[Kde-pim] Korganizer: The Next Generation

Cornelius Schumacher schumacher at kde.org
Thu Nov 27 23:20:22 GMT 2008

On Thursday 27 November 2008 13:38:26 Janne Ojaniemi wrote:
> First of all, I'm not 100% sure that should this go to kdepim-users or
> kde-pim. I chose the latter, and I apologize if I chose wrong.

kde-pim is perfect.

> In this post I hope to give my my impressions as to what I think is wrong
> with the calendar in Kontact, and what I would to do fix the issues. I am
> in no position to make demands, so I'm not making any :). But I hope that
> some of these ideas will be found to be interesting and worthwhile of
> looking in to.

It's great to see thoughts about the future of KOrganizer. Calendar UIs are 
quite a challenge and some new ideas certainly won't hurt ;-)

> Calendar in KDE4 looks like this:
> http://media.arstechnica.com/news.media/kde41-2.png
> There are five windows inside the app all shouting for the users attention.
> The actual calendar (the most important part of.... well, calendar) has
> only about 25% of the window to itself. And the various windows are not
> aligned with each other, making the UI look "messy". There are also
> confusing things, like "Default Korganizer resource" that is listed twice
> (and both being checked by default). Just by looking at it, the user have
> no idea what those "resources" are (apparently they are different
> calendars, but shouldn't they be called calendars then, and not
> "resources"?). If you actually enter a calendar-entry, it gets added twice
> to the calendar (since the two "default resources" are both checked by
> default).

You are completely right about the resources. This should be fixed. It's 
implementation shining through the user interface. Not good.

That the calendar only uses 25% of the window is mainly due to the very small 
size of the window. Kontact is meant to be used as full-screen application. 
That's what it's designed for.

You can configure it to also be useful on small window sizes, though. Most 
elements are hideable in some way. What here is the best default 
configuration is of course a question. For now KOrganizer is targeted at the 
maybe a bit more serious user, who needs a bit of functionality.

> How would I go about fixing all that? Well, here is my mockup:
> http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/8137/calendar3oq3.png

I don't really see what's so different on your mockup. KOrganizer can already 
be configured to look similar to this. It's somehow a matter of taste and 
also a matter of which users you want to target. But along the traditional 
lines of calendaring KOrganizer can accommodate quite some needs.

What I would love to see is some ideas about a truly different interface, 
projecting the calendar on a three-dimensional donut, managing a calendat by 
intelligent parsing of free-text, using the "Akonadi clock" 
(http://www.kdedevelopers.org/node/3647), whatever.

KOrganizer has gone through many iterations and the user interface reflects 
more than ten years of development and refinement along the classical 
paper-inspired interface. I think to really improve the calendar user 
interface we have to think outside the box and try completely new ideas.

Cornelius Schumacher <schumacher at kde.org>
KDE PIM mailing list kde-pim at kde.org
KDE PIM home page at http://pim.kde.org/

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