Aeon Timeline Version 0.9 (Final Beta)

ma
matt
Posts: 1180
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:35 am

Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:56 am Post

Aeon Timeline version 0.9 is now available for download.

[UPDATE Dec 22: Version 0.9.1 now available]
[UPDATE Jan 02: Version 0.9.3 now available]
[UPDATE Feb 05: Version 0.9.5 now available]

This is feature-complete for what I intend to be the first official release. Other 0.9.x betas may be released to fix any final bugs that are found in the software, but new additions to functionality will not be made until after the commercial release.

There are a number of very good suggestions that have been pushed to the post-1.0 list, and I intend to implement many of them after the commercial release, but after more than three years of work, I need to draw the beta period to a close and actually get some return on all of the time I have invested.

This version improves a few key areas of Aeon Timeline that were still lacking in the last version, as well as adding some finishing polish to the remaining application.

You can download the latest version from here: http://aeontimeline.wordpress.com/latest-version/

WARNING: Version 0.9 has not been tested on PPC. It should be compatible, but please let me know if there are any issues.

Here is a summary of changes for this version:

IMPROVED SCRIVENER SYNCHRONIZATION
    Synchronizing with Scrivener has been improved in a number of ways, including:
  • Synchronize more Aeon Timeline data, including start date, end date, label, arc, title, notes and relationships.
  • Ability to synchronise data in both directions at once.
  • Mouse over an existing link to find what information has been updated.
  • Scrivener documents show full binder path, and presented in binder order.
  • Change the action for all selected links at once.
  • I will post more on this in a separate post, as I feel it is an important update in this regard.

ADDITIONS TO EVENT MANIPULATION
  • Manipulating events is now easier, with the following:
  • All day checkbox (like iCal), that hides the time component of the date picker and sets an event to last the whole day.
  • Ability to lock events to a fixed date so that they cannot be accidentally moved by mouse or keyboard actions.
  • Context menu additions to bulk add or remove a tag from all selected events.
  • Ability to cut, copy, paste and duplicate events within a file or across Aeon files.
  • Ability to rename and delete saved filters.

IMPROVED CALENDAR CREATION/SELECTION
  • Some usability quirks have been fixed, including:
  • Access to Calendar Setup etc. now available directly from File menu, not just through New menu.
  • Ability to load a calendar from an existing timeline file (for portability).
  • Ability to re-order months, days, eras by drag and drop in the table view.
  • Ability to rename calendar components via Timeline Settings after a timeline is created.

MORE GENERAL PREFERENCES
  • General Preferences has been updated to include:
  • Ability to re-open files when starting Aeon Timeline (Snow Leopard/Leopard only).
  • Option to have Day/Month versus Month/Day setting to follow system default.
  • Two options for how events are vertically arranged on the screen.
  • Option to have a bold line for selected events.
  • Option to mark events that have notes with a dot in the Timeline View

BUG FIXES
  • Version 0.9.0 also fixes the following bugs:
  • Current zoom and scroll position correctly reloaded when opening a file.
  • Display HUD remembers its position each launch.
  • Fixed bug that could lose entity notes.
  • Zoom using toolbar or shortcuts does not lose current position.
  • Fixed potential crash when converting very old Timeline files to new format
  • Fixed potential crash when creating a new calendar.

sa
sarajiel
Posts: 25
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Platform: Mac
Location: Planet Aspergia

Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:07 pm Post

Thank you very much for the new version. :D


After playing around with it a bit, I noticed some odd behaviours/bugs.

Everytime I try loading a timeline that has "Show Entity Age" enabled the ages won't show until you uncheck the checkbox and enable it again.

A timeline created in 0.8.4 can't be exported as Scrivener or Bee Doc's Timeline file. An export as OPML works fine.
However newly created timlines in version 0.9 seem to work as Scrivener and Bee Doc's Timeline export.

