Problems with distributed scheduling software

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DeanDTaylor
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Problems with distributed scheduling software

Postby DeanDTaylor » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:52 pm

We are having trouble with double-booking of resources under the new "distributed scheduling" paradigm. The problem is occurring NOT because members are not behaving but because the software is not behaving. I have instances where members are booking locations using their mobile devices (e.g., cell phones) and their reservations are not showing up in the "official" building calendar. Recently one ward RS scheduled our building for a work session (via the building scheduler) and another ward scheduled the same building for the same time using a mobile device (or their own PC) without the involvement of the building scheduler. The latter reservation never showed up in the official building schedule and there was a 'trainwreck' on the day of the two RS meetings.

In addition, the default calendar view that I get by unsubcribing ALL calendars except the building that I schedule DOES NOT show the same set of reservations that I get when I go to Settings/Reservations for the same building. (I might add that I continually get a scripting error whenever I click the link 'Hide all calendars'.)

It appears that there are unresolved problems in the software.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:21 pm

DeanDTaylor wrote:I have instances where members are booking locations using their mobile devices (e.g., cell phones) and their reservations are not showing up in the "official" building calendar.


Just to be clear, did it show up on the website at all? At this time the only way to schedule something is to go to the website. There's no way to sync a mobile calendar to the main calendar. That might be a "user error" problem.

Also, the conflict checking only works if they select the resource (and there's no duplicate resources).

I think you need to break down the issue(s) and find out just were the problem is happening. A broad description doesn't help the programers find and fix the bug.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

DeanDTaylor
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Postby DeanDTaylor » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:15 pm

As I said in the original post I've experienced MULTIPLE problems with overbooking. In the instance I cited I (personally) did not see the second reservation (made without the building scheduler) in any calendar. However, when I got the unpleasant report about the trainwreck I was told that BOTH parties claimed to have reserved the building. I, personally, had done the first one, but had no involvement in the second one.

In a separate instance just this week a member called and asked me to confirm that her reservation of the building for a YM/YW activity had been entered in good order (her husband had apparently done it himself via phone, PC, or whatever, but without my involvement). When I checked the calendar online the reservation did not show up, initially. Rather, what showed up was a weekly-recurring 'open' reservation for that building at that time. To reassure the member I attempted to modify and replace the recurring reservation with hers, but the software refused to allow it. I then attempted to delete the single instance of the recurring reservation and then enter the member's event, in its place. This also was refused by the software with a message stating that it conflicted with another event, though at that point the calendar displayed NO other event in the building on that day. At this point I was confused and frustrated and just started experimenting. Serendipitously, I discovered that when I changed from the default view of the calendar to the Settings/Reservations view with all available filters checked, the woman's husband's reservation magically appeared (as I noted in my initial post). So in my mind the software committed two "unpardonable sins": (1) It allowed the sister's husband to double-book (on top of the pre-existing, recurring reservation, and (2) It masked the second reservation in the default view of the calendar for the building. (Again, as I previously noted, I don't see the same reservations in the default view [with my building as the only subscribed view] as I see in the Settings/Reservations view of the same building [regardless of which filters are active].)

I appreciate the comment about the need for definitive information to isolate problems. Hopefully, the information I've provided will be helpful. I'm anxious to avoid any more unpleasantness due to double-booking.

dshep2020
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Postby dshep2020 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:04 pm

I have had several members express some frustration while learning the new system. Many claim that the "calendar is broken" or "has too many bugs". After walking them through the process of how to work with the calendar, their attitudes change. Granted, there are a few bugs in the current calendar, but I don't believe it is as broken as you claim. It works quite well once you become comfortable with it.

As it relates to double bookings, I too have had members claim that they have reserved buildings/locations only to find out that they indeed put an event on the calendar, but didn't edit the event details and add location and rooms. They just added the event with NO location and in the description stated they wanted the gym or RS room which didn't actually reserve it. If this was the case, and you are not subscribed to the calendar where the member scheduled the event, you would never see an event with no location.

Couple other suggestions to view ALL events:

1) While the month view is handy, it doesn't show all events using buildings/rooms within a stake. If you use the week view, it will show you ALL events that utilize the locations listed. If you uncheck all your subscribed calendars and just check the location you want to look at, it will show you events that are even on other units calendars. Week view is available to all members, even if they are not calendar editors. This can be helpful in helping someone figure out what days and times buildings and rooms may be available.

2) You can also see this on the reservations calendar, as you mentioned in your post. The Settings > Reservations page isn't available to all members, but it is to administrators. You can view all scheduled activities in both month and week view by location.

Again, I don't think the issues are as dire as you are presenting them. I just believe it takes a bit of working with the new calendar to understand how to use it effectively.

mwgbell
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Postby mwgbell » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:43 pm

DeanDTaylor wrote:...when I changed from the default view of the calendar to the Settings/Reservations view with all available filters checked, the woman's husband's reservation magically appeared (as I noted in my initial post). So in my mind the software committed two "unpardonable sins": (1) It allowed the sister's husband to double-book (on top of the pre-existing, recurring reservation, and (2) It masked the second reservation in the default view of the calendar for the building. (Again, as I previously noted, I don't see the same reservations in the default view [with my building as the only subscribed view] as I see in the Settings/Reservations view of the same building [regardless of which filters are active].)


