VALARM support #148

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teto opened this Issue Jan 29, 2015 · 22 comments

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@teto
teto commented Jan 29, 2015

I had looked for a program like khal one year ago without success but I am very glad to have found it. My question is not directly related but might become. I am looking for a daemon able to read my calendar and warn me via popups when an event is closing in. Thunderbird does warn me but only when it's open. So I was wondering if anyone knew of such a tool and if not, would it make sense to divide khal into a daemon and a client application (as urxvt or powerline).

@untitaker
Member

Khal could use atd instead of launching its own daemon.

@untitaker
Member

Also I think @michaeladler wrote something like this for his own use?

@geier
Member
geier commented Jan 29, 2015

Without thinking too much about this, I'm not a fan of writing our own
daemon here. Using either at or cron and any notification
program comes to my mind.

Quoting Markus Unterwaditzer (2015-01-29 18:05:40)

Also I think @michaeladler wrote something like this for his own use?


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#148 (comment)

@teto
teto commented Jan 29, 2015

Somehow the workflow would be, write a cronjob that polls every X minutes from khal events within next X minutes events and pass those events to at ?
This should be enough if X is low. Otherwise if the calendar changes (event removed, or close event added) during the next X minutes it may become complex to handle.

@geier geier added the enhancement label Feb 2, 2015
@michaeladler

@untitaker: Nope, I pretty much wrote the opposite: a tool that removes annoying alerts from ics-files :)

@teto
teto commented Feb 3, 2015

@michaeladler I would like to be annoyed by such a tool, any name in mind ?

@geier
Member
geier commented Feb 3, 2015

I'm happy to support any such endeavor with any custom functions needed, but won't get to implement the tool itself for quite some time.

@geier geier referenced this issue Feb 18, 2015
Closed

VALARM support #167

@geier
Member
geier commented Feb 18, 2015

@mbaldessari 's suggestion:

It would be extremely cool to have something (just thinking aloud here) like:
khal alarms --script foo --delta 60min which will call foo for every event that will take place
in the next 60 minutes (passing the subject of the event + time as args). That way it could
be put in a cron job pretty easily.

@geier geier changed the title from Caldav daemon to launch popups before events to VALARM support Feb 18, 2015
@untitaker
Member

I think that's problematic. If the command you posted were to be executed every hour, it could miss events that are happening within 60 mins and were synced recently. If the user tries to mitigate this by calling that command more often, the given script would be executed multiple times for one event.

I think a better approach is a hook in the config file that is called whenever khal pleases to do so. But in that case, the next version of vdirsyncer will include such a hook, it will invoke a script for each new or updated ics file, thanks to @michaeladler.

@teto
teto commented Feb 18, 2015

Commit susmentioned is this one I guess: pimutils/vdirsyncer@2084534 . Cool stuff. The easiest way would to go for the hook would be to remove all the previously registered cronjobs and recreate them.

@untitaker
Member

@teto In that case you might as well not rely on any hooks, and traverse the directories yourself.

I suppose we'll need another hook for deleting items?

@teto
teto commented Feb 19, 2015

I was not sure if the hook would react on a delete but it is needed I guess. You say " traverse the directories yourself." but how often ? you can do it every every X min or when the hook triggers. This way you skip useless updates. Tracking changes on a 1 to 1 mapping looks harder to me then just reset cronjobs. I dunno if there is exists a ID/hash per event ?

@hobarrera
Member

at is probably better than cron for this since:

  • It provides an id for each job, making cancellation easier.
  • It looks simpler to schedule things for a determined date/time than via cron (from the top of my head: cron has no way of adding something for 2016-04-20 without it executing on 2015-04-20 as well)
  • It's really designed for this sort of one-off thing.

I'm not sure if khal should really be invoking at though. I'd much rather see a command for output similar to khal agenda but with the date included on every line. Something else can then pick that up and manage at event addition/tracking/deletion. Anything more is honestly rather out-of-scope for khal, IMHO.

This external job/notification tracker can either:

  • Run daemonized, detecting changes to the vdir (remember: they're atomic :D ). Guarantees that no events slip past between syncs.
  • As a vdirsyncer hook.

I've no real strong preference.

@mathstuf
mathstuf commented Aug 8, 2015

I think a daemon would be much easier to implement and get right. If you have a snooze on events, you'll need to react which means staying around until the user is "done" with the notification anyways, so you may as well just scan the ical files as needed and add timers to an internal event loop.

@untitaker
Member

It certainly gives us more flexibility for more sophisticated features.

Perhaps this daemon can also keep the database in memory, so the CLI has nicer
startup performance (similar to evolution-data-server's role). Not sure how
communication between daemon and client should look like.

On Fri, Aug 07, 2015 at 10:22:17PM -0700, Ben Boeckel wrote:

I think a daemon would be much easier to implement and get right. If you have a snooze on events, you'll need to react which means staying around until the user is "done" with the notification anyways, so you may as well just scan the ical files as needed and add timers to an internal event loop.


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#148 (comment)

@teto
teto commented Aug 20, 2015

As an alternative to the daemon solution gcalcli (https://github.com/insanum/gcalcli) proposes a remind command as a cronjob. Looks easier to implement ?
(I like the way they output the week schedule too).

@geier geier referenced this issue Aug 20, 2015
Closed

week view #251

@mathstuf

IMO, you're going to want to run every 10 minutes or so anyways, so I see no reason not to just run as a daemon. No daemonization logic is needed either; use systemd --user, shell backgrounding, nohup, or other mechanisms to manage the process.

@geier geier added the help-wanted label Mar 18, 2016
This was referenced Apr 25, 2016
@waynew
waynew commented Sep 27, 2016

I think the most low-hanging fruit for alarms would be to have khal interactive alert every so often. I don't know exactly how the UI is implemented, but it seems like that would be a reasonable approach.

My personal needs would be fine with that approach.

@geier
Member
geier commented Sep 28, 2016

feel free to send an PR :)

@teto
teto commented Sep 28, 2016

I don't think it's much easier and also it would mean having the UI open at all times ? not very practical.

@waynew
waynew commented Sep 29, 2016

If you use tmux (or screen) like I do then it's perfectly practical. Otherwise I'm not sure precisely what you'd use for notifications.

@mathstuf

Have it send a notification over D-Bus and if the required modules aren't available or the config disables it, output to stdout for processing by any tool.

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