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iCal Start time is Due - Length -- Huh?



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DSM

Posted: Dec 15, 2012
Score: 0



I have an iPhone and tried exporting my tasks to iCal so that my iPhone calendar could subscribe to them. When I looked at my iPhone calendar, I could see that the iCal calendar was subscribed and my tasks were showing up on the calendar. However, it appeared that the Start time for the task was being computed as Due - Length which didn't make sense (particularly for Due On tasks). Am I making sense? Is there a bug here?
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Dec 17, 2012
Score: 0



The start time will be calculate as the due-date minus the length of the task. So a 2 hour task due at 4pm will be calculated to start at 2pm. Is that not correct?
Andrea Ferrari

Posted: Dec 18, 2012
Score: 0



I guess the start date should indicate the date when you plan to manage the task, the lenght should indicate the time you will take to complete the task. Both start date and lenght should synchronize with the calendar, to let you visualize for each day the tasks you have planned and how long will they last. In case You are not able to plan a date to complete the task, you will simply indicate the due date, to remind you that the task has to be managed.

I consider the due date as the deadline of the task, in this way the allarm is the tool to remind you to manage the task in case you haven't been able to in the start date you planned.

If due date represents only the end of task and synchronizes with the length, it would be a double field for the same feature, and would be less useful. In my opinion a tool to plan daily activity would be much more interesting.


What do you tink guys?
DSM

Posted: Dec 19, 2012
Score: 0



There is definitely some confusion here about the use of Due On vs. Start Date. Why would you set a Start Date for a Task that is Due On a particular date/time? I guess the other confusion is the proper way of representing an Appointment (as opposed to a Task) in Toodledo. I had been representing them as a Task that was Due On a date/time that had a length of some time. My assumption was that Due On would be when the appointment began and Length would be how long the appointment would last. If I must use Start/End Date to represent the length of time for the appointment, then what's the use of Length?
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Dec 19, 2012
Score: 0



There are a variety of ways to represent the same thing. This is what makes Toodledo powerful (and admittedly confusing). With start/due/length, you only need 2 of those attributes to fill in the missing one. This was done because some people don't use all three fields.

In terms of calendar syncing, if you use all three fields, then the length field will be ignored and the user entered start/due will be used. If either start or due is missing, then length will be used to calculate the missing value when needed to place on a calendar at the appropriate time.

The "due on" attribute is something that is only used for the to-do list aspect of Toodledo with regard to filters. This attribute is ignored when syncing with a calendar.
DSM

Posted: Dec 20, 2012
Score: 0



Then what is the meaning of Alarm? What you suggest is that, for appointments (that might go on a calendar), I should enter Start/Due or Start/Length to have it show up correctly on the calendar. However, Alarm is attached to Due and not Start which is not what you want for an appointment (you want to be warned before it starts and not when nearly done). Can you explain more?
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Dec 20, 2012
Score: 0



You have discovered one of the differences between a to-do list and a calendar. They have slightly different behavior for how dates,times, and alarms behave, and there is a difference between a task and an event. We try our best to translate these values correctly when you sync your to-do list with a calendar, but it isn't perfect.

If a task is due Friday at 3pm, then most people would want the alarm to be based on that time. If you are trying to make an appointment that starts at 2:00 and ends at 3:00, and you want the alarm to come before the start time, not the due-time, then you will need to adjust the alarm leadtime to account for the length of the task. I know that this isn't perfect. The better solution that we may do in the future is to allow alarms to be based on both the start and due times.
DSM

Posted: Dec 20, 2012
Score: 0



Can you elaborate on "Due On" as well? My assumption had been that:

* Due By : task can be done at anytime up to the due date.
* Due On : task should be done at the due date (ie. appt).
* Due After : task can't be done until sometime after due.

Given that, I would expect that to control how to handle Length and Alarms within Toodledo. That is, for all three, the alarm time is computed as Due-Alarm, Length is merely a reference to how long it might take to work on the task (which may or may not cover Start to Due period), and Start would be when you start paying attention to the task (and probably doesn't mean much for a DueOn appt.).
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Dec 20, 2012
Score: 0



You've got it.

More reference: http://www.toodledo.com/info/help.php?sel=42
and: http://www.toodledo.com/info/help.php?sel=91
DSM

Posted: Dec 20, 2012
Score: 0



Hmmm. Then, with respect to iCal sync, I can't imagine a true UseCase where Start=Due-Length that would be right. In fact, I think, if Start is not provided, then:

1. Start=End=DueBy
2. Start=DueOn & End=DueOn+Length
3. Start=End=DueAfter

If Start is provided, then:

1. Start & End=DueBy
2. Start & End=DueOn (maybe DueOn+Length would also work)
3. Start & End=DueAfter

And, in all cases, the alarm time would be computed as Due-Alarm (at least until you add alarms to Start).

Can you think of a counter UseCase?
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Dec 20, 2012
Score: 0



I guess what I am trying to get at is that the due-date modifiers (by, on, after, optionally) really only make sense for the to-do list, and do not translate well to a calendar. The calendar uses start and due and uses length to calculate the missing one. I realize that this is a little confusing, but I think that it would be more confusing if Toodledo's "due-date" was sometimes iCal's due-date and other times iCal's start-date.

My suggestion is to use start/due dates if you rely heavily on calendar syncing and avoid using "due on" and "due after".
DSM

Posted: Dec 20, 2012
Score: 0



All right, let's drop the modifiers. What I'm getting at is that the typical UseCase will be that Due=Start unless Start is provided -- do not use Length in the iCal computation. Re-adding in the modifiers, the modifier meanings (as discussed in your 1st reference) really show that the current computation for iCal doesn't make sense. Taken this way (Due=Start unless Start), then your two references are more harmonious.
DSM

Posted: Dec 20, 2012
Score: 0



Whoops -- I said that backwards...

All right, let's drop the modifiers. What I'm getting at is that the typical UseCase will be that Start=Due unless Start is provided -- do not use Length in the iCal computation. Re-adding in the modifiers, the modifier meanings (as discussed in your 1st reference) really show that the current computation for iCal doesn't make sense. Taken this way (Start=Due unless Start), then your two references are more harmonious.

And alarm time is always Due-Alarm (until start times have an alarm).
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Dec 22, 2012
Score: 0



Thanks for the feedback. We will think about it.
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