orageversion 4.4. Last updated: September 2006
Copyright © 2005-2006 Mickael Graf
Table of Contents
Orage is a time-managing application that is part of the Xfce 4 Desktop Environment and features a calendar window, lists of events and reminders. It also provides an easy way to archive and manage your old appointments.
Orage is started by typing
orage on the command line or in the run
application window. You can also start it by clicking on the item
in the submenu "Office" from the desktop menu.
Another handy way of starting
orage is to click button 1 on orageclock
When you run
orage, you will first see the calendar window appearing.
The calendar window provides you a menu bar giving access to different functions. Below that is a nice calendar showing the month, the year, day names, week numbers.
The menubar contains four menus, which are the File, Edit, View, Help.
The file menu contains five items:
This makes the selected file to act as your current active calendar file. It is possible to add, modify and remove appointments from it. You probably only want to take a look and return to your normal file (by closing archive file).
The Edit menu gives you access to the setting window, which will be presented later on.
The View menu has two choices:
Calendar view presents you one month, which you can change by pressing the arrow beside the month name or the year number or using the mouse wheel. Days where you have appointments are marked as bold. One day is always selected and shown with a block. You can change the selected day by single clicking any day number. Double clicking a day number causes event-list window for that day to be activated.
The eventlist (or appointment list as it is also called) window shows all activites that you have reserved for the day (date is shown in the window heading the format yyyy-mm-dd). On top of the window it gives you buttons to do actions. (All actions are also available in menus above the buttons.) This is your main activity window and you may want to keep it up all the day and even make it to appear on all workspaces or to be always on top of other windows.
There are 9 activity buttons in the button bar from left to right:
orageand if such an appointment is shown, but starts on an earlier date, it is NOT removed. (But repeating events will be removed if the first day is on this day.) Be carefull with this button! Before removing anything it asks for your verification, because it may remove many appointments. (Note that you can not delete a single appointment in this window; you have to go to the appointment window to do that);
The event list shows all appointments happening on this day. Scrollbars will appear if there are more lines or longer lines than what can fit into the window. You can edit any appointment by double clicking the row. Each line has three fields:
oragedoes not enforce these and the flag is only as a comment (in the future this may be enforced).
The appointment window is used to add, edit and delete appointments.
It is the most complex window in
orage, but most fields still have good
default values and are not mandatory. It has button bar (All actions are
also available in menus above the buttons) and three tabs controlling
basic settings and alarms and recurrence settings.
There are 5 activity buttons in the button bar from left to right:
In this tab, you define the contents of the appointment.
The title of the appointment. It appears in the event list and also in the alarm window and is listed at the header of this window. It should be a rather short summary of the appointment.
This field should describe where the event happens. It can
be for example Home or Office or Paris depending on what kind of
appointment you have. It is also possible to leave it empty.
is not using it in any special way, nor is it visible anywhere
else than here.
Selecting this checkbox causes so called whole day appointment
to be defined. These do not have start nor end time defined, but
it is possible that the event lasts several days. These are
special since they always have window type alarm defined and
although it is possible to add separate alarm (in alarm tab), it
is ignored and not even stored to the system. (no warning is given
so this is a bit confusing.) The automatic alarm is raised when
orage is started or date changes and the new day has this kind of
Defines the start time of the appointment. First, press the date button and choose the date from the calendar. After that you set the hour and minute using either your mouse wheel or clicking the small arrows. It is also possible to type the numbers directly to the fields. Hours go from 0 to 23 (24 is not allowed value).
The last button is timezone. Default value for new appointments is your current timezone, which you have set in the preferences. It is recommended to use real timezones instead of floating. You should not mix floating with real timezones although it is possible. Floating means that time is not bound to any timezone, but varies according to current settings. Modifying either the default timezone or start timezone may cause floating values to change.
Similar to Start, but defines naturally the ending time. Note that start and end timezones may be different (for example when you schedule a meeting in abroad you can set the starting time in your local timezone and the rest of the timings in thedestination timezone). Eventlist window always shows times in your local time.
