Aeon Timeline Version 0.2.3 (Beta)

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

Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:15 pm Post

For those users who have disabled automatic updates (or want to download the new version before the automatic update filters through), Aeon Timeline Version 0.2.3 (Beta) can be downloaded from the following URL:

http://aeontimeline.wordpress.com/latest-version/

This version fixes several bugs found in the previous release (including one potential crash) and has several minor interface enhancements. All users are recommended to update.

Changes include:
  • New Flexible Time Zone Calculations - the flexible time zone calculations have been overhauled. The selected zoom levels for particular sections should now appear more logical and consistent.
  • Fixed potential crash caused by creates note in the Add Event Sheet.
  • Fixed problem with tags and hot tags not updating correctly
  • Fixed problem with the title in the inspector reverting to the previous value
  • Fixed problem with the title field in the inspector not scrolling to show the full text
  • Fixed problem where the overview bar did not display the blue position bar until the user scrolled
  • Fixed layout issues with the Header Bar on small screens
  • Fixed problem where clicking in the 'participation space' would not affect the Inspector selection
  • Adjusted the minimum window height to 500 pixels (was 700)
  • Made text sit above participation circles if they overlap due to small gap
  • Fixed potential problem for documents updated from 0.1 where the event title could be changed
  • Added check mark next to current participation in right-click popup menu

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.

If the application crashes, please include the crash log and output from the Console in your bug report.

REPORTED/KNOWN BUGS

* Known display problem in Tiger where the date is displayed next to the overview bar.
* Known problem in Tiger where the split view grabber in the footer has no effect.

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

Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:18 pm Post

Ooh, I like it!

The new timescale folding especially; my backstory has compacted up nicely so I no longer have great swaths of timeline with no events showing. There is one year that's behaving oddly though; there are three events in the first half of the year, which is displayed at an appropriate zoom level, and no events in the second half of the year, which has the months expanded out further. It might be because the following January starts on a Saturday and there are a couple of events per day the whole first week - boundary issues again?

When zooming in (events spaced farther apart), the screen stays reasonably close to where it was before, but when zooming out (events spaced closer, less detail shown on timescale) it jumps to the very bottom of the timeline. A tiny twitch of the two finger scroll jumps it back to where it belongs. Actually I just re-tested this to see if I could be more detailed and it seems to be fairly inconsistent; it stayed put for a couple of out-zooms and then I zoomed in by two steps and it jumped.

One small feature request which I just thought of, and then I will pound on Aeon to try and scare out what bugs I can: could there be, somewhere in the inspector, a button that recenters the timeline on the currently selected event? I have been known to scroll the main view extensively while making notes on a particular event and a way to recenter would be handy.

RT
RTJK
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 9:57 pm
Location: UK

Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:12 pm Post

Matt, it's been a while since I posted, but I just downloaded this new beta and found the preference panel for squeezing the columns and nudging them to the left - perfect. (Although maybe they could get a tab on timeline settings? Just a thought. I nearly didn't find them.) I also really like the concertina effect on the vertical axis, and the tags were a good idea.

I'm on a 15 inch screen now but I imagine it's now much more workable for people on a 12" too. This is shaping up to be very useful software indeed, and I'm looking forward to playing with it when writing my next outline... which I may now stop putting off.

Out of interest would it be just as hard again to have a view option that displays the exact same information on a horizontal axis? Forget it if so. Sorry I'm sure this has been brought up. Just occured to me that it might be nice to switch occasionally.

Cheers, and keep up the good work.

Robin
Re-examine all that you have been told...
dismiss that which insults your soul.
- Walt Whitman

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

Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:05 pm Post

RTJK wrote:Out of interest would it be just as hard again to have a view option that displays the exact same information on a horizontal axis? Forget it if so. Sorry I'm sure this has been brought up. Just occured to me that it might be nice to switch occasionally.


Thanks for the kind words.

