[Dev] Chandler 0.6 new user experience
j_chandler at dsf.org.uk
Wed Jan 18 01:29:40 PST 2006
Hi, just thought you guys would appreciate some feedback on the 0.6
release. I last looked at chandler some time between the 0.1 and 0.2
releases, so this is an almost-fresh perspective on it for you.
Apologies if any of the below are known problems; in that case just take
them as suggestions that the problem is important. OS is Windows XP
SP2; a Linux-based server is available for information sharing (I
believe this is achieved through WebDAV, which I have no experience of,
but am confident I can set up). User is an experienced developer
looking for a suitable task list & calendar application for a small
workgroup (3 individuals working for a small IT services company).
First thing I notice is that startup is very slow. On my PII-400, it
took about 20 seconds for the splash screen to appear, and well over a
minute for the application to load. Memory usage is also very high:
about 75MB without anything added to the calendar. For an app that I
would want to leave running constantly, this is just too much. Combine
with 40MB for a web browser & another 30 for e-mail and my 256MB of
system RAM is starting to run out already. If e-mail could be added to
Chandler without a noticeable increase in the memory footprint it
wouldn't be hideously bad, but it's still a little high.
When I delete the "Welcome to Chandler" appointment, the information on
it in the side bar isn't removed.
Creating a new item for the task list is not very intuitive. The tick
mark in the button to add it to the list seems to imply that the item
has already been performed. If I press this button, then press it again
(because a tick mark appeared next to the item and I thought I'd done
something wrong) and then try to do something else, it seems that the
item is lost and I have to re-enter it. A "this item is not stored
anywhere, do you really want to abandon it?" dialog would be useful.
[added later: somehow I've found the item again. It isn't entirely
clear to me where it has been in the meantime, but it does seem to have
Somehow I seem to have created new items in the "Trash" folder, which I
then have to move to "My tasks". Not sure what's going on there, but it
doesn't seem sensible, whatever it is. Perhaps a confirmation dialog if
the user tries to create something in the trash folder would be sensible?
I have two "Untitled" items in my Trash folder because of this, but
can't seem to delete them from it. I assume this is because delete
works by moving stuff into Trash. It should change behaviour when the
item is already in Trash so that the item is totally purged. It would
also be useful to have "Empty Trash" as a context menu item if you
right-click on Trash.
Printing of task lists isn't implemented. This effectively rules out
using the current version for my purposes, but I suppose it's now a
priority task for future, unless I can achieve what's necessary using
the calendar. I'll switch to that approach.
Adding a recurring event is confusing. I double click at the top of
today, and get a new event dialog in the sidebar which is good. I then
choose 'daily' from the recurrence drop down list (I'd have liked an
option for 'on alternate days' or similar, but understand that that's an
unusual requirement; 'weekdays' would also have been useful). I click
on the content box to edit that, then realise that I need to change the
title, so I click on that. At this point, I get a dialog asking me if I
want to change all future occurrences of the event. As far as I'm
concerned, I'm still working on the first addition of it, so of course I
do. I'm then asked again when I go back to editing the content. I
think the question should only ever be asked if the item has been
'closed' since it was created, and even then it should only be asked
once per editing session.
The way calendars are printed is next to useless. The first problem is
that 'all day' events are not included. Also, the event details aren't
included, only the little marker that shows up on the calendar with the
item's title. I'd also like to be able to print out just a single day's
appointments, in a kind of expanded form of the summary that appears in
the view in the bottom left of the Chandler window, but including all
the details of the item rather than just its time & title.
At this point I realise that Chandler is not yet ready for my
application and uninstall it. I hope this feedback can help improve the
next version, though, and look forward to trying it!
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