"master calendar" idea on beta calendar- revisited

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kisaac
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"master calendar" idea on beta calendar- revisited

Postby kisaac » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:05 am

While we are in the beta testing phase on beta calendar, (www.beta.lds.org under "tools," select "calendar")...

Suggestion for discussion:
I would like to see a "master calendar" on the ward level at least, that contains the data from all the other calendars created, without the need for double entry. (I don't claim this as my idea) This "master calendar" would be more an admin and leader tool for controlling all ward events and minimize chaos from conflicting events, not to be confused with building a "ward calendar" for the general ward membership to view.

Basic Problem:
We've already discussed "de-conflicting" events as an issue when you have multiple people from your ward organizations scheduling and maintaining their own calendars.

The old way, with LUWS: Anything on the calendar is submitted, and then approved, and during this process, the approver could check for conflicts and not approve the conflicting event. Works well.

With beta calendar, we are encouraging our organizations to maintain their own calandars, and make them useful for their own organization. But, in doing so, we lose the "de-conflicting events" ability as each organization schedules their own calendar, and certainly WILL NOT check all other calandars. They don't check our LUWS calandar now, for example, as any LUWS admin will tell you as he constantly finds conflicts.

Solutions?
If we have a master calendar that "collects" every event automatically from each "non-private" calendar on the ward level, perhaps called a 'conflict checking calendar,' then all the data from all the ward calendars is in one place-easy to check.

possible discussions:
1) Organizations could be "required" to check this first before scheduling an event. (It won't really happen as discussed above, however, but you could assign an assistant clerk to oversee this.)
2) Better still, Calandaring App could automatically check for possible conflicts on the "master calendar" and give a "possible conflict" message to the scheduler who is scheduling an event on their organizational calendar at a time when another event is already scheduled
3) would this suggest a hierarchical relationship, a "master" (ward, or parent) and a "Sub" (organizational, child) calendar?
4) Brainstorming here: There are many ward events where a conflict is alright, even expected. However, some events take priority, like the mid-week relief society, and scheduling other organizations events should be discouraged during this event.
Could this "master calendar" contain an admin functionionality, so that already scheduled events could be approved, or Locked, or prioritized, and as each subsequent calandaring item is added that conflicts, perhaps a special conflicting meassge could be automatically generated, or even not allowed to be added without admin approval? Could an admin designate special times on the master calendar, so that as events are trying to be added on organizational calendars they get a special message automatically?

Examples: Your event is being scheduled on "family night," is this your intent?" or "your event is being scheduled during a previously scheduled event: Relief Society: which ward leadership has decided should take precedence over other ward events: Continue scheduling your event?"


Any other ideas?

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Postby jdcr256 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:00 am

The next release of calendar will have many tools included to help ward members avoid scheduling conflicts. The first of these is the addition of resources. Stakes can add any resource they wish to make schedule-able (buildings, ball fields, etc.) and make them as granular as they wish (e.g. listing individual rooms in a building).

Additionally, stake admins - or a designated building admin - can block out time in any resource for a given ward. For example, I can block out Tuesday night for the 1st Ward, and Wed. night for the 2nd Ward. When a member of the 1st ward tries to schedule an event in the building on Wed., they will not be allowed to do so, as they do not have access to the building on that night. Times that are not blocked out are available to any ward with access to that resource.

Finally, individual rooms in a building can be blocked out this way, and time can be blocked out for the stake as well, only allowing access by stake calendars to these resources.

In addition to resource scheduling, and new conflict report has been added. Whenever a user creates a new event on a calendar, they will be presented with a conflict report. The report includes four categories for conflicts.

  1. Allocations - if the user is trying to schedule an event in a resources that is allocated to another ward.
  2. Resources - if the user is trying to reserve a resource that is already reserved by another event.
  3. Locations - if the event will take place in the same location as another event (for example, if I am trying to schedule a basketball game, it would be important to know that a stake baptism is scheduled at the same time - even though I won't be reserving the same rooms).
  4. Events - the user is notified of any other events in the ward/stake that are scheduled at the same time.
Depending on the type of conflict, the user may, or may not be able to continue and save the event. In other words, some reported conflicts are informational only, while others will cause the system to block the user from saving the event.

This functionality is fairly complicated and has not been trivial to implement. I'll be very interested in the feedback we get from you as a community once these features are rolled out.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:33 am

jdcr256 wrote:The next release of calendar will have many tools included to help ward members avoid scheduling conflicts. The first of these is the addition of resources. Stakes can add any resource they wish to make schedule-able (buildings, ball fields, etc.) and make them as granular as they wish (e.g. listing individual rooms in a building).

Additionally, stake admins - or a designated building admin - can block out time in any resource for a given ward. For example, I can block out Tuesday night for the 1st Ward, and Wed. night for the 2nd Ward. When a member of the 1st ward tries to schedule an event in the building on Wed., they will not be allowed to do so, as they do not have access to the building on that night. Times that are not blocked out are available to any ward with access to that resource.

Finally, individual rooms in a building can be blocked out this way, and time can be blocked out for the stake as well, only allowing access by stake calendars to these resources.

In addition to resource scheduling, and new conflict report has been added. Whenever a user creates a new event on a calendar, they will be presented with a conflict report. The report includes four categories for conflicts.

