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discussion on Calendar features/enhancements/mods

Started by demlak, January 14, 2013, 08:23:03 AM

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What calendar enhancement do you want? (see thread for more info)

recurring events (reapeating like daily, weekly, monthly, etc..)(see thread for more info)
14 (87.5%)
enhanced iCal functionality (see thread for more info)
6 (37.5%)
more information fields (like starttime, location, etc.)(see thread for more info)
10 (62.5%)
bridging interface to an external calendar (for example exchange/google/etc.)(see thread for more info)
5 (31.3%)

Total Members Voted: 16

demlak

January 14, 2013, 08:23:03 AM Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 09:00:40 PM by demlak
Hi there,
we have a community that is based on a local subculture.. with many events like concerts, Partys, Readings, Theatres, etc..
announcement of those events is an essential part of the community.. so we like to have an enhanced version of the calendar..
as we were brainstorming about features, we found some ideas..

what do you think about those ideas?
diffucult to realise?
do you also want those features?

Quote
What the Calendar should have:

       
  • Searching for Events
  • Sorting Events by fields
  • Adding Fields like:

    •       
    • Start-/End-time
    • Location
    • Category (e.g. concert, party, reading, cinema, etc..)
    • Summary
    • custom fields
       
  • Automatical pasting those fields as a special Block into linked Threads
  • recurring events

    •       
    • repeat daily
    • repeat weekly
    • repeat monthly
    • define special weekday (e.g. every saturday) per month
    • define special day (number, e.g. every 17th) per month
    • define last/first/third/second/whatever weekday (e.g. only third wednesday) per month
       
  • iCal Functionality enhanced:

    •       
    • using fields-Block as calendar-note
    • Using start-/end-time
    • add reminder functionality
    • CalDAV support?

       
  • Or replacing Calendar and interact with external Calendar like exchange or google or Calendarserver

electricwildflower

As my website & forum is based around a music subculture this would be ideal and give my members much more control on the calender to get there events heard more.

show flyers on the calender - as in small pics for events ?
Notify members of an event - Notify certain members about an event such as your buddies or admins ?

demlak

there is a mod for notifying about events.. for example: link

demlak

March 14, 2013, 08:37:49 PM #3 Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 08:57:17 PM by demlak
*bump*
poll added

demlak

two month have passed... bumping this thread again =)

Irisado

Normally when a thread dies, it means there's not much interest in the idea you're trying to put forward, so it's usually best to let it go.

That said, I'm confused as to what you're asking for.  Are you asking for a mod, or do you want what you're proposing to be a core feature?  If it's the former, you're much better off posting this in mod requests.  If it's the latter, then I really see no reason to make this a core feature, as I can't see it being that widely used.
Soñando con una playa donde brilla el sol, un arco iris ilumina el cielo, y el mar espejea iridescentemente

demlak

it´s a discussion.. a brainstorming.. idea finding.. clarifying needs and whishes..

CandC

July 07, 2013, 08:31:06 AM #7 Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 08:45:53 AM by CandC
Quote from: Irisado on May 28, 2013, 05:15:46 PM
Normally when a thread dies, it means there's not much interest in the idea you're trying to put forward, so it's usually best to let it go.

Well, some of us are still interested in making the Calendar work better.

Count me as one.

My last post on the topic was April:
http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=501204.msg3520668#msg3520668

Stopped by here this morning searching to see if anyone has posted new topics about the Calendar since.

The whole idea of dropping the Calendar feature altogether (as noted in that link) would make me very sad.

It looks like for those of us who really do like and want to keep the calendar (but need recurring events) - our only hope is a separate Mod written by a clever individual willing to help those of us who aren't. ;D

electricwildflower

Abit of an old discussion but not sure where to post.

One idea i have is being able to pick multiple dates for events as sometimes i have flyers for events promoting a festival, gig etc that are over a few days or a complete tour. I would be able to set the even to show on all the dates and not as i have as standard the first event date.

Chalky

Quote from: electricwildflower on August 11, 2013, 04:04:06 PM
Abit of an old discussion but not sure where to post.

One idea i have is being able to pick multiple dates for events as sometimes i have flyers for events promoting a festival, gig etc that are over a few days or a complete tour. I would be able to set the even to show on all the dates and not as i have as standard the first event date.

