Monthly Archives: October 2012

Integration of the Calendar

Recently I’ve been working on getting the Android calendar to integrate with Zadatak. The operating systems keeps its calendar data in a database and access is provided through the CalendarContract classes. CalendarContract.Events is the table that we’re using to get all the user’s event. The algorithm works by finding the day with the most free time between now and the task’s due date. In my original testing of the algorithm I was doing that by simply iterating over every day between now and the due date. However now that we have a database of events instead of them being stored in memory, the number of times you access the database becomes a consideration. A solution I am currently in the midst of implementing is polling the database once a day and loading the next month into memory as a snapshot. This way both memory and database calls are taken into consideration. The snapshot is taken once a day and then is adjusted as tasks are scheduled into certain days. Next week I’ll be working on scheduling tasks and placing them back into the android calendar.

-Nick

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Wakening of Alarms

We have begun work on the alarm portion of Zadatak, this is the system in which the phone reminds you of the tasks that you have to accomplish at the moment that you should begin them. We still need to do a little more research into how to do them completely correctly, however for now the PendingIntent class seems to work under all scenarios except for a force close. A new activity needs to also be made that will be called as the alarm’s interface to allow the user to turn off the alarm and either start the task or postpone it until another day. We also have a version of our logo that is not a sketch on a post-it note!

Zadatak Logo

– Asher

Bases of Data

Zadatak now has the ability to save! Behind the scenes Zadatak uses the Android built in SQLite database to store all of the tasks you have to do. Soon there will be a way to delete and edit them in the database, but for now all you can do is add them and view them. Though there is still quite a bit of basic android functionality to research we are progressing further and further each week to bring you the best user scheduler possible. In addition to the ability to modify and delete tasks I would also like to see the ability to have the phone remind you via the same style of interface that the alarm clock application uses as well as implement an interface for viewing the the different tasks that are assigned to you on a day by day basis.

– Asher

The Challenge of Design

Finally
After lots and lots of struggling, some real, usable interfaces exist for Zadatak! Who would have thought it would have been a such a struggle after practicing with fake buttons. But usable code with real restrictions is another ball park. The new code supports page switches (easier than I thought it would be) and a nice background (much harder than I thought it would be!) . Transparency and scrolling were also new features for myself.

As far as the interface design goes, many challenges still exist and need to be tackled. Some I know how to handle (checking the user’s data for consistancy) and some will require some research before writing any actual code (how to grab our list of tasks from a SQL database and output it to the user). The biggest and most important challenge that exists for Zadatak is sending out alarms when working on a task is required. This is critical for the functionality of our app, even when the application isn’t running. I’m not sure how to tackle this one yet, but thank goodness for google!
-Rachel

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