Pre-KEP: New mode for freebusy generation?!
bernhard at intevation.de
Wed Jul 6 10:49:56 CEST 2011
Here is a situation we have encountered with users
I would be interested in your thoughts about it.
Are their alternative solutions?
Does the suggestion make sense?
I plan to turn this into a KEP if the reaction is positive,
maybe I'll add the situation to the wiki in any case.
ps.: Continue conversation in kolab-format@ please, I've send a copy
to kolab-devel@ because this partly is an implementation question.
Here is a group of ten people working together the purchasing department.
Six women and four men, with the boss being out of the larger gender group,
having a male deputy.
Everyone knows each other quite well on a personal level
and they tend to work on special topics by changing smaller groups.
Overall there are many meeting held, where one or several people
from the department participate and meet with folks from other
parts of the company or from outside.
They like to be able to suggest meetings for their colleagues
without asking each time. An overview of all appointments of the department
is needed, as details and participants change quite often
and they need to account for vacations.
The organisation is using Kolab with native clients and they have
set up a group folder for the purchasing department where all ten people
have write access and share their appointments and vacation days.
Each person still has a personal calender folder used for private
appointments, where nobody else is having access.
An alternative modeling was considered:
Using two folders - a personal and a private one - per person.
And give everyone read-only access to the personal folders.
In their experience this did not work out. It was too much of a hassle.
Changes are often made directly, without the need to send out updates
that need agreement by the participants. And configuring a nice view with
all this folders was not easy as well.
To suggest good new meeting times, they would like to see who is
available and who is not. Because they all enter their appointments
in the one group folder, the resulting personal freebusy lists
with Kolab Server 2.3.2 or earlier are not useful. They either contain
to much or too little "unavailable" times.
There does not seem to be a good solution for the needs of the purchasing
department with how the current freebusy generation works.
Each folder can have three modes, see 
- events in this folder are freebusy relevant for nobody
- events in this folder are freebusy relevant for administrators
of this calendar folder (default)
- events in this folder are freebusy relevant for everyone
with read access to this folder
and the event specic values of "show-time-as" is also considered
as either BUSY or to generate no entry, also see .
No matter how the common folder of the purchasing department is configured
it does not work out. If they set it to not being relevant, the
appointments in there will not be in the freebusy list. If they set it
to relevant for every reader, there will be too much time blocked
because everyone will only participate in some meetings, but all will
be in everyones freebusy list.
The vacation times span many days, they either block this for everyone
or are not in the freebusy list.
Just looking at the calender to make the appointments will not be enough
as there are still the private calenders that get factored in the freebusy
lists. For people from outside of the department this also would not be
a choice as they lack access to the purchasing calender folder. They can
only access the freebusy list.
What can we do to support this need with Kolab?
One suggestion is to add a new mode of generating freebusy informations
to the Kolab Server side. It basically will only consider confirmed
participants to each appointment.
So we add a new value for the "incidences-for" annotation,
For each enty in a folder with this annotation, the freebusy generation
will consider: show-time-as accordingly, so no entry if it is "free"
Then consider each participant who is confirmed or tentitavely confirmed
and the entry to the participant's pfb and pxfb.
Managing Director + Owner: www.Intevation.net <- A Free Software Company
Kolabsys.com: Board Member FSFE.org: Founding GA Member
Intevation GmbH, Osnabrück, DE; Amtsgericht Osnabrück, HRB 18998
Geschäftsführer Frank Koormann, Bernhard Reiter, Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner
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