Admin > Calendar > Calendar Settings > Allow events to span multiple days   ;)

electricwildflower

I see you can change it to span multiple days but i don't see any options of picking certain days it pops up IE

there are two gigs one is on 29th august 2013 the other is on oct 13th 2013

all i see is spanning it over multiple days pick how many days and it shows up not picking the dates it shows up on besides being able to pick one date. I could just keep adding a new event and posting up the flyer on the months & days it's on but then my flyers, gigs, festivals section would be flooded with the same flyer over and over ;)

demlak

The more i play around with "owncloud"-software.. the more i miss caldav support in SMF  :(

Arantor

That's the thing... is it really worth the effort and time it will take me to research it, implement, test, etc. for the benefit?

There are vastly more useful things that would benefit more users if I were to do *those* rather than this.
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CandC

Quote from: Arantor on November 14, 2013, 09:06:56 PM
That's the thing... is it really worth the effort and time it will take me to research it, implement, test, etc. for the benefit?

There are vastly more useful things that would benefit more users if I were to do *those* rather than this.

Good question. I guess it all depends on whether having recurring events on the calender is more of a "wanter" or "needer" thing for your forum.   I'm encouraged just knowing someone opens and reads the thread from time to time  ;)

I wish I had the skills, but I'll just have to wait and hope that someone likes a challenge enough to tackle it.

If not, then I'll just keep on every January manually inserting all recurring events for the year in the calendar one at time.

Arantor

I don't use a calendar at all on my forums, therefore for me personally it is a non issue ;)
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byproduct


it's good for real life communities and organizations who put on actual events

but I think a site wide ad system with date/timed submission would be better, and less of a security/nuisance feature.
especially ifn ya tie it to 1st post and a login page, so that it's required displaying.

Then it has potential to become a revenue generator for local businesses.
AND *PSA*... WHICH QUALIFIES FOR A TAX DEDUCTION ifn ya site actually is income making.


Arantor

I'm happy for you, of course. The problem is that I only have so many hours per day to build things for free for other people and any calendar enhancements are way too low down the totem pole.
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byproduct

sorry if that came off as a critique.
didn't mean it that way.

calendar utilization, for calendar's sake, on a straight yakk em up forum is fairly pointless
time stamping accomplishes the same job.
so makes sense it'd rank low in dev.

just other day i was looking at newer forum releases comparison
and noticed one offers it as a addon, rather than built in.

CandC

Quote from: byproduct on November 17, 2013, 11:34:15 PM
calendar utilization, for calendar's sake, on a straight yakk em up forum is fairly pointless
time stamping accomplishes the same job.
so makes sense it'd rank low in dev.

I guess that depends. 
Our "yakk em up forum" doesn't link the calender events to posts (so timestamps don't help much in that regard) but our members like to be aware of recurring events (ie: birthdays of players on our team and important milestones) . We keep a calendar widget on the front portal and that way we can see the important dates that month upon open.

As admin, it's just a hassle not to be able to make an event recurring annually, quarterly etc.  I have to go in in Jan each year and put them all in again. I don't want to make them "holidays" because we have a mod that lets you be notified of "events" if they are on the calendar and if they are holidays we can't use this feature.

I realize our little forum is the exception rather than the majority in wanting the calendar tweaked just for the simple ability to allow for a recurring event. 

But perhaps a lot of people want it but when reading this thread and others have pretty much come to the realization it's never gonna happen and don't even check/ask anymore.

:)

Arantor

Show me there's a *significant* demand and it'll get built. Until then, it won't happen unless I .find another reason to implement it.
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demlak

Quote from: Arantor on November 18, 2013, 09:30:32 AM
Show me there's a *significant* demand and it'll get built. Until then, it won't happen unless I .find another reason to implement it.

that´s a knockout argument.. how the hell could we ask all the people who don´t use a feature which is not present?
just an idea: maybe this will have a promotion effect.. so new people join smf =) maybe some people out there saw such a crappy calender and walk away to another forum software..


we know.. it´s not paid.. so we won´t tell you what your "job" is.. we just tell you, there are people who want those features.. and there is a demand on that..  we cannot show how big this demand is.. but please.. don´t bother us with such "killer arguments".. that´s not fair..


btw.. if anone know of a forum/portal software beside SMF, which got those features.. please message me.. thx a lot

Arantor

No, it's not a knockout argument at all, regardless of what you're trying to suggest. I resent the fact that you're being rather disingenuous about contributions to SMF.