  1. Allocations - if the user is trying to schedule an event in a resources that is allocated to another ward.
  2. Resources - if the user is trying to reserve a resource that is already reserved by another event.
  3. Locations - if the event will take place in the same location as another event (for example, if I am trying to schedule a basketball game, it would be important to know that a stake baptism is scheduled at the same time - even though I won't be reserving the same rooms).
  4. Events - the user is notified of any other events in the ward/stake that are scheduled at the same time.
Depending on the type of conflict, the user may, or may not be able to continue and save the event. In other words, some reported conflicts are informational only, while others will cause the system to block the user from saving the event.

This functionality is fairly complicated and has not been trivial to implement. I'll be very interested in the feedback we get from you as a community once these features are rolled out.


All I can say is WOW! Thanks for the hard work!!.
Can you shed any light on the following two issues which I've already provided feedback on a while ago.

1) Multiple events entered on any given day will result in the events being cut-off when displayed. The existing LUWS calendar will enlarge the box to accommodate longer event entries.

2) Printing - similar issue to #1 above. The only way of printing a calendar and seeing all the events is to reduce the print font to a microscopic size.

I look forward to further updates!
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:17 am

The resource scheduling sounds interesting. A couple of questions - is it easy to schedule the resources at the same time as the event? Is it fairly easy to schedule the resources for times longer (but not shorter) then the event?

For example, someone may need the gym starting Thursday night for decorating but the event isn't until Friday. So the resource needs to be blocked out starting Thursday night, but the appropriate event calendar shouldn't show anything until the starting time of the event.

One of my big disappointments with the current LUWS is the resource is a separate calendar making it difficult to update the resources when there's a change in the event calendar.
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Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

jdcr256
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Postby jdcr256 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:57 pm

techgy wrote:1) Multiple events entered on any given day will result in the events being cut-off when displayed. The existing LUWS calendar will enlarge the box to accommodate longer event entries.


We've made several changes to how events are shown. There are still scenarios where the entire description does not show, but we have added a few small tweaks that will make it easier:

  • mousing over the event will expand the box to show more info
  • In some instances, we may omit the time (since the time can be seen on the calendar itself) in order to show more description.
There are still more tweaks to make, and we'd welcome more feedback once you see the changes that are coming.

techgy wrote:2) Printing - similar issue to #1 above. The only way of printing a calendar and seeing all the events is to reduce the print font to a microscopic size.


We are completely overhauling the print functionality that shipped with the first release of the new calendar. It is still being designed, so I don't have the details of how this will be implemented. Showing events in a way that makes the printout useful is the top priority.

RussellHltn wrote:The resource scheduling sounds interesting. A couple of questions - is it easy to schedule the resources at the same time as the event?


The Create Event dialogue has been modified to add a drop down to select a resource to reserve with an event. So scheduling resources is done at the same time, and in the same dialogue, as creating the event itself.

RussellHltn wrote:Is it fairly easy to schedule the resources for times longer (but not shorter) then the event?

For example, someone may need the gym starting Thursday night for decorating but the event isn't until Friday. So the resource needs to be blocked out starting Thursday night, but the appropriate event calendar shouldn't show anything until the starting time of the event.


Since you schedule the event and resource simultaneously, you can't reserve the resource for a different amount of time. I would resolve this in the following manner:

Assume a primary activity in the gym on a Saturday morning. The presidency wants to meet on Friday to decorate the gym. I would schedule the activity on the ward's Primary calendar (reserving the resource) so all subscribed can see it. I would then schedule the gym on Friday evening on the Primary Presidency calendar (again, reserving the resource) that the presidency, and any others who have been invited, can see.

Likewise, if you were meeting right before the activity, you could schedule it then. This takes a little more work (scheduling two separate events) but is a lot more useful. Those who need to see the activity event will have it show up on their calendars, and those who need to help with setup will see that as a separate event on their calendar as a reminder to show up.

The second 'set up' event may look a little ugly if you needed to make it long enough to keep the resource reserved for a little longer. For example, I may want to have the evening setup event last until 10:30pm (the latest anyone is supposed to be in the building) in order to keep the EQ from scheduling a basketball game in the gym that evening.

techgy
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Beta Site Response

Postby techgy » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:39 pm

I'm thrilled about the new features that are coming forward for both the Calendar and Directory. However, I'm curious about the response of the site itself.

If I compared the new beta.lds.org site to the current LUWS, the response of LUWS is much faster. I realize that the beta site may be on a different server (?) and thus because of development, be somewhat slower. Or is it perhaps something else?

Thanks for your hard work.
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building use policy or guidelines

Postby srweight » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:35 pm

jdcr256 wrote:We've made several changes to how events are shown.


Is there a building use policy or guidelines for building use as part of the site. We have used the "News and Info" section of LUWS to do this.

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Postby aebrown » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:44 pm

srweight wrote:Is there a building use policy or guidelines for building use as part of the site. We have used the "News and Info" section of LUWS to do this.


Although there are some general building use policies in the Handbook and other manuals, I would think that to a large extent, local wards and stakes set specific use policies that would vary. If that is true, then I think the News and Information area would continue to be a good place to put such information.
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jdcr256
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Postby jdcr256 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:46 pm

srweight wrote:Is there a building use policy or guidelines for building use as part of the site. We have used the "News and Info" section of LUWS to do this.


Currently we are just working on the directory and calendar applications. There are other functions in the LUWS that will need to be replaced as well. Work on those other applications has not yet started.

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Postby kisaac » Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:46 pm

jdcr256 wrote:This functionality is fairly complicated and has not been trivial to implement. I'll be very interested in the feedback we get from you as a community once these features are rolled out.


Great! I can't wait to try it. Still trying to figure out what calandar we'll be photocopying and handing out at ward council without double entry...


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