#1 2020-05-07 04:09:40

weerdoh
Member
Registered: 2020-05-07
Posts: 9

What do if GeneralSync dies? How retain calendar data?

Hi,

first of all I'd like to thank you for this beautiful and incredibly useful app.

I have just connected my smartphone to my PC, GeneralSync copied my calendar to a new calendar (I will refer to it as "GS cal" from now on) and synced its data to Thunderbird.

At first I thought that GS does two things:
1. CONSTANTLY sync data from my local smartphone cal to the GS cal and THEN
2. CONSTANTLY sync from the GS cal to Thunderbird

However, it just seems to create a ONE-TIME copy of my local cal, which is the GS cal, and then expects me to use that from now on when creating new events on my smartphone.
This leads to the situation where a user of GS is highly dependent on the app, since if the project dies or suddenly costs 10$/month many users (including me) cannot use it anymore.
But now all our data is in the GS cal which gets deleted when one uninstalls the app.

So my question is: What is the backup plan? How can I copy the GS calendar data (or even the whole calendar) to a local one (like I am using currently)?

I have not found any solution/apps capable of doing that. I've tried the app "Calendar Cloner" which is not actively developed anymore and is not working.

Thank you in advance!

#2 2020-05-07 05:54:09

ds
Founder / Developer
From: Freiburg, Germany
Registered: 2016-06-15
Posts: 278

Re: What do if GeneralSync dies? How retain calendar data?

Thanks for your interest in GeneralSync!

weerdoh wrote:

However, it just seems to create a ONE-TIME copy of my local cal, which is the GS cal, and then expects me to use that from now on when creating new events on my smartphone.

This is correct. There are technical reasons that would prevent GeneralSync from syncing non-GeneralSync calendars: permitting other calendars would, in certain cases, cause loss of data and the unintended duplication of events.

That's also the reason why the feature is called "Import": you import existing data into a GeneralSync calendar. Importing is not limited to local calendars: you can import events from any calendar present on your device.

weerdoh wrote:

This leads to the situation where a user of GS is highly dependent on the app, since if the project dies or suddenly costs 10$/month many users (including me) cannot use it anymore.

The same interface that is used by GeneralSync to import your existing calendar can also be used by any other app to import from a GeneralSync calendar. If you want to switch to a calendar without a native import option, there are multiple apps that can im-/export any Android calendar from/to common file formats.

So if you don't want to keep using GeneralSync once the beta ends, you can export your data to a different calendar before uninstalling GeneralSync. That being said, the export will only include data that is supported by Android (see the full feature matrix) – so it might be better to do the export on a PC.

So to answer your concrete question explicitly:

weerdoh wrote:

How can I copy the GS calendar data (or even the whole calendar) to a local one (like I am using currently)?

Install an im-/export app like the open-source Calendar Import/Export and use that to export your GeneralSync calendars. Then import the exported files into the calendar you want to switch to. Double-check that the operation has finished, then you can safely uninstall GeneralSync.

#3 2020-05-07 07:04:36

weerdoh
Member
Registered: 2020-05-07
Posts: 9

Re: What do if GeneralSync dies? How retain calendar data?

These are really inspiring approaches, thank you so much!

Since your suggested Calendar Import/Export app requires many additional tools I would otherwise not need, I looked for another solution to export calender data and found... Thunderbird!
Sometimes its really as easy as it can get. Just right click on the calendar and select "export" and Thunderbird exports it to an ics file. I have set up a local dummy calender on my smartphone where I am currently re-importing the ics file. This is going to take a while but it seems to work so far. If some events are not going to be imported as expected, I will report back here.

I really appreciate your detailed and knowledgeable support. Absolute class-A dev. I really hope, once the beta phase ends, you make it either free for private use or offer one-time-payment / lifetime licence. I hate paying something on a monthly basis..

All the best!

#4 2020-05-07 08:02:37

ds
Founder / Developer
From: Freiburg, Germany
Registered: 2016-06-15
Posts: 278

Re: What do if GeneralSync dies? How retain calendar data?

weerdoh wrote:

I have set up a local dummy calender on my smartphone where I am currently re-importing the ics file.

If your calendar app directly has an ics import feature then yes, that is a simple option. I assumed you did not yet have a working import option, that's why I suggested an app that can do both.

weerdoh wrote:

I really hope, once the beta phase ends, you make it either free for private use or offer one-time-payment / lifetime licence. I hate paying something on a monthly basis..

As outlined in the FAQ, there will be both yearly and monthly licensing options once the beta ends. It will be possible (but not mandatory) to automatically renew licenses.

While I understand your preference, lifetime licenses only work for software that can be used without regular updates. In order to keep working, GeneralSync needs to get adjusted for new versions of supported applications and operating systems. So even without any new features, there is a significant amount of work involved in just keeping GeneralSync running as-is. There are also recurring costs for support, servers and other parts of the infrastructure.

With one-time fees, there are three main options to provide the sustained revenue stream necessary to keep GeneralSync running smoothly:

  • Permanent growth: new customers pay all the bills. Once the amount of new customers declines, the project dies and there are no more updates.

  • Forced paid updates: in regular intervals, new versions with new features are made available for purchase. After some time, old versions no longer receive updates, forcing users to pay for the upgrade to the new version even if they don't need the new features. More often than not, the new versions will also contain some unnecessary features as justification for the update price, causing a bloated user interface and reducing the quality of the software itself.

  • External income: besides advertisement in the software and/or its documentation, this model can often be seen in the form of integrated cloud services paid separately, either with money, data or both.

For a product requiring perpetual updates, any of these options is a bad deal for the customer: either the project dies at some point or there is some form of recurring payment hidden behind the advertised one-time-fee.

A subscription is way more honest than pretending that there is a one-time fee, which effectively must be paid in arbitrary, undisclosed intervals. In addition, subscriptions are easy to calculate: users and developers both know in advance how much money will flow and can plan accordingly.

Given that my goal is to provide an affordable alternative to cloud services for as many people as possible, I don't think you should fear the total costs, though. While that is vague, I don't feel comfortable publishing more concrete information until the final pricing is set in stone. If you want something more tangible, contact me with your usage scenario and a price you would consider reasonable and I'll give you some (private) feedback on that.

(That being said, the Android app will remain free for personal use; that way GeneralSync calenders can get used as local calendars without any time limit, even after the beta ends. The PC version does, of course, also permit exporting without any time limits)

#5 2020-05-07 10:17:54

weerdoh
Member
Registered: 2020-05-07
Posts: 9

Re: What do if GeneralSync dies? How retain calendar data?

I totally understand that.. Not only your support is great, the ease of use of website, app and Thunderbird integration, also the terms of service and privacy policy are really top notch. Furthermore it is obiously not so easy to code something like that, given the fact there there does not seem to be ANY comparable alternative to this app out there.

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