Frequently Asked Questions

Quotidian is software to visualize time and events.

Quotidian does its drawing in a virtual three-dimensional space and prefers to run on machines that have modern graphics chips that support this kind of drawing. Quotidian will work with the lower power, lower cost Intel chips found in many older machines, but user's experience will suffer as the number of events being displayed increases.

When we started this project we thought that by now most machines would have fast graphics chips. Though the cost of these chips has decreased and their capabilities increased, the drive to lower cost and buyers' preference for laptops with their need for lower power consumption has slowed their spread. All of Apple's current line of computers has fast graphics chips.

Quotidian does not currently run on tablets and smartphones. We hope to support more platforms in the future.

Quotidian 1.2 has been tested on:

Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7

Mac OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard
Mac OSX 10.7 Lion
We have not been able to test extensively on Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion


The simplest way is to create files with the Quotidian editor. The editor allows you to enter your data and to supply all the information that allows the viewer to control the appearance and behavior of your data. The Quotidian viewer will load these files from your local disk or from remote servers using standard web protocols.

Because Quotidian timelines are stored as XML in rigidly formatted text files, sometimes it is easier to take a text file containing your data and to produce a Quotidian file directly with a text editor or text processing scripts. The Quotidian editor is useful to check that the generated file meets the standard formatting rules for a correct Quotidian timeline file and to add data that is not in your original file. XML timeline files can also be generated dynamically from server databases.

It is possible to write scripts or extensions that download data from the net and turn it directly into Quotidian events. Several examples that use extensions are shown on the Timelines section of this website. Some extensions are built into to every Quotidian viewer. This includes the iCalendar extension that reads standard files generated by Calendar programs.

Other extensions are loaded by the viewer as needed. These include those written by users for their own purposes. The Twitter examples on the website use an extension which calls the interfaces provided by Twitter to read and display tweets dynamically. Another example is an extension that reads Google's Freebase database to create timelines from the information about people in that database.

The Moon events extension does not load data from an external source. It generates the moon display and creates full and new moon events based on the current time and its own internal astronomical formula.

If you have a problem installing or running Quotidian, you should send a message to We try to answer messages in a timely manner. As a small company, it might take several days before you receive a reply to reported issues or email messages. If you have questions about billing, special licensing terms, volume orders, or institutional sales write to Quotidian Incorporated is registered in the State of Delaware in the United States.

Quotidian is a private company and its software is licensed to its users. All users agree to license terms before installing Quotidian. The software is protected by copyright and by US and international patents.

We want to encourage people to try Quotidian and to create their own timelines. To that end, we have made Quotidian products available at a reduced price or for no cost to private individuals.

Various pieces of software developed by third parties are distributed with Quotidian. We are grateful to the authors of this software for making it available to us and to our users. We scrupulously abide by their license terms. In some cases, their licenses give rights to users of Quotidian beyond those that Quotidian grants users in its license. The copyright notices required by some of this software can be found in the "about" box of both the viewer and editor under the "third party licenses" or "gstreamer" tabs.

Quotidian does not include or distribute anything licensed with the General Public License (GPL) or any similar license.

At the present time, the only differences are in the title of the main window and the information in the "about" box. The behavior of the products should be identical. In the future, we may may make changes to the personal license products directed towards increasing ease of use and in the general license products directed towards the specific needs and requests of commercial customers. The timeline file formats used by each product line will continue to be identical and interchangable.

Timelines that normally play audio on other platforms do not work on the Mac. This includes MP3 in files and many radio stations that stream audio as MP3.

It does now!

The latest versions of Quotidian 1.3 use GStreamer and the native audio support on the Mac to play MP3.

The original problem was caused by a the lack of GStreamer support that was not encumbered by patent and license restrictions. Quotidian does not distribute MP3 decoders but relies on the decoders supplied by operating environments.

© 2011 Quotidian Incorporated