KAlarm Bugs and Feature Requests

These are the currently known bugs affecting the latest version of KAlarm, and feature enhancement requests.

Please send further bug reports or suggestions to David Jarvie - but if your copy of KAlarm comes from your distribution, preferably submit bug reports to the KDE bug reporting system, to help keep track better.

If there is a feature request listed here which you would like to see implemented, please email your views so that the popularity of different features can be assessed.

Bugs and feature requests are categorised as follows:

KAlarm Bugs

Known bugs.

● Ignore alarms of wrong type in a calendar
If alarms of the wrong type (active/archived) for the calendar's type are displayed, the user won't know what resource they belong to. Calendars which contain only the wrong alarm types are automatically disabled, but the problem could occur if a calendar contains a mixture of correct and wrong alarm types.
● Clock time alarms don't work properly
● KMail access functions don't work if KMail wasn't running beforehand
● Working time only alarms: time shown in alarm list
To evaluate the next time a working-time-only alarm will actually trigger, the local time zone is used instead of KAlarm's preferred time zone to interpret working hours. This fault only affects the display of alarm times - the alarm will trigger at the correct time.
● KDE 3: Don't allow more than one audio file to play simultaneously
Potentially causes hangup if an error message is output for the first file.
 

Bugs caused by external software or packages

Bugs which appear to be KAlarm bugs but which are actually due to other software.

● Audio fade doesn't work (KDE 4) (KDE bug 223511)
Software responsible: Phonon Xine backend
Using the KDE 4 version of KAlarm, audio fade settings may not work - the sound may go to the final volume almost immediately after it starts playing. This is due to a bug in the Xine backend of Phonon, which is no longer maintained, and occurs in KDE 4.4 at least. Please use the Phonon's GStreamer or VLC backend instead.
● System tray icon doesn't update to show KAlarm enabled/disabled status
Software responsible: kdelibs 4.7 and earlier
The system tray icon should change to reflect the alarms-enabled/disabled status, but in some cases for KAlarm version 2.7.0 or later, it will always show the alarms-enabled icon after the first time alarms are re-enabled. This is due to a bug in the KDE libraries (kdelibs). To fix this, kdelibs 4.8.0 or later must be installed.
● KAlarm only uses the UTC time zone (KDE 4)
Software responsible: kdelibs 4.4.0 and earlier
Sometimes the only time zone which KAlarm makes available may be the UTC time zone. This will result in alarm times being offset by a fixed amount dependent on your local time zone. This fault occurs in two different circumstances:
  • When running the KDE 4 version of KAlarm under a non-KDE desktop, e.g. Gnome, this can be due to a bug in the KDE libraries (kdelibs). To fix this, kdelibs 4.4.1 or later must be installed.
  • The KDE time zone service application, ktimezoned, may not be installed. A startup warning about the non-availability of the KDE time zone service has been added since KAlarm version 2.6.0.
● KAlarm failing to start at login on non-KDE desktops
Software responsible: incorrect auto-start command
One of the following commands MUST be used to auto-start KAlarm at login:
  • kalarmautostart kalarm --tray
    
    kalarmautostart kalarm
If session restoration is used, the command 'kalarm' for auto-start will often fail to activate KAlarm successfully. This is due a conflict between session restoration and auto-start which is not handled properly by KDE applications.
● Alarm message window buttons have same colour as message background (Mandriva bug 52129)
Software responsible: Ia-Ora-Qt and CDE styles
Not all styles work completely correctly with KDE programs. The Oxygen style works best.
● KAlarm for KDE 4.0, SUSE 11.0
Software responsible: SUSE KDE 4.0
SUSE packages for KDE 4.0 are based on unofficial and not fully working versions of KAlarm and other KDEPIM software. Daylight savings time changes are not handled correctly. Calendar files can become read-only due to a backward change in the KAlarm version number during development (a change which was never expected to be packaged).

To enable the alarm calendar to be written to, edit the file ~/.kde4/share/apps/kalarm/calendar.ics and change the 4th line to contain the version number 1.9.10
● System tray icon has an opaque background (KDE 3) (KDE bug 122988)
Software responsible: QtCurve style
In the system tray, the KAlarm icon sometimes does not have a transparent background, but instead displays inside an opaque square set to the KDE window background colour. This is due to a bug in the QtCurve style, and can be fixed by choosing a different style.
● Crash when -e or -E options are specified on command line (KDE 3)
Software responsible: kdelibs 3.5.8 and earlier
On KDE 3.5.8 or earlier, if either of the command line options -e or -E are used, KAlarm crashes with a console message like this:
    kcmdlineargs.cpp:405: int findOption(const KCmdLineOptions*, QCString&, const char*&, const char*&, bool&): Assertion `result' failed.
This is due to a bug in the KDE libraries which was fixed (by SVN commit 728712 on 24 Oct 2007) just after KDE 3.5.8 was issued.
● MP3 files not playing (KDE 3)
Software responsible: missing aRts plugins
This may be due to some aRts plugin packages not being installed. On Debian or Ubuntu, try installing libarts1-mpeglib, libarts1-xine, libarts1-audiofile, liballegro4.2-plugin-arts, vlc-plugin-arts. Other distributions may use different package names.
 

