Wall calendar listing dates vertically with Saturday and Sunday highlighted

Challenges of Scheduling Meetings

  • Adam Douglas

I found the task of scheduling a meeting a lot more challenging nowadays compared to the past. In the past most people that would attend a meeting where already a member of the group whether that be co-workers, family or a group of friends. A quick chat would usually come to a conclusion of when to have a meeting. Even in a business environment, one could just check your co-worker’s calendar for availability, or a quick email to those few remote people and resolve what would be the best fit to schedule a meeting that would work for the majority. In our current modern times this is not the case. The group for the meeting often entails people from all over the world with many different timezones. Sure meetings are easier than ever to host online than in the past with all the software and services we now have. Yet, in my experience most of these services do not make it easy to solve the problem of, when is the best time for all involved.

The Lost Solution

I’ve found over time that a simple poll is best to resolve the problem. Saying this though, I thought I finally found a free/libre open source software solution called Framadate, to just find out when I was sitting down to write a post about it that the project has been put into maintenance mode according to issue #545. I even went to the work of writing up a knowledge base article on how to install the software to host it yourself. So now the struggle is to find another open source software solution.

These are the reasons why I was excited about this software and service, Framadate by The Framasoft association.

  • Self-host or free hosted service without an account
  • Make standard polls
  • Make date event polls
  • Visual poll results
  • Polls automatically delete
  • Export poll data to a spreadsheet
  • Minimum software dependencies
    • PHP
    • MySQL database
  • Runs on almost all hosting providers
  • Free without advertisements
  • Respects your freedoms

I’ve come across a few interesting solutions, but more often than not I find that they require such things as Go, Rust, Redis, PostgreSQL, etc. that would therefore require a hosting provider with dedicated server, virtual private server or cloud services. Most people including myself do not have the financial means to accomplish this and in all honestly is far beyond what should be required in the first place.

New work has been started on Funky Framadate Front and Date Poll API as replacements to Framadate. However, I’ve not been able to make sense of it as yet, and there hasn’t been a release in over a year.

What Now?

I honestly do not know what I’m going to use. For the time being I will continue to use Framadate’s free hosted service until I’m able to find a good replacement. Do you happen to know of a good solution that fits the criteria listed above? Please feel free to contact me to pass on your possible solution.

This is post 38 of 100, and is round 2 of the 100 Days To Offload challenge.

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