Erratic display of events


Referring to this timeline project, can anyone suggest why the number of displayed events is always less than the number of selected events?

The query selects 134 pages with properly formatted dates (they all use the same template and form) but the number actually displayed is ALWAYS less than the number selected. I have tried various values for 'limit' - both 134 and higher; I have also tried reversing sort order and using all the available values for 'timelineposition' - and none at all. All such changes produce different sub-sets of the query selection actually displayed on the timeline but in an unpredictable (to me anyway) fashion.

I have also ruled out page caching or a Mediawiki jobs queue backlog. I really must get this fixed in order to move forward at all with this format.

Any help much appreciated

18:15, 7 November 2013


Although I had to reformat the xml data to import it into Mediawiki as pages, it's content was exactly the same as that in the Simile-widgets timeline example data. This meant that the names of the event pages generated from the xml were the same as the Simile event names, complete with apostrophes and other punctuation marks. On the assumption that such marks in page names might be the problem, I removed them all. The problem remained.

I then set about removing the more obvious, potentially problematic characters in the event descriptions ( ) [ ] " ' / \ ? & etc. All were contained in the Simile data and the simile js seems to handle them OK but I thought it worth a go anyway. Still no joy.

I then removed the descriptions entirely from the timeline query statement and Bingo!! - all the events appeared.

Examining the 'description' texts more carefully by exporting to csv and importing into Notepad++ and Open Office calc, the only anomalies that stood out apart from many full stops and commas remaining in the text, were a carriage return character in two of the descriptions. Removing them cured the problem.

So, the lesson is that, if you want to include a text field in the timeline bubbles, make sure it does NOT contain any carriage returns.

18:40, 8 November 2013

It's worth pointing out that neither the characters mentioned above, nor the punctuation marks in page names causes a problem for timeline; it's just the carriage return character. I know this because all the experimentation that led to a solution was carried out on a test wiki. When the carriage return character was removed from the event pages on the main wiki, with all the other potential problems left intact, the problem was solved.

19:27, 8 November 2013