erk*.

Interaction - well here's where she's getting pissed with it and I'll probably need to enhance it a little - and it's all to do with relationships...  there doesn't appear to be any way to establish a relationship between two people once their added to the tree... a pretty big oversight - they expect you to add all relationships by adding a brother/mother/father/sister/spouse/child to the person currently being edited, but that means you cant actually implement something like:

  • Joe marries Jane
  • Bob marries Martha
  • Jane & Bob die
  • Joe marries Martha

A big problem during times of war because it was not uncommon for widows to marry the brother of their dead husband.  This seems like a big oversight (though it is just a tech demo).

Interesting though, and this sample is definitely the best WPF app with source code I've had to play/learn from... great stuff Vertigo.

Written on May 7, 2007