What's up with date?

Support Ticket


So... what's up these days with date? I can't get the inteface to work the way I imagine it's suppose to work.

We use date mostly in our action items system to set the due date for an action item.  See thefarmschool.wagn.org/action_item+*tform

I've created our Due-date as type date via a due_date+*rform card.
I've checked that all of our due_date cards are now of type date.

When I create a new action item card I see a link with a relatively recent date. If I click that date I get the way-cool calendar interface. Is that who it is suppose to work? I'd rather see something like "select" as the link


When I go to edit an existing action item, I see the date I set but have to double-click it to get anything to happen and which point I see the due_date card in open view and am able to click the link to the date and again get the way cool interface. I'd like to see link to the date without having to double-click anything.


Am I missing something (I usually am ;-)?


Unfortunately, I don't think you're missing anything: our dates are not great.  I think the behavior you describe is where we are.  I could explain how we got there, but it's not a riveting story, and anyway I'm more interested in thinking about where we should go.


There is one thing that I improved on your site w a workaround: I made the date default to today by updating due_date+*rform to be blank.  Even that workaround is obnoxious: I changed it to a phrase card, deleted the content, then changed it back to a date.  Sigh.


There are several realms in which I want to improve dates, most of which should be placed in a broader context:




Right now, there are 3 different ways we do in-place editing in Wagn:

  1. open card views, in which case you click the edit tab to start editing.  I like this feature and am guessing we'll always want an option like this, but we definitely don't want to include every card on every page in open view.
  2. double-clicking to edit.  This is fine as far as it goes, but (a) I think it should be optional, because it doesn't really make sense in some contexts, (b) we need to improve the feature, because it sometimes triggers editing when you don't intend it too (this is ticketed), and (c) it's not enough for certain cards, especially lists, because with those it's not clear where you click to edit the list itself rather than the list items
  3. extra edit interface.  Currently only pointers have this (the add/edit link), and in fact if you want to render Pointers *without* the extra interface, you can't.  I see this as a significant problem (though we can often workaround it by including a search for the pointer items).  More relevant here, I think you should be able to add these extra interface bits to any cardtype, including dates.  I'd like to come up with a very unobtrusive but clear icon to use for this end.

One way I think this could work is that we should have a setting called something like "*in place" where you can set it to use double-clicks, extra interface, or both.  You should be able override the setting with inclusion syntax.


So that goes to the issue of whether you have to double-click, but perhaps the biggest pain is the extra steps you have to take upon starting into edit view.

opening the date editor


Whether creating a new card or editing an existing one, it doesn't make sense to me that you should have the extra step of clicking on the date to get the editor *after* already being in edit mode.  I think the interface should just be there in most cases, or at least that should be the default behavior when you're editing *just* the date card.  In the context of a bigger form, sometimes it's nice not to eat up too much real estate when with a full calendar when the default date is usually right.


I don't yet have a real proposal for this one, though my strong suspicion is that we won't get into fixing this until we can move over to a jQuery-based calendar from the custom one we have now.


overhauling dates


Still none of this gets close to some of our bigger ambitions with dates.  Currently a date card is just stored as a bit of text with date information in it.  What I want is for Wagn to have more smarts about how dates work, and to be able to create a virtual card about any date and time.  That card could then be used as a place holder for all kinds of things - cards created and edited on that date, other cards with (as in your case) due dates that would "point" to that date (rather than just be unintegrated text), etc.   Having done this, it would be easy to create all kinds of date and time visualizations of your system.




I don't know where all this should go, but I'm hopeful that we'll get the opportunity to work on all of these before too long -- it has the ring of fundability to it, if we can find folks for whom Wagn is perfect, except for the date handling :).

Whew! Thanks Ethan. At least now I can stop worrying about getting date to work how I want it to and leave the worrying to you (not really.... ;-)

  --Peter Kindfield.....Sun Feb 21 07:29:47 -0800 2010

Ohhh... the delete the date from the the due_date+*rform workaround did not have a lasting effect. I had tried it beofre with the same temporary result. Sigh... ;-)

  --Peter Kindfield.....Sun Feb 21 09:33:24 -0800 2010

The workaround should make it so that whenever you create a new action item, the due date is set to the day when you created the action item (rather than the date you last edited the rform). Am I right in guessing that you're probably looking for it to just leave the date blank until set? Sigh, yeah that doesn't work yet either...

  --Ethan McCutchen.....Mon Feb 22 08:48:58 -0800 2010

Gotcha... the workaround is working as expected if not as desired ;-)

  --Peter Kindfield.....Mon Feb 22 08:59:45 -0800 2010

Ha! exactly:)

  --Ethan McCutchen.....Mon Feb 22 09:05:50 -0800 2010

See make simple edit-alternative to double click.

  --John Abbe.....Sat May 01 17:18:54 -0700 2010

overhaul Dates

  --John Abbe.....Sat Feb 26 15:47:55 -0800 2011