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Timeline module for modelling a series of actions.

Project Description

Copyright (c) 2011, Canonical Ltd

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, version 3 only.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Lesser General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this program. If not, see <>.

The timeline package provides a way to model a series of actions. For instance, during a web request the appserver might call out to a number of backend services, make sql queries and memcached lookups. All of these actions can be tracked in a single timeline, and that serialised or analysed for slow points.


  • Python 2.6+
  • pytz

Testing Dependencies


Create a timeline object:

>>> from timeline.timeline import TimeLine
>>> log = TimeLine()

Then add actions:

>>> action = log.start('mycategory', 'mydetails')

Perform your action and then tell the action it has finished:

>>> action.finish()

At this point you can start another action. If you wish to nest actions, pass allow_nested=True to start().

One of the things needed when working with timelines in complex applications is locating the right one. Timeline provides a helper for WSGI apps:

>>> from timeline import wsgi
>>> app = wsgi.make_app(inner_app)

Calls to app will now inject a ‘timeline.timeline’ variable into the wsgi environwhich can be used by inner_app to record actions.


Either run in an environment with all the dependencies available, or add the working directory to your PYTHONPATH.


Upstream development takes place at To setup a working area for development, if the dependencies are not immediately available, you can use ./ to create bin/buildout, then bin/py to get a python interpreter with the dependencies available.

To run the tests use the runner of your choice, the test suite is timeline.tests.test_suite.

For instance:

$ bin/py -m timeline.tests.test_suite

If you have testrepository you can run the tests with testr:

$ testr run

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