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Archive of EasyTimelinePluginDev

  • Leave any comments, suggestions, etc here.
  • This is my first TWiki plugin so please be kind.
  • I saw the timeline at wikipedia for the Apple Mac line of computers the other day, and realized how useful such a plugin could be. I wanted it specifically for doing timelines at work in our twiki for our supported Linux images, and since there was no TWiki plugin for it, I figured, "What the hell?" and tried writing a plugin. It seems to work fine. Can only do one per page though, I think.

-- MikeMarion - 12 Feb 2006

The Demo-Install URL is actually not present, so not Domo available atm?

-- TobiasRoeser - 12 Feb 2006

Thanks Mike for sharing this Plugin with the TWikiCommunity! You hit a landmark, this is the 200th Plugin submitted to TWiki.org!

I made a number of changes to the Plugin topic, please feel free to take that into the next release. I also changed the form to the PackageForm so that the Plugin gets listed in the PluginPackage table.

Some suggestions:

  • Use third person instaed of "I"
  • It is not obvious what this Plugin does without visiting the EasyTimelinePlugin on mediawiki.org.
    • In Syntax section, you could add a "hello world" type synoposis
    • Add one or two examples with screenshot(s)
  • Security issue: TMPBASE, EASYTIMELINESCRIPT, IMAGEDIR, URLDIR, PERLBIN, PLBIN can be used to compromise the server since anyone can execute arbitrary commands on the TWiki server simply by editing the Plugin topic! So, do not use this Plugin on a public server, or at least lock down the Plugin topic to the TWikiAdminGroup.
    • Possibly move those settings into a file on the server
  • TWIKIVIEWURL is probably not needed. You can construct that with %SCRIPTURL%/view%SCRIPTSUFFIX%
  • How about measuring and documenting the PluginBenchmarks numbers?

-- PeterThoeny - 12 Feb 2006

Suggestion: Ask the maintainers of the EasyTimeline.pl script if you may (re)package their script with your Plugin. This would make it much easier to install and use.

Congratulations to Mike for the successful posting of the 200th Plugin (sadly not all 'living' frown ). BTW: What's the status of PluginsNeedCategorizing?

-- FranzJosefSilli - 12 Feb 2006

Had a chance to run benchmarks real quick with the new pluginbenchmark script.. added to page. It did well: Measuring, please be patient...

Topic: Without: With: Percent:
------------------------------ -------- -------- --------
EasyTimelinePlugin 0.253 0.256 99%
GoodStyle 0.251 0.254 99%
FormattedSearch 1.629 1.624 100%

-- MikeMarion - 28 Feb 2006


-- PeterThoeny - 28 Feb 2006

Rewrote plugin from scratch, to support:

  • Multiple timelines per topic
  • Sandbox security mechanism
  • Attachment of timeline graphic to topics
  • Better doc / demos
  • Easier install (EasyTimeline.pl shipped in /tools)

Uploaded new version from SVN, moved old discussion to EasyTimelinePluginDevArchive.

But still - thanks for your idea to the plugin, Mike! smile

-- SteffenPoulsen - 21 Apr 2006

I installed EasyTimelinePlugin and it works great with TWiki 4.0.2, but I'm puzzled. The Plugin seems to work without ploticus. Is ploticus included in the package?

-- TimWegner - 29 Apr 2006

If you can do your own timelines without a binary in /usr/bin/ploticus, that would indeed be very odd.

Perhaps ploticus was already installed up front? Try viewing the output of ls -la /usr/bin/ploticus, and see if you get a "no such file" error - or if something might actually be there smile

-- SteffenPoulsen - 30 Apr 2006

Steffen - Thanks for clarifying. I had previously installed ploticus for a MediaWiki installation, and after I got the TWIki version working, I was curious. Maybe you can verify this - there appears to be very effective caching implemented, so even if ploticus stops being available, but the created image file is still there, EasyTimeline appears to work, presumably because the previous image file is re-used. In order to make it fail (after renaming the ploticus executable so it wouldn't be found), I had to slightly edit the EasyTimeline script to force it to re-render the script with ploticus.

I am using the Linux precompiled version of ploticus. Even though I got EasyTimeline to work, looks to me like a few more words of explanation about the dependency on ploticus are needed. Thanks for a great plugin!

-- TimWegner - 30 Apr 2006

You are right about the timelines, they are only generated again if the script has changed (hash check)

And I believe you are also right on the doc issue - a lot more can definetely be done here smile I'd be very happy if you'd update the plugin topic to reflect your wishes.

Thanks for trying it out!

-- SteffenPoulsen - 01 May 2006

I'd be happy to edit the topic, but I'm a little puzzled -- the one reference to the ploticus dependency has been removed. I'd suggest restoring that, and mentioning in installation that ploticus is needed. I'm willing to do this, pardon me if I'm a bit cautious smile ... later ... OK, I added a few notes about ploticus to the installation instructions, and restored the ploticus dependency, albeit a different page on the ploticus website than the earlier refernece. This should make things easier.

-- TimWegner - 03 May 2006

Ah, that was me uploading a new version of the plugin without ,v files (not tolerated by installer script) - and forgetting to update topic in SVN up front. I'll take your changes in asap - thanks for clearing it up.

-- SteffenPoulsen - 03 May 2006

Steffen, we still don't have the installation quite right. In the installation, we should tell the user "see the attachments at the bottom of the page" to get the plugin, not "see the dependencies". And easytimeline.pl is not really a dependency since you include it in the package, so it shouldn't be listed in the dependencies (though including the website for information would be a good thing.) Our instructions make it look like the user has to download easytimeline.pl. Ploticus is the only real dependency. (later) I made these edits and updated the files list.

-- TimWegner - 06 May 2006

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Topic revision: r2 - 2006-07-20 - SteffenPoulsen
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