Syncing of Aeon Timelines and Scrivener projects seems to be a bit of hit and miss aswell at the moment if you use timelines created in 0.8.x. It usually works on simple one way syncs without links. With more complex syncing paramerters it seems that the currnet version of Aeon Timeline can't sync the data in both directions (e.g. scenes from Scrivener manually linked to Aeon events and backstory events in my timeline linked to research and character items in Scrivener). :cry:

Ur
Ursula
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Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:31 am Post

I didn't have any problem with the final Beta on PPC, Mac OS 10.5.8. Thank you!

By the way: I'm one of those who prefer the Apple colour picker. I use the same colours in different apps, Scrivener, Curio, Devonthink, Aeon et al., when working on different aspects of the same project. I have them either as palette or at the bottom of the colour wheel. Any chance we could get this colour picker as an option?

ma
matt
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Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:53 am Post

Ursula wrote:I didn't have any problem with the final Beta on PPC, Mac OS 10.5.8. Thank you!

By the way: I'm one of those who prefer the Apple colour picker. I use the same colours in different apps, Scrivener, Curio, Devonthink, Aeon et al., when working on different aspects of the same project. I have them either as palette or at the bottom of the colour wheel. Any chance we could get this colour picker as an option?


You know, I have always hated that colour picker, which is why I took it out :-) I will look to see if I can add it back in as an option at some point, although I will probably make it post-1.0.

sarajiel wrote:Everytime I try loading a timeline that has "Show Entity Age" enabled the ages won't show until you uncheck the checkbox and enable it again.[/aeon]

Sounds like a bug reloading the preference. I will fix it up.

sarajiel wrote:A timeline created in 0.8.4 can't be exported as Scrivener or Bee Doc's Timeline file. An export as OPML works fine.
However newly created timlines in version 0.9 seem to work as Scrivener and Bee Doc's Timeline export.


Interesting - not sure if the version numbers would be the cause or a side effect. If possible (i.e. if the data is not too sensitive for you, etc), could you please send the file to me (support AT scribblecode DOT com) and I will see what is causing the exports to fail.

sarajiel wrote:Syncing of Aeon Timelines and Scrivener projects seems to be a bit of hit and miss aswell at the moment if you use timelines created in 0.8.x. It usually works on simple one way syncs without links. With more complex syncing paramerters it seems that the currnet version of Aeon Timeline can't sync the data in both directions (e.g. scenes from Scrivener manually linked to Aeon events and backstory events in my timeline linked to research and character items in Scrivener). :cry:


This is strange. I did not run into any problems with it failing to pick up any changes during testing.

When you say it can't sync the data, is it detecting the changes and prompting you correctly, and just not updating correctly, or is it not even finding the changes, or losing the links, or what?

What type of data have you been changing?

I will do some more testing here, but if you are able to provide additional information that can pinpoint when and why it isn't working, that would be a huge help.

I normally request the Aeon file in these type of situations, but here I would need both Aeon and Scrivener. If you are happy to send them to me (with promises of no further distribution etc.) that may help, but no problems if you are reluctant to do so.

Matt

Ur
Ursula
Posts: 107
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Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:13 am Post

Hi Matt,
something very small: Beta 0.9, when using the Help Menu-> Launch Website nothing happens. ('User Manual' and 'Send Feedback' are working)

Another small problem: I have two Standard Calendars, they are nearly identical, but one starts the week with Sunday instead of Monday. I can't remember if I created it or not and if this has any influence. Nevertheless I would like to delete one of them and can't find a possibility to do so.

Oh, another one: when trying to sync, setting the preferences, I can't chose 'my' date formatting. In Aeon preferences I chose: Preferred Date Format: System Default. This means in my case: 1995-05-23 or 19950523. But I can't see this option.

Aeon Date Format.png
Aeon Date Format.png (92.43 KiB) Viewed 2141 times


And thanks for thinking about the very useful Apple colour picker ;-)

ma
matt
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Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:08 pm Post

Ursula wrote:Hi Matt,
something very small: Beta 0.9, when using the Help Menu-> Launch Website nothing happens. ('User Manual' and 'Send Feedback' are working)

Another small problem: I have two Standard Calendars, they are nearly identical, but one starts the week with Sunday instead of Monday. I can't remember if I created it or not and if this has any influence. Nevertheless I would like to delete one of them and can't find a possibility to do so.

