Palm OS Synchronization

Hi,

I’m a new list subscriber, but have used RT for some now at work. After
searching through the list archives by hand and initial google searches,
I’m unable to find any information on synchronizing my RT tickets with
my PalmOS 5 based Treo 600.

It seems like it would be a wonderful convergence project, as my Treo
has internet access easily available and the ability to Hot Sync over
the net. If I could have RT tickets automatically pop into my Toto list
on my Treo, it would make my life a lot easier in terms of addressing
user requests.

Has anyone hacked this together? If not, does anyone have any
suggestions on where I might start hacking it? I’ve primarily been
using my Treo for remote SSH, but am currently working on using it as
part of a central information repository and sync it with other PIM
software on my workstation. I’m willing to sync to Linux or OSX, as I
have both workstation on my desk.

Regards,
Jeff McCune
OSU Department of Mathematics System Support
(614) 292-4962
gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-key BAF3211A

It seems like it would be a wonderful convergence project, as my Treo
has internet access easily available and the ability to Hot Sync over
the net. If I could have RT tickets automatically pop into my Toto list
on my Treo, it would make my life a lot easier in terms of addressing
user requests.

I’m not sure how to make that happen, but the Treo can receive email
so all you need to get tickets there is to put its address in a
queue’s admincc list. I can’t reach my RT’s web server from the
internet and I’m too cheap to buy the Treo VPN client so I don’t know
how it would work to interact directly instead of through email.

Les Mikesell
les@futuesource.com

Hi,

I’m a new list subscriber, but have used RT for some now at work. After
searching through the list archives by hand and initial google searches,
I’m unable to find any information on synchronizing my RT tickets with
my PalmOS 5 based Treo 600.

It seems like it would be a wonderful convergence project, as my Treo
has internet access easily available and the ability to Hot Sync over
the net. If I could have RT tickets automatically pop into my Toto list
on my Treo, it would make my life a lot easier in terms of addressing
user requests.

So. the thing to be careful of is that the Palm todo list is anemic and
doesn’t have the metadata needed to really track things. The “right” way
to do this, I think is to make an RT to ical (RFC2445) sync tool,
since everything supports 2445 these days. Of course, the treo has
network. Which begs the question of why not just build a stripped down
web ui for the treo?

Jesse

Les Mikesell wrote:

I’m not sure how to make that happen, but the Treo can receive email
so all you need to get tickets there is to put its address in a
queue’s admincc list. I can’t reach my RT’s web server from the
internet and I’m too cheap to buy the Treo VPN client so I don’t know
how it would work to interact directly instead of through email.


Les Mikesell
les@futuesource.com

I use pssh on my treo to ssh to work and read email. Email would be
another layer outside of my todo list that I’d rarely check. I already
have certain RT tickets being forwarded to my phone via SMS. From our
chairman for example.

The key I’m looking for is a convergence of my personal and work todo
lists I keep on my treo and PIM software with my open RT tickets.

Regards,
Jeff McCune
OSU Department of Mathematics System Support
(614) 292-4962
gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-key BAF3211A

Jesse Vincent wrote:

The thing to be careful of is that the Palm todo list is anemic and
doesn’t have the metadata needed to really track things. The "right"
way to do this, I think is to make an RT to ical (RFC2445) sync tool,
since everything supports 2445 these days. Of course, the treo has
network. Which begs the question of why not just build a stripped down
web ui for the treo?

Jesse

I’d like offline access. Persistent network access on the treo sucks
battery like nothing else and prevents incoming calls, not to mention
being fairly slow. Ideally, the information will be all in one place,
which is why I’d like it integrated into my Palm ToDo list.

I like the idea of a RT to ical interface.

Another option is RSS. I have a decently nice RSS client, which
obviously won’t give me integration into my todo list, but will at least
give me an offline viewer I can check. Are there any RSS outputs for RT
available?

This would get me up and running so I can do the iCal conversion "right"
rather than hack it together.

Regards,
Jeff McCune
OSU Department of Mathematics System Support
(614) 292-4962
gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-key BAF3211A

Another option is RSS. I have a decently nice RSS client, which
obviously won’t give me integration into my todo list, but will at least
give me an offline viewer I can check. Are there any RSS outputs for RT
available?

