Minkowsky Documentation


Minkowsky is a client server application. Therefore all data are stored on a central server. The clients request and display this data (and send changes to the server)

The server itself maintains basically one huge calendar, one huge list of tasks and projects and one huge address book. A users calendar is now only an excerpt of all appointments the particular user participates.

However, it is possible to take a look into other users calender (list of tasks and so on). A system of permission controls which appointments (tasks, ...) of one user is visible to another. This permission can be either based on settings inn an appointment ( task ...) or in the users preferences.

Minkowsky manages groups of user (similar to the OS). The members of the groups are determined by the administrator on the server. This groups may give either an faster access to departments within your organisation. And you may assign special permission to groups.

Command line options

If you start Minkowsky from the command line you have some options:

                  minkowsky [-v] [-bin path] [-lang language-code] [-f file ]
                            [-u name ] [-p phrase] [-c command] [-mrr]
-v Let the client be very very very verbose.
-bin path use the tcl-scripts on path instead of the normal script.
-lang language-code Don't use the default language or the language defined by the environment variable LANG, but the one defined here. The language-code is a two letter code. Currently defined are de for German and en for English.
-f file use the file file as configuration file instead of /etc/minkowsky
-u name Reserved for a future command line only client application
-p phrase Reserved for a future command line only client application
-c commanf Reserved for a future command line only client application
-mrr Enable the Mrr-Auto-install mechanism even if not enabled in /etc/minkowsky
username let the login window default to the username username instead of your name.

The structure of Minkowsky

Minkowsky splits into three sections mentioned above:

  • The Calendar
  • The Task and Project Management
  • The Address Book
    Note: The purpose of the address book within Minkowsky is twofold:

    1. Being able to invite external people to appointment.
      You may even send them invitations and reminders via e-mail.
    2. To make memos associated with contacts into addresses memo pad and having those memos available to the whole company (or whatever group is using Minkowsky)

The GUI of Minkowsky is divided into three regions:

The Toolbar

The Toolbar give you the fundamental functions, some common to all three section, some specific to one of them. Lets concentrate on the common on at this point. The other will be explained in the sections documentation.

    Exit Minkowsky
    Quits Minkowsky (what did you expect).
    Reloads the current view from the server. Since someone else might have changed the calendar (task list ....) in the mean time. (The Minkowsky client performs this function automatically every 15 min.).
    Back Home
    Jump back to the view you started in the particular section.
    Prints the current calendar (or whatever is is visible)
    New Object
    Creates a new appointment, a new task or a new address if you are in the calendar, task list or address book, respectively.
    Users Preferences
    Feel free to customise here your Minkowsky client to your needs. This includes the layout and security issues like passwords.
    Main purpose is to display this documentation. As an add on you may inspect the group structure.
    A copyright note.

    The Calender or Task List Selection

    The Calender or Task List Selection determines which calendar(s) or task list(s) will be displayed. You may select and display more than one calendar or task list at a time. For the address book this selection is without function.

    Selection Users or groups

    You may view calendars (or task list) of multiple users and/or groups at a time. To do so you have to select this users and groups in the Calender or Task List Selection on the right side of the window. However, this selection won't be displayed unless you press the Show Button at the bottom.

    There are some helpers to make this selection easier for larger selections the:

  • The Exclusive-Button select the particular user exclusively, that is all other users and groups are cleared from the selection.
  • The All-Button selects all members of a group (or a set see below) and the group itself. Hence you will not only see those appointment, to which the group is invited as group. But also those of all the appointments group members are invited to individually.
  • For the advanced users

    Double clicking on the Exclusiv-Button or the All-Button will update the calendar (or task list) as if you pressed the Show-Button after selecting. Similar a double click on a user or group name selects this user or group an updates the calendar (or task list) afterwards.


    If you need certain selections of users and groups all over again you may store them as a Set. Sets may be understood as user defined groups. However, there are three differences between sets and groups:

    1. Groups are defined by the administrator. Sets are defined by users
    2. Set don not have an Calender. Hence you can use only the All-Button on sets.
    3. If you invite an group to an appointment, all group members are invited as members of this groups rather than individually (which may make a difference as far as permission are concerned).
    If you invite an sets to an appointment, the set members are always invited individually.

    Creating a set is simple. Select all users and groups you want to join the set and press Save Set. After naming the set you find the set below the groups in the Groups & Sets Section of the Calender or Task List Selection.

    To modify a set select the new selection of user and group and save the set under the old name.

    Selection of Rooms

    The selection of rooms (more generally speaking locations) are the same as with users and groups apart from two point:

    • A rooms calendar is always exclusive. Hence all other users, groups or rooms are cleared from the selection.
    • Accordingly if you select a user, a group or a set any selected room is clear from the selection.


    • The mouse handling
       left mouse buttonright mouse button
      • A Click on the left mouse button on an appointment opens a dialog for modifying it.
      • A Click on the left mouse button on free part of the calendar creates a new appointment at the time defined by the mouse position and opens an dialog to define this appointment.
      A Click on the right mouse button on an appointment opens an overview of this appointment with some extra functions: You may delete the appointment. Repeated appointments may be suspended or shifted.
      Task List A Click on the left mouse button on a task or project opens it for modifications. A Click on the left mouse button on a task or project displays an overview.
      Address Book A Click on the left mouse button selects the address. This address may serve as template for a new address or may be move into a folder. A Click on the right mouse button opens the address (oder the address folder) for viewing or editing.

    • The Initiator

      The users who has created a appointment or a task is always stored as the initiator of this appointment or task. This grants him full access at any time. It is impossible to change the initiator.

    • Rules for simultaneous modification of an appointments by two users

      If two user modify one appointment at the same time, you need some rules to decide which modifications are accepted:

      • The modifications of the user who submitted first are always accepted.
      • All modifications on parts which are not change by the first user are accepted, as well.
      • All modifications on parts which are change by the first user are rejected. The second user is informed about this in a dialog window
      • If some modifications by the second user are accepted and others don't she/he is informed in a dialog window
      • The user who press the nModify-Button first, comes first.
      • This algorithm works for three and more users simultaneously modifying an appointment in a similar way.

      Please Note

      This algorithm applies only for appointments. In all other sections of Minkowsky all modification are accepted. Implementation of this algorithm in the other sections is planned for future releases.

    • Submitting modifications

      All Modification on appointments, task, projects or addresses are submitted not before the Modify-Button or Accept-Modifications-Button is pressed.
      There are two exceptions: Comments in appointments are submitted when the Add Comment-Button is pressed. Memos in a memo pad in the address book are submitted when the write-protection is enabled.

    • Automatic Reload

      About every 15 minutes Minkowsky reloads the current view in order to display modification by other user done in the mean time.

    Plans for future releases

    (No particular order)
    • General
      • PDA-Synchronisation with Palm an Agenda VR3
      • Port to MacOS X
      • Add filter for external data formats (e.g vCalendar, vCard, csv)
      • Enhanced HTML-Viewer (for the Documentation)
    • Calendar
    • Task nd Project manager
      • Extended Printing
      • Time schedule view
      • Enhanced algorithm for simultaneous modification
    • Im Address book
      • Printing
      • Import of vCard-Address books (e.g. from StarOffice)
      • Enhanced algorithm for simultaneous modification

    Ruediger Goetz
    Last modified: Tue May 28 14:17:23 CEST 2002