[Edit: added a question mark to the end of the post title, in case anyone thinks I’ve written something formal… ideally someone else will because I don’t have anything like the know-how 🙂 ]
Okay, forgive me if I’ve got that terminology all wrong, but in practical terms I’m out of my depth here.
I’m probably going over very old ground, but has anyone come up with an XML open standard/schema for declaring items on a task list or todo list (or multiple lists)?
With all my indecision about which project management system to go with, and thinking about APIs and switching from Basecamp to TeamworkPM, and on a more personal level being stuck between Remember the Milk and Toodledo (and plain old text files), it would be really handy if I could take all my tasks with me and rely on all these different systems to supply the interface I need. I don’t much care what methods they use to store my data, because I don’t see that side.
Basecamp for example (at the moment) doesn’t have a way to show what my time estimate for a task is, or what tags I have associated with it, but there’s no need for that data to be lost just because it’s not supported by a particular interface. We’re only talking a one-off import and then it can choose to preserve but not process extra information (until my one-off export into another task manager).
I realise that BC is not just a task management app, there are writeboards and milestones and messages etc., and that XML files with loads of extra nodes or whatever might become unwieldy… but I’m sure there must be a way to unite the backends of all these systems for ease of transferring data… or maybe that’s not what they want :-p …
As a basis for a format, I’d need the following at least, even if each task or system doesn’t require or use them:
- task (name)
- project name (or top-level goal)
- list name
- completion status (boolean would be fine but different interfaces could interpret anything less than 1 as incomplete)
- due date
but there could also be
- start date
- responsible party
- status (à la Toodledo)
I just find it frustrating that I can take code/graphics/audio files/whatever with me quite easily between different programs as their features and interfaces change and better each other… but it’s not so easy with the most vital day-to-day item, the list of tasks itself! I suppose that would be a strong vote for the TODO.txt system — not being tied down to an interface per se. But as much as I like TODO.txt, it hasn’t been taken up as a standard (perhaps it should have been) by the web. I think that’s what I’m trying to get at, a way that the web might go for…
SET MY TASKS FREE! 😛