Aeon Timeline Version 0.1 (Beta)

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matt
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:53 am Post

Aeon Timeline Version 0.1 (Beta) can be downloaded via the following URL:

http://aeontimeline.wordpress.com/

Before downloading the beta, please read the Introduction and Beta/Forum Rules.

Please post all general bug reports found in this beta as a reply to this thread. Wish list items and discussion of other pending features belong in their own threads.

Before posting a bug, please review the documentation and the below list of already reported bugs, to see if it is a known problem.

Reported Bugs
  • PROBLEM: In the 'Timeline Settings' pane, if you change the start date to be later than the existing end date (regardless of whether you change the end date to a later value), the program will crash and quit.

    STATUS: Fixed for the next update.

    INTERIM SOLUTION: You will need to change the dates in two separate operations. First change the end date to the new value and click OK. Then open Timeline Settings again, and change the start date to the ended value.

  • PROBLEM: In the 'Timeline Settings' pane, the tokens in the 'Available' window cannot be correctly dragged into the application.

    STATUS: Fixed for the next update.

    INTERIM SOLUTION: No known solution at present. The date format cannot be changed in this version. This will be fixed in the next update.

  • PROBLEM: In the calendar selector panes (both in Timeline Settings and Inspector), cycling through the dates behaves erratically (skipping over January when going backwards).

    STATUS: Fixed for the next update.

    INTERIM SOLUTION: Cycle backwards and forwards, until you hit the correct month.

  • PROBLEM: In the inspector, the calendar selector goes off the screen.

    STATUS: Fixed for the next update.

    INTERIM SOLUTION: Make the inspector wider, or move the right edge of the window further to the left, away from the edge of the screen.

  • PROBLEM: The Show Characters menu in View is empty.

    STATUS: Menu item hidden in next update. Will return when implemented.

    INTERIM SOLUTION: Right-click on the character names to get a list you can use to show/hide characters.

  • PROBLEM: After filtering events, and then removing the filter, the events are displayed out of order.

    STATUS: Fixed for the next update.

    INTERIM SOLUTION: Type a 'space' character into the filter box, and then delete it again.



Thanks,
Matt

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Mange
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:19 am Post

Hi Matt,

First let me say the software looks brilliant. Congratulations.
And then I thought I'd report some strange behaviour. I looked through the manual and it says:

"To change the timeline start or end date, simply alter the date/time in the calendar selector. You
can change the year by using the arrow keys or by typing in a new year and pressing ENTER. You can cycle through the calendar months with the arrow keys. If you change the year or
month, you must click on a new start date for the change to take effect. "

But, alas, I can't get that to happen. Or specifically, if I type in a year and press Enter, lets say, I go from 1999 to 1900 in the start and then click on the the start date, from 30:th to 8:th, the year switches back to 1999. I eventually got the date right but only by using the arrows on year, the month, and then clicking on the date. But not by typing year+enter and then clicking on the date.

Minor I know.

Keep up the good and brilliant work
Love the software.
Mange

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Siren
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:00 am Post

Looks great, Matt.

(1) The icon looks good in the dock.

(2) A glitch I'm afraid... From the Available button in Time Settings, I can't get the Date Format Option blobs to go into the Date Format box, so I can't change the date format. I can select the blob and drag it, and the little green + button appears to show that I'm about to paste something, but when I let go of the mouse it disappears and nothing happens. Sometimes, however, it appears to insert a blank space (like a tab space), which I can neither select nor delete, and that is the parlous state in which my Time Settings are now stuck. (Using 10.4.11, if that is any help.)

(3) Will it be possible to copy events to other timelines (for example, if writing a series of books set in a particular time period, it would be useful to be able to create a "library" historical timeline as a sort of template to be imported to multiple other timeline files; likewise, for books about a single character, it would be useful to be able to transfer that character's data, or even just specific events from the timelines for other books). Extrapolating this idea, it occurs to me that standard timelines from history might be sharable between users, or eventually supplied as an add-on.

Congratulations on the birth of your new software! :D
Literature & Latte support team

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Rayz
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:33 am Post

Congratulations!

But I noticed that you cannot set the timeline dates to the future, without the application crashing ...

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matt
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:30 am Post

Rayz wrote:But I noticed that you cannot set the timeline dates to the future, without the application crashing ..


Hi Rayz,
Thankyou. I have reproduced this problem.

The problem is actually related to changing the start date to after the existing end date. I will fix it for the next update.

In the mean time, If you update the end date first, exit the panel, and then update the start date, you will not have the problem.

Matt

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matt
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:56 am Post

Mange wrote:I looked through the manual and it says:

"To change the timeline start or end date, simply alter the date/time in the calendar selector. You
can change the year by using the arrow keys or by typing in a new year and pressing ENTER. You can cycle through the calendar months with the arrow keys. If you change the year or
month, you must click on a new start date for the change to take effect. "

But, alas, I can't get that to happen. Or specifically, if I type in a year and press Enter, lets say, I go from 1999 to 1900 in the start and then click on the the start date, from 30:th to 8:th, the year switches back to 1999. I eventually got the date right but only by using the arrows on year, the month, and then clicking on the date. But not by typing year+enter and then clicking on the date.


