The road to HTML5

When I wrote the first line of Timetoast code, back in 2007, I could never have foreseen just how popular it would become. At that time, Timetoast was just a side-project, a way for me to learn a then groundbreaking new web application framework called Ruby on Rails.

Today, we still use Ruby on Rails on the site, and we love it; but the technology we used to build the interactive timeline, Adobe Flash, has become less and less relevant. When we launched the site in early 2008, Flash was the best way to create an engaging interactive timeline on the web.

Times have changed. Improved cross-browser support for modern technologies has meant that we can finally debut something we've been working on behind-the-scenes for a while; an HTML5 version of our interactive timeline rebuilt from the ground up.

This migration has been in the works for some time and has quietly been making its way onto the site in a number of phases.

It all started when we released a new way to view your timelines with the debut of our mobile-friendly site. This was just the beginning, and we soon released a way to edit your timelines on mobile devices too.

Now we've taken the work that we've done on the mobile site and integrated large parts of the JavaScript and HTML5 code back onto the desktop site, giving us a foundation on which to rebuild the fully interactive version.

I hope you'll try out this preview version on your desktop computer and let us know what you think. Whilst still in beta, you now have the option to switch to the HTML5 version when viewing a timeline.

As with all beta software releases, you may encounter some quirks and bugs, so don't hesitate to get in touch so we can fix any problems you might run into.

As we move forward, we'll be bringing this interactive version of the timeline to your mobile devices too. The touch-based small-screened nature of mobile devices requires us to adopt a different way of doing things and I'm sure you'll love what we're cooking up.