Geneagrapher 0.2 Released

I am pleased to announce the first release of the Mathematics Genealogy Grapher (Geneagrapher) package. The Geneagrapher has been around for a couple years, but it was previously only a web-based tool. At this time the original version is still available on my old site. This package is written in Python, so users will need to have Python installed (get it here).

Here are the most significant changes, from the perspective of the user:

  • Descendant trees. Now trees can be built placing a starting node at the top and graphing all of its descendants. A couple points on this:
    • These sorts of graphs tend to have a lot of “fan out” because some people have a lot of students.
    • Be careful. Do not inadvertently (or intentionally!) run a job that requests the data for thousands of nodes.
  • Better character handling. I believe all characters are now displayed correctly, as long as the generated dot file is processed by Graphviz a certain way (see the Geneagrapher 0.2 Usage Guide).
  • No limit on the number of starting nodes.
  • This is a client application, meaning the user installs it somewhere and runs it there. Furthermore, this package only generates the input file to Graphviz, so that also needs to be installed. This is probably more of a hassle than most Geneagrapher users want to go through (not all, though), but this is just the first step.

Additionally, behind-the-scenes changes happened:

  • Large portions of the code were rewritten.
  • Added a test suite to make it more maintainable. In particular, this should allow quicker diagnosis and modifications when the Mathematics Genealogy Project pages have changed.

Getting the Package

For downloading and installation information, see the Geneagrapher Page.


Usage examples are in the Geneagrapher 0.2 Usage Guide.


  1. Shun Wang:

    The proteus server is down. I found it by noticing my name dropped out of google search. That is very bad…

  2. David Alber:

    Doh! Proteus went down sometime last month (related post). I meant to warn you when I was first contacted, but then I learned that it would be up for a while longer, giving me more time to send out the warning. Ultimately, it seems, I failed. I hope you did not lose any files or data. As for your rank, I am sure that can be recovered with some effort.


  3. Shun Wang:

    No big loss other than the Google rank. Just lost the genealogy tree I built using your webtool. I don’t have a linux machine any more. Could you help me generate a new one? thanks a lot. btw, I remember the png picture size is huge for my tree (>1MB). anyway to compress it without loss of quality? Also, where do you hold your website? this blog type of webpage is cool.

  4. David Alber:

    The new Geneagrapher works on Windows too (so long as Python is installed), but I am happy to make you a new copy of your genealogy over the weekend. I will see what I can do about the file size.

    As for my website, I am using WordPress. In addition to providing a blog, it allows the creation of “pages”, which are what my homepage and a few other pages are. The site is being hosted at WebFaction.

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