TimelineJS — Now with even more Knight Lab

From the beginning, TimelineJS has been a project of Northwestern University Knight Lab. However, when Zach Wise first set out to create it, the Knight Lab had a less developed software process and identity, so Zach presented Timeline as a product of his personal Verite.co website. Since then, two things have happened: TimelineJS has become wildly popular, and the Knight Lab has established cohesive design guidelines and a more methodical software development process.

In the next few weeks, TimelineJS will be "moving" to a new home on the internet. It should have little impact on existing timelines, but since it is such a popular project, we want to give people notice and minimize surprise. The official home for the project is now http://Timeline.KnightLab.com. In the near future, we'll start automatically redirecting people from http://timeline.verite.co to the new site. Things should work pretty much the same as ever. If you've been accustomed to dealing with the project source code or filing issues on GitHub, that has already moved, to https://github.com/NUKnightLab/TimelineJS.

If you've been using the "embedded" feature of TimelineJS, don't worry. We will keep the http://embed.verite.com server that supports that feature running for several months, at least. However, if you are able to visit the new http://timeline.KnightLab.com site and generate new 'embed' code to replace the old code, that would be great. Note that while TimelineJS isn't under active development, future bug fixes, new languages, etc will be added to the new site and the new embed system, while the old one will not be updated.

Finally, we are planning on closing down the Google group, which still retains the "Verite" name. Rather than switch to a new Google Group, we are going to experiment with ZenDesk's customer service and forum product. This is active now, although we haven't had much opportunity to put it through its paces yet. The new forum is at https://knightlab.zendesk.com/

By the way, one of our motivations to finally finish this transition: Zach is hard at work on a map-based variant on Timeline that we're calling StoryMap. It will be considerably trickier to make it easy for people to make their own story maps, but we hope to have a beta version ready for people who are comfortable creating the JSON data sometime in October. We're beginning the design of an easy-to-use authoring environment for StoryMap, but we're not ready to schedule a release date for it yet.

Hopefully this whole transition will be painless. If you run into any bumps, let us know on our Zendesk site.

About the author

Joe Germuska

Chief Nerd

Joe runs Knight Lab’s technology, professional staff and student fellows. Before joining us, Joe was on the Chicago Tribune News Apps team. He's the project lead for CensusReporter.org and a board member of City Bureau.

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