Synchronize "snoozed" reminders (Google Calendar / iCal)?

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daniel347x
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Synchronize "snoozed" reminders (Google Calendar / iCal)?

Post by daniel347x » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:58 pm

Hello -

I have found that if I "snooze" a reminder, it does not synchronize either with Google Calendar, or with .ics publishing/subscribing.

This is an important feature for me, because I depend on "snoozing" most of my events - sometimes dozens of times over days or weeks.

My synchronization need is simply so that I can use Vueminder on multiple personal machines that I own.

Do you know if it is - or will be at some point reasonably soon - possible to synchronize "snoozed" reminders between multiple machines?

(I also asked this question in a customer support email, but I have since realized that this forum is active.)

Thanks,
Dan.

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Re: Synchronize "snoozed" reminders (Google Calendar / iCal)

Post by VueSoft » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:22 pm

Hi Dan, welcome to the forums. Unfortunately, snoozing of synced calendars is designed to work independently on each computer. Snoozing a reminder on one computer will not snooze the reminder on another. I can see where it might be useful to sync the reminder snooze status if you are bouncing between a lot of computers. I’ll consider adding this as an option.

In case you’re interested, the USB version handles this by storing all data on a USB stick. When you take the USB version to another computer, all reminder snooze status information is preserved.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions.
Dan Chartrand, Founder
VueSoft LLC | St. Louis, Missouri, USA

daniel347x
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: Synchronize "snoozed" reminders (Google Calendar / iCal)

Post by daniel347x » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:04 pm

Thank you.

Rather than using the USB feature (I connect remotely to one of my computers and therefore cannot supply a USB stick for it), after some investigation, I have realized that before the time comes that the program is enhanced to allow for automatic synchronization of snoozed alarms, my best approach might be to export/import the data between instances.

It *would* work as follows (except for 1 missing piece): I automate the "export" to occur every 5 minutes, and my synchronization software (such as DropBox) automatically copies the exported files to my other machine. When on the other machine, I import the file into a new calendar. I display the imported calendar items with a starkly contrasting color, and sort the list view by name. In this way, the events form pairs. I glance at the fully-widened "Reminder" column to look for any differences within a pair, which the eye can do quickly for even a large number of items. For each pair with a difference, I choose the one I want, delete the other one, and then (if necessary) assign to the desired calendar. Any new (unpaired) items in one calendar or the other are, likewise, easily spotted and either deleted or merged. Once completed, I delete the temporary calendar.

The above approach *would* work, except I have found that the "export" feature does not export the snoozed reminder time. I looked in the iCal specifications, and it seems possible to include "VALARM" entries that could contain the properly snoozed time. If not, it would also seem that your custom .csv export could contain additional fields, if necessary, to manage the snoozed reminder times.

It seems to me that it might be easier for you to enhance the export/import feature of the program to include snoozed reminders, than to enhance the program to allow for automated synchronization of snoozed reminders via Google Calendar. Am I correct in my assessment that snoozed reminders can't be exported/imported?

In any case, as an aside, I also would like to mention that, like some other commenters, I have also been using Calendarscope for years. I can second other comments that, though stable, Calendarscope has not been given much work for years, and the developer takes a long time to respond. It seems clear that nothing is going to change with that program for a long time. And there are some real annoyances with it. VueMinder is a major improvement over Calendarscope through-and-through, without being any worse in any significant way that I have found yet. After another round of extensive research, it seems that VueMinder is the best calendar/reminder program available today (assuming you don't want Outlook - and Zimbra has a long ways to go yet).

I'll be very excited to see full automated synchronization between machines enabled, whenever it is possible to build this feature into place (including snoozed reminders).

Thanks,
Dan.

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Re: Synchronize "snoozed" reminders (Google Calendar / iCal)

Post by VueSoft » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:32 pm

Hi Dan, thanks for the feedback. I'll add an option to include reminder snooze status when importing/exporting to ICS, and will let you know when this this available. The same underlying code is used for ICS publish/subscribe, so once this improvement is completed you might not need to do the import/export workaround you described above(unless you're a glutton for punishment...). Instead, you could configure both computers to automatically publish/subscribe to the same ICS file located on your network.

