Making a private website

Genealogy applications like myblood-line store all kinds of information, some more private than other. In Belgium all information of a living person is considered private, as is all personal information that is not 100 years old. As long as the information is on your PC or Mac this is fine, but most of the time you want to share information with family and friends. The best way to do that, is to put the information on your website, but that makes it available to everybody, search engines included. Simply search yourself on Google or Bing, and you’ll be surprised what’s available about you on the internet.

So what can you do? Basically there are only two options.
The first is not to put the information on the internet. You can do that by marking the information (a photo, an event…) as private in myblood-line, and select not to export private information when you create the website in myblood-line.
The second option is to make a private website. By that I mean that you can only get to the website (your website) if you know the login and password. Search engines can not search the contents!

How do you make such a private website? There are several possibilities available on the internet which you can divide into two groups. The client solutions and the server solutions. The client in this case is your internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox…). The server is the place your website is hosted on the internet.
Client solutions tend to be not 100% secure. They can be secure enough for basic security but you trust your browser to handle all the security, and the server is not protected. If you know where to look, you can still access the server and get to the information.
Server solutions are the most secure solutions because they block any application that doesn’t know the login and password.

How to you setup a server login and password? Well that depends on your internet  provider. With your internet connection you get your email account(s) and diskspace on their servers. On this diskspace you can setup/upload your website by using a FTP-application like the free Filezilla (Mac, PC, Linux).
The best thing to do, is to mail the support department of your internet provider and ask them how to setup a login and password (on the server side) for a private website on their servers. The specifications will be provider specific.

To give you a feel of what this could be like, I’ll explain in short what needs to be done for UNIX based servers.
The login and password protection in UNIX/Apache is done with a .htaccess and .htpasswd file. The .htaccess file specifies which folder (and subfolders) need to be password protected, and the .htpasswd file contains the login(s) and encrypted password(s) for the specified folder(s). These files need to be upload to your upload folder (using a FTP-application like Filezilla) and voila everything is protected. The next time somebody wants to access a page on the private site, a dialogbox is shown to enter a login and password.

Comprehensive guide to .htaccess

Access and password generator

Access and password generator for one.com

First Belgium postage stamp: 1 or 8 July 1849

There used to be a time there wasn’t email or the internet and the only news we got was days, even weeks old. Letters had a postage stamp on it, but nowadays we only use stamps for Christmas or birthday cards. Children can not imagine a world without internet of computers, and I have to admit that I couldn’t imagine a world without mail, newspapers or TV. But if we look a the timeline, postage stamps are only 170 years old. The first postage stamp in Belgium was available by law on the 1st July 1849, but the first one really used was on the 8th of July 1849. Postage stamps have a historical relevance because they often depict Kings and Queens, Presidents and important political figures. They can provide a relevant context of the world our ancestors lived in.

Postage history of BelgiumPostage stampSmithsonian – National Postal Museum

Updated myblood-line website now also for mobile devices

Hi everybody. We’ve updated our website today. It has a new look. It’s cleaner and we hope you like it.

But why do we do this? The answer is simple. We did it because we wanted to learn more about html5, and websites for mobile devices.
On our home page you can switch to the mobile device website of myblood-line… Currently a lot of people browse the web with mobile devices (iPod, iPad, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry…) so this is always useful, but we also will create mobile device websites in myblood-line v2 so you share it all device and needed to experiment with it.
For the more technical people, we removed all Flash code on the site because some mobiel device don’t support it and replaced it with Javascript. We embedded the blog in the site with <iframes>, and use jQuery code for tabs, slide showes and popups. We’ll also use this kind of code in the myblood-line websites we’ll create with myblood-line version 2.

HTML5 Powered with CSS3 / Styling, Device Access, Graphics, 3D & Effects, Multimedia, and Semantics

preview 1: myblood-line v2

Hi everybody. This is the first preview of myblood-line version 2.

The screenshot shows the people workspace. The main layout of this workspace has remained the same, but if you look carefully, you can see a number of changes.

* There is a little edit button available to allows you to edit people without making them the focal person.

* The top bar can have several skins (textures) and the layout has been refined to take less window space.

* Dates formatting is new in this version. You can select the date format in the preferences.

* There is a (?) icon available in most windows, here on the right top. Clicking on it will open a stand-alone help application that bring you to the help section about the window.

There will be more to come in the next preview.

MyBlood becomes myblood-line

Hi everybody. Just a small note that the MyBlood name will be replaced with “myblood-line”.
It is more consistent with the website, the blog… People didn’t seem to make thye distinction between MyBlood and myblood-line so we will all call it myblood-line from now on.
The new logo is the 2.0 logo adding a cloud to indicate the extensive sharing possibilities in version 2. We’ll post some screenshots in a few weeks.

Reflecting on 2010

Hello everybody. Looking back on 2010 we’re surprised of what we’ve done with MyBlood is just a year. We released version 1 in November 2009 and had a number of improvements bringing us to version 1.3.

During the summer we decided not to keep bringing new versions every few months, but make a big new release for 2011. So this is what we’re working on for some time now.
We will talk more about this new release and how we see it in upcoming blogs.

For now we wish you happy holidays, and all the best for you and your family.

A lower price for MyBlood!

Hello everybody. Today we lowered the price of MyBlood from $59.95 to $49.95.
The price difference for family tree applications on the Mac and PC is considerable. On the Mac $59.95 would not be considered that expensive (Reunion is around $100); on the PC side it seems to be relatively expensive.
That’s why we lowered our price to the more acceptable $49.95 for PC users.

Best regards,
Geert