May I ask a question? It might just be terminology, but there is a difference between a "reservation" and a "scheduled event". A reservation might just prevent other units in the stake from creating an event at that time. (The classic example is that Ward A in our building has the gym on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday; Ward B has the gym on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday. I created reservations for Ward A and B on their respective nights so that no one could inadvertently schedule an event in the gym on a night that wasn't their's. However, these reservations do not actually "book" the building.) A "Scheduled event" actually books the building. So, I could make "reservations" all day long and therefore think I had reserved the building. But you could come along and schedule events over top of my reservations -- which might result in me "thinking" the software had double-booked the building.

Also, as was alluded in passing, I have synced the LDS.org calendar with my Google Calendar. If I they try to book an event on my Google Calendar, nothing is passed back to the LDS.org calendar.

To help the programmers understand what the bug might be, would it be possible for you to walk through the exact steps that result in this double-booking? If you can find a repeatable sequence, it typically greatly increases the likelihood of the bug being identified and squished.

DeanDTaylor
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Postby DeanDTaylor » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:07 pm

Thanks for the info about 'week' view. I tried it and it performed as you advertised--with one exception. I got the following script error when I switched to 'week' view and every time I attempted to scroll (or click) to change the week shown:

"A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, or you can continue to see if the script will complete.

Script: https://ldscdn.org/scripts/jquery/1.5.1 ... .min.js:16"

Needless to say the continual stream of error messages makes an already-slow process much slower.

In regard to the scheduling conflict that I described in detail in my previous post, the location WAS specified for both events, and the building was still double-booked. In fact, our ward's Sunday block of meetings is ALSO double-booked (you can verify this if you have access to our stake information). Fortunately this has no real impact because both reservations are for our ward's own meetings. But there are two different bookings as evidenced by the fact that one reserves the entire facility and the other reserves only specified rooms.

I am disappointed (and frustrated) at the cavalier attitude about double-booking manifested in the previous post. A response to one of the other posts that I read earlier today stated that the distributed scheduling concept has been adopted to streamline the scheduling process and reduce wasted time. When two auxiliaries schedule an event at the same time and location, and find that one of them is forced to cancel or move to some other location when they discover that the building is double-booked, how much time (and emotional capital) is wasted? (Never mind how much of MY time is wasted trying to unravel these problems before/and or after the fact.)

With the holiday season fast approaching and all the associated events planned in our building I'm hoping that I don't have to explain any more "trainwrecks" to our members.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:24 pm

DeanDTaylor wrote:In regard to the scheduling conflict that I described in detail in my previous post, the location WAS specified for both events, and the building was still double-booked. In fact, our ward's Sunday block of meetings is ALSO double-booked (you can verify this if you have access to our stake information). Fortunately this has no real impact because both reservations are for our ward's own meetings. But there are two different bookings as evidenced by the fact that one reserves the entire facility and the other reserves only specified rooms.


It will help narrow down the issue tremendously if you will be careful about using the terminology that the calendar system uses. In the paragraph I quote above, you use the term "event" to refer to both items in the first sentence, and then in the third sentence you use the word "reservation", apparently to refer to those same items. Then in the last sentence you use the word "bookings".

There is a significant difference between a Reservation and an Event. Almost every case where I have seen someone claim that there is a double booking happens because they confuse a Reservation with an Event, or they just failed to actually include the correct rooms in the correct location.

Only an Event actually books a room. A Reservation does not. If someone created a Reservation and in so doing thought they had booked a room, then they need some gentle teaching. Fortunately, very few people have the permission to create a Reservation -- only a building scheduler, and for each location most stakes choose to have just one scheduler.

There are plenty of people on the forum willing to try to help you. Could you please revisit your example, and look at the two items that you report are in conflict? Specifically, in a view where you can see both items, click on the item, then go into the details, and determine for each event:

  1. Is it a Reservation or an Event?
  2. Does it include a location -- the same location?
  3. Does it include rooms -- at least one of the rooms being the same?
  4. Is it on the same date and time?
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

dshep2020
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Postby dshep2020 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:36 pm

DeanDTaylor wrote:I am disappointed (and frustrated) at the cavalier attitude about double-booking manifested in the previous post. A response to one of the other posts that I read earlier today stated that the distributed scheduling concept has been adopted to streamline the scheduling process and reduce wasted time. When two auxiliaries schedule an event at the same time and location, and find that one of them is forced to cancel or move to some other location when they discover that the building is double-booked, how much time (and emotional capital) is wasted? (Never mind how much of MY time is wasted trying to unravel these problems before/and or after the fact.)


I hope you were not referring to my post back to you as being cavalier...that was not the intent. I am not a church employee, just a fellow member who has been using the new calander for the good part of a year. My stake and member units have not experienced the double bookings issues you have. Perhaps someone else would be of more assistance is getting to the bottom of the issues you are having.

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Postby jdlessley » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:50 pm

dshepher wrote:2) You can also see this on the reservations calendar, as you mentioned in your post. The Settings > Reservations page isn't available to all members, but it is to administrators.
Just so we don't confuse anyone, the Settings > Reservations page isn't available to administrators either. Only building schedulers have this page/capability.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

dshep2020
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Postby dshep2020 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:03 am

jdlessley wrote:Just so we don't confuse anyone, the Settings > Reservations page isn't available to administrators either. Only building schedulers have this page/capability.


Thanks for the correction!


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