Thank you for the suggestion. Please let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions.
Dan Chartrand, Founder
VueSoft LLC | St. Louis, Missouri, USA

daniel347x
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Re: Synchronize "snoozed" reminders (Google Calendar / iCal)

Post by daniel347x » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:31 am

Thank you. I will look forward to this.

I have a related question regarding ICS publishing/subscribing that I'd like to clear up. If a change is made to a calendar, and then the publishing/subscribing process happens, it occurs to me that if "subscribing" causes the local data to be overwritten by the remote data, it could conceivably overwrite the change before the "publishing" has a chance to push the new data out.

Similarly, in the more complex scenario of non-conflicting changes being made on two computers at the same time - will both changes be reflected on both computers after publishing/subscribing has automatically occurred on both? In other words, are changes properly merged via the publishing/subscribing process?

It will clear my mind if these issues are handled in at least a reasonably intelligent fashion by publishing/subscribing. Do you happen to know the answer?

Thanks,
Dan.

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Re: Synchronize "snoozed" reminders (Google Calendar / iCal)

Post by VueSoft » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:32 pm

Hi Dan, the ICS publish/subscribe implementation was designed to allow multiple computers to merge changes in the same ICS file. It's not quite as robust as the VueMinder Server database approach, but if you're only using a few computers it should work fine.

In case you're curious, VueMinder keeps track of the last time an ICS file was published and the last time it was subscribed. VueMinder also places timestamps on events when they are modified, and compares these timestamps with the last publish/subscribe times to determine how changes should be merged. The timestamps are acquired from an internet time server, not the local computer clock, so even if your computer clocks are not set to exactly the same time, the timestamps will still be accurate and changes will still merge properly.

The only case this doesn't work is if the same event is modified on 2 different computers at exactly the same time (plus or minus 8 seconds). In that case, whoever saved the event last will win.

I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Dan Chartrand, Founder
VueSoft LLC | St. Louis, Missouri, USA

daniel347x
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Re: Synchronize "snoozed" reminders (Google Calendar / iCal)

Post by daniel347x » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:55 pm

Dan -

This sounds excellent. Following up - Is there really a VueMinder Server? Is this something that is intended for an end-user such as myself to use for exactly the purposes I have in mind - synchronizing VueMinder between multiple machines as fully and robustly as possible? If so, I will gladly pay for that.

I have done a thorough investigation of the VueMinder website, and I saw no reference to VueMinder Server. Your comment, and link, is the first reference I've heard to it. That is why I ask if it's intended for end-user installation by customers such as myself. If so - I'm also curious why it's not advertised on the website.

Thanks,
Dan.

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Re: Synchronize "snoozed" reminders (Google Calendar / iCal)

Post by VueSoft » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:20 pm

Hi Dan, VueMinder Server is provided free of charge. It's intended for end-users and is described in the online documentation:
http://www.vueminder.com/products/vuemi ... endar.html
http://www.vueminder.com/products/vuemi ... ml#sharing

There's also a download section the the following page:
http://www.vueminder.com/index.php?page=download

There's supposed to be a link to the VueMinder Server page on the Sharing Options window, but a recent change caused the link to be hidden. I've corrected this for the next version.

VueMinder Server works with the Pro and Ultimate versions. In the Pro version, only events can be shared. In the Ultimate version, all data can be shared.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Dan Chartrand, Founder
VueSoft LLC | St. Louis, Missouri, USA

daniel347x
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: Synchronize "snoozed" reminders (Google Calendar / iCal)

Post by daniel347x » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:26 pm

Ahh - Ok. VueMinder Server only works over a LAN. It won't be useful for me for that reason.

Making it available over WAN (regular internet) would be tremendous.

In the meantime, I'm grateful that ICS synchronization is likely to work.

Thanks for your efforts,
Dan.

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Re: Synchronize "snoozed" reminders (Google Calendar / iCal)

Post by VueSoft » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:40 pm

VueMinder Server will also work when outside your local network, if you know the IP address of the computer where VueMinder Server is running, and if you've configured your router/firewall to allow external access. I haven't configured it this way, but I know some other people on the forums have, so it's definitely possible. See this post:
http://www.vueminder.com/forums/phpBB3/ ... ?f=5&t=542
Dan Chartrand, Founder
VueSoft LLC | St. Louis, Missouri, USA

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