Oh, another one: when trying to sync, setting the preferences, I can't chose 'my' date formatting. In Aeon preferences I chose: Preferred Date Format: System Default. This means in my case: 1995-05-23 or 19950523. But I can't see this option.

Aeon Date Format.png


And thanks for thinking about the very useful Apple colour picker ;-)


1. Thanks for the bug report. Will look into it.

2. If you go File -> View Calendars... do either of them have the 'Delete' button available when you select it? I think I might be disabling that button for anything called "Standard Calendar" (and now I have added proper error checking to prevent two calendars with the same name, but not prior to this release).

You shouldn't need to do this again, but for now...

a) From Finder, choose Go -> Go To Folder and type "~/Library" (actually, if you are pre-Lion, I think you can access it directly through the Finder by going to your home directory then clicking on Library.
b) Go to "Application Support / Aeon Timeline / Calendars"
c) Delete the "Standard Calendar" file there (the original calendar that comes with the application is stored within the program and so you can be sure you are deleting the right one).

3. The reason for the date formats in syncing is for technical reasons - it needs to be able to store the full date and time. Is there a format you would prefer including both date and time that is excluded from that list - I could add that in. Some time down the track I might find a way to synchronise partial date information.

Matt

Ur
Ursula
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:52 am

Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:31 pm Post

matt wrote:
2. If you go File -> View Calendars... do either of them have the 'Delete' button available when you select it?


No, neither Delete or Edit are available.

I will delete the file in Application Support, thank you for the hint.

matt wrote:3. Is there a format you would prefer including both date and time that is excluded from that list - I could add that in.


The format is there in the Timeline preferences, but not in the Sync settings.

Aeon Timeline pref.png
Aeon Timeline pref.png (43.41 KiB) Viewed 2134 times


Aeon timeline pref date formats.png
Aeon timeline pref date formats.png (37.67 KiB) Viewed 2134 times

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Spitfire31
Posts: 243
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Platform: Mac
Location: Sweden

Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:39 pm Post

Hi Matt,

Aeon is starting to look like a RC!

I believe you said at some point that the fact that timelines, saved and closed at a specific arc position and at a specific zoom level, in fact won't open in that same config, is a bug.

That bug is still there on my system. Regardless how the file was saved, it still opens zoomed out to a much wider time scale than that specified for the project, much less how I last left it. It is a bit of a disturbance in the Force not to get back to where I finished work before closing. I do hope you can fix this wart for the RC…

Best,

Joachim

EDIT: Removed a complaint that Aeon doesn't open last file on relaunch – didn't see at first that there's now a preference checkbox for it to do just that! :oops: But the unfortunate bug referred to above is apparently not affected by this new preference.

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matt
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Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:04 pm Post

Spitfire31 wrote:I believe you said at some point that the fact that timelines, saved and closed at a specific arc position and at a specific zoom level, in fact won't open in that same config, is a bug.

That bug is still there on my system. Regardless how the file was saved, it still opens zoomed out to a much wider time scale than that specified for the project, much less how I last left it. It is a bit of a disturbance in the Force not to get back to where I finished work before closing. I do hope you can fix this wart for the RC…


That's really strange!

There was a bug there, which I found and fixed, and tested on Lion and Snow Leopard. What OS version are you using?

Matt

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matt
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Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:10 pm Post

Ursula wrote:The format is there in the Timeline preferences, but not in the Sync settings.


The problem is, that format does not include time, which I need right now.

I guess I could look into syncing with just the date component and automatically having all day selected if time is missing now that is added in. That may be post-1.0 but I might squeeze it in beforehand.

sa
sarajiel
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Location: Planet Aspergia

Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:45 pm Post

matt wrote:I normally request the Aeon file in these type of situations, but here I would need both Aeon and Scrivener. If you are happy to send them to me (with promises of no further distribution etc.) that may help, but no problems if you are reluctant to do so.