Show me there's a significant desire for it. Show me it's worth me spending the hours required to implement it with more than "because I and half a dozen other people want it". So far I'm just not seeing that it's worth my time to build it as compared to the many other things being worked on that will have a tangible benefit for a sizeable number of users.

But by all means, if you think that I'm being unfair by asking you to find people who would actually use a feature to justify the hours required on it, find another software. IPB will love you.
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Irisado

Quote from: demlak on November 19, 2013, 07:00:24 PM
we know.. it´s not paid.. so we won´t tell you what your "job" is.. we just tell you, there are people who want those features.. and there is a demand on that..  we cannot show how big this demand is.. but please.. don´t bother us with such "killer arguments".. that´s not fair..

If there were pages and pages of SMF members clamouring for such an option in this thread, then you could point to the presence of some demand.  The fact that very little demand is being put forward in a thread specifically designed for the purpose, however, indicates that Arantor is right not to consider this as being something that is going to be implemented at this time.
Soñando con una playa donde brilla el sol, un arco iris ilumina el cielo, y el mar espejea iridescentemente

Arantor

(And of course, let us not forget it's much easier to ****** that someone else is doing something for me than it is to actually do it. It takes a few minutes to write a post, but it takes quite a few hours to make a substantial change of any kind.)
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TheListener

A calendar is essential on my forum.

ALL Calendar events are linked to posts in their respective boards.

Arantor

So? All we've so far established is that you use a feature currently in SMF, good for you. Now if it were the point of this thread to establish that the calendar is used, great. Except it isn't, it's to try and figure out if it's worth adding new things - of which the grand total of 7 people have voted (including me, by the way)... which really doesn't indicate a strong demand.
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TheListener

So Mr Sarcasm what would you suggest. A mod instead of a built in feature?

Arantor

I suggest you read the question before answering next time.

To clarify: we're not planning on changing the state of the calendar in terms of it being a core feature or not. We're trying to establish if there's a valid demand for me spending time on adding more features (and all the requisite testing). You know, like the poll says.
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TheListener

Some of us have more important things to do thanks I was just adding my opinion on the matter re: the calendar and its usage.

Irisado

Only nine people have even voted on the poll, and it has been running since January.  On that basis, if nothing else (although I agree with everything that Arantor has said), this thread is, to all intense and purposes, all over.  I think that the best thing to do now is to let it rest :).
Soñando con una playa donde brilla el sol, un arco iris ilumina el cielo, y el mar espejea iridescentemente

CandC

The replies of "only 9 people" and "if a significant number of people" had me curious if there were many other discussions besides this one about the Calendar.

A quick search had these relevant results just in the first page, so not everyone using/wanting the Calendar has "voted" on this poll and commented here.

These aren't the exact same discussion as this poll, but they are calendar related and show there is some interest in using the calendar in SMF.
--------------------
http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=503149

http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=508888

http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=501204

http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=512440

http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=513785

http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=511405

http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=511639


I think there is a desire to use and tweak the calendar to their needs, but if everyone keeps getting met with it's not going to be tweaked so deal type of replies, I can see where people would just stop asking.

Put "Calendar" in the search box and you'll find many more than the links above.



Oh, and by the way - Thanksgiving for 2013 is not on the correct day, it should be the 28th.

Arantor

And you're missing the point.

Is there clear evidence the calendar is in use? Yes. This is not and has never been in dispute. The quantity of users is probably lower than you might think, though.

Are there enhancements that would benefit a significant proportion of SMF users?

This is what we're getting at. Most of those topics don't seem like they'd benefit most calendar users, let alone most SMF users. Prove me wrong. Show me that implementing a specific feature will benefit a sizeable proportion of SMF users as a whole (not just a proportion of calendar users which isn't even 20% of the user base as far as I can tell) and I'll do it.

Note that finding threads about the calendar isn't enough... They all want different things.
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CandC

Arantor,
I appreciate your taking the time to engage here, but don't take my comments as antagonistic or a challenge to you.  I have no desire to "Prove you wrong", I'm not that type of person.

I've monitored this thread and others for months hoping someone within the SMF community would be willing to take a look at it and one day I'd check the comments and see activity.  I'm not stressed or losing sleep over it.


