Concepts and tools

Below is a alphabetical list of selected concepts and tools used in help pages.

ALLOCATED periods

ALLOCATED periods is the total number of periods of an event that have been allocated to weeks in Weeks view. For this reason, ALLOCATED is always less than or equal to PLANNED (=the maximum number of periods), but greater than or equal to SCHEDULED, which is the total number of periods that has scheduled. For resources, ALLOCATED is automatically calculated from the events which are linked with that resource.

When all planned periods of an event or resource have been allocated to weeks, ALLOCATED=PLANNED. If the maximum number of weeks equals 1, all planned periods (PLANNED) are automatically allocated to this only week, and in this case ALLOCATED automatically equals PLANNED. In this case, Weeks view is not needed.

For other fields in events and resources, see

Code, Name, Category, PLANNED periods, SCHEDULED periods, LINKS

Block scheduling

With block scheduling you can schedule all periods in Timetables view into predefined slots referring them simple with their block numbers. In this selection you can define those slot numbers for each week separately, and copy and paste them across weeks and with the Clipboard. Block scheduling enables you to utilise the slots in the timetables more evenly and also publish the timetables simpler, by attaching the current block number to the name or code of each number. For more information, go to Block scheduling.

In block scheduling you often use a predefined set of possible schedules, which often makes scheduling simpler, since you can just pick schedules from the existing set. You can use tool Edit|Copy schedules in Events view to copy schedules from other scheduled events to the current event. This tool always checks that the copying is permitted and does not cause conflicts. You must first create one template schedule for each block type and then copy them to other events.

Bookings, all-day activities and holidays

Bookings are used as a synonym for the concept blocked, unavailable and restricted slots. Bookings are used to prevent scheduling periods in unwanted weeks or timetable slots. In most cases bookings are user-defined constraints that block out scheduling of periods in undesired slots in the timetables of resources (such as groups, students, teachers, rooms, and so on), due to holidays, meetings or any other activities. You can also create and schedule events as booking, which has the advantage to combine two or more resources together, for instance when reserving two rooms in the same time.

Note that all-day activities and holidays are just special cases of bookings. In these cases bookings are set to all slots in a selected day. You may have to check [X] Align Mimosa weeks with calendar in tab Options|Time to ensure that they occur when intended. Use the tool Make all day activity in Options|Limits to manage this kind of bookings and set them descriptive captions.

It is not allowed to schedule any event to a slot where a booking is set, or schedule an event to a slot which already has some other event scheduled. It is not allowed to set a booking to a slot which already has an event scheduled.

Use weekly bookings for events in Weeks view and timetable bookings in Timetables view. For both kinds of bookings you can define three different captions in Options|Categories that are shown in slots where bookings are made on week grid or in timetable cells. If you do not want to show the texts of some of the bookings in your timetable reports, you can always use a blank caption.

You can apply bookings in all kind of resources for any reason to indicate when slots are not available to schedule events.

You can select from three captions of bookings and you can change them in Edit|Change booking type or right-click to invoke the pop-up menu containing the same selections.

  • Weekly bookings are used to prevent unintentional allocation of periods of the selected event(s) to selected week(s). Type the [SPACE] key to make and cancel bookings in Weeks view grid. In this view, Edit menu contains the selections Book this event and Book this week to change several bookings in several cells at once.
  • Timetable bookings are used to prevent unintentional scheduling of periods into specific slots in timetables. Type the [SPACE] key to make and cancel bookings in Timetables view. You can paint an area of cells in the timetable and then either type the [SPACE] key or click the Bookings button when several cells are going to be changed simultaneously.

Type the [SPACE] key to make a booking into an empty slot or cancel the booking from the slot which already has a booking set (such as /////).

