r3 - 14 Nov 2006 - 21:49:26 - MikelPenagarikanoYou are here: TWiki >  TWiki Web  > EasyTimelinePlugin

Easy Timeline Plugin

As the saying goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. This is certainly true for graphical timelines. A detailed listing of events and dates in tabular form may offer the reader a lot of specifics, but may fail to provide an overview, a grand perspective.

This plugin allows one to use <easytimeline> tags to generate a timeline on the fly. This plugin is equal in function to the EasyTimeline Plugin for MediaWiki?, on which this is based.

For first time users EasyTimelinePlugin may not seem that easy at all. As with all script languages it takes some getting used to. Also the syntax description may be a bit bewildering due to its sheer size. Fortunately many elements of the script language are optional.

The 'Easy' in EasyTimelinePlugin conveys the message that once a timeline exists it is not that hard to understand, enhance or correct.

Full syntax and markup description is available at http://infodisiac.com/Wikipedia/EasyTimeline/Syntax.htm (or in the full mirrored copy of the website that is shipped with the plugin).

Syntax

<easytimeline>
Timeline markup
</easytimeline>

Examples

Icelandic Heritage Example

Pretty standard timeline, easy to extend.

Pre-rendered sample:

IcelandicHeritageExample.png

Plugin (if installed):

ImageSize? = width:270 height:300 PlotArea? = left:45 right:0 bottom:20 top:20 AlignBars? = early

DateFormat? = yyyy Period = from:1944 till:2005 TimeAxis? = orientation:vertical ScaleMajor? = unit:year increment:4 start:1944

Colors= id:1 value:rgb(1,0.4,0.2) id:2 value:rgb(0.8,0.6,0) id:3 value:rgb(1,0.8,0) id:4 value:rgb(1,0.6,0.2) id:5 value:rgb(0.6,0.2,0.2)

PlotData?= bar:Leaders width:25 mark:(line,black) align:left fontsize:S shift:(25,-5) anchor:middle

from:start till:1952 color:1 text:"1944-1952_Sveinn Björnsson|Sveinn Björnsson?" from:1952 till:1968 color:2 text:"1952-1968_Ásgeir Ásgeirsson|Ásgeir Ásgeirsson?" from:1968 till:1980 color:3 text:"1968-1980_Kristján Eldjárn|Kristján Eldjárn?" from:1980 till:1996 color:4 text:"1980-1996_Vigdís Finnbogadóttir|Vigdís Finnbogadóttir?" from:1996 till:end color:5 text:"1996-_Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson|Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson?"

Verbatim:
<easytimeline>
ImageSize = width:270 height:300
PlotArea  = left:45 right:0 bottom:20 top:20
AlignBars = early

DateFormat = yyyy
Period     = from:1944 till:2005
TimeAxis   = orientation:vertical
ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:4 start:1944

Colors=
  id:1   value:rgb(1,0.4,0.2)
  id:2   value:rgb(0.8,0.6,0)
  id:3   value:rgb(1,0.8,0)
  id:4   value:rgb(1,0.6,0.2)
  id:5   value:rgb(0.6,0.2,0.2)

PlotData=
  bar:Leaders width:25 mark:(line,black) align:left fontsize:S shift:(25,-5) anchor:middle

  from:start till:1952 color:1  text:"1944-1952_[[Sveinn Björnsson|Sveinn Björnsson]]"
  from:1952  till:1968 color:2  text:"1952-1968_[[Ásgeir Ásgeirsson|Ásgeir Ásgeirsson]]"
  from:1968  till:1980 color:3  text:"1968-1980_[[Kristján Eldjárn|Kristján Eldjárn]]"
  from:1980  till:1996 color:4  text:"1980-1996_[[Vigdís Finnbogadóttir|Vigdís Finnbogadóttir]]"
  from:1996  till:end  color:5  text:"1996-_[[Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson|Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson]]"
</easytimeline>

Windows Versions Example

An example of multiple parallel timelines. View Raw Text of this topic to see source.

WindowsVersionsExample.png

Binary Logic Example

This plugin might be of help in descriping binary logic execution patterns, as for instance a figure like the one below is not too hard to produce. View Raw Text of this topic to see source.

BinaryLogicExample.png

UNIX Versions Example

Information dense graphic, heavy use of mouseover areas. View Raw Text of this topic to see source.

