I thought I’d take a look at Chandler for GTD.  I downloaded and installed Chandler_win_1.0-rc1.exe.  That was the easy part.  Then I had to import my Outlook data.

Chandler can import .ics files (only). In case you’re unaware, Outlook 2003 can export a .ics file, but it exports one per event.  This doesn’t work for my 1000+ events.

I tried outlook2icalv1.04.zip from SourceForge (plus others, that either did a worse job, or would only export a SMALL number of events).  When I imported the file it created, Chandler threw the following error:

  File "C:\Program Files\Chandler1.0-rc1\release\bin\lib\site-packages\dateutil\rrule.py", line 948, in _handle_BYWEEKDAY
n = wday[:i] or None
exceptions.UnboundLocalError: local variable 'i' referenced before assignment­


Since I know just a bit of Python I edited "C:\Program Files\Chandler1.0-rc1\release\bin\lib\site-packages\dateutil\rrule.py" and inserted at line 945:

    i = 0


I’m guessing that under some conditions, the i isn’t defined upon exit from the loop, so I moved its scope to be outside the loop.
I had to delete the corresponding .pyo file in order to force the recompile.

This still wasn’t enough to let Chandler import my .ics file, so I edited my .ics file and mass-replaced "INTERVAL=0" with "INTERVAL=1".  This is a bug in outlook2icalv1.04.zip.  INTERVAL must be a positive integer, and, as some of us learned in the 3rd grade, "positive" is not the same as "non-negative," because zero is neither negative or positive.

And it was also necessary to mass-replace (regular expression) ";BYDAY=$" ($ means EOL) with nothing.  outlook2icalv1.04.zip outputs BYDAY=(nothing) when it shouldn’t output BYDAY at all.

Then I realized that none of this debugging was going to import my Outlook Tasks, because outlook2icalv1.04.zip only exports appointments.  I could have modified outlook2icalv1.04.zip, since it is just VBA imported into Outlook, but I had to get some things done (i.e. work).

New personal rule – PIM data goes in Outlook.  No synchronizing with Outlook.  No export from Outlook.  No add-ins to Outlook that make my data unusable in a plain-old-Outlook.  (I am open to using add-ins that store all their data in Outlook Appointments or Tasks – just not add-ins that store data that doesn’t show up in Outlook when I open my PST from another computer.)

Outlook is the data store for my PIM data.  The counting of the Holy Hand Grenade shall be Outlook – not 2, nor 4.