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Behind the Veil: the New Timelines

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The Harry Potter Canon

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Hi, everyone. I hope that everyone’s enjoying the new Timelines! This project has been in the works since February, and there’s a lot to it. Permit me to put on my Knight Bus Tours hat for a moment and tell you about some of the great things the new Timelines can do.

First, some statistics:the new Timeline is stored in three SQL database tables. Those tables contain 3258 rows and 46,062 individual pieces of data. Every single timeline entry you see requires 51 fields to be entered, mostly by hand, in order for it to appear!

The code, written in PHP, is able to sort all of these events and put them in their proper order. You can search by any number of tags or icons, and you can narrow your search to only certain years if you wish. And (this is one of my favorite features) you can save searches you’ve done on your own computer so that you can look at them later!

The Timeturner allows you almost total control over the information displayed. You can turn the display of major and minor events – wizarding world, muggle world, or fandom – on and off with the click of a mouse. The Timeturner is a little large, but you can hit “Reducio” to shink it down to a less annoying size for reading.

This has been my first major project for the Lexicon, and I want to say publicly what a treat it is to work with such a dedicated staff. The hours of work that have put in – entiriely on a voluntary basis – by the staff is unbelievable! I hope you all have lots of fun with the new Timelines.

Commentary

Pensieve (Comments)

  • Alma Wands

    Keep on the good work 🙂

  • Lisa

    I love knowing all that, Clint! It works so smoothly on our end it’s hard to think about how it all gets to my computer screen.

    It is so exciting to see the Lexicon gain such search power and flexibility.

    Clint has also been the programmer behind this Pensieve (it uses WordPress), the Remembrall, our new search engine, and our Knight Bus tours. I’m probably forgetting something.

  • Pat Pat

    Can you tell me how exactly to save a search that I’ve done? I don’t see it.

  • Sure Pat Pat!
    On the Timeturner, under Search (you may need to click on Search to see the options below it) Click “Make a new search”.
    In the next screen you choose the options you want to show, for example, to make a timeline of all the birthdays, click the word “birthdays” in the first box, then click the Add button, so “birthdays” will show up in the right hand box.
    Now scroll down to the bottom of the screen and (here’s the part that saves it) you need to give it a name and check the box next to “Save this search as:”
    Once the new timeline shows up, the name that you called it should show up on your Timeturner.

  • Pat Pat

    Aha! I see the problem. I was clicking on “Search within this timeline” which does not have the save option at the bottom. Thanks for the information!

  • Reader2

    I should’ve said this right away, but better late than never.
    This time line is excelent and extremely addictive.
    I’m done whineing about the uncertain events (for now), but I would like to point out some established ones.
    I noticed that while the timeline includes the dates of birth and death of all the Famous Wizards from the Cards, it does not include dates of birth or death of the most recent Wizards of the Month, who are not on the cards, it also does not include the dates of birth or death of vampires from the Cards.

    Do you plan on adding any of those?

    I would also point out that once you upgrade the Hogwarts Students pages, you will really have your work cut out for you in the time line.
    Good luck with that.

  • Reader2

    JUst one more moment I’ve noticed when I (as you’ve probably guessed) sorted out the Card-related events on the timeline, the date of death of Tilly Toke was missing, and I could understand why, that particular year has so many important events fall on it that this one simply does not register.

  • clint

    Reader2: the plans are already in the works for what you describe – events that don’t show up until you do a closer search because they’re relatively minor. Just hang tight!

  • pam

    I, too, should have posted this when I first saw the timelines. Amazing work guys! I have to strictly limit my seach time or I never get any work done.

  • TJ

    What an incredible resource for Harry Potter fans everywhere. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. 🙂

    The Lexicon rocks!

  • Wintermute

    Great job! The only thing I’ve noticed is that several “Other Broom Sports” related links are dead. They are currently pointing to “/wizworld/games/other-broom-sports.html” instead of “/wizworld/games.html#NameOfGame”.

  • NCMcGonagall

    Just when I think the Lexicon can’t get any better, you release a treasure like this one! Thanks for all the hard work, developing and producing a way for us to find answers easily. The Lexicon is definitely addictive!

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