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TWIG

  • January 11, 2001
  • By Joshua D. Drake
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The calendar supports the assignment of groups, recurring events, start/end time and days. It supports multiple views, such as one week, one month etc... It supports the viewing of the complete calendar within a group. This allows you to view an entire month of appointments within a given group. It also supports purging, allowing you to select a data that you can delete appointments from. This particular feature will be useful if you use TWIG exclusively- as appointments get old, the database storing those appointments will get larger and larger. A little tidiness never hurt anyone.

The To-Do list is basically a mini version of the scheduler/calendar application. Unfortunately, it does not have any association with the calendar. If you create an item and you assign a due date and time, it will not tell the calendar that you have a to-do on that date and time. I can understand not actually inserting it into the calendar, as it is supposed to be more of a reminder, or sticky note type of application. However, an icon that alerts the user to an item on a particular day when they are viewing their calendar would be very useful.

The note feature is just that a note for self-application. You can assign groups and titles to the notes to help organize them. I don't find the note application useful. In fact, it seems like they should take the features of the notes, add the features that I asked for from the contact manager, and make it a sub-application. This would allow the keeping of notes in a group such as "general" but also associate them with a customer.

One feature that really stands out within the application is the NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) or Usenet news capability. There are two very good reasons for this ability. The first is internal discussion. You could create an internal support forum for your users. It could be used for sales leads, technical support, even to pass all those jokes around. The only provision is that you would have to have an internal NNTP server to support the groups. The second reason is very similar, but it would open your entire organization up to the very usable world of USENET news. USENET is not for every organization. You would definitely want to keep an eye on employee usage. If you have computer technicians, USENET is a very good way to find free help for those bizarre problems that you cannot solve easily. This is especially true of Linux/UNIX/Open-Source type programs. The USENET reader is full featured. It allows searching for new groups, subscribing, posting, replying and just about anything else you can do with a newsreader. The only exception is inline MIME. If your news group has attached pictures, it is treated like a message attachment. The only difference is that you actually have to click on the attachment to view it. It will not show inline within the news article.

TWIG is highly customizable. It can change its appearance to have nice tiny icons to go completely text. The text version is nice if you have limited bandwidth to work with. It would be particularly useful for traveling sales-people who are limited to that 28.8 you bought them on that 3-year-old laptop. Don't worry; there is a rumor in the air that Sprint will be offering 1.1Mb data via cell phones early next year.

The TWIG application is currently under very heavy development. Some of the features I have talked about in this article did not make their debut until a week ago at the release of 2.6.1. If the development continues at its current rate, I would expect to see many of the finer features start to show themselves. The contact notes I mentioned perhaps? (Blatant Hint). TWIG can be found on the web at http://www.screwdriver.net/twig.

About Author

Joshua Drake is the Webmaster of the Linux Documentation Project and the owner of Command Prompt Inc., a Linux and e-commerce company. Command Prompt can be found on the Web at http://www.commandprompt.com.





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