UNIXVersionsExample.png

Kurdistan Workers Party Example

Very condensed timeline. Not taking up much space, but very informative in it's layered telling. View Raw Text of this topic to see source.

KurdistanWorkersPartyExample.png

New Kingdom Example

Typical chronological "Microsoft Project" look. View Raw Text of this topic to see source.

Btw: There's no hinderance to having the bars overlap if wanted. (I guess that's not how the Kingdom preferred it to be, though) smile View Raw Text of this topic to see source.

NewKingdomExample.png

Freeciv Timeline Example

Very spartanic look, only a few colours used. View Raw Text of this topic to see source.

FreecivTimelineExample.png

Vocal and Instrumental Pitch Ranges

An example on displaying something that is not chronological at all. View Raw Text of this topic to see source.

Vocal_and_Instrumental_Pitch_Ranges_Example.png

Timeline of Conquests of the Ottoman Empire Example

A somewhat dense and graphic timeline; could probably be lightened with good effect :-). View Raw Text of this topic to see source.

Timeline_of_Conquests_of_the_Ottoman_Empire_Example.png

Plugin Settings

Plugin settings are stored as preferences variables. To reference a plugin setting write %<plugin>_<setting>%, for example, %EASYTIMELINEPLUGIN_SHORTDESCRIPTION%

  • One line description, shown in the TextFormattingRules topic:
    • Set SHORTDESCRIPTION = Generate graphical timeline diagrams from markup text

  • Debug plugin: (See output in data/debug.txt)
    • Set DEBUG = 0

Plugin Installation Instructions

Note: You do not need to install anything on the browser to use this plugin. The following instructions are for the administrator who installs the plugin on the TWiki server.

These instructions assume that the ploticus executable is already installed. Both the ploticus source and pre-complied binaries for a number of platforms are available. Visit web sites listed in dependencies below for more information on how to install ploticus.

  • Download the ZIP/TGZ file from the Plugin web (see attachments at bottom of this page)
  • Unzip/Untar EasyTimelinePlugin.zip/tgz in your twiki installation directory. Contents:
    File: Description:
    EasyTimelinePlugin_installer.pl Installer script
    data/TWiki/EasyTimelinePlugin.txt Plugin topic
    lib/TWiki/Plugins/EasyTimelinePlugin.pm Plugin Perl module
    tools/EasyTimeline.pl Mediawiki Easytimeline script (provided for convenience)
    pub/TWiki/EasyTimelinePlugin/* Images for plugin topic, and zipped-up mirror of home page
  • Run the installer script.
  • Update sandbox execution command in lib/TWiki/Plugins/EasyTimelinePlugin.pm to fit your environment. One of the items to set is the path to the ploticus executable. Another the relative url to your twiki installation, this link is needed if you use image maps / clickable items in your timelines.
  • Enable the plugin in configure (Dakar only)
  • Test if the plugin is correctly installed by looking at the "Icelandic Heritage Example" above

Plugin Info

Plugin Author: TWiki:Main.MikeMarion
Copyright: © 2006, Mike Marion
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: 22 Apr 2006 (v2.1)
Change History:  
20 Jul 2006: v2.1 - Support for hierarchical webs. (TWiki:Main.SteffenPoulsen)
22 Apr 2006: v2.0 - Rewrote plugin from scratch. Multiple timelines per topic and sandbox security mechanism. Generated files attached to timeline topic. EasyTimeline.pl script now shipped in plugin. Multiple demonstration samples added. Doc updated. (TWiki:Main.SteffenPoulsen)
11 Feb 2006: v1.0 - Initial version
TWiki Dependency: $TWiki::Plugins::VERSION 1.1
CPAN Dependencies: none
Other Dependencies: EasyTimline.pl from http://infodisiac.com/Wikipedia/EasyTimeline/Introduction.htm (now included in plugin), and ploticus from http://ploticus.sourceforge.net/doc/download.html
Perl Version: 5.8+
Benchmarks: GoodStyle 99%, FormattedSearch 100%, EasyTimelinePlugin 99%
Plugin Home: http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/EasyTimelinePlugin
Feedback: http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/EasyTimelinePluginDev
Appraisal: http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/EasyTimelinePluginAppraisal

Related Topics: TWikiPlugins, DeveloperDocumentationCategory, AdminDocumentationCategory, TWikiPreferences

-- TWiki:Main.MikeMarion - 11 Feb 2006

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