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EasyTimelinePluginDev Discussion: Page for developer collaboration, enhancement requests, patches and improved versions on EasyTimelinePlugin contributed by the TWikiCommunity.
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Discussions on EasyTimelinePlugin

-- MikeMarion - 12 Feb 2006

This plugin looks great! Unfortunately for me the plugin doesn't work on our Cairo release and there's no immediate likelihood of having our TWiki installation upgraded to Dakar.

Has anybody else been able to get it working with Cairo?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

-- DavidBaker - 17 May 2006

Please consider adding the use strict; pragma to this plugin. Its use is important to ensuring the quality of TWiki plugins and avoiding unpleasant surprises. See UseStrict for more.

-- MeredithLesly - 02 Jul 2006

See also this AJAX timeline: http://simile.mit.edu/timeline/

-- ArthurClemens - 19 Jul 2006

I'm using hierarchical webs that are stacked two deep, e.g. DBU/QA/MyTimeline. I'm getting the following error:

invalid string argument 'DBU/QA' %WEB|S% at /home/www/html/twiki/lib/TWiki/Sandbox.pm line 223.

The same timeline works OK when used at the top-level web, but not when used in any subweb.

I'm very reluctant to mess with SysCommand or _buildCommandLine within Sandbox.pm, where the error is reported. However I played around a tiny bit and got things to work, but not in a 'safe' way. I found that when I changed WEB|S to WEB|U in EasyTimelinePlugin.pm at the end of line 57 then things worked OK.

There's clearly inherent risk in using the U parameter rather than S when building the command line, but since I'm the only one using this plugin (for now) I hoped it would be less risky than hacking Sandbox.pm.

Any suggestions?

-- JeffChapman - 19 Jul 2006

Good point about the %S, Jeff - I have uploaded a new version where this is changed to %F (the nested web structure can be validated in the same way as a file path).

Arthur: Nice AJAX timeline indeed, very useful with the local scrolling. It looks like its BSD license will allow for wrapping it up as a plugin if anybody wants to have a go smile

-- SteffenPoulsen - 20 Jul 2006

I started to wrap it last week, i'll publish it soon

-- SvenDowideit - 20 Jul 2006

Excellent, loking forward to it!

-- SteffenPoulsen - 20 Jul 2006

Hello all,

I can't wait to see an AJAX timeline, but for now, I'm having some troubles with rendering the timeline image that seem to be related to file and folder permissions. The apache user and group (also the CGI user, I think) are the owners of all files and folders in the TWiki installation. When I chmod 770 the entire TWiki installation, everything works perfectly. When I perform:

chmod 660 -R *
chmod 770 -R pub bin data templates

the timeline image returns EasyTimelinePlugin Error (13), and the source of the timeline script. When the installation is 770, the plugin creates the following files with associated permissions and ownerships:

-rw-r--r-- apacheuser apacheuser *.map
-r--r--r-- apacheuser apacheuser *.map,v
-rw-r--r-- apacheuser apacheuser *.png
-r--r--r-- apacheuser apacheuser *.png,v

So what I'm wondering is if some particular file or folder permissions need to be adjusted in order to correctly generate the timeline image. I'd rather not leave the entire installation executable if I can help it.

A second comment: the plugin doesn't seem to clean up after itself, so there are folders full of .png files. I imagine it's safe to delete these manually?

Thanks for any thoughts!

-- AlanPilch - 22 Aug 2006

I'm trying to do timelines for projects covering a few months and would like to have the scale showing a date every 7 days. So far I havn't had much luck on this. Any suggestions?

-- SteveWray - 18 Oct 2006

Ok then time for an example:

ImageSize = width:800 height:142
PlotArea  = width:720 height:112 left:65 bottom:25
AlignBars = justify

Colors =
  id:Routers value:skyblue

DateFormat = dd/mm/yyyy
Period    = from:15/11/2006 till:01/01/2007
TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal format:dd/mm/yyyy
ScaleMajor = unit:month increment:1 start:15/11/2006 gridcolor:black
ScaleMinor = unit:day increment:7 start:15/11/2006 gridcolor:red

  align:left textcolor:black fontsize:8 mark:(line,black) width:28 shift:(3,1)

  bar:Routers color:Routers
  from:01/12/2006 till:25/12/2006
  at:22/12/2006 text:Reboot routers


I don't see any labels under the scale markers.

-- SteveWray - 19 Oct 2006

Can't get that plugin to work it gives me : EasyTimelinePlugin Error (2): !?! I installed ploticus and double checked the sandbox command line !? Nothing more the Error (2) in debug.txt

-- StephaneLenclud - 23 Mar 2007

I try to run this Plugin on a Windows XP machine and have a problem now:

  • Images are generated as gif and svg in a temp directory
  • The link is in a Wiki page created as PNG - e.g.
    in the page 

I see atm 2 ways to solve that problem:

  1. Generate the link as gif
  2. create a png out of the gif ( only using GPLed software; maybe a perl module )

What would you recommend ?

