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Re: [Orgmode] Re: Active timestamp with notification in advance

From: Bastien
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] Re: Active timestamp with notification in advance
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 10:19:57 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.110007 (No Gnus v0.7) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

Carsten Dominik <address@hidden> writes:

> On Feb 28, 2008, at 3:05 AM, Wanrong Lin wrote:
>> For SCHEDULED and plain active time stamp, I don't think we need to
>> have a default ahead notification setting as with deadlines, but it
>> would really be nice to support the <..... -3d> format. It would be
>> even nicer to have a new keyword (like "SCHEDULED@") that indicates
>> a strictly scheduled item (just a fancy term for "appointment") and
>> hence a default ahead notification setting can be applied. The lack
>> of real appointment support in org-mode in fact is a little bit
>> puzzling to me, since SCHEDULED item may or may not be strictly
>> scheduled, while plain time stamp item may or may not be something
>> that needs to take actions on (as it could be just an event).
> Hmmm, lets discuss this for a while.

It looks like there are two questions here: whether we should have a
dedicated syntax for appointments, distinct from active timestamps, and
whether we should allow warnings on other timestamps than deadline ones.
(Maybe a good thing to keep these issue separate as long as possible.)

I don't feel the need of a new APPOINTMENT keyword, or a SCHEDULED@ one,
because I'm using timestamps like this:

- active timestamps for appointments;

- SCHEDULED timestamps for items that (1) need to remain in the agenda
  when they are not DONE, and (2) I don't need to be warned about;

- DEADLINE for everything else that I need to attach a date with.

I guess this setup is somewhat counter-intuitive for newcomers, since
the semantic of SCHEDULED makes you believe this is what you need for
most tasks.  But I think this semantic is somewhat misleading.

With the setup above, I tend to use more and more active timestamps and
deadlines.  The need for a scheduled item is very rare, since the two
specific features of SCHEDULED is that I won't be warned about such
tasks and I will be able to find them with `org-check-before-date'...

So, rather than introducing a new keyword, I'd better get rid of them
and redefine timestamps like this:

  [2008-02-28 jeu]   Inactive timestamp
  <2008-02-28 jeu>   Active timestamp
  {2008-02-28 jeu}   Interactive timestamp

By "interactive", I mean that those timestamps would be aware of
`org-deadline-warning-days' and other variables like this one, or be
able to stay in the agenda if the associated task is not DONE, etc.

For exemple:

  {2008-02-28 jeu -10d}  
    => Warn 10 days before

  {2008-02-28 jeu -10d--+2d} 
    => Warn 10 days before and 2 days after, if not DONE
Active timestamp would also use this syntax, but for the purpose of
defining *time spans*, not pre- and post-reminders.

For example:

  <2008-02-18 jeu +3d> 
    => Define an appointment for a meeting between
       2008-02-28 and 2008-02-21.

I'm aware that this change would require a careful redefinition of the
use of "scheduled" and "deadline" in variable names and in the manual,
but I think that it would finally help simplifying things a bit.

In a sense, relying spontaneous understanding that people have of the
words "SCHEDULED" and "DEADLINE" can be a bit dangerous -- or simply
assumes too much about the normal use of those kinds of timestamps.


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