Yes. In RT 3.2 and newer, look in the lower right hand corner of the
search results page for the “RSS” link.

I use pssh on my treo to ssh to work and read email.

Mine (Sprint version) has a built-in pop mail client that picks
up email automatically at scheduled intervals or on demand. An
account came with the service but it can access others. That lets
you read and respond while working offline. I had to do a flash
update on the phone to get the mail program. If you don’t have that
option there is a free pop client from eudora and some commercial
imap versions.

Email would be
another layer outside of my todo list that I’d rarely check.

It beeps when something comes in so it’s hard to ignore. I interact
with several things through email so it always seems like the obvious
choice.

I already
have certain RT tickets being forwarded to my phone via SMS. From our
chairman for example.

Sms messages are too short to be of much use except to tell you
to look elsewhere. Email can hold the whole ticket and let you
respond. How would the todo list get a response back to the
requester or database?

Les Mikesell
les@futuresource.com

I’m a new list subscriber, but have used RT for some now at work. After
searching through the list archives by hand and initial google searches,
I’m unable to find any information on synchronizing my RT tickets with
my PalmOS 5 based Treo 600.

It seems like it would be a wonderful convergence project, as my Treo
has internet access easily available and the ability to Hot Sync over
the net. If I could have RT tickets automatically pop into my Toto list
on my Treo, it would make my life a lot easier in terms of addressing
user requests.

So. the thing to be careful of is that the Palm todo list is anemic and
doesn’t have the metadata needed to really track things. The “right” way
to do this, I think is to make an RT to ical (RFC2445) sync tool,
since everything supports 2445 these days. Of course, the treo has
network. Which begs the question of why not just build a stripped down
web ui for the treo?

An RT to ical tool of some sort would be great. A quick look over the
lists shows this:

http://lists.bestpractical.com/pipermail/rt-devel/2003-February/003135.html

Which is interesting…

Tim.

Tim Bishop
http://www.bishnet.net/tim
PGP Key: 0x5AE7D984

I use pssh on my treo to ssh to work and read email. Email would be
another layer outside of my todo list that I’d rarely check. I already
have certain RT tickets being forwarded to my phone via SMS. From our
chairman for example.

The key I’m looking for is a convergence of my personal and work todo
lists I keep on my treo and PIM software with my open RT tickets.

Regards,

Jeff McCune
OSU Department of Mathematics System Support

I get the impression from reading this thread that you aren’t looking
to do anything RT-ish on the handheld (ie not modify the status or
anything), more to ensure you have an up-to-date list of the open
tickets within an given RT repository.

If that is the case then, what it would seem you are looking at is an
RT aware tool that exports your open tickets into a given format, and
something that then syncs that formatted data against a DB on the
handheld - the ToDoDB (or Tasks as the app is called now) being the
obvious one, however a bespoke one that might store a few more details
relevant to RT’s internal ticket structure might not be a bad thing.

The Palm ToDoDB structure would merely seem to offer the follwing data:

(example taken from an XML representation of ToDoDB records from some
things I’ve been playing with, as part of the pilot-link codebase)

<pilotlink:todo id=“8335431” private=“0” archived=“0” modified=“0” busy=“0” category=“0” complete=“1” priority=“5”>
<pilotlink:due year=“2001” month=“7” day=“25” />
pilotlink:descriptionA test todo for trying out my upload stuff</pilotlink:description>
pilotlink:noteA note
ø slash O</pilotlink:note>
</pilotlink:todo>

of which the

“complete”, “priority” and “category”

record-level attributes might be useful along with the actual data
fields:

“due date”, “description” and the “note”

Whilst it would thus seem possible to shoehorn any extra data from an
RT ticket into the “note” field, probably by use of some well-defined
markup scheme, having a handheld DB specifically for RT data would
seem to offer a “bit more for your money”.

Apologies that the above is all a bit “blue-sky” but hoping it
provides some food for thought.

Regards,

  • Kevin M. Buckley e-mail: K.Buckley@lancaster.ac.uk *
  •                                                                *
    
  • Systems Administrator *
  • Computer Centre *
  • Lancaster University Voice: +44 (0) 1524 5 93718 *
  • LANCASTER. LA1 4YW Fax : +44 (0) 1524 5 25113 *
  • England. *
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  • My PC runs Linux/GNU, you still computing the Bill Gate$’ way ? *

The key I’m looking for is a convergence of my personal and work todo
lists I keep on my treo and PIM software with my open RT tickets.