And - I said when posting the threads they were all about different things, I was just pointing out that there are inquiries about the calendar so it's in use by some. 

Obviously the numbers are not enough (nor likely will be) to satisfy your criteria of a legitimate need so you can probably ignore this thread at this point and not waste any more of your time which you never fail to remind us is quite valuable.

Kindred

CandC...

We know that people use the calendar...  although I think - if we took a real scan of all SMF websites, yoyu might find the percentage much lower than you think.
We also agree that the calendar would benefit from some enhancements...

However, form the PROJECT point of view - we have limited development resources.
We have to prioritize what features get added, what gets "fixed" and what other things the developers (and others) spend their time on.
Much of that prioritization is based on the visible and know-able use of or desire for specific features.

In this case, the features being requested seem to have a very minor share of the SMF userbase.
Which implies that these features would be better designed as a MOD

actually, I will note the subscription-events *IS* already a mod for 2.0.x
recrurring events WAS a mod for 1.0.x and 1.1.x but never made it to 2.0 - which suggests that it doesn't have enough interest for anyone to even pick up the old mod.
Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.

"Loki is not evil, although he is certainly not a force for good. Loki is... complicated."

CandC

Thanks Kindred.

Quoteactually, I will note the subscription-events *IS* already a mod for 2.0.x
recrurring events WAS a mod for 1.0.x and 1.1.x but never made it to 2.0 - which suggests that it doesn't have enough interest for anyone to even pick up the old mod.

Yep, I currently use the subscription mod for events.  It's a handy feature.


I was able to find the 2 mods that were posted for recurring events and they have not and will not be updated. People likely stopped looking or asking when told they would not be. Oh well. 

SMF will continue to be the best system out there for our needs and I appreciate all the features it DOES provide.

:)

Arantor

The fact that no-one has picked it up in the interim is indicative of the fact there's really that little demand for it - if it were that important, someone with the skills would have picked it up by now.
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byproduct


it's apparently important enough a feature that ya'll keep including claendar rather than leaving it out and saving the space, load time and resource usage.
"I" think that in itself lends credence that it has value.

Now as far as using recent calls a as gauge for investing further dev into it...
i would argue that adding features as have been described in this very thread WOULD increase calendar usage AND meet other addon request.
like
shop/classifieds addon
advertising mods
various l/r header/footer blocks and panels
even shoutbox and announcement to some effect
while adding a timed display ability

all those get a lot of attention and request

so there is existing demonstrated call for such


if not, vb and xenforo wouldn't be getting the purchase, addon's,  and yrly renewal license prices they charge, PER SITE/DOMAIN.
and those capable of doing so, or doing the same with smf, mybb, phpbb, addons.

not saying anything is wrong with that.
but I am saying if those markets exist then it is only because there is enough need/want.










Kindred

And my post, three above yours still covers the answer....

Quote from: Kindred on November 20, 2013, 10:02:50 AM
We know that people use the calendar...  although I think - if we took a real scan of all SMF websites, you might find the percentage much lower than you think.
We also agree that the calendar would benefit from some enhancements...

However, from the PROJECT point of view - we have limited development resources.
We have to prioritize what features get added, what gets "fixed" and what other things the developers (and others) spend their time on.
Much of that prioritization is based on the visible and know-able use of or desire for specific features.

In this case, the features being requested seem to have a very minor share of the SMF userbase.
Which implies that these features would be better designed as a MOD

actually, I will note the subscription-events *IS* already a mod for 2.0.x
recrurring events WAS a mod for 1.0.x and 1.1.x but never made it to 2.0 - which suggests that it doesn't have enough interest for anyone to even pick up the old mod.

And we're not adding shops or classifieds or advert mods or blocks or shoutboxes to the core product either...   so I am unsure what your intention was to list all of those...
Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.

"Loki is not evil, although he is certainly not a force for good. Loki is... complicated."

Arantor

Quote from: byproduct on December 01, 2013, 09:03:55 AM

it's apparently important enough a feature that ya'll keep including claendar rather than leaving it out and saving the space, load time and resource usage.
"I" think that in itself lends credence that it has value.

I think you don't know me very well, or indeed my plans for SMF, like how only last night in team chat I talked about removing it in 3.0. The only reason I won't remove it in 2.1 is because it's actually more effort than it's worth at this late stage of 2.1 development.

