New Dynamic Timeline

The new Unified Republic of Stars timeline.

The new Unified Republic of Stars timeline.

Today, I’m pleased to announce that we have a new timeline available on the Unified Republic of Stars.

For those of you who remember, the old list-based version was getting a little… long. HTML hash links worked to focus you on the particular year but only after the entire page had loaded. And that page was getting big. Very big. Just adding new elements to it was getting to be a problem.

So… I spent a little time over the weekend figuring out how to get the old list into the SMILE Timeline Javascript driven widget. Thinking it would just be a couple of hours, I underestimated the effort a little bit but, in the end, I think it’s been worth it.

The widget now lays out milestones in a traditional timeline view, with custom icons, text summaries, and links back to the original reference articles. All of this is driven by a set of admin tools written as an extension for MediaWiki and pluggable into any other page by using a simple HTML-style parser hook.

I’m still going through and tagging items, but, once that’s complete, the parser hook will then be able to filter results by categories and planets so that various pages can have customized timeline views relating to their content, not unlike the way Republican Series winners are currently displayed on planet, city, and team pages.

The idea, dear reader, is to make the information within the reference section as visible and linked as possible so you can navigate between it and see what’s happening at a glance.

Look for this to continue expanding as new items are added and timelines continue to be flushed out. But feel free to check it out in the meantime.

Do take a look at the SMILE Widget project at some point. I don’t know how updated it is but they still have some pretty neat stuff.