Aeon Timeline Version 0.1.2 (Beta)

ja
janra
Posts: 471
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:06 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Vancouver, BC

Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:36 pm Post

I have finally had a chance to run Aeon, now that my NaNo is done, and I started by transferring my timeline from another story from iCal to Aeon. (Why iCal? Works as well for placing events as any other existing timeline app... and I didn't need the pretty display that most timeliners consider their core feature.)

So anyhow, I entered three characters and 11 events, all taking place in the space of about 3 days. I had the timeline at maximum zoom according to the zoom bar down at the bottom.

The events had their lines angled to touch down on the time bar and they shifted around a little to fit quite nicely. I was entering the events in chronological order (as I mentioned, transferring existing data from another app) and when I entered the 10th event, the block of events shifted down a little, leaving a small gap between the first day's events and the rest - I would have expected the first event to shift upwards to reduce the total length of the angled lines, if the block shifted.

When I entered the 11th event, the whole block except the first day's events shifted an entire screenful down, leaving very long, steeply angled lines heading down off the screen. The events are all there with the correct times and dates, they've just moved their display location.

I checked the console; no messages.

I am using the "B02" version from your "latest version" directory, but the about screen says it is version 0.1.1. I re-downloaded from your latest version directory in case I have an old version, but it's the same file.

[edit]
Then, when I added the 12th event, all of the events jumped back to where they belonged.

Event #13 had the small shift down, #14 had a larger jump down (but not right off the screen), #15 had half the events back where they belonged and half way down off the screen...

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

Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:23 pm Post

You have identified a bug that I have already fixed in the next version.

The next version is ready for Leopard, but I am using a third party control that is Leopard-only, which I need to dig into to make it work with Tiger.

Once I have done that, the next release will be available, which will be a big improvement.

Matt

ja
janra
Posts: 471
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:06 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Vancouver, BC

Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:36 am Post

Ok - looking forward to the next release!

I'll continue putting what exists of my timeline in Aeon and then expanding from what I already have, and testing the software as well...

ja
janra
Posts: 471
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:06 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Vancouver, BC

Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:45 pm Post

I've been playing with Aeon some more, as I have time. Here are a couple of comments that have come up to date:

* bug: in the inspector, I changed the title of an event then pressed enter to close editing in that field. The event title in the timeline view changed, but the title in the inspector reverted to the old text. I clicked on the event in the timeline and the inspector changed to display the new text. To verify, I did the same thing with another event and got the same behaviour. Nothing in the console log.

* bug: in the inspector when editing an event title, if the title is longer than the edit box the text does not move to keep the cursor in sight. It left me typo-fixing blind.

* wish: shift all (or all selected) events by <time span>. Specifically, after I set out my events, I realized that by logical extrapolation of how long some of the things had to have been around, I needed to shift the entire timeline some 30+ years into the future. After I made dozens of events.

This could go along with the discussion on of being able to re-age a character, I think; some events are properly tied to a character's age (eg a particular birthday party) and so would need to be shifted if a character's birth event is moved. I just glanced over the documentation "features to come" and spotted the linked events. This could be considered a case of an event linked to the character's birth event. For this case, showing the event "anchored" (as a participation type?) to the character's timeline would make sense, but I'm not sure about the more general case of linked events. You wouldn't want every little link to show up as a base event and an anchored event on a new timeline, after all.

-janra

ja
janra
Posts: 471
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:06 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Vancouver, BC

Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:13 am Post

So I was manually shifting my events into the future, and I noticed that if you try to move an event past the end of the timeline as set in the timeline settings, the app takes up all cpu and becomes unresponsive.

Not sure if it happens if you go one second past the end of the timeline or if you have to go way past; I think I put a couple of events past the end by less than a year but when I put an event a decade past the end of the configured timeline I got that crash. Nothing in the console log.

I worked around it by setting the end of the timeline past the last date I figured I would need, and then moving the events.

If this is one of your "I don't have data validation, please only enter sane values" items then I apologize.

-janra

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

Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:10 am Post

I actually expect it is related to the other bug you reported to me in the PM and caused by a recalculation, rather than specifically dragging it past the end date. But I will check - this is something it should be able to handle.

Matt

ja
janra
Posts: 471
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:06 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Vancouver, BC

Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:27 pm Post

Just to be clear, I wasn't dragging the event, I typed a new year in the inspector.

ar
artandscience
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:16 pm

Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:32 pm Post

Bug (I think).

I fired up the new beta for the first time, went to Timeline Settings after starting a new timeline, and tried to set the dates. I clicked on the year in each panel, entered 180 in the first, and 1920 in the last and then clicked "OK".

App immediately crashed.

Did this three times so it's reproducable.

Am I using the tool incorrectly or is it not capable of handling a multi-thousand year span?

thanks,
Stefan

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

Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:00 pm Post

It should be able to handle that fine, but you may have found a bug. I will attempt to reproduce it later and get back to you. It could be that it is already fixed in the next release.

Matt

sj
sjmagy
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:08 am

Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:12 am Post

First off, thank you for developing this application!