Quote
i would argue that adding features as have been described in this very thread WOULD increase calendar usage AND meet other addon request.

Yes but you're not the one who will have to actually spend hours of your free time working on it, are you?

Quote
but I am saying if those markets exist then it is only because there is enough need/want.

And the need could be satisfied by making the calendar a plugin. I have done this before, seriously tempted to do it again.
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demlak


Bixby

Hello:

I just thought I would pop in. Please note that I am just sharing information and I am not trying to engage in any debates about calendars and features.

I run two SMF sites and both of them are centered around the calendar. The calendar and events are a central part of what we do. I know that I am somewhat unique in what we are doing, but SMF is a GREAT package and we truly appreciate the calendar functions. I am one of the people that would dearly love enhanced calendar features, I think it is an area of unexplored and potential value. Realistically, I understand that SMF is a big beast and resources must be carefully allocated to features of broad appeal.

Of the two sites I run, one is private, and the other one is www.saskgames.com

The SaskGames site is such a wonderful example of what can be done with the calendar today. We have used it to unite and build a face to face community around the hobby of boardgaming. We are experiencing steady growth and there are a number of other geographic regions that are interested in duplicating our success.

One of the great things about SMF is that it is a tool and a software package that is begging to be used in creative and innovative ways, I think the calendar is just one of the many facets of SMF that make it a superior product.

I can understand that it may not get a lot of features enhancements in the days ahead, and I can live with that. Please, however, do not remove calendar functionality in future releases. That would sadden me deeply and force us to pursue another direction. I am loyal to SMF and see many years of use of community growth in the years ahead. As a matter of fact, I see the opportunity for SMF to be used in many new ways and I am currently working with a company to see about installing SMF as their employee Intranet and potentially use it for building a community with their client base as well. In both cases the calendar would be invaluable.

Now I am just rambling, so I will close by saying thanks to the developers of SMF. If anyone is interested in discussing and of the ideas I have for enhancements, I would be happy to get involved or share some insights. Great product... keep up the good work!
www.SaskGames.com
We WORK to help you PLAY!

Arantor

I'd point out that, yet again, the 'you're going to remove the calendar' comments are always taken out of context. Every. Single. Time.

Everyone seems to think that if the calendar were removed from the core, that it would just die. Of course it wouldn't. It would actually have the opposite effect.

Firstly, it wouldn't just be thrown on the scrapheap. It would *demand* stronger plugin facilities be made. All mods benefit from an increase of modularisation because it would be a drop-in module in a way similar to IP.Calendar is for IP.Board. It's easier than installing a mod for them. (I speak as a licence holder for the complete IPB suite as well as XenForo so it's not like I'm just pulling this out of thin air)

Secondly, it would necessarily require some clean-up. That would serve to benefit both the SMF core and the calendar itself. Right now, if the calendar is enabled, every single topic view has an extra performance penalty, without fail, because topics are coerced into being something they're not. Any proper rewrite of the calendar would mean decoupling topics from calendar entries, restoring performance. It'd also allow searching to be more meaningful than it currently is by forcing search to also be able to cope with more than just topics.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly. If it were kept separate from the SMF core, it wouldn't mean you'd have to wait for another iteration of SMF itself to see changes in the calendar. By decoupling it from the core, you end up with the ability to see a faster release cycle. Instead of hoping and praying that someone adds these to SMF - when there's so much else to do - it means that the calendar can be developed independently, meaning that you might actually start to see these features.
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Bixby

@Arantor

I am sorry if you thought I was taking things out of context. I am NOT engaging in any sort of jumping to conclusions. In my world, the "sky is not falling". Please re-read my post above. I have nothing but complimentary things to say about SMF and the developers. I only posted what I did to share that I was a person that has (and will continue to) get great value from the calendar. I just wanted to take some time out of my day to say SMF is awesome. Sorry if that message did not come through. I am a pretty even-keeled lad, do not read any panic or hostilities into my post.

Namaste,
Matt

 
www.SaskGames.com
We WORK to help you PLAY!

Arantor

And that's precisely the reason I posted as I did. If the calendar were to be removed, it would benefit the calendar and benefit all the calendar's current users. Every time it's even suggested that the calendar might be removed (knowing full well it would become a plugin), it's always people asking not to remove it... except every time the wider consequences are never explored properly.
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