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

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Tue Oct 23 16:49:29 EDT 2012

On 12-10-23 03:38 PM, Bob Jonkman wrote:
> I've often thought that a Project Management application could use
> CalSch standards to store tasks and sub-tasks (nested without limit),
> and vCards for resources.  The output could be entirely iCal and vCard
> feeds, compatible with any calendaring software. Add some basic mail
> functionality (Zawinski's Law for servers), and you'd have a dandy
> Project Management/Calendar/Mail system. Haven't found any such software
> yet..

I don't expect this to be possible, the horsepower and complexity needs 
of PM software being too great. Consider dotProject. Consider resource 
levelling. Suppose you're building the Olympic Games. If the designer 
intends to some day get to that level, then that level of complexity has 
to be accommodated for up front in terms of design. Few need that level 
of complexity, yet it would sure be nice if things would scale and 
transition seamlessly. Such as, perhaps, switching from sqlite to mysql 
to postgresql. Add Gantt charting and other complexity not intuitively 
useful to a calendaring client ...

Now, that is absolutely not to say that such shouldn't / wouldn't have a 
calendaring remote it syncs information with. As a task is assigned is 
sends out a message to tell the beastie responsible for the resources 
assigned's calendar. (But the PM software considers itself authoritative.)

> I am still looking for a Free/Libre calendar/mail server. I just
> uninstalled Zimbra Open Source; partly due to admin interface
> shortcomings (lack of granularity in managing the non-standard,
> out-of-date Postfix server), partly lack of full calendar integration
> (no CalDAV; no iCal feeds for input), and partly because of a dependency
> on Adobe Flash for admin reports.
> About two years ago I installed Kolab, but at that time the version in
> the Ubuntu repositories wasn't supported by kolab.org, and the version
> distributed by kolab.org used a proprietary package manager (which I
> think is no longer supported either).

owncloud? (SyncML?)

[LDAP fits into this mess somewhere, somehow.]

eGroupware (I thinks it's changed directions though) - at one point I 
thought they had a synergy between e-mail, contacts, calendar, tasks, 
projects, and help desk. Let alone resources like documents linked 

Is this not what SharePoint, et al, are all about?

CRM? Somewhere between ACT and Sugar CRM and to points beyond?

> I've been making a list at
> http://bob.jonkman.ca/blogs/2012/10/12/calendaring-server-software/  If
> anyone can help fill in the blanks, or has additional recommendations
> please let me know.

The problem is more stupidly complex than just servers though.

All aside from cross-platform, not just Windows / Linux ( / Java?), but 
Android / iPhone.

The very presence of PDA's, and you won't pry them out of people's 
hands, means you need some sort of cloud solution. Cloud merely means 
non-local / sync'ed home safely. Doesn't mean the cloud isn't your own 
internal server. The presence of PDA means that the client has to be 
local to the PDA, AS DOES THE DATA, and, more insidiously, compatible 
with the cloud that that PDA understands - today, that usually means 
Google. Yet Google is broken / minor sub-set of functionality that needs 
to be present. Be it tags and contexts for tasks, or the ability to 
check off an 'event' as complete.

So how do you sync to something 'real' via Google? (Embedded data tags 
within the notes.) And what happens when the user deletes them then 
tries to sync back to the real server? (Even if indirectly.)

In my current hunt, I've seen two ways of PDA. Schlep files back and 
forth via Dropbox (todolist), and sqlite database / individual file 
record sync back to real sync'ing app on PC, [monolithic file, a la 
btrieve] (mlo). Or you're into a non-trivially cheap / less capable 
cloud solution (Toodledo), no-subtasks.

With few / no desktop apps, except on Windows.

If there were money in it, it would be done and out there by now.

There is - it's called (apparently) Outlook, and SharePoint. (Yech!)

> On 12-10-22 07:24 PM, unsolicited wrote:
>> To your point(s) ...
>> I came across yesterday somewhere that Google only just announced
>> CardDAV support in the last few weeks.
>> 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.
>> Yep. Ugly. (Web interface.) Wish there were a standalone java / Linux
>> / Windows app. (Preferably all 3.) But I don't know of any.
>>> 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.
>> Lightning doesn't understand tasks / anything that isn't a calendar.
>> [Not to say there aren't addons out there fudging it (somewhat?).
>> e.g. Toodledo. And not to say it doesn't have (internal) tasks.] They
>> just haven't gotten that far / sync wise. I doubt that they will any
>> time soon. Calendars are a big enough ongoing problem, development is
>> being scaled back on TB, ...
>>> 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).
>> Yeah, there's that, or the similar widget for calendars. Right-side
>> loading that will also expand out, screen wise. Just like gmail
>> version does.)
>>> So, if you want to use Google Tasks, stick to their Web interface,
>>> either desktop or mobile.
>> I don't actually know of any (standalone) desktop apps that will
>> deal with gtasks.  See TaskUnifier on sourceforge for the sort of
>> thing I mean, vs. inclusion in an awkward user interface within
>> korganizer, evolution, etc.
>>> 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.
>> It's subtasks that are the real showstopper. Very few facilities
>> have them (except for google) - which means there's little point to
>> google having them / using them - they can't sync anywhere / lack of
>> standalone/desktop) interface. e.g. Toodledo claims subtasks, but
>> it's only 1 level. Beats me how they get away with such
>> marketing-speak.
>>> 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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