Apologies if any of this feedback has been repeated before and I missed it, and further apologies I didn't go crazy and test it out with dozens of characters and hundreds of events (limited time this week).

Issue 1: When zoomed in at maximum level (the notch in the bar is all the way at the right), the dates that appear to the right of the context bar display as, for example, "Sun 04/03." (see 2nd screenshot below)

As an American, I read that and think, "Sunday, April 3rd" but it's actually representing "Sunday, March 4th."

I can't find a single setting that would explain this, as all the other date formats (in Events and in the Context Bar itself) display correctly (for how I've set them) as MM/DD/YY.

It would be really easy to get confused as to where you are in the timeline as a result. Thankfully the date "Sun 25/02" just above it clued me in as to what was happening, but those dates should still respect my system / app settings. Did I miss a memo somewhere?

Issue 2: When a particular event is viewed in the Central Pane, when I change my zoom settings, regardless of increment, the Event in question gets pushed out of view in a manner that doesn't seem logical.
Example:
  • Timeline is set from Dec 1, 1973 to Jan 1, 2009.
  • Just 2 characters added (with their respective birth events), and 1 other event placed in the timeline, on Friday, August 19, 1994, set to last 2 days.
  • Zoom all the way in and "focus" the Central Pane in on that event so it's near the center of the screen / pane.
  • Now zoom all the way out (notch at the furthest left) -- the event is near the top of the Central Pane -- that's fine. But now, 1/2 of the Context Bar is shaded blue / highlighted (see 1st screenshot below) which seems odd, and it's always the lower half (the shading never appears at the top part of the context bar, just the bottom).
  • Now zoom all the way back in (notch at the furthest right), and the timeline / Context Bar has jumped to the time period around March 4th, 2001 (see 2nd screenshot below).
I can understand some level of shifting as you zoom in / out, but to shift 7 years (out of ~35 total years in the timeline) seems a bit... odd?

Non-Issue 3: Saw a previous poster note that they set their timeline to start in the year 180 so I wanted to try it as well. I adjusted mine to go from 12/01/180 to 1/9/2009 and after a 2-3 second pause, the timeline expanded and all was well -- no crashes or anything bad happening. Maybe it has to do with the low # of events in my test.... ?

Conclusion:
Those are the only things that I noticed that seemed unexpected / undesired behavior that I didn't see addressed / covered by others (not to say they weren't, just that I didn't see them). Everything else that I've tested seems to be working fine (not counting printing / exporting, which I recall reading was a known bug in this version). I have other feedback / suggestions for some of the dilemmas you've raised, but I wanted to at least get my bug report covered first.

Screenshots:
First Screenshot -- shows the weird / extensive blue shading in the context bar for an event that only lasts 2 days, not 6 years...

Image

Second Screenshot -- shows both the "date jump" that occurs when changing your zoom level, as well as an instance where Aeon doesn't respect system settings for date display.

Image

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

Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:40 am Post

sjmagy wrote:Issue 1: When zoomed in at maximum level (the notch in the bar is all the way at the right), the dates that appear to the right of the context bar display as, for example, "Sun 04/03." (see 2nd screenshot below)

As an American, I read that and think, "Sunday, April 3rd" but it's actually representing "Sunday, March 4th."

I can't find a single setting that would explain this, as all the other date formats (in Events and in the Context Bar itself) display correctly (for how I've set them) as MM/DD/YY.

It would be really easy to get confused as to where you are in the timeline as a result. Thankfully the date "Sun 25/02" just above it clued me in as to what was happening, but those dates should still respect my system / app settings. Did I miss a memo somewhere?


That is just general laziness on my part, hard coding my default (Australian) format while I was doing the initial implementation. I will fix it up so that it either uses a system preference or is in some other way user configurable, although I haven't done that for the next version which is about to be released (I will do it before the expected "bug-fix" release which will follow it).

sjmagy wrote:Issue 2: When a particular event is viewed in the Central Pane, when I change my zoom settings, regardless of increment, the Event in question gets pushed out of view in a manner that doesn't seem logical.


I think this has been mentioned before, although that may have been in an email, or in one of the longer posts. It is either on my to-do list, or may already be fixed for the next update. In future, I will make it centre on the selected date when zooming or refreshing.

sjmagy wrote:Screenshots:
First Screenshot -- shows the weird / extensive blue shading in the context bar for an event that only lasts 2 days, not 6 years...


The blue bar in the context bar on the right shows the area being displayed in the main window - you will see it gets smaller as you zoom in, and shifts up or down as you scroll (and can be used to scroll directly).

The background highlighting to show an event duration occurs in the main window, and is a light yellow colour (this will probably be overhauled at a later point anyway, once some of the other views become available). It is not visible in this screenshot because it is so small, and is hidden behind the main event line and the highlighting. If you set that event to 6 years duration, you would see the highlight more clearly when that event is selected.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback, and I look forward to your comments on the big ticket issues :)

Matt

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

Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:22 am Post

This thread has now been closed as a new version of the beta is available.

All new bugs should be reported in the thread for the new release of Aeon Timeline.