the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Tag Archives: timeline

drupal, simile and breaking free of external api’s

If you are using the Simile Widget for a timeline on your website, you'll know that there is an external api that needs to be accessed for the thing to work. It was hosted by MIT for many years, but seems to have gone "poof" very recently. It's still available, now located at, and it's easy enough to change $timeline_api in, but another solution is to not use an external api at all.

First, disable the Timeline module in Drupal under Site Building. Then…

1. Download and install the Libraries module.
2. Download Xamanu's timeline libraries for the simile widget from Github. He's the current maintainer of the Drupal module.
3. Create a directory sites/all/libraries/simile_timeline
4. Copy the folders timeline_js and timeline_ajax to that directory. Permissions 755 for dirs, 644 for files work for me.
5. Change line 159 of timeline.module as follows (has to do with write permissions):


if (file_check_directory($timeline_path)) {


if (is_dir($timeline_path)) {

Go back and enable the Timeline module, then go to Site Configuration>Timeline and change the Location of Simile Timeline libraries to "Local Folder".

Timeline is back!