Clarification about creating timelines

edited January 6, 2020
Hi folks, I'm trying to create a timeline from a subcollection with just 7 items. I have two items that have the same publication year but different months. When I create the timeline all of the items including these two with same publication year are very far apart from each other. I'm trying to create a birds eye view by playing with the first, second and third band choosing all of them as year, which I would have expected the two items with same year to show up next to each other but unfortunately I still see the months between all items and no matter how much I play around with the bands makes no effect. Am I doing something wrong?

Here's an example
  • That would happen if one of those items has just a year, such that it gets placed at the beginning of the year, while the other has a December date.

    The first band represents the highlighted section in the second band, and the highlighted section in the second band represents the highlighted section in the third band.

    It doesn't seem like the drop-downs are actually working currently. We'll look into that.
  • edited January 6, 2020
    Thanks, could you please have a look as well into the ability to represent items in the timeline with author name as well. Something like a checkbox to indicate if items should be shown with either title or author name?

    Is there any advantage in having nested bands?

    Usually what I've seen is something like this
  • The timeline functionality is third-party code that hasn't been touched in many years, other than for bug fixes, so it's unlikely we'll make any functional changes to it ourselves any time soon. We'd consider patches, though the ultimate, longstanding goal is to either replace it with some new, maintained library (and possibly in a plugin).
    Is there any advantage in having nested bands?
    Sure — it makes it easier to view and navigate across large time periods while still seeing item details without constantly zooming in and out.
  • the ultimate, longstanding goal is to either replace it with some new, maintained library (and possibly in a plugin).
    I'm just pinging @emilianoheyns because it might be of interest since it could benefit from BBT given that it already exports in .dot format, plus he's been phenomenal responding blazingly fast to any issues.
  • I'm not aware of any timeline facility in Zotero, and I don't see anything related in
  • Zotero has had timeline functionality since the very beginning, or very close to it, based on SIMILE Timeline. It's in the Tools menu.

    (But @kirk86, please don't @ people randomly just because you want something done. There's no reason to expect Emiliano to work on this.)
  • I did not know about this. But this looks like it's mostly UI work. Not my forte.
  • @dstillman I didn't involve @emilianoheyns randomly, I gave an explanation of why. Certaintly not because I wanted anything done at all (I can live without the timeline not big deal for me, there are other things which are of more pressing matter that should be done, e.g. I don't know if its possible to create a template note and have it automatically replicated in collections and subcollections?).

    I just saw some connections with previous work that he has done for BBT exports that could even replace the whole current timeline (IMHO).
  • edited January 7, 2020
    I'm not really understanding what the connection is to BBT. Timeline is a visual timeline display. BBT primarily customizes Zotero's BibTeX support. (I'm not sure what you mean by "it already exports in .dot format".)

    In any case, it's usually best to just assume that regular contributors will chime in if it's something they're interested in, unless it's something they've specifically worked on before.
  • BBT also hosts a translator that exports a citation graph in graphviz .dot format based on relation links and manually added Cites: <citekey1>, <citekey2> lines in extra. Before @kirk86 reported an error on it recently I didn't know anyone but me used the citation graph.
  • edited January 7, 2020
    And that is the reason why I involved @emilianoheyns in the first place because I see a potential for the future that could replace the current timeline which is unintuitive and at the same time provides more freedom. But as I said before, I opened this as a constructive discussion and future reference, certainly not as something that I want to have it done, I would much more prefer if other more urgent matters are resolved in zotero instead of this!
  • I don't mind reading along with this discussion, but every time you tag me, I'm getting two emails - one because I'm in the thread, and once because I'm tagged. Please only tag me if you mean to specifically attract my attention.
  • Oops, my bad I wasn't aware of that. Sorry!
  • edited January 12, 2020
    I take the liberty to intrude in this discussion on two counts.

    First is to support the enormous usefulness of time lines for appreciating the inner structure of the data archived; so please keep this feature alive.

    Second is to signal that for me too is the timeline unresponsive in the lines of @kirk86. In particular I wanted to customize the contents of the bands (hours to millennia) but to no avail. It always falls back to the default settings. Ditto for fitting the band size to the screen: no result follows action. If suggested to so, I am willing to open a new thread concerning this second issue. Using Zotero 5.0.81 by the way.
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