I'm working on a Neatline (not Neatline Time) exhibit that will be exclusively a timeline -- no mapping, no waypoints. (Crazy, I know, but I have my reasons :-)) I know I can replace the map with a static image, so my central concern is making the timeline VERY PROMINENT on the page-- larger, higher, etc. I'd love some advice about how to go about doing this, e.g. whether the size and placement of the timeline are strictly in the CSS or whether that is determined elsewhere in the code. (If anyone knows of any examples of exhibits that are taking this approach, I'd love to see them!) Additionally, I'd love to pick your collective brains about what ripple effects this kind of change might have, such as smash-ups with where/how the popups appear, etc., and what else we might have to fix when we go down this road.
Thanks in advance!
This is technically possible with Neatline, but I suspect that it might actually be easier to take approach for the project. The size and layout of the "widgets" (SIMILE, Waypoints, etc.) is just a matter of CSS in the Omeka theme or the exhibit-specific Neatline theme - the container divs for the widgets are positioned relatively inside the map container, so they can easily be floated in different directions, made larger or smaller, etc.
The problem, though, is that the widgets are always rendered _inside_ the map, which Neatline treats in a categorically different way - the map is always "activated" for an exhibit, and can't be turned off. So, while it would definitely be possible to add a couple lines of CSS that would make the timeline fill the entire viewport and visually cover the map, the map would still be there under the surface - which, although not really a problem in a functional sense, feels sort of weird, and makes me wonder if there might be cleaner way to accomplish the same thing.
The more substantive issue, though, is that the Neatline editor only exposes UI access to a fairly small subset of SIMILE's feature set - which could be constraining if the project needs to really foreground temporal concepts. Neatline let's you plot points and spans on the timeline, but it doesn't provide point-and-click configuration options for any of the more advanced features (eg., multiple bands, colored zones, timeline boundaries - http://www.simile-widgets.org/timeline/). It would be great if Neatline did this, but it's just a matter of time and resource constraints - aliasing those kinds of options in the UI takes a long time (and even longer to do it well..), and we decided to invest more effort in building out advanced features for the map.