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TimelineJS installation tips

TimelineJS is a JS library for making fantastic looking timelines.  The data that drives these timelines can be in JSON or in google spreadsheets.

I wanted to install this on a site I manage, but ran into a couple of issues.

First, there’s not great installation instructions.  Basically, you need to download the source from github and then copy the ‘compiled’ directory wherever you want the files to go.

I got the files installed, then cribbed from the google spreadsheet example.

Then, I kept seeing this error in the javascript console:  ReferenceError: VMM is not defined.  (That is the Firefox error message–Chrome had one that was slightly different.)  Looking in the chrome javascript console revealed that some js and css files were not being downloaded–they were 404ing.  Adding the js and css config options with full paths to the timeline-min.js and timeline.css files fixed this error.

The last issue I ran into was that the div into which I was putting the timeline was not 100% of the height of the page.  I wanted other content around it.  But the timeline wasn’t showing up at all.  I fixed this issue by putting another div around the timeline containing div, and setting the outer div’s height explicitly.  Then I made the containing div’s height 100%.

Hope these tips help someone out.