It is actually a problem with the documentation - you will need to hit TAB, rather than ENTER. ENTER is the equivalent of hitting the OK button.

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matt
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:07 pm Post

Siren wrote:(2) A glitch I'm afraid... From the Available button in Time Settings, I can't get the Date Format Option blobs to go into the Date Format box, so I can't change the date format. I can select the blob and drag it, and the little green + button appears to show that I'm about to paste something, but when I let go of the mouse it disappears and nothing happens. Sometimes, however, it appears to insert a blank space (like a tab space), which I can neither select nor delete, and that is the parlous state in which my Time Settings are now stuck. (Using 10.4.11, if that is any help.)


You are quite right. I had this working in a previous build, but I have the same problem now. Now it appears to be completely broken. Unfortunately, I cannot find an easy way for you to fix it for now - so you might need to start with a new timeline, and not change that setting.

Obviously, I will fix it for the next release.

Siren wrote:(3) Will it be possible to copy events to other timelines (for example, if writing a series of books set in a particular time period, it would be useful to be able to create a "library" historical timeline as a sort of template to be imported to multiple other timeline files; likewise, for books about a single character, it would be useful to be able to transfer that character's data, or even just specific events from the timelines for other books). Extrapolating this idea, it occurs to me that standard timelines from history might be sharable between users, or eventually supplied as an add-on.


This is certainly something that I will look at down the track. At the moment, you could simply create a copy of the existing timeline, and delete the unwanted content. I will look at making it possible to drag events between timelines in the future, but given the ease of creating a copy of the file and deleting the extra content, I am not sure if we will come up with a more convenient and user friendly model to do the rest -- but I am open to suggestions.

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Siren
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:16 pm Post

I think this looks as though it is going to be brilliantly useful! Well done. I love the character/event intersection markers (and the proposed expansion to user-definition).

Some more date issues (which I typed up before reading your reply, Matt... apologies if there is overlap here, as they might be different manifestations of the same issue... but then again, they might not, so I thought I'd mention them separately):

(1) Trying to set the timeline start date... I changed the start year to 1960 (by typing), then had to change the month with arrows (can't type into month field)--but January is missing! The sequence goes March-February-December, and the only way I can find to get to January (since I can't type in the month field) is by going backward from December to November then forward again.

(2) I can't get the timeline start date to stick at all, by any method.

(3) The date of an event in the “Date and Duration” part of the Inspector shows only the date format, not the date itself. In a new file with default format, this appears as “/ /” but it is blank for files where I have tried to change the format (see previous post about date format issue).

(4) Similarly, the event itself appears with “/ /” at its start, instead (I presume) of its date.

And some screen real estate issues:

(5) Could it be possible to scale the window size automatically? Currently, when it opens it is miles too large for my laptop screen; when I resize with little green button, all is fine (but the “Hide Inspector” icon label is truncated).

(6) Definitely purely cosmetic... I'm getting some movement in the toolbar: a slight jump in position if Hide/Show Inspector clicked (sometimes the “Hide Inspector” label is not truncated, but I can't work out when this happens).

(7) Less than half the width of my screen is available for the character lines and inspector window -- can the bits to the left (scrolly-zoomy thing, axis and event labels) be removed or made narrower (preferably on the fly by the user)?

(8) Opening the calendar dropdown from the Inspector, some of the calendar is off-screen and therefore unreachable unless the window is resized to smaller than the screen (using the drag corner, whatever that is called). Could the position of this calendar be changed to fit automatically into the screen area, or offset to left rather than the right?

And finally (for today, at any rate!) some things about character display:

(9) The View menu option Show Characters doesn't display the character names as I expected from the little arrow.

(10) Will it be eventually be possible to select the characters to be displayed, and the order in which they appear so that specific characters can be placed side by side and compared?

Looking very promising indeed. Thank you.
Literature & Latte support team

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matt
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:37 pm Post

Siren wrote:(1) Trying to set the timeline start date... I changed the start year to 1960 (by typing), then had to change the month with arrows (can't type into month field)--but January is missing! The sequence goes March-February-December, and the only way I can find to get to January (since I can't type in the month field) is by going backward from December to November then forward again.

(2) I can't get the timeline start date to stick at all, by any method.


I will take a look at the missing month. When you are changing the date, make sure that after you change the year and month, you also click on a day on the calendar within that month.

Siren wrote:(3) The date of an event in the “Date and Duration” part of the Inspector shows only the date format, not the date itself. In a new file with default format, this appears as “/ /” but it is blank for files where I have tried to change the format (see previous post about date format issue).

(4) Similarly, the event itself appears with “/ /” at its start, instead (I presume) of its date.


This is a remnant of the first bug you reported. I have already fixed this in my version of the software :)

Siren wrote:(5) Could it be possible to scale the window size automatically? Currently, when it opens it is miles too large for my laptop screen; when I resize with little green button, all is fine (but the “Hide Inspector” icon label is truncated).