Hello Matt

An e-mail with some of my project files is on its way. 8)


While going through all those XML files today and trying to sync my test files, I noticed some more things in the current version.


When linking items together in the sync window the 1st available item in the list is usually highlighted, but the select button is greyed out. You have to select another item manually and go back to the original item to select it for linking.

The possibility to select "ignore all" or "ignore tree" for a Scrivener BinderItem with <children> will simplify the syncing workflow I described in my mail alot.

Please consider a way to manually sort the entities inside the GUI. It's really annoying to edit an Aeon XML file just to sort it properly after adding or changing entities. Something similar should be done for arcs, labels or labels aswell. I didn't try to change them inside the XML, so I don't know if they are more complicated to sort.

Maybe I'm a bit late for this suggestion, but can we have a "duration" for each event?
Some of my events go over months or years (like military service, pregnancy etc.) and it is easier to keep track of these things while editing with a visible duration. It would also help alot if start date, end date and the event duration had each own lock (e.g. the pregnancy is locked to nine months and doesn't extend to 21 months by accident). :twisted:
Locking the duration would also allow editing the end date without the need to recalculate the start date when adjusting a timeline with holes.


I better save some more ideas for Aeon timeline for another thread after playing around with the current beta version some more. :mrgreen:

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shorn
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Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:37 pm Post

Congratulations on 0.9. Lots of helpful improvements (e.g., selecting items to sync).

A couple of points so far:

1) If I add a note to an existing event by clicking it to select, and then adding a note in the inspector panel, the white dot indicating that there is a note does not always show up when I deselect the event. If I click in another field in the inspector before deselecting, the white dot always shows up. Same thing happens if I remove a note. (The dot is a great indicator, by the way; just obtrusive enough to work. Perfect.)

2) The entry dialog for an event now shows the start and end dates, which is usually great, but... say I want to add a one-day event on May 15. I double-click on the grid to open a new entry box but of course my click is unlikely to be exactly on May 15. If I clicked before May 15, say May 10, I can change the day of the event date to 15, click OK, and an event is created with the start date May 15 and the end date automatically adjusted to May 15. If, however I clicked after May 15, say May 20, I have to remember to change both the start and end dates to 15, otherwise I quite logically get a 5-day event. I am not sure if there is anything to be done here, I just find it hard to remember to change both dates.

(A reasonable answer here is probably: so always click after the date you want!)

Finally, some questions:

1) When you enter a new event, what determines the selected label in the dialog? The arc depends on where you click but it seems to default to the first label in your list of labels. Perhaps the last label used would be convenient?

2) Is there any way to re-order arcs, entities and labels. I have tried dragging with modifier keys in the Manage dialogs, but that does not work.

Thanks for all your work, Matt.

--Simon
Image

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Spitfire31
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Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:36 pm Post

matt wrote:
Spitfire31 wrote:I believe you said at some point that the fact that timelines, saved and closed at a specific arc position and at a specific zoom level, in fact won't open in that same config, is a bug.

That bug is still there on my system. Regardless how the file was saved, it still opens zoomed out to a much wider time scale than that specified for the project, much less how I last left it. It is a bit of a disturbance in the Force not to get back to where I finished work before closing. I do hope you can fix this wart for the RC…


That's really strange!

There was a bug there, which I found and fixed, and tested on Lion and Snow Leopard. What OS version are you using?

Matt

Sorry, neglected to mention :oops: : 10.6.8 with all the latest security updates on a MB Pro 17" Early 2011. It's a file started on an older version of Aeon and transferred from my old MB Pro 15" v.2, 10.5.8. But it's been resaved on my current system several times, so shouldn't matter, should it?