Often it is easier to set the appointment duration instead of ending time. You can do that by marking the first box here. It is not possible to have both end time and duration at the same time, so end time setting will be unavailable after you select duration. Maximum duration is 1000 days, which is almost three years. Note that although the minute selectionm jumps 5 minutes at a time, you can manually enter any number (just remember to tab out from the field, so that the value is read).
What kind of reservation is this. There are two possiblities:
Free means that the action is not reserving
the time and it is possible to schedule more appointments at the
same time and respectively Busy means that
nothing else can not be done at this time. Note that current
orage does not enforce these menings and the flag is
only as a comment (in the future this may be checked).
Free format long text, where you can and should explain more the appointment. It is shown in the alarm window.
In this tab, you define the alarm for the appointment.
two kinds of alarms: window and sound, but they both happen at the same
time and sound is just an extra alarm; it is not possible to only raise
sound alarm. window alarm is raised if any of the alarm timing numbers
is non zero (in other words there is no special flag to set alarm; just
define the time for it). Similarly sound alarm is raised if sound file
has a value.
NOTE: this alarm setting has no effect on all day events; they always have only window type alarm set.
Define how much earlier (compared to the appointment starting time) the alarm(s) happens. If all numbers are zero, no alarm is raised for this appointment.
Define the sound file to be played when the alarm fires. Leaving this empty disables sound alarm and putting any value enables it. Remember to define the actual play command in the preferences dialog. You should also test that your system can play the filetype you choose there. Simply start a terminal and test it using the command you specified and the the sound file.
Set this check box if you want to hear the sound more than once. (Usually you want to check this.) Note that there is an internal counter, which stops the sound after 500 plays. Note also that when sound is repeating it is restarted after each 2 seconds. (Sound can be stopped in the alarm window, but that only prevents the next play to happen, it does not interrupt currently playing alarm, which you should remember when using long lasting soundfiles.)
In this tab you can define repeating appointments. Often it makes sense to define that the same appointment happens every day or every month instead of creating a new appointment for each event.
Default is Basic and that makes it possible to define frequency and limit of the appointment only. Often that is enough and these settings are very easy and fast to do even if you are not familiar with calendars and alarms. Selecting Advanced gives you more possibilities and makes it possible to build complex recurrent appointments like for example:
This is the base repeating period. Default is no repeat (=None) and other possibilities are daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.
Default value is 1 and it means every time as specified in the Frequency selections. 2 means every second time and 3 every third time etc. For example if you want to schedule your meeting to happen every third week, select Frequency = Weekly and set Interval to 3. (Starting time is selected in the General tab and next event happens exactly 3 weeks from that)
orage allows you also to limit the repeating count:
Default is that all days are checked, which means that the event happens normally every day. By removing any check, you prevent the appointment to happen on that day. In other words, your appointment only happens on checked weekdays. The most natural usage of this is to use it with Frequency = Daily. You may want to have a chat meeting for example each Monday and Wednesday. You can do this by selecting Frequency = Daily and by checking only Weekdays Mon and Wed.
Selecting Weekly or Monthly actually causes the same thing. Deselecting any weekday for weekly or monthly or yearly repeating appointments causes all the remaining weekdays to become selected even though the original repeating selection only selects one day from the period. This is needed so that it is possible to schedule for example a meeting to happen every second week on Tuesday and Friday (Frequency = weekly, Interval = 2, Weekdays = Tue and Fri).
This setting can only be used for monthly and yearly repeating events. It can be used to select which weekday from the month or year is selected. For example if you want to schedule your meeting to happen on the first Tuesday of every month, you can first select Frequency = Monthly and then check only Tuesday from Weekdays and finally set this "which day" number to be 1 (choose the number located below Tuesday). Negative numbers count backwards starting from the end of period and zero means that this setting is not used. Frequency = Yearly, weekdays = Thursday only clicked and which say = -2 means second last Thursday of the year.
