ChapTimeline Result Format is now open source!

Timeline is one of the most impressive result format in Semantic MediaWiki. But SIMILE timeline looks very old-fashioned and its code is a great mess. Moreover many of our clients find it too complicated and I totally agree with them:

So I decided to implement new timeline result format. There are quite a few javascript libraries out there but only some of them are as powerful as SIMILE widget. I’ve chosen CHAP-timeline from almende.


  • It’s open source
  • It’s zoomable
  • It’s clean and simple and it really appears interactive to me. It seems like it invites you to click and zoom it
  • It allows you to insert complex html into event boxes
  • It’s damn powerful: they have clustering, mobile version, jquery themes support, skin support, grouping and editing (I’m thrilled to support that in SMW)
  • it has beautiful documentation for programmer. One of the best documentation I’ve seen since I program on Qt.


  • it uses Google API and thus it’s illegal to use it without internet (though technically possible)

Go to extension page and download this nice result format and try it in your projects! If you need some specific features to be added, just ask me. As always, if I have time to implement them in my free time, I’ll gladly do so. Otherwise, funding is also possible.


13 thoughts on “ChapTimeline Result Format is now open source!

  1. Hi Yuri

    Looks good. I’m very interested in the extension but can’t get it to work. The page simply hangs when it contains “|format=chap-timeline”.

    Have a look at my Sandbox wiki version page You will see that, although the extension is listed, it is grey and surrounded by square brackets. it is also described as “” which doesn’t look right to me.

    I have been experimenting with the Simile-based extension for a while now. See here . I have managed to get the timeline to centre on a given date and made various other adjustments with more in the pieline, but as you say, the code is in a mess.

    I could easily be persuaded to move to this – but I have to get it working first 🙂

  2. I posted a comment here this morning but it hasn’t appeared.

    Briefly, The page does not hang now with latest version, but neither does in display the timeline. There appears to be a problem connecting to Google. Is anything special required to access the Google api?

    I have also installed it on main wikispooks site with exactly the same result – no timeline.

    • That’s weird. I’ve tried to install it on online server and everything works fine – no special spell for turning on Google Data Tables

  3. FYI – I upgraded to MW 1.22 this pm. Behaviour of the test installation is now slightly different in that it no longer attempts to contact the google api before loading the page but displaying no timeline/results.

    Also, MW 1.22 is comprehensively broken by the existing Simile Timeline implementation. No results are shown and page somehow disables the built-in Vector skin collapsible sidebar menus.

    Now would be a good time to get this Chaps extension working properly methinks.

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