Best,

Joachim

EDIT: I just tried creating a new test file on the 17" 10.6.8 system. I closed the file around a 1946 event, timeline zoom level cirka 1942 – 1950. When I reopen, the zoom is 1911–2100…

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matt
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Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:56 pm Post

shorn wrote:1) If I add a note to an existing event by clicking it to select, and then adding a note in the inspector panel, the white dot indicating that there is a note does not always show up when I deselect the event. If I click in another field in the inspector before deselecting, the white dot always shows up. Same thing happens if I remove a note. (The dot is a great indicator, by the way; just obtrusive enough to work. Perfect.)


Was hoping no one would notice this! I fiddled around with it for a while and it was being painful, so I moved onto other things and decided to release this version without fixing it up. Will try to get the dot to immediately appear again later.

shorn wrote:2) The entry dialog for an event now shows the start and end dates, which is usually great, but... say I want to add a one-day event on May 15. I double-click on the grid to open a new entry box but of course my click is unlikely to be exactly on May 15. If I clicked before May 15, say May 10, I can change the day of the event date to 15, click OK, and an event is created with the start date May 15 and the end date automatically adjusted to May 15. If, however I clicked after May 15, say May 20, I have to remember to change both the start and end dates to 15, otherwise I quite logically get a 5-day event. I am not sure if there is anything to be done here, I just find it hard to remember to change both dates.


Hmm, this is a tricky one. Perhaps if you edit the start date and haven't touched the end date yet, it should shift the end date to match the start date? But as soon as you edit the end date, it no longer auto-updates?

shorn wrote:1) When you enter a new event, what determines the selected label in the dialog? The arc depends on where you click but it seems to default to the first label in your list of labels. Perhaps the last label used would be convenient?


One of the labels is defined as the default label in Settings (and it is the first label until you change it).

[quote="shorn"]2) Is there any way to re-order arcs, entities and labels. I have tried dragging with modifier keys in the Manage dialogs, but that does not work.[.quote]

Within the GUI, you can re-order entities by clicking and dragging them around in the Relationships Split View at the bottom. You can re-order arcs and entities by using the Show/Hide Window -- I have temporarily forgotten what the toolbar item is actually called, but it is the button with what appears to be a list -- and dragging their order in the table (you can also show or hide them here, obviously).

Matt

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matt
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Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:02 am Post

sarajiel wrote:When linking items together in the sync window the 1st available item in the list is usually highlighted, but the select button is greyed out. You have to select another item manually and go back to the original item to select it for linking.


Thanks, will look at this.

sarajiel wrote:The possibility to select "ignore all" or "ignore tree" for a Scrivener BinderItem with <children> will simplify the syncing workflow I described in my mail alot.


I can see how this would help. I will look into it post-1.0. For now, they are at least Binder-order sorted, so you can select them all with a shift-click, and then ignore them all together.

sarajiel wrote:Please consider a way to manually sort the entities inside the GUI. It's really annoying to edit an Aeon XML file just to sort it properly after adding or changing entities. Something similar should be done for arcs, labels or labels aswell. I didn't try to change them inside the XML, so I don't know if they are more complicated to sort.


I agree, you should never have to edit the XML file. I very definitely never want people editing the XML files, in fact.

See my reply to the last post (immediately above this) which specifies how entities and arcs can be re-ordered. I don't think there is a way to re-order labels at present.

sarajiel wrote:Maybe I'm a bit late for this suggestion, but can we have a "duration" for each event?
Some of my events go over months or years (like military service, pregnancy etc.) and it is easier to keep track of these things while editing with a visible duration. It would also help alot if start date, end date and the event duration had each own lock (e.g. the pregnancy is locked to nine months and doesn't extend to 21 months by accident). :twisted:
Locking the duration would also allow editing the end date without the need to recalculate the start date when adjusting a timeline with holes.


Internally, the events are actually stored with a start date and duration. If you edit the start date, the end date will always move with it. Only if you edit the end date directly (or alt-drag in the interface) will the duration change.

Post-1.0 I can look at whether the duration can be displayed as well, and whether they can be individually locked.

But for now, if you want to maintain duration, just change the start date. If you want to edit duration, change the end date.

Matt