Regarding horizontal timelines - take a look at this blog post here, which discusses the next implementation stage, which will be a horizontal timeline:
http://aeontimeline.wordpress.com/2009/ ... tory-arcs/

It is hard to make the current Entity View horizontal, for the reason hinted at under the heading "Constraint 1 and 2: Handling collisions between events". At the moment, we shift events vertically so that the text of the event does not overlap. If we did it on a horizontal view, this shift would be horizontal, and as text is so much wider than it is tall, the shifting would become too extreme to be usable (shifting vertically is also not an option, as it encroaches on the Entity Space).

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

Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:11 pm Post

janra wrote:Ooh, I like it!

The new timescale folding especially; my backstory has compacted up nicely so I no longer have great swaths of timeline with no events showing. There is one year that's behaving oddly though; there are three events in the first half of the year, which is displayed at an appropriate zoom level, and no events in the second half of the year, which has the months expanded out further. It might be because the following January starts on a Saturday and there are a couple of events per day the whole first week - boundary issues again?

When zooming in (events spaced farther apart), the screen stays reasonably close to where it was before, but when zooming out (events spaced closer, less detail shown on timescale) it jumps to the very bottom of the timeline. A tiny twitch of the two finger scroll jumps it back to where it belongs. Actually I just re-tested this to see if I could be more detailed and it seems to be fairly inconsistent; it stayed put for a couple of out-zooms and then I zoomed in by two steps and it jumped.

One small feature request which I just thought of, and then I will pound on Aeon to try and scare out what bugs I can: could there be, somewhere in the inspector, a button that recenters the timeline on the currently selected event? I have been known to scroll the main view extensively while making notes on a particular event and a way to recenter would be handy.


Hi janra,
Please email me a screenshot where the folding doesn't work so well, and I will see if I can figure out why. It is probably just the constraint of not jumping down too many levels at once - eg. 6 months to 1 week view. I might relax that criteria a little for the next release.

I will look into the scroll jumping, especially when changing zoom levels, in the next release.

I like the idea of the zoom to event button, I will add it in the next release.

Matt

RT
RTJK
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 9:57 pm
Location: UK

Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:39 pm Post

Hi again

Yes that makes sense - your proposed implementation on the link you gave me is very cool, although I haven't the headspace to fully comprehend the split timelines and durations etc now. One interim solution might be an additional view in which the timeline portion of the screen is simply rotated, and retains only the current functionality, which you could make more viewer freindly by angling the events like so:

http://img.skitch.com/20090203-paqpwwbt ... n7p81d.jpg

any additional information on the main part of the canvas (such as ages) would still conflict if there were too many events, but perhaps you could just disable those, or have an option to. Again - sorry if you've already moved beyond this kind of consultation stage: I've been out of the loop and not been following closely.

Robin
Re-examine all that you have been told...

dismiss that which insults your soul.

- Walt Whitman

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

Tue Feb 03, 2009 11:47 pm Post

Screenshots sent.

That's the only piece of my decades-long timeline that doesn't look right. The entire rest of it has reasonable event spacing, no overcrowding, and no screens full of no events, which is impressive because it goes from historical events spaced a decade apart, to backstory events spaced months and years apart, to the main story which all takes place in under 3 months. I like your middle zoom settings!

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

Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:59 am Post

janra wrote:Screenshots sent.

That's the only piece of my decades-long timeline that doesn't look right. The entire rest of it has reasonable event spacing, no overcrowding, and no screens full of no events, which is impressive because it goes from historical events spaced a decade apart, to backstory events spaced months and years apart, to the main story which all takes place in under 3 months. I like your middle zoom settings!


The middle zoom was what I did first, and thought about. The other zoom levels I did in a few minutes (as a quick multiplier on the event counts), just so that the zoom bar had some functionality :D

I will put more thought into making the other zoom levels more useful later.

User avatar
AndreasE
Posts: 737
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:33 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:08 am Post

It looks better with every version!

I played around with the tags: I can enter them, but then... they disappear, whatever I try (saving with CMD-S for example). I only arrived at entering 1 tag that remains, and the only difference I see was that this event hadn't any participants or spectators yet - maybe that's a hint? Oh, and I'm still on Tiger.

