EasyTimeline - Generate graphical timelines from a simple script

2. Procedure

1. Introduction    3. Script syntax    4. Download    5. Acknowledgements   6. Revision history

You will need to download some (free) tools first.

1. Write a script

Use any plain (ascii) text editor, e.g. Windows notepad.exe, to write a script. Save the script as text file, preferably in the same folder as the tools.

I suggest you start with the example script from the introduction page, download here

2. Create the image

Run from the command prompt:


   EasyTimeline -i scriptfile.txt

   or, to save program messages to file

   EasyTimeline -i scriptfile.txt > out.txt


   perl EasyTimeline.pl -i scriptfile.txt

EasyTimeline will

  • Parse your script and validate all input

  • Generate an input file for Ploticus (pl.exe)

  • Execute Ploticus to produce an image file in gif (Windows) or png (Linux) format.

  • Execute Ploticus again to produce a scalable image in svg format (which also has smoother text rendering).

  • Execute Nconvert (Windows only) to turn the gif image into a much smaller png file

Besides the manadatory parameter -i (see above) there are three optional parameters:

  • -m generate map file for inclusion in html
  • -h generate test html file, for preview of both png and svg output (+ image maps when applicable)
  • -b bypass some range checks (maximum image size, font size, etc)

Return to 1: Introduction Copyright (C) 2004 Erik Zachte, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Email:erikzachte@+++.com (nospam: +++=infodisiac).

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Continue to 3: Script Syntax

EasyTimeline is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2.