Archive for September, 2008

Mobile Chandler?

Monday, September 29th, 2008

One of the most common questions we get about Chandler is: Can I sync my Chandler data onto my mobile device?

The answer is Yes! While there aren’t full-featured Chandler mobile apps for all the various mobile platforms, you can sync Chandler data onto any device that can sync with or subscribe to calendars via .iCalendar or CalDAV.

Chandler Mobile Sync Diagram

Specifically, that means you can:

  1. Publish your collections to Chandler Hub;
  2. Subscribe to them with Apple iCal or Google Calendar;
  3. Use either Apple iSync or Google Mobile to get your Chandler data onto your mobile device.

Chandler on Hub

Chandler on iCal

Chandler on Google


Notes

You can sync all of your Chandler data to Apple iCal. Non-events will show up as tasks in the To-do list.

Currently Apple doesn’t sync To-do’s onto iPods or the iPhone, so you won’t see Chandler Notes on Apple’s devices. However, Apple iSync will sync To-dos onto Palm devices.

Google Calendar on the other hand, currently does not support tasks at all, so you can only sync events thru Google Calendar.

Apple iCal 3.x (Leopard) supports view-and-edit sharing via CalDAV, meaning you can make changes from your mobile device and they will sync back to Chandler. However, with Apple iCal 2.x (Tiger) and Google, you can only view your Chandler data.

There is a test build that supports 2-way view-and-edit sharing via CalDAV with Google. However, it has not yet been incorporated into the official release of Chandler desktop.


Liz Cademy wrote in with a success story linking Chandler to her iPod via iCal and iSync. I too, have been happily syncing 5 of my Chandler collections (events and notes!) to my new pink Palm Centro via iCal and iSync for a couple of weeks now. I’m thinking of finally upgrading from Tiger to Leopard so I can edit as well as view from my phone.

Has anyone else tried syncing to mobile devices in this way?

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Chandler Server (Cosmo) 1.1.0 released

Friday, September 12th, 2008

The Chandler Project is pleased to announce the 1.1.0 release of Chandler Server (Cosmo)!

Chandler Server is a server and Ajax web UI for managing and sharing calendars, events, and tasks. It implements open data standards including CalDAV, WebDAV, Atom, and Atompub.

This release contains two significant features and four bug fixes. Any user can now delete their own account and data by using the settings dialog. Interoperability with some CalDAV implementations including iCal 3 should be improved by support for the CTAG draft standard.

The Chandler Hub has been updated and is now running the 1.1.0 version as well.

Chandler Server 1.1.0 is available for download as a ready-to-run bundle at:

http://chandlerproject.org/serverdownload

and the source code is available from subversion at:

http://svn.osafoundation.org/server/cosmo/tags/rel_1.1.0

Send us feedback at the open mailing list (no subscription required):

chandler-users@osafoundation.org

We look forward to hearing from you!

The issues fixed in this release include:

  • [Bug 12283] Users should be able to delete their own Hub accounts
  • [Bug 12279] Add support for CTag, Apple’s extension of ETag to a Calendar Collection
  • [Bug 11851] Sort triage status by TriageStatusChangedDate
  • [Bug 12334] Fix recovery pages
  • [Bug 12349] In IE7, in DV, long notes obscure DV header section
  • [Bug 12357] Account browser help link broken
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Chandler Project: Next Steps

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Back in January, we underwent a significant reorganization. Our founder Mitch Kapor stepped down from the project and provided enough funding to support paid staff for about a year. In August, we released 1.0 and since then we have seen a notable increase in our user base and continued growth in the user community.

As we head into the 4th quarter, we are now turning our attention to what needs to be done to ensure that Chandler remains a healthy, open source project that continues to serve the needs of its users as we transition from a paid staff to a volunteer-driven organization.

So, we felt it was time to back-up and take stock of what we’ve accomplished with the recent 1.0 release, and talk about our options, both in the short-term (next 3-6 months) as well as with respect to long-term goals.

The question before us is: Given our goals, what is the best use of remaining paid developer time?


Our mission remains developing high quality software to help individuals and small workgroups manage tasks and calendars.

We think this means delivering a solution that supports:

  • A hosted service to support sharing and personal backup and syncing.
  • A desktop application that is stable and performant with an extensible schema.
  • The ability to get data in and out of Chandler (Desktop and Server / Service) in a variety of “standard” ways.
  • The ability to work with other apps, where APIs and standards exist.

We also remain committed to remaining an open source project by:

  • Continuing to grow and solidify the user community, including establishing processes to ensure that users have a voice in development efforts.
  • Build a development community around a code base that is well-documented, fully testable, easy to maintain and and modular enough to allow for loose collaboration among developers.