I get the impression from reading this thread that you aren’t looking
to do anything RT-ish on the handheld (ie not modify the status or
anything), more to ensure you have an up-to-date list of the open
tickets within an given RT repository.

That certainly sounds like the more straight-forward approach.
Considering that any external source can probably only store a subset of
the RT data it’d be quite tricky to synchronize back the other way (but
not impossible, of course).

If that is the case then, what it would seem you are looking at is an
RT aware tool that exports your open tickets into a given format, and
something that then syncs that formatted data against a DB on the
handheld - the ToDoDB (or Tasks as the app is called now) being the
obvious one, however a bespoke one that might store a few more details
relevant to RT’s internal ticket structure might not be a bad thing.

As Jesse mentioned, it might make sense to use ical (RFC2445) as an
intermediate format. Producing something to export a list of tickets in
that format is actually quite simple - in RT 3.2.2 (and probably other
versions) there’s an RSS link at the bottom of the search list that does
a similar thing. It’s not a great leap to add a new link that does the
same thing but in ical rather than RSS.

At that point you have a list of tickets from any given query in a
format that can hopefully be inserted into other devices. Quite how you
do that last bit I’m not sure - but there’s gotta be apps out there that
do that, right? :wink:

I might have a stab at implementing that first part tomorrow.

Cheers,
Tim.

Tim Bishop
http://www.bishnet.net/tim
PGP Key: 0x5AE7D984

As Jesse mentioned, it might make sense to use ical (RFC2445) as an
intermediate format. Producing something to export a list of tickets in
that format is actually quite simple - in RT 3.2.2 (and probably other
versions) there’s an RSS link at the bottom of the search list that does
a similar thing. It’s not a great leap to add a new link that does the
same thing but in ical rather than RSS.

At that point you have a list of tickets from any given query in a
format that can hopefully be inserted into other devices. Quite how you
do that last bit I’m not sure - but there’s gotta be apps out there that
do that, right? :wink:

As long as there is an iCal parser that can place the data you have
dumped about the RT ticket into a known structure that describes it
the yes, there is code out there - the pilot-link project has the core
stuff, mostly in C, but with Perl bindings, that you need to talk to
the devices - the problem would seem to be coming up with a format
within the chosen app on the handheld that would allow you to extract
it back again into something meaningful to RT, which then set you down
the road that allows you to sync.

I might as well throw the XML instead of iCal transfer/intermediate
format into the equation.

This might be of interest, wrt storing the data in existing Palm (or
other handheld) apps:

http://nwalsh.com/docs/articles/extreme2002/

As I mentioned though, having a bespoke app on the handheld in which
the data structures are setup from the beginning to hold RT
information would be a better solution.

Out of interest, what information would be required to “make use” of
an RT ticket on a handheld if such use could, initially anyway, be
considered to be simple off-line browsing ?

Thinking about what is visible in the stock user interface, would this
list be enough:

RT installtion identifier (for uniqueness
or maybe one Palm DB per RT installation)
Ticket Number
Current Status

Original Requestor
Original Description

and then just a list of

Follow up comment
Comment submitter

Regards,

  • Kevin M. Buckley e-mail: K.Buckley@lancaster.ac.uk *
  •                                                                *
    
  • Systems Administrator *
  • Computer Centre *
  • Lancaster University Voice: +44 (0) 1524 5 93718 *
  • LANCASTER. LA1 4YW Fax : +44 (0) 1524 5 25113 *
  • England. *
  •                                                                *
    
  • My PC runs Linux/GNU, you still computing the Bill Gate$’ way ? *

I might as well throw the XML instead of iCal transfer/intermediate
format into the equation.

I think it is at least as likely that someone would want to
pull the data into outlook tasks or the evolution or icalendar
equivalents, then sync to/from the palm because there may be
other sources of events to merge and they may also be modified
from the PC if one is in the picture.

For myself, the email copy is the best place to work since I
have other things sending email that I track and it is easy
enough to make email go anywhere.

Les Mikesell
les@futuresource.com