[Kolab-devel] Pre-KEP: New mode for freebusy generation?!

Gunnar Wrobel wrobel at horde.org
Wed Jul 20 08:19:21 CEST 2011

Quoting Bernhard Reiter <bernhard at intevation.de>:

> 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.
> Thanks,
>   Bernhard
> ps.: Continue conversation in kolab-format@ please, I've send a copy
>      to kolab-devel@ because this partly is an implementation question.
> Situation:
>   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.
> Technical:
>   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.
> Technical Details
>   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 [1]
>     - 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 [1].
>   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,
>   called "participants".
>   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.

Sounds like a good option to me.

Rather than spitting out a single pfb the triggering for such a folder  
would be able to generate *many* pfb's. I assume these would be  
limited to the users having at least read access to the folder?


> [1]
> http://wiki.kolab.org/Kolab2_Server_Troubleshooting_-_Free/Busy#Development_references
> --
> 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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