Last modified: 2014-10-19 22:52:11 UTC

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Bug 27156 - EasyTimeline: replace perl script & Ploticus backend with PHP and output via GD or SVG
EasyTimeline: replace perl script & Ploticus backend with PHP and output via ...
Status: NEW
Product: MediaWiki extensions
Classification: Unclassified
EasyTimeline (Other open bugs)
All All
: Low enhancement (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
Depends on:
Blocks: 27157 35320
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2011-02-04 18:54 UTC by Brion Vibber
Modified: 2014-10-19 22:52 UTC (History)
9 users (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Description Brion Vibber 2011-02-04 18:54:25 UTC
EasyTimeline hasn't gotten a lot of maintenance in the last few years, in part perhaps because the perl script and the ploticus dependency make it harder for MW devs to tweak.

Bringing the graphics generation "inside" also could enable fancier future things, such as in-browser visual editing of timelines if it can be translated into something manipulable on the web such as SVG.
Comment 1 Bawolff (Brian Wolff) 2011-02-04 19:05:10 UTC
Note, we already have limited support for svg (limited because the png and svg output sometimes differ slightly) -
Comment 2 Amir E. Aharoni 2011-10-17 19:46:15 UTC
Ploticus definitely has to be replaced, unless it will support non-Latin fonts and right-to-left text (See Bug 4030 and Bug 30790). I will probably replace it with Pango-Cairo.

Replacing Perl with PHP is probably a good thing, as much as i love Perl, but it seems like a much bigger thing. I am now refactoring the current Perl code, to understand the EasyTimeline syntax better. After that the translating of Perl to PHP, if anyone will be interested.
Comment 3 Amir E. Aharoni 2011-10-17 19:46:57 UTC
... I meant to say: After that the translation of Perl to PHP will be easier, if anyone will be interested.
Comment 4 Platonides 2011-10-17 19:48:25 UTC
Well, maybe you can document it on the way?
Comment 5 Tim Landscheidt 2011-12-31 16:53:12 UTC
Is it really useful to reimplement the current syntax?  It requires writing a new parser in PHP for (another) non-standard format.

  If we instead switched to XML, not only could we use existing XML parsers in PHP, but also the obstacles to (JavaScript) gadgets like bug 27157 would be lowered immensely, and some potential applications further down the line (print formatting, data extraction, etc.) could also profit.

  It would probably make sense to not have one extension accept two types of syntax, so I'd propose a new extension and a bot-with-human-review conversion.
Comment 6 Platonides 2011-12-31 23:55:30 UTC
We would need to weight the existing corpus. Maybe there is some existing perl2php translator that is able to speed the conversion.
Comment 7 Tim Landscheidt 2012-01-04 02:37:42 UTC
I have pushed a *very* basic initial version to that can transform a most simple example to red and black rectangles linking to Wikipedia.

  I don't know MediaWiki's codebase well enough to see whether the problem of producing an SVG file and a corresponding PNG file and mapping has surfaced at another point.  It looks as if Aaron had investigated some SVG graph libraries which might be useful (in the end, a timeline is just a fancy horizontal/vertical bar).
Comment 8 Janus Troelsen 2014-02-18 16:40:34 UTC
FYI, I'm trying to get "modules-as-images" reviewed: . I think this could replace EasyTimeline easily since it moves the burden to the site users. Scribunto (they shall write). :)

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