What's New in Version 8.1


Version 8.1 of VueMinder contains many improvements and corrections, such as the ability to specify and exact date and time for when a reminder should appear, support for importing vCalendar (vcs) files, an improved print header, navigation buttons in the Details pane, and numerous bug fixes.

Specify Exact Reminder Times

In the previous version, you could specify a reminder time for an event, but it had to be based on an offset before the start of the event. For example, if the event started at 10:00 AM and you wanted a reminder at 6:30 AM, you'd need to do the mental math to determine a reminder time of 3.5 hours (or 210 minutes). This seems to be the standard for most calendar programs. However, it can get a bit tedious to have to constantly do this math in your head, especially when you have a computer right in front of you that is capable of doing millions of these computations in a single second!

Enter version 8.1 of VueMinder. In this version, you can specify the reminder using either the time before an event, or by selecting a specific date and time. These two fields are linked together, so updating one will cause the other to automatically refresh. You can even specify a time after the event starts, like in the case of an all-day event. Technically, all-day events start at 12:00 AM, so reminders are scheduled based on an offset from 12:00 AM. If you want to see the reminder at 8:00 AM on the day of the event (not the day before!), this is now easily achievable using version 8.1.

Support For Importing vCalendar Files (Pro Version)

Version 8.1 of VueMinder Pro (as well as Portable and Enterprise) adds the ability to import from vCalendar (VCS) files. This format was the standard before iCalendar (ICS), and is used by many older calendar programs. If you've been wanting to make the leap to a more modern program, but haven't switched because of the inability to import all your old data, this will no longer be an issue in version 8.1.

Importing from a VCS file is very similar to importing from other formats, like ICS. From the File menu, select Import Events. On the Import window, select "vCalendar (vcs)" as the file source. Click the Next button and select the vcs file you'd like to import. A wizard will guide you through the remaining steps to import, which is very quick and easy. As a shortcut, you can also drag-and-drop VCS files into the VueMinder window, or double-click the VCS file to open it in VueMinder.

Print Header Now Shows the Previous Month

When printing many of the layout styles, such as Daily, Weekly, and Monthly, an optional header is displayed at the top of the page. This header includes mini calendars, to provide context for the current page and a quick view of the following month. In version 8.1, this header has been improved to also show the previous month, since there's enough space and this area of the header was previously going to waste.

More Event Duration Choices

When defining an event, a duration field allows the event length to be specified. This field can accept values entered using the keyboard, such as "16 minutes". It also has a drop-down button which presents a list of common duration values. Previously, the drop-down list was missing values like "45 minutes" and "50 minutes", which are used quite often in some professions. The value could be typed into the field, but it's often faster to select the value from the drop-down list. Also, it might not be immediately obvious that any value can be typed into the duration field, so new users would sometimes think they're limited to the values shown in the drop-down list.

For these reasons, version 8.1 has expanded the drop-down list with many new values, which should cover the needs of most users. If you find the drop-down list is missing a value you commonly use, please let us know and we'll add it.

Item Navigation in the Details Pane

The Details Pane shows the details of the currently selected event, task, or note. In the previous version, the Details pane would refresh only when a different item was selected. This could sometimes make navigation between sequential items more difficult, because each item would need to be selected from the calendar view by clicking, before the details would be shown. Version 8.1 improves this by including previous/next navigation buttons. Clicking these buttons will cause the previous or next item (in chronological order) to appear in the Details pane.

Webcal Links

Version 8.1 adds the ability to process webcal links that are clicked in a web browser. The link will be opened by VueMinder and a new calendar subscription created. Webcal links are available all over the web. One of the best locations we've found is at http://www.webcal.fi/en/webcals.php. Previously in this blog, we described how to add sunrise/sunset times by manually editing a URL to include your latitude and longitude. As of version 8.1, this will no longer be necessary. Simply click a button or link in your browser, select VueMinder to open the link, and the calendar will be automatically added to VueMinder.

Lots 'o Bug Fixes

The previous version included a number of corrections for memory leaks. However, some of those corrections resulted in unforeseen consequences, which weren't detected during more than a month of beta testing. We thought all the bugs were worked out of 8.0 when it was released, but then we started getting isolated reports of strange happenings. It turns out many of these bugs were related to memory being released before it should have been, and other weird geeky stuff we won't bore you with.

If you've noticed any odd behavior, like reminders or events spontaneously disappearing, changes not being saved, items not syncing with Google Calendar or over your local network, program crashes, or anything else that seems wrong - chances are it has been corrected in 8.1. The memory leak corrections are still present, but we've fine-tuned the way memory is cleaned up, so it won't lead to the other problems people have seen. You might not have encountered any of these problems, since we certainly didn't during the long testing phase prior to release. However, it's better to be safe than sorry, so we'd advise you to update to the latest version, if you haven't already and if all the other improvements mentioned above aren't motivation enough!  :)

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