khal: A newcomer enters the ring

I’m always willing to try out a new calendar tool. khal caught my eye a day ago, and it has a lot of points that are worthy of mention.

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khal itself is a command-line tool that can manage dates and events and times, but the real attraction for me comes with the bundled ikhal, which adds a multicolored fullscreen interface. And you know how I am about color. πŸ™„

Speaking directly to ikhal, you can navigate through the calendar structure with the arrow keys, and a day’s agenda will appear on the right part of the screen. Press enter to bounce to that list, press enter again to show details, and enter yet again to edit them.

You can add an event with the n key, delete one with the d key, and scroll through the day’s agenda with the arrows. Move back to the calendar panel with the left arrow, and back out of editing with escape.

I mention all these things mostly because I don’t see much documentation, onboard or otherwise, for specific keypresses while in ikhal; the help key doesn’t list much. Of course, I might have looked in the wrong place. Either way, I’m willing to forgive that since it seems khal on the whole is still in its early stages of development.

khal’s command-line mode is easy enough to decipher; the man page will have you started in a few minutes. Manage calendar events by concatenating commands, such as khal new blah blah blah, and the necessary syntax is fairly straightforward. At the time of this writing, if khal couldn’t understand what you wanted, you’d see a python error. I have a feeling some error trapping or syntax feedback is a good suggestion. 😐

So far, I can give khal and wholehearted thumbs-up. It scores big on use-of-space, use-of-color and easy navigation. I’m willing to give bonus points for the command-line interface too, and the straightforward syntax.

It will be interesting to see how it develops, and how well it can stand up to text-based calendar heavy-hitters like remind and wyrd or calcurse, or even when. Let’s finish this with a “to be continued.” … πŸ˜‰

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