Scheduled Features

New features which will be provided in the next version.


 

Future Feature Enhancements

New features which may or may not eventually be implemented.

● Add support for recurring wake-from-suspend alarms (Email)
Allow wake-from-suspend to be set automatically for recurrences of an alarm.
● Alert user to the fact that exceptions and reminders don't apply to sub-repetitions (KDE bug 148251)
If the user selects the reminder option or specifies an exception, and a sub-repetition is configured, display a warning message. Exceptions suppress the EVENT if it occurs on the exception date/time, not the ALARM if the alarm is offset from the event. Suppression of sub-repetitions is according to the recurrence date, not the sub-repetition date.
● Add option for last working day of month, etc. to day-of-month options
● Add option to set recurrence date as a base recurrence with a number of days offset (Email)
Allow the date of recurrences to be specified as a recurrence date plus a number of days offset. This would allow, for example, US election dates to be set up, which are the Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Note that the recurrence calculation method which KAlarm uses (which is shared with other kdepim applications) doesn't really cater for an offset of this type, and it would require quite a lot of work to make this possible.
● Add option to send emails via smtp
Provide an option to send emails via a public SMTP as an alternative to sendmail or kmail.
● Provide instant messaging (kopete) action (KDE bug 123736)
● Extra options for reporting command alarm execution failure (KDE bug 139743)
  • Show error message in systray tip.
  • Report in a log file.
● Export/import facility for individual alarms to Google Calendar
This needs to wait for KAlarm's migration to Akonadi, which should provide an interface to Google Calendar.
● Allow seconds to be specified in alarm times (KDE bug 119968)
● Start recurrence/sub-repetition only after alarm is acknowledged (KDE bug 145890)
● Allow the default deferral interval for an alarm to be specified in the Alarm Edit dialogue (KDE bug 273720)
● Ask question requiring an answer when an alarm triggers (Email)
When an alarm displays, ask a question requiring an answer from the user. The user must supply the correct answer for the alarm window to close. The idea is that if the alarm is to wake the user up, it forces the user to wake up sufficiently to answer the question.
● Add all/selected alarms as a new calendar into KOrganizer (KDE bug 156817)
Add option to allow alarms to be added to KOrganizer as a new calendar, prompting for a calendar name.
● Integrate into Kontact (Email)

Visual Features

● Provide KNotify option for displaying alarm messages (kde-apps.org comment)
Provide the option to use KNotify for displaying alarm messages, instead of alarm message windows. Preferably, this should be on an individual alarm basis, since because it's less noticeable than a window, it would probably only be wanted for relatively unimportant alarms.
● Show the next occurrence time for recurring alarms in alarm edit dialogue
Partially DONE for KDE3 Wake up monitor when alarm displays (Email)
Offer option to wake up the monitor when an alarm triggers, if the monitor has switched off due to power control policy (e.g. on laptop).
● Provide a calendar view (KDE bug 138962)
Provide a calendar view as an alternative to the current alarm list view. Show days with alarms in bold, provide context menu actions on clicking on a day.
● Display the list of alarms for tomorrow (Email)
Allow the next day's alarms to be displayed in a list. Provide option to display the list as an alarm.
● Allow alarms to be given names and descriptions to show in alarm list (Email)
Allow the user to specify a name and optionally a description to be used in the alarm list. Instead of the "Message, File or Command" column, there would be a Name column. Optionally there would be a further column - either the current "Message, File or Command" contents but with the heading "Details", or a Description column which would contain the user-entered description.
● Allow alarm messages to blink
● Provide option to use standard KDE font for alarm message window (KDE bug 237624)

Sound Features

● Option to record sound to play back when the alarm triggers (KDE bug 228315)
Provide an option in the Alarm Edit dialogue to record the alarm sound to be played when the alarm triggers. This would, for example, allow a spoken message to be played as the alarm.
● Add option to unmute sound system
Add an option to unmute the sound system (master/PCM channel?) before playing a sound file.
● Provide amarok sound option (KDE bug 128345)
Also allow amarok play options to be specified.
● Option to specify playlist
Allow playing of a complete playlist.
● Option to play random sound file from playlist (KDE bug 92045)
Allow playing of random sound file from a playlist, or from amarok playlist, ...
● Option to play random sound file from directory (Email))
Allow playing of random sound file from a directory, instead of having to create a playlist.
● Provide alarm sounds with KAlarm (Likeback)
Provide a collection of alarm sounds.