[kwlug-disc] Android / Google calendar - events as tasks.

Behan Webster behanw at websterwood.com
Mon Oct 15 06:54:46 EDT 2012

Personally, I wish everyone would separate front end from backend. As long as the backend uses something like ical or preferably caldav the front end shouldn't matter.

All groupware products or all-in-one suites tend to give you a vertical solution (ones which don't interoperable very well); what we should be looking for is a horizontal one.

Basically there should be a separation like there is between imap server and imap client (without extensions). That's the kind of model that calendars and task managers should adopt.

Then all you need to care about is whether you have a calendaring or task client which speaks the backend protocol.

Basically we need everyone to be public API centric (like amazon) and less like everyone else (yahoo, google, facebook, etc) where there is a public and then a more powerful private API.

The problem is that everyone does their own version of the various calendar protocols, with their own extensions.

Ironically, outlook/exchange uses imap as the back end for contacts, calendaring and tasks, which is so wrong, yet at least they got the model right even if they totally screwed over the protocol with extensions in order to do so...

I personally use google calendar as i believe its the best of a bunch of bad choices...


Sent from my Mobile Computer which is also a phone

On 2012-10-05, at 7:57 AM, unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> wrote:

> Interesting. Thank you for your thoughts.
> - a problem with Lightning is, perhaps, no Android equivalent. Which speaks to, I guess, one's desire for a consistent look and feel across platforms, which is perhaps silly - a PDA will never have the screen room a monitor / PC / Lightning will. A d'oh! moment.
> - I've yet to see, probably for lack of much looking, much difference between the google web interface and Lightning, myself. Let alone Lightning can be dog slow. Add TB itself getting worse, and I'm certainly keeping an eye open for a cross-platform/cross-device e-mail / calendar / PIM replacement. e.g. Activity Manager will show incoming messages long before they're pickable in a smart search tab. e.g. 'Today'.
> - perhaps, though, Lightning, much like various Android Widgets, brings together multiple providers into a single interface. Again, I'll have to check it out again, further. Things like Astrid, though, become annoying - multiple / disparate 'providers' when one would like one-stop shopping and be done with it.
> - google tasks will show up as a tasks calendar in google. Uniquely, it cannot be shared. Dated tasks, at least, seem to show up on my calendar.
> One of the problems with tasks is the lines blur so very quickly between (untimed) events, tasks, projects, and outliners.
> Oh for the days of the Palm PIM, and the puzzle of why it was so popular in its heyday, but (the software functionality) has disappeared with time. Mostly in favour of Outlook (non-Express). Ick.
> There seems to be a few (further) coming products coming along - sadly, all still only with Windows versions (on the PC).
> Pimlical: http://www.pimlicosoftware.com/
> - from the maker of DateBk, a Palm PIM enhancement. Is just now moving beyond google back end, to it's own. [Palm providing the database back end and hardware sync / connectivity it it's environment - lost with the loss of Palm. This loss is, I suspect, the single biggest reason as to why the Palm PIM has been lost in time.]
> MyLifeOrganized: http://www.mylifeorganized.net/
> - like Pimlical, another phoenix apparently rising from Palm days, with an Android version. Not a calendar viewer - grew out of an outliner / GTD / task / project management basis.
> DejaOffice: http://www.dejaoffice.com/
> - I've done nothing with. Largely appears to be a schill for CompanionLink purchase. http://www.companionlink.com/
> The Outlook-centric view of much of this stuff is rather depressing.
> On 12-10-04 06:35 PM, Bob Jonkman wrote:
>> I've been using Google Calendar for events for years, even when I was
>> still using a paper-based appointment book (long since abandoned).
>> Google is one of the few calendar providers that comes close to
>> following the IETF CalSch standards (RFC5545 et al).
>> I don't use tasks much, but the calendar Web interface for tasks does
>> have a "completed" status and indicator (either a check mark for
>> complete items, or an empty checkbox for incomplete items).  I'm using
>> https://google.com/calendar/render?gsessionid=<SomeHexNumber> with
>> Chromium or Firefox.
>> The Google task list shows up as another calendar instance in the Web
>> calendar interface, but the tasks do not seem to appear in any of the
>> calendars; the tasks seem to be in some other calendar store.  I've
>> added my Google calendars to the Thunderbird Lightning plugin.  I cannot
>> see the tasks in those calendars, and it does not seem that I can export
>> the task list, or link to it.
>> I've also added a bunch of external calendars to my Google calendar
>> list, including the .ics link from Meetup, and the iCal link from
>> http://sobac.com/~stopthestink/events-calendar/   That all seems to work
>> fine.
>> I'm not using the Google calendar app for Android, but the mobile web
>> interface for tasks: http://mail.google.com/tasks?source=mog&gly=ca
>> (which will redirect to the mobile Task interface on an Android phone).
>> So, if you want to use Google Tasks, stick to their Web interface,
>> either desktop or mobile.
>> If you want tasks  integrated with events (with import/export) try
>> Thunderbird's Lightning plugin.  Not sure how conformant Lightning tasks
>> are to the CalSch standards.
>> I've used Evolution for event scheduling as well, but I don't remember
>> how well it handles tasks or how conformant it is to standards.
>> From RFC5545, a task (called a "To-Do") is an event with rollover and
>> completion - if a task has no completed date then it appears the next
>> day.  If there is a due date then it can appear as "overdue" when it
>> rolls past the due date.  If there is a start date then it does not
>> appear in the task list until that date.
>> --Bob.
>> RFC5545: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5545
>> On 12-10-01 06:01 PM, unsolicited wrote:
>>> One of the annoying things about (Google) calendar is that it has no
>>> sense of tasks as events (or vice versa). [Never mind google tasks for
>>> the purpose of this message.]
>>> It just occurred to me I could create two calendars, 'mycal' (shown) and
>>> 'mycal-done' (not shown). When a meeting has happened, for example,
>>> moving the event from 'mycal' to 'mycal-done' would be the equivalent to
>>> marking the meeting as completed. (Or cancelled.) Turning the display of
>>> 'mycal-done' on/off would be the equivalent to ticking (or not) 'Show
>>> Completed'.
>>> It also occurs to me that if one has a regular 'project' [never mind
>>> that by definition a project is unique], one could export the (calendar)
>>> project as a .csv, edit the dates for the next round, and import the
>>> modified .csv.
>>> [<tongue in cheek> Should I be looking to apply for a software patent
>>> for these ideas?]
>>> Any reasons why approaching these these ways doesn't make sense / are
>>> there better ways?
>>> Anyone know of any good web places where such tips and 'tricks' are
>>> bandied about?
>>> [It appears to be pointless to hold one's breath that google will ever
>>> add the concept of 'complete' to calendar events / integrate tasks into
>>> calendar - a la Palm Desktop / Agendus / DateBk.]
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