Yes, I will look at doing this. Incidentally, what screen size/resolution are you working with?

Siren wrote:(6) Definitely purely cosmetic... I'm getting some movement in the toolbar: a slight jump in position if Hide/Show Inspector clicked (sometimes the “Hide Inspector” label is not truncated, but I can't work out when this happens).


Yes, I have noticed this too, and been annoyed by it. I will try to figure out why it is happening a little later.

Siren wrote:(7) Less than half the width of my screen is available for the character lines and inspector window -- can the bits to the left (scrolly-zoomy thing, axis and event labels) be removed or made narrower (preferably on the fly by the user)?


What size screen are you on?

I was already intending to make it possible to move the dividing line between the character area and the event area by dragging it to a new position (I will add a small triangle marker at the top of the display for this).

I will see if I can minimize the screen width for the rest, and will make it possible to turn off the overview bar.

Siren wrote:(8) Opening the calendar dropdown from the Inspector, some of the calendar is off-screen and therefore unreachable unless the window is resized to smaller than the screen (using the drag corner, whatever that is called). Could the position of this calendar be changed to fit automatically into the screen area, or offset to left rather than the right?


At the moment, I think it offsets so that its midpoint is where you click. I will add a test to make sure it does not go outside the screen boundaries.

Siren wrote:And finally (for today, at any rate!) some things about character display:

(9) The View menu option Show Characters doesn't display the character names as I expected from the little arrow.

(10) Will it be eventually be possible to select the characters to be displayed, and the order in which they appear so that specific characters can be placed side by side and compared?


The Show Characters menu is not functional yet. I intended to hide it before the release, but forgot.

You can already show/hide characters, and change the order they are displayed. Details are listed in the documentation.

But in short:
* Right-click in the area where the character names are displayed, and you will get a menu you can use to hide or show the characters.
* Click and drag on any visible character name to shift it to a new position. All of the other characters will shift their position accordingly.

Thanks for the feedback. It is all very useful.

Matt

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Siren
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:25 pm Post

matt wrote:Incidentally, what screen size/resolution are you working with?

1024 x 768 (nominally 14.1", I think; it's a G3 iBook)

matt wrote:You can already show/hide characters, and change the order they are displayed. Details are listed in the documentation.

Oops! Sorry. What a polite RTFM. :) I did read your documentation before I started--honest!--but I had forgotten that I'd read that. That works fine.

Using the search box to filter the display on a single character's events... Cancelling the search redisplays the events for all characters, but the events are out of sequence and no longer in date order (their lines start in the right position on the time axis, but then overlap): the previously-filtered-on character's events are listed first, regardless of chronological sequence. If this is intentional, how do I restore the date-order sequence, please, without having to close and reopen the timeline file (or fudge it by filtering on a non-existent character then cancelling it)?

And that is absolutely, definitely, positively all from me today! I'm meant to be writing, not having fun playing with new software! :)
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matt
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:40 pm Post

Siren wrote:Using the search box to filter the display on a single character's events... Cancelling the search redisplays the events for all characters, but the events are out of sequence and no longer in date order (their lines start in the right position on the time axis, but then overlap): the previously-filtered-on character's events are listed first, regardless of chronological sequence. If this is intentional, how do I restore the date-order sequence, please, without having to close and reopen the timeline file (or fudge it by filtering on a non-existent character then cancelling it)?)


Nope, that is definitely a bug. You have stumbled on the best current fix (another way is to change the date on one of the events, or add a new event, but that is destructive, whereas changing the filter is not).

I will add it to my list.

PJ
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:10 pm Post

Looks very good. I was going to comment on the trouble setting a date, but see that's already been addressed. Still having some difficulty with basic maneuvering, but it seems so far to be more about unfamiliarity than about problems. So I guess this just amounts to a pat on the back. You've earned it.

Phil
You can't conquer stupid — or cure it — with more stupid.

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matt
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:14 pm Post

PJS wrote:Looks very good. I was going to comment on the trouble setting a date, but see that's already been addressed. Still having some difficulty with basic maneuvering, but it seems so far to be more about unfamiliarity than about problems. So I guess this just amounts to a pat on the back. You've earned it.

Phil


Thanks Phil,
Although if you get the chance to think about why you have trouble maneuvering, please let me know. It is important for the application to feel intuitive and easy to use. So if there is something you keep going to do, only to find it not behaving the way you expect -- please let me know.

PJ
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Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:59 pm Post

Matt --

Mostly so far, I'm just playing with it, in odd time free from other tasks. Really need an extended period of time to get into it. One factor: I'm a (relative) newcomer to Mac, so still not fully appreciative of how similarly different apps operate -- still a surprise to try something on a hunch and find out, yeah, that's the way it works. Like sliding the characters and events around.

One small question: since the LH blue bar repeats the slider action, do you even need the slider?

Anyway, it's lovely.

Phil
You can't conquer stupid — or cure it — with more stupid.

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Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:27 pm Post

Matt,

Brief apologies - I have just submitted comments using the blog form before reviewing posts here. I now find that you are already addressing everything I mentioned.

:?

The app's looking very promising.

Huw Evans