Hi Flin, Thanks for your suggestion, unfortunately this is probably not something that we would be implementing in the near future as it is a niche request, however we can reconsider if more users request it. Jess
Oh, there it is! Well, Jess, actually this feature has been haunting in my mind for months. It's pretty much small demand, but people like Flin and I would be greatly appreciated if we could expedite our work somehow. Thanks In advance. Nathan
Hi, So, there I was, doing the wee research that I do - and for which I am paid (to my constant surprise). Working away in Word I realized that I was going to need to add an Entity to my timeline, who would start as an observer, later show up himself as an Event and then continue as a participant or observer in many others. Honestly I was dreading it. Here’s the reason why - there are soooooo many wee boxes to peer into. Born, died, country, notes… All of which will need to be done again when his Events occur. I find that as I am racing along trying to build a story in my head and need to add Entitites or Events, I will leave a lot of these fields blank. Disingenuously promising myself “I’ll fill them in later.” just so I can keep from having all the pieces I've arranged in my head from tumbling asunder. Challenge is…I’m dealing with LONG time spans and…after a while - Wow! The cast of Entities builds up so large that…I can hardly keep up. Sometimes even forgetting the KEY point I had added the person into the timeline - is he German? Or, Prussian? And , trying to go back and add in all the small details, for me, only scrambles the tenuous “time line-y” nature of the project. (Can I use timeline as an adjective like that? : ) : ) Well…so, there I was…slogging through my fine work when I cam upon the personage of none other than Josiah Willard Gibbs! Not a household name? TO BE SURE!! :) :) But, a FAMED American scientist who made significant theoretical contributions to physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Now! J. Willard Gibbs will play a role in the research I’m doing but…I’ll have to be adding in a LOT of little details for him as an Entity. First, and foremost to know, WHO WAS HE and…it was at that point that I - for the FIRST-TIME-EVER - decided to select his name and click Smart Lookup in Word. What’s THIS? *A minimal scrub from Wikipedia appears to the right!* Click “More” and..WHAT’S THIS??! Lived - COMPLETE dates WITH age calculation! Awards Academic Advisor (REALLY!) Education BURIED (REALLY!!) Even a value for... ROMANCE!!! This is all by way of saying what I had mentioned upon first posting this thread. As a proof of concept. Wikipedia is a VERY regularized display of data. It can be READILY scrubbed. For me…it is the CONNECTIONS that I can create between Entitites that makes Aeon the most valuable. However, I find that, to actually fill out a person or event in detail…it can take SEVERAL minutes of what is really only…data entry. Worse than that, it is usually a huge “PUT ON YOUR HARDHAT” time break. If you’ve ever read any history of theoretical physics…well, TRUST ME, it’s at that point that I’d rather not stop and take 10 minutes adding in each discrete value of J. Willard Gibbs illustrious life. Whatever Idea I HAD percolating will just…evanesce into the ether as I am adding in, by hand, each individual element . If I could have the option “Click Here to Add all Definable Values as Entity”…that would be SUCH A HELP to me. Putting me in the driver’s seat where I can spend my time thinking about how to ARRANGE the pieces on the chessboard, rather than having to…carve each one out. Said another way - it’s only when each entity and event is fully fleshed out that the many connections can be discerned…and DISCOVERED! But, that’s a KEY-IN PROCESS. One that NEED NOT be keyed in if we could rely on Wikipedia. Considering that there are likely many other historians / writers / researchers using Aeon, I think this would be a HUGE benefit to them, as well. In addition to definable fields, I would add the opening paragraphs of each Wikipedia entry as the “Notes” value for Entities or the Summary value for Events. PLEASE add this to the platform. It would be a HUGE time saver AND…make each timeline IMMEDIATELY rich and in a state where the timeline’s many capabilities can be realized straightaway. Actualizing the many features of Aeon from the word go. [2020-08-11_11-45-25-854](//muut.com/u/aeontimeline/s1/:aeontimeline:WM02:20200811_114525854.png.jpg) [2020-08-11_11-48-21-209](//muut.com/u/aeontimeline/s1/:aeontimeline:usy9:20200811_114821209.png.jpg)
you have nailed it, I think. You don't want to interrupt your flow to data entry and you're hoping for even more, for this tool, by setting up ways to automate your data entry, to allow you to discover additional elements. I completely sympathize on the first point, and the second idea is brilliant, but I think you're asking Aeon to do things it's not meant to do. But I can think of two possible solutions. One would be to use pen and paper (I prefer 8x11 unlined paper myself) and just map out what you're talking about, leaving the details for later. That's the flow part. Alas, the automation doesn't give you discovery and Aeon certainly will not provide discovery by itself but it, along with other tools, may help in that process. As for pulling data from external sources, assuming you are correct about "scrubbing" Wikipedia entries (I'm a bit skeptical that they will all reliably fit into one template), then maybe Aeon could provide an API or some other externally accessible functions so that you or someone else can code something that will grab and send data from any usable source. Once you've got it working, you're set.
