[Design] 0.7 Planning (Reframing the issue.)
twl at osafoundation.org
Fri Dec 2 14:46:18 PST 2005
On Dec 2, 2005, at 8:35 AM, Mimi Yin wrote:
> I'd like to take a minute to reframe this discussion.
> Instead of trying to evaluate whether free-busy or pda sync or
> invitations are more or less important than the others.
> Could we instead try and come up with user populations and usage
> scenarios and talk about whether there are any that either:
> 1. Use Chandler even if it did NOT have these features OR
> 2. Only use Chandler if it DID have these features
> Especially in the context of the many things that are unique to
> - Free, read-write sharing
> - Cross-platform
> - Standards based
> How will these features change the way people use calendars, what
> they use it for and how they use it?
> Can we think outside of the traditional office environment?
> 1. How would a small art gallery use it to coordinate front-desk
Have a calendar for the front desk shift, allow individuals to create
entries on it. The coordination part is the horse trading of -- I
can only work these times, or these are the times that I can work in
priority order. I guess you could imagine a system where everybody
put in their preferences and the program tried to accomodate them,
and then put people in conflicting schedules in contact with each
other to horse trade, etc. I could see that being able to quickly e-
mail/IM the creator of a particular entry would be valuable for horse-
> 2. How would a photographer's studio use it to coordinate
> scheduling equipment, traveling and client jobs?
It seems that you need to schedule all of these things together. If
you are travelling to a client site, you probably need certain
equipment. So maybe a workflow is that you create a client job, see
if that involves travelling (somehow linking/manipulating the travel
calendar), and indicating which equipment is needed (from a bunch of
calendars for the various pieces of equipment). So I'd think you'd
want to be able to see all the various calendars involved at once
(there might be a lot). This seems like a case that has pretty
serious constraints amongst the calendars, at least if you want to do
"I need to do a shoot at Jones' in Indiana before Dec 14, 2005, and I
need this camera, those lenses, these lights, and those batteries.
Now tell me when I can go".
> 3. How would a family use it to keep track of vacations, school
> holidays, doctor's appointments and school activities?
We are actually doing this at home now via iCal and a behind the
firewall webdav server. I have a calendar and Julie has a calendar.
We both subscribe to each other's calendars and to the OSAF office
calendar (so she knows my meeting schedule). I also subscribe to a
few other calendars. If our kids were in school, I would want to
have a calendar of school events/holidays that I could subscribe to.
It's not hard to imagine that at some point, each child will have
their own calendar. You can go quite far just being able to overlay
calendars, because you can see when there are conflicts.
Coordinating events has the flavor of: "We want to do x together"
when can we do it. Right now that's a manual process, which we
usually coordinate either verbally or via e-mail. We also have
events that we do with groups of friends and it would be great to be
able to coordinate with them. It is annoying to have things like
evites, which live outside of the calendar world, because it means
pointless copying and pasting of data.
As far as features:
I use PDA sync, but Julie does not, although I may be persuading her
to adopt this.
Invitations or another mechanism to help streamline the negotiation
process wold be a help.
The ability to find open holes, and the ability to do so with friends
outside the family is probably the feature that would make the
biggest difference. Of course, that would require our friends to use
CalDAV enabled clients.
In our case, neither is a showstopper.
> And within the context of these real-life scenarios, what are
> features we absolutely have to have to meet the bar of use-fulness?
> To put it another way, can we imagine that there are users out
> there who could use Chandler in ways that wouldn't require free-
> busy? pda sync? invitations?
> OR Can we imagine that there are users out there who would be happy
> ot use Chandler with bare minimum versions of some of these
> features? I think there are people specifically saying that "just
> seeing free time for even just a subset of the people I need to
> coordinate with" would be very useful.
It's useful until you find out that the person whose free time you
didn't see can't make the meeting. Seeing free time versus not is a
big step up, because if I can see everybody's freetime, then I can
manually do the free/busy match. It's not as nice as doing it
automatically, but at least I can do it. I'm coming to the office
next week, and not having visibility into people's free time is the
cause of multi-message e-mail threads.
> And finally, given that there is no equivalent of iCal on the PC,
> could we imagine that since we have all the features iCal does
> (minus a few bugs and custom reminders) PLUS a whole lot more, let
> me repeat that louder, PLUS A WHOLE LOT MORE. Can we imagine that
> we can get a lot of PC users without doing ANY new features?
Not meaning to beat a dead horse, but iCal syncs to pdas and we
don't. So in that one area, we are behind. That aside, I agree that
we are ahead. For people who have the same level of scheduling needs
as me, I'd say we don't need that many new calendar features. What
we do need is snappy performance, and the ability to say, yes, you
can put your data in it an we won't eat it. As long as data might go
away, its going to be hard to get people outside of the tinkerer/
hacker/very early adopter group.
If we were a bit snappier on the Mac, and we could take off the data
loss scariness, and we resolved the issues w/ cosmo-demo, then I
could deploy at home to replace iCal, at least for our family, which
is all we are doing now.
> (One last thing, when we say, get more users, what do we mean by
> that? 100? 1000? 10,000?)
Depends on how you look at the phasing. As long as we have the
data warning, I think we are talking low 100's to sub 100's who will
use the calendar the way we intend to dogfood it at OSAF. I am of
course, just pulling that number out of a hat.
> That was original theory at the end of 0.5, that the bar was much
> lower for calendar and that by just doing iCal for PC, we would get
If we are just looking at the calendar, I don't think that the
barriers to small workgroup level adoption are in calendar features,
useful though they might be.
Ted Leung Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF)
PGP Fingerprint: 1003 7870 251F FA71 A59A CEE3 BEBA 2B87 F5FC 4B42
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