A Review of Timesheet.js

Caitlin Dempsey


Timesheet.js (https://sbstjn.com/timesheet.js/) is a basic tool calls a JavaScript file and uses a code-based configuration to create a simple timeline that can be embedded into a HTML file.  

Under license with MIT, the functionality of this timesheet is very basic and, despite the claims of the developer that “It’s that simple to use Timesheet.js”, users of this tool will need to have some familiarity working with calling JavaScript files and functions.  Timesheet.js also requires that the user be able to upload files to their own web hosting and to have access to modify HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code.  

The premise of the tool is that the user calls the timesheet.js on a web page.  The user then needs to manually type in the dates, descriptors, and styling into an array which are then written and styled onto a web page when it is loaded.  

The tool to be challenging to implement depending on the user’s familiarity with working with scripting.  There is no documentation that properly explains how to use the tool and the lack of instructions makes it clear that the developer has made a lot of assumptions about the advanced technical knowledge of the user.  

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Users might find it helpful to consult this demo tool that someone else has developed (http://codepen.io/anon/pen/yavQvb).  Users can use this demo to make manual edits and then create a zip file with all the necessary components that the user can then upload to my their hosting in order to setup a working example of this tool.

Timesheet.js example.  The actual entries are meant to be tongue-in-cheek and are purely fictitious.
Timesheet.js example.  The actual entries are meant to be tongue-in-cheek and are purely fictitious.

This tool would be helpful for someone who wants to create a simple and static timeline.  Personally, I prefer a more complex timeline tool like Knight Lab’s timeline.js tool which I have used in the past to illustrate the history of Geographic Information Systems, aka GIS (https://www.geographyrealm.com/gis-timeline/).  

The advantage of timesheet.js over timeline.js is that because the user uploads all the components to his or her own web hosting, there is no risk of the tool breaking because the source host removes or updates the tool.  I have had my GIS timeline tool break in the past because Knight Lab updated the tool, deprecating previous versions.  

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.