Collation, mySQL, and TNG

One of the first steps for installing The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding© (“TNG”) is to create the MySQL database. I use phpMyAdmin to do this either online at my host or on my local WampServer testbed (Figure 1).

Figure 1: phpMyAdmin from a Control Panel or from WampServer

phpMyAdmin from a Control Panel or from WampServer

After entering the database name—and unless you are very sure about changing them—use the defaults for both collation and the mySQL connection collation (Figure 2). By default, mySQL will use latin1_swedish_ci for the collation (West European, including english). After clicking the “Create” button, the database is created. That’s all there is to creating the database. The TNG installer will later fill in the tables.

Figure 2: Creating the Database

Creating the Database

Once the TNG files have been unzipped, browsing to the readme.html file makes installation a snap. During the installation, you are asked about what language and character set you want to use. Again, unless you are sure, use the default: the default is to use English and the ISO-8859-1 (Latin 1) character set. Figure 3 shows the language and character set selection in step 5 of the Express Installation.

Figure 3: Selecting the Language and Character Set

Selecting the Language and Character Set

Choosing the wrong character set can affect the display of data. The notes display shows this problem. Figure 4 shows notes with special characters, such as “õ” and “ü.” Figure 5 shows what happens when the correct character set is not selected: note the “?” where the character is not part of the character set.

Figure 3: Correct Character Display

Correct Character Display

Figure 3: Inorrect Character Display

Inorrect Character Display

TNG and mySQL have many language and character-set options. However, for West European genealogists (including english speakers), the mySQL and TNG defaults are good choices.

Resources

http://lythgoes.net/genealogy/software.php — The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding© (“TNG”)

http://www.wampserver.com/en/ — WampServer

http://www.w3schools.com/tags/ref_entities.asp — W3Schools HTML ISO-8859-1 Reference