The preferences window is used to enter initial values for
You can define several display options, how old apppointments should
be archived and what is the play command to be used for playing sound
alarms and also you can set the local timezone for
In this tab you can define visibility options for the
main window of
You can hide window borders and make the calendar window smaller by choosing Hidden option. This frees more space to your other applicatiosn from your workspace.
This option defines where the main window is visible.
It is possible to define that
orage starts in the background
or as minimized. This option only affects the start of
orage does not delete appointments automatically, so usually your
calendar file grows bigger and because of that
orage gets slower and
takes up more memory from the system. It is possible to define
automatic archiving so that old appointments are moved from the active
calendar file to passive history file. This helps to keep the active
file smaller and the application in good shape. Archiving is enabled by
setting the threshold to other than "never" value. Of course it is also
possible to manually delete appointments, but that removes them
permanently and you will not be able to find them later.
orage version 4.4 has no way to search or bring
back appointments from the history file. This means that although the
archived events are not lost, they vanish so that you can only access
them with the not so perfect
method (or manually outside
orage also splits
so that if the original start date is older than threshold, that
appointment is added to the archive file and the starting date in the
active calendar file is updated to contain only values more recent than
threshold. This also saves time when
orage is searching recurrent
This file will contain the archived appointments. It will
grow, but since
orage is not accessing it, that does not matter.
This enables archiving mode by setting it to other than "never" value. Choises are 3, 6 or 12 months.
In this tab you can define which sound command
orage uses when playing
sound files. try testing some common commands like play or aplay
from terminal to see what works in your system. You probably do not want
to use full version of totem or mplayer since they will cause a video
window also to appear and that most probably is not what you want.
Basically it is possible to do other than sound commands also since
orage really only starts this program and gives it
the sound file
as parameter. But this is not the intention of this feature.
You should always set the default timezone for
orage It is possible to
use also floating times, but then all times should be in floating form.
It definitely is a bad idea to mix floating and timezone times.
Floating times tend to move to follow any timezones they see...
Some hidden options allow you to customize
orage behaviour. You can find
and change those in
~/.config/xfce4/orage/oragerc. (note that the active
calendar file is also localeted in this directory.) You must be carefull
not to change the format of these files or
orage may not start anymore.
Undocumented settings are:
orageupdates this automatically, so your setting will be overwritten.
orageupdates this automatically, so your setting will be overwritten.
oragemain calendar window is hidden and comes visible again (for example clicking orageclock panel plugin). Default value is 0, which means that previously selected day will remain selected. The other option is 1, which causes current date always being selected. Only 0 and 1 are valid values.
orageto use dynamic icon, which has real month day number in it. It also lists
oragein the top and month name at the bottom if those fit in.
oragetries to fit all those three pieces of information in the available icon size using proper fonts, but if there is not enough space, top and bottom texts can be omitted. Finally
orageswitches to static icon if not even the number fits into the icon. Good values to test with are 32 (like X=32 Y=32).
Some common questions and answers.
Why does my week start on Saturday?
This really is a problem in your distro. You can check how your
operating system reports these to GTK+ and hence to
uses strictly gtk calendar widget and does not tune these settings
itself. Command locale first_weekday shows
which day is the first day in your system. Usually Sunday is day
number 1, but that can be changed so check that with command
locale day, which shows days starting from day
number 1. You may try with different LANG enevironment variable
settings and calendar view in
orage should change accordingly. Log
a new bug for
orage if you think it is not working correctly.
Look more information from
Xfce bug 1237
Debian bug 215466
If you are adventurous, you can actually fix these yourself. You need to find your locale definition file (like fi_FI or fr_FR). locate is your friend here and helps finding it. After that you can check what the setting is: grep first_weekday fi_FI and change that if it is wrong and after that you need to recompile your locale database.
How can I insert my ical file into
This is not currently possible. It is planned in future versions.
I have found a bug in
orage or would like to see a new feature. How
can I inform that to the developers?