Otherwise, this promises to be a cool feature one day!

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

Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:29 am Post

Hmm... This was a bug in the previous version that I thought I had fixed.

Just to cover the easiest base first - are you certain you uppgraded to 0.2.3? You can check via the about window. Otherwise, I will look into this again and try to work out why they are still disappearing. Out of interest, was this a new file created with the latest version, or one left over from previous versions? Maybe it is a legacy issue.

Let me know, and I will take another look at it.

Thanks,
Matt

User avatar
AndreasE
Posts: 737
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:33 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:03 pm Post

matt wrote:Hmm... This was a bug in the previous version that I thought I had fixed.

Just to cover the easiest base first - are you certain you uppgraded to 0.2.3?


Yes, Version is 0.2.3.1.

Out of interest, was this a new file created with the latest version, or one left over from previous versions?


It is a file created with the very first version. I use it for the biographies of some characters in my current novel, so what I do is mostly not "playing around", but real work (which tends to bring up other issues). It was just that I discovered the tags feature and was trying to find out how I could use it.

he
henrietta
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:30 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: US

Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:46 pm Post

Hi Matt,

I tried 0.2.3 and it crashed--either it doesn't like _me_ or it doesn't like the eighteenth century. :lol: Either way, it wasn't happy. I tried twice, and have attached both reports (search for "Opened" to get to the second report quickly).

Briefly, these are the steps I went through:

1) Opened Aeon (1st time), new file: set Timeline Settings to Month & Year: 1700, January; 1792, December; (was) returned to main screen, which showed day/month as 01/12; rolling beach ball; force quit ("App not responding".

2) Opened Aeon; New file; saved; Timeline Settings: Date format, no years specified; saved; entered 1700 - 1800 (no months changed); saved; back to main screen (shows dates as '01/12' format); hang (can't get back to Aeon; dock icon menu = 'app not responding' -- force quit.

Hope this helps!
Attachments
Aeon crash reports.txt
(207.14 KiB) Downloaded 55 times

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

Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:29 pm Post

Thanks,
I will take a look at it tonight.

Matt

ik
ike
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:19 pm
Location: Colombia

Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:30 pm Post

Hi Matt,

I've just downloaded 2.3.1. and wanted to try it for mapping out the sequel to my last book. In essence what I'm doing is mapping out a narrative sequence based on the events in the first book, but which (like most children's fantasies) never really landed in Absolute Time anyway.

Following the 'Not Thinking about Dates' discussion, what would you suggest as the simplest way that I can work mainly in 'Relative/Fuzzy time' without having to nail events to 'Real/Absolute Time' at this early stage in the writing process? I say 'mainly' as I'm aware that exploring fuzzy time is still very much in development.

One other point. I have a gut feeling, particularly after reading other people's comments, that it might be easier to build the entire programme around ''Relative/Fuzzy Time' which is then occasionally mapped onto 'Real Time', rather than the other way around. Just a thought, I'm not a programmer, so I don't know the issues involved.

Ike

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

Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:19 pm Post

For now, there are a few things to do to help avoid thinking about dates.

* In the preferences (from aeon menu), make the timeline margin to display small so it is a little less prominent.
* In timeline settings, change the date displayed in the central view to be either none, or if some relative days/times matter, you might want "Monday 12pm" etc. Instead. You may want to do the same with the inspector dates.
* Create events by double clicking in the right spot on the central view, rather than using the add event button. That way, you can just ignore the date in the add event pane as it will be set to where you clicked.
* If dates don't matter too much, presumably you don't need birth dates for your characters etc. Which means you won't need to think about dates then.

Those steps should probably help, although it is not perfect by any means. You will probably need to setup your timeline with a startand end date first that would make sense for your story. And to be honest, the folding timeline may actually make things harder for you in this case. Let me know if it does and I will add the option to make it flat back in as well.

Thanks for your comments on the blog. I will take them on board.

Thanks,
Matt