-- AndreasNagl - 27 Jun 2007

This plugin looks like a good idea, but I'd like to second the comment from above saying it doesn't clean up after itself. In just testing the plugin, I now have several directories with lots of files in my /tmp directory. For a twiki of our size, having tons of these little directories just won't cut it.

-- MichelleHedstrom - 28 Aug 2007

As a "newbie" user of this plugin, I am very impressed by the demos but frustrated by the perception that the documentation is several versions "out of date" compared to the script. (For example, the script supports parameters such as "barset" and "barcount" that I'm unable to locate anywhere in the docs.) The only reason I even know to look for them is because an error message was listing the valid parameters and mentioned them. I love the idea, but the learning curve seems more like a cliff-face...

-- NeilRichardson - 03 Nov 2007

I realize this plugin is not the easiest one to handle. Please submit any patches to both doc and code, and I will be happy to package them up.

-- SteffenPoulsen - 07 Nov 2007

This plugin does not work on 4.2. Variable sandbox is not created, even when I have DakarContrib installed (which it seems to rely on).

-- ArthurClemens - 26 Feb 2008

I modified the plugin per the changes required for "sandbox" problem:

$ diff EasyTimelinePlugin.pm.old EasyTimelinePlugin.pm
<         $sandbox = $TWiki::sharedSandbox;
>         $sandbox = $TWiki::sharedSandbox || $TWiki::sandbox;

-- PeterStephens - 10 Mar 2008

After upgrading from version 2.20 to 2.40 of ploticus we face the failure of client-side-map generation. According to various sources this was introduced with version 2.30. Maps are written to STDOUT instead into a file. Does anybody have the same problem or is it solved already?

-- ChristophKrueger - 13 May 2008

Hi again, now I've taken it upon me: I researched the root cause and patched EasyTimelinePlugin.pm. Is there anyone who can apply the patch to the lastest archive?

-- ChristophKrueger - 14 May 2008

This plugin still not work on 4.2 and ploticus 2.40 or 2.33. The installer returns with following error:

Can't locate object method "findUser" via package "TWiki::Users" at EasyTimelinePlugin _installer.pl line 562, line 1.

and after updating lib/TWiki/Plugins/EasyTimelinePlugin.pm it's still not working. Debug.txt says:

| 23 May 2008 - 10:50 | EasyTimelinePlugin - EasyTimelinePlugin: output status 2

Does anybody run the plugin on 4.2. without problems?

-- SaschaVetter - 23 May 2008

Hey Christoph, does your patch work with TWiki 4.2 and Ploticus v2.4? If you're using a different version of Ploticus than v2.4, which is it? And would you mind posting the 'diff' while waiting for your changes to be integrated? I would really like to upgrade to TWIki v4.2, but we need the EasyTimeline plugin to work before I can finalize this migration.

-- JeffreyChapman - 16 Jun 2008


this is the diff, that made it work for me: 1. Look for the following lines in <twikidir>/lib/TWiki/Plugins/EasyTimelinePlugin.pm (should be around line 80):

         if ($status) {
            # errors existed so remove created files
            my @errLines;
            cleanTmp($tmpDir) unless $debug;
            return &showError( $status, $output,
                $hashed_math_strings{"$hash_code"} );

2. insert these:

            unless ( -e "$tmpFile.map" )
                # maps are written to STDOUT by ploticus > 2.31, catch and save
                @lines = split(/\n/, $output);
                open MAPFILE, ">$tmpFile.map"
                    or return "<noc>EasyTimelinePlugin Error: could not create map file";
                foreach (@lines)
                    if (/^\<area shape/)
                        print MAPFILE $_;
                close MAPFILE;

-- ChristophKrueger - 24 Jun 2008

Unfortunately, this still doesn't really work for me. In now see the markup in the brackets instead of the error message. I copied the code line for line, so there shouldn't be any misspellings (point 1. however starts at line 172 in my EasyTimelinePlugin.pm). I'm using TWiki 4.1.2 and Ploticus 2.32. Any ideas?

-- AlexanderSeith - 24 Jun 2008

Interesting, after removing the patch from Christoph it now works?!

-- AlexanderSeith - 24 Jun 2008

From the comments above, it seems I'm not the only one to have trouble getting this plugin to run on Windows. After fiddling with it off and on for a couple of weeks -- and mere seconds after posting a support question (ain't that always the way?) -- it now works. See EasyTimelinePluginOnWindows for a series of "gotchas".

-- SeanCMorgan - 03 Nov 2008

To plugin maintainer: EeroVolotinen posted additional dependencies on the EasyTimelinePlugin topic. Don't forget to take this into the next release.

-- PeterThoeny - 02 Dec 2008

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Topic revision: r44 - 2008-12-02 - PeterThoeny
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