Hi, You wrote: "...asking Aeon to do things it's not meant to do." That begs the question, "What was Aeon meant to do?" Like any piece of software, Aeon is meant to...meet the needs of its users. The reverse should not be the case. Let me submit two pieces of evidence. My own position and, from user nathanz: "Well, Jess, actually this feature has been haunting in my mind for months. " I'm conversant enough with software to KNOW - with absolute certainty - that this is a codeable and manageble feature. Evidence of this comes from the fact that Microsoft Word can scrape Wikipedia. Further evidence - look here at the *HUNDREDS* of repurposings of Wikipedia's data via Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/wikipedia?_category=extensions You wrote: "you're hoping for even more..." That's exactly right. Finally, as an aside, you wrote: "Alas, the automation doesn't give you discovery and Aeon certainly will not provide discovery by itself but it, along with other tools, may help in that process." That seems to miss the point. If you read this: https://www.aeontimeline.com/users/creative-writers/ Aeon Timeline started as a discussion between a group of writers, and since then, the application has continued to grow and expand to suit their needs. Whether you are in the opening stages of planning a novel, in the final stages of editing, or anywhere in between, Aeon Timeline has tools and features to help you *understand your characters, avoid plot holes and inconsistencies, and visualise your story in new ways.* Many traditional timeline applications are written to suit a single need: to create an attractive display of one- dimensional time. *They are presentational, static, and perfectly suited to overhead slides and projectors. Aeon Timeline aims to be different.* We know that you will be changing your mind constantly, so we make editing your content intuitive and straightforward. A key phrase from the above: *"...the application has continued to grow and expand to suit their needs."* You don't see many users write, unbidden, that a missing feature is *haunting* them. Additionally, to suggest that one... "use pen and paper (I prefer 8x11 unlined paper myself) and just map out what you're talking about" If one takes the time of doing the numerous points of data entry to fully create an Aeon timeline *in a way that leverages the features*, and then adds to that handwritten timelines...you're getting past the point of diminishing returns. You also mentioned, "map out what you're talking about, leaving the details for later. " Which seems to illustrate that many users, even yourself, are not taking advantage of the many computational features of Aeon when making timelines simply because...it takes too long to do it. *It is the very reason I'm encouraging the development of this Wikipedia scraping feature.* Right now Aeon seems like the writer / historian's favorite roller coaster ride but...one that has three stops. Go up the left side of the circle. Stop. Wait for next train. Go over the crest of the circle. Stop. Wait for next train. Go down the right side of the circle. Then, *IN YOUR MIND*, piece together how great the ride was. I'm suggesting that the cars be linked. With modesty I quote you, "you have nailed it, I think. You don't want to interrupt your flow to data entry and you're hoping for even more, for this tool, by setting up ways to automate your data entry, to allow you to discover additional elements. I completely sympathize on the first point, and the second idea is brilliant..." It's important to note what Jess wrote here: "...we can reconsider *if more users request it.*" [emphasis mine]. These things are doable. Encourage you to help us ask for them, too. Sincerely, Flin