All-Day-Events (General)
I figured out that GPE actually supports all-day-events: just do not enter any start and end time. Voila.
However, the import of all-day-events is still not working.
Posted by Thomas King at 01:25 2006-02-18 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)

Joining the GPE-Calendar development (General)
I decided to participate in the GPE-Calendar development because I think it is only a little bit of work to make it usable for daily life. So, I started with a debug session to fix a bug in the import of iCalendar events (see bug report 1464). The problem is that the start and end time of appointments is shifted by one hour. I experienced the same problem, however, as I debugged the gpevtype library I figured out that the problem is not the library. In fact, the appointments in the iCalendar file already contained the "wrong times". So, I investigated the application that created the iCalendar data: I use KOrganizer (a KDE application) to manage my appointments. After a few clicks I realized KOrganizer is not buggy, instead I forgot to set the time zone in the application setup. ;-) As soon as I fixed this, GPE imported the appointments correctly. However, I am not sure if this is also the solution for the bug reported by Martin.
Additionally, I started to debug recurring events. It looks like GPE imports events that last for a few days. Events that recur yearly are not imported. However, this needs a deeper investigation.
During my debug session I realized that GPE-Calendar does not support all-day-events. This is really bad, because I use this feature very often. One of the next steps will be to check if it is possible to add all-day-events to GPE. Furthermore, I am going to disable the alarm tab in new event window.
Finally, I stumbled of a multisync plugin for GPE. Does anyone have experience with this plugin?

Posted by Thomas King at 01:05 2006-02-18 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)

Nokia 770: DejaPim vs. GPE (General)
Today, I read a blog entry posted on that compares GPE and DejaPim. DejaPim interestingly wins the comparison. I do not agree with the author and hence I decided to use the following lines to tell you my story. In my comparison I mainly focus on the calendar application because it is undisputed the most used PIM application.

Installation: I installed DejaPim version 1.0 build 215, GPE-Calendar version 0.69-1, GPE-Todo version 0.55-1, and GPE-Contacts version 0.43-1 by downloading the files directly on my 770. The installation process works pretty well. The only thing you have to do is to click on the links on the DejaDesktop respectively Kernelconcepts web site to start the download of the binary files. After a file is downloaded the 770 starts the "application installer" which asks you if you want to install the program. DejaPim requires to install only one file. In contrast, GPE requires over a dozen files. As stated by the author of the blog entry it is crucial to install the GPE files in correct order. Otherwise, GPE will not work properly. However, the Kernlconcepts web site tells you the correct order and for me it was no problem to get GPE functional.

PIM Features: Both applications provide a calendar application that let you add, alter and remove appointments. Actually, they look pretty similar. Both show appointments in a sorted list. However, GPE provides different views so that you can get a more coarse-grained view of your appointments. For me, it is often very useful the see the appointments of the week or of the month. In both applications it is pretty easy to add an appointment: just press the new event button. A new windows pops up that requests a subject, start time, start date, and end time respectively duration of the event. Additional information such as location and description of the event are supported by both applications. In DejaPim I missed one important feature: recurring events. It is not possible to schedule recurring events or appointments such a birthday or a periodical meeting by just entering one event. For me, this feature is a must for a matured PIM application.
On the other side, GPE shows an alarm button but as described in the blog entry it doesn't work at all. I propose to delete the alarm support in the maemo port of GPE due to the missing atd support of the 770 (Hopefully, one of the maemo GPE developers reads this blog. ;-)).

Import / Export: Unfortunately, both applications do not provide an export of the PIM data. DejaPim offers an synchronization tool based on MS Outlook that costs you $9.95 per month. So, for me it is useless because I only use Gnu/Linux on my computers. On the other side, GPE provides an import of data in the iCalendar respectively vCalendar format. I tested the import and it worked half-decent. The vCalendar format did not work for me whereas the iCalendar format produced reasonable results: common appointments worked well though all day and recurring events were not correctly handled.

Final remarks: DejaPim and GPE provide basic PIM features although extended features are still missing or do not work properly. Hopefully, GPE as well as DejaPim will substantially improve in the future so that they can be used in our daily life. At least, recurring events and a functional import and export of PIM data or even better a synchronization tool for Gnu/Linux are required to be comparative with other PIM applications on dedicated devices (e.g., a Palm). However, the starting point is already there and hopefully it will only be a matter of time until we will see a full-featured PIM application for the Nokia 770. ;-)
Posted by Thomas King at 01:13 2006-02-13 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)