KDE Itinerary - Using Public Transport Data
Now that we have a way to access realtime public transport data this needs to be integrated into KDE Itinerary. There’s three use-cases being looked at so far, described below.
The first obvious use-case is displaying delays, platform changes, etc in the timeline and reservation details views, and notifying about such changes. This is already implemented for trains based on KPublicTransport, and to a very limited extend (gate changes) for flights using KPkPass for Apple Wallet boarding passes containing a working update API endpoint.
For KDE Itinerary to check for changes you either need to use the “Check for Updates” action in the global action drawer, or enable automatic checking in the settings. KDE Itinerary will not reach out to online services on its own by default.
When enabled, the automatic polling tries to adapt the polling frequency to how far away an arrival or departure is, so you get current information within minutes without wasting battery or bandwidth. This still might need a bit of fine tuning and/or support for more corner cases (a departure delay past the scheduled arrival time was such a case for example), so feedback on this from use in practice is very much welcome.
Whenever changes are found, KDE Itinerary will also trigger a notification, which should work on all platforms.
Querying online services for realtime data might result in additional information that were previously not included in the timeline data, geo coordinates for all stations along the way for example. KDE Itinerary will try to augment the existing data with whatever new information we come across this way, having realtime data polling enabled will therefore also result in more navigation options or weather forecasts for more locations being shown.
The second integration point currently being worked on is selecting alternative train connections, for example when having missed a connection or when having an unbound reservation that isn’t specific to a trip to begin with.
This is available in the context drawer on the details page of the corresponding train reservation. KDE Itinerary will then query for journeys along the same way as the current reservation, and allows you to pick one of the results as the new itinerary for this trip. Realtime information are of course shown here too, if available.
While displaying the connections already works, actually saving the result is still missing. Nevertheless feedback is already useful to see if sensible results are returned for existing bookings.
The third use-case is filling gaps in the itinerary, such as how to get from the airport to the hotel by local transport. Or similarly, determining when you have to leave from your current location to make it to the airport in time for your flight. This would result in additional elements in the timeline containing suggested public transport routes.
Implementation on this hasn’t started yet, technically it’s a variations of the journey query already used in the previous point. The bigger challenge therefore will likely be on presenting this in a usable and useful way.
This is all work in progress, so it’s the best point in time to influence things, any input or help is very much welcome
of course. See our Phabricator workboard
for what’s on the todo list, for coordinating work and for collecting ideas. For questions and suggestions, please feel free
to join us on the KDE PIM mailing list or in the
#kontact channel on Freenode or Matrix.
If you happen to know a source for realtime flight information that could be usable by Free Software without causing recurring cost I’d also be thankful for hints :)