Gramps – Python 3 encoding bug and 2 parallel release freezes

Gramps project

Gramps project

The Gramps project had recently received a lot of reports from users of the new Python 3 version of Gramps (4.1.1) that after they upgraded, Gramps did not function and there were lots of error messages. This was serious if they had not taken a backup before the upgrade, because the new database was not backwards compatible. This turned out to be because in the switch to Python 3, as part of the database upgrade some strings were being encoded in ASCII instead of Unicode. This was a problem for those non-English languages with special characters.

Nick produced a fix for this, and then Tim added a function that fixed the problem also for people that had already converted to 4.1.1 of Gramps. But this still left the problem that Debian and Ubuntu users were going very soon upgrade to 4.1.1 without the fix, and both Debian and Ubuntu are in freeze mode before they issue their next release.

With the help of Tim & Paul from the Gramps project, I was able to patch the version of Gramps (4.1.1) in Debian, and convince the Release Team to unblock the Debian freeze for this fix so that it would be part of the soon to be released Jessie. Then I also submitted a bug, and got this version of Gramps synced to Ubuntu Vivid (15.04).

So hopefully, things will go much smoother for Gramps users upgrading to the new Debian and Ubuntu in the next few months.

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