Post 1.0 Priorities: Going forward, we’ve identified the following areas as key to the continued health of the project:

  1. Hub Service
  2. Support 1.0 users on both Chandler Hub and Chandler Desktop (We continue monthly releases of the desktop and are about to release Chandler Server 1.1.)
  3. Community (more posts on this soon!)
  4. Desktop Re-architecture Project

Desktop Re-architecture Project

As with any re-architecture effort, ours is a risky one, complicated by unknowns.

  • Bug fixes and new feature work will slow down considerably. In the short-term we’ve decided to focus on strengthening Chandler’s “mobile device” support with extensions to Chandler Hub such as a new quick entry iPhone app and the ability to broadcast and receive email notifications. (However, we remain committed to fixing serious blocker bugs as well as helping volunteers interested in fixing bugs and building new features.)
  • The timeframe for a fully re-architected, usable Chandler Desktop is still unknown.

Still, one thing that has been clear to us for some time is that the the performance and stability issues we face on the desktop can’t be fixed by continued work on the current code base.

Therefore, the choice we face is one of timing: Either we continue feature work on the current code base and defer the re-architecture to some later date (probably as a volunteer project), or bite the bullet and use remaining paid staff resources to work on re-architecture now.

In the end, we decided to re-architect now for a number of reasons, including:

  1. Re-architecture projects are unlikely to be implemented by volunteer developers.
  2. A re-architected desktop will be much friendlier to new developers and put Chandler in a stronger position for attracting volunteers, both for fixing bugs and building out new features.

That being said, our first milestone is to get something developers can start hacking on in the next 3 months, even if there isn’t enough UI for end-users to try it out.


The significance of 1.0: If we knew all along that we needed to re-architect the desktop, why did we decide put our energies into shipping a 1.0?

Shipping 1.0 has helped us clarify what the re-architecture needs to support. Both from a technical standpoint as well as from a design and user interface perspective.

Preview and 1.0 allowed us to put theory into practice. Through user feedback, we validated the problem space we had identified and workflows we had developed. We also identified what didn’t work and what wasn’t necessary. All of which will be essential in maintaining a sharp focus as we proceed with the re-architecture project.

Last but not least, 1.0 has been instrumental in helping us build a user base and enthusiasm for the project, two things we will need to sustain the project through the re-architecture effort..

Goals of the Re-architecture

  • Address performance and stability issues.
  • Make it easier for developers to fix bugs and add new features.
  • Separate the storage, domain model, interaction and presentation layers of the app in order to parallelize development. (So for example, developers can work on building the interface for a new feature without having to wait for the domain model to be defined.)
  • Comprehensive test coverage.
  • Extensible schema.
    – Allow developers to add functionality around an expanded range of data types supported by the app. (e.g. Documents, Media, Contacts and Directories, etc)
    – Allow developers and users alike to define custom attributes.

Non-goal: Create a generic developer toolkit.

What we think we can accomplish in the next 3-5 months:
There are a number of paths we can pursue. At a minumum, we know we need to implement fully-tested interaction, domain and storage layers for Chandler. After that, there are a number of different ways to stage added functionality. A few configurations we’ve discussed include:

1) Sharing a simple task list through Chandler Hub. This would involve:

  • Ability to import data from current desktop. (aka Port EIM.)
  • Baseline sharing support.
  • List view.

2) Basic Calendar

  • Week view
  • Detail view
  • Recurrence

3) Initially bypass core Desktop 1.0 features and instead implement add-on apps (e.g. bookmarks manager, personal jogging tracker, reading list). Small, discrete apps that require less upfront investment in infrastructure work and allow us to get usable UI on the re-architecture branch faster.

For a more detailed discussion of our re-architecture plans, see Grant’s write-up on the Chandler-Dev list. Ultimately, our goal is build community interest around the re-architecture work. So please stay tuned for more discussions on the dev list and jump in with questions and feedback.

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Chandler Desktop 1.0.1

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

The first in a line of approximately monthly bugfix releases after Chandler 1.0 is ready for public consumption. Chandler Desktop 1.0.1 addresses the following bugs:

11526 Chandler crashes with bus error on creating notes in the month view by right clicking
11860 Chandler suddenly exits (crashes?) after trying to install a plugin
12282 Remove remote Cosmo tests from Desktop
12306 Help Users Troubleshoot IMAP issue
12318 Rename “Tools” menu –> “Debug” and do something with “Plugins” menu
12319 UnicodeDecodeError for VCALENDAR object fields including the Estonian letter õ

The new release can be downloaded here, or via the ”Check for Updates” menu (available in 0.7.6 or later).

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