You can make, cancel and copy bookings in several ways and in several views:

When changing the bookings in a single timetable, go to Timetables view, select a range of slots and press the [SPACE] key or use the menu selection Edit|Make or cancel bookings.
When copying bookings from one or more timetables to other timetables and/or weeks,
Select Edit|Copy bookings or Edit|Copy timetable to subsequent weeks in Timetables view, or
Select Edit|Copy week in Weeks view to copy the bookings contents and Edit|Paste week Special... to paste the bookings of the selected week to other weeks.
Use the selection Tools|Show timetables. Select first the timetable and week of the resource where bookings are going to be copied from and select the slots in the timetable which are included. Clicking the Copy button stores the selection into memory, and when Paste button is clicked on another timetable and week, the selected bookings are copied to this timetable.
You can also create events to be used as bookings. You can enter the event name as booking text and also link several resources together - for instance, to set bookings to several rooms in the same time.

Campuses

You can also define two or more campuses in Mimosa. In room names, enter the character "@", followed by the campus name you want to use. You can apply campus names only to resources which are rooms (belonging to the Category for rooms as selected in Options|Timetables). Campus names can be enclosed in "(...)" or any other Hidden text separators that make them invisible in reports (see Options|Other).

You can define campuses to check that selected resources (such as students or teachers) do not need to switch campuses in the same day - two or more events cannot have more than one campus per day. You can check that in Tools|Check for campus collisions.

You can find more information about using tags in Mimosa in section "Tags".

Note that if scheduling an event to certain days causes a campus collision, these days are marked in red colour in Timetables view. In the example below, scheduling of the event PRI824 from Wednesday to other days than Friday causes a campus collision. To prevent campus collisions also in other intances, it is a good practice to take that into account when coding rooms, just like in the case of room capacities. For instance, the code for the "Room 1234" in "@New_campus" with 30 seats could have for example the code N_1234_030.

Capacity of rooms, seats

If you have checked [x] Show the number of event seats in Options|Other and at least one of the resource names contain the character "#" followed by the number indicating either room seats (in room category) or seat requirements (in other categories), Mimosa displays in Events view also an extra column SEATS containing the difference of the room seats and seat requirements.

For instance, if an event consists of a group with the size of 23 (students), one teacher (1) and one room with 28 seats, the SEATS displays the (positive or negative) difference of the seat capacity and seat requirements: +4 = 28-23-1. In the case when there are less room seats than what is required by the groups and teachers, this number is negative. If the event contains more resources, Mimosa compares the sum of all seat requirements with the sum of seat capacities and displays their difference. All numbers in resources belonging to the Category for rooms are interpreted as seat capacities whereas the numbers in other categories are interpreted as seat requirements.

If the capacity is not defined for some resource, its value is assumed to be equal to 1. For example, teachers and individual students are assumed to have the capacity requirement = 1, if they are not pecified. If the name contains "#0", the requirement = 0.

Example 1: Event has one group, teacher and room (lack of seats)

Resource nameResource typeRequirementCapacity
Group C (#30)Group30-
G. CarneyTeacher1-
Room 330 (#25)Room-25
AllSEATS=-6 (25-31)3125

Example 2: Event has two groups, teachers and rooms (excess seats)

Resource nameResource typeRequirementCapacity
Group A (#35)Group35-
Group B (#25)Group25-
J. HahnTeacher1-
W. WeeksTeacher1-
Room 206 (#30)Room-30
Room 241 (#40)Room-40
AllSEATS=+9 (70-61)6170

When an event is created or edited and at least one of the resources contains the character "#", Mimosa automatically displays the seat difference of rooms and other resources:

You can also optimise the rooms automatically in Events view, by selecting Edit|Optimise room usage.

Categories

Both events and resources can be divided into a maximum of seven categories which you yourself define in Options|Categories. Categories can be used to describe the type of event: basic, middle, advanced or voluntary, for example. For the resources, categories are normally students, classes, teachers, rooms, subjects, equipment and so on. Note that resource categories are often easy to define (persons, spaces, cars, tools, equipment), whereas in case of events there are often more alternatives, based on teaching level, location etc. In business environments, categories have normally different interpretations.

You can also specify those resource types which require conflict checking in timetables. In practice, subjects or similar kind of informative categories are the only resource types that are not dependent on the timetable conflict checking, if you have not selected Prevent conflicts for in selection Options|Timetables.

For each category you also include a descriptive letter or digit as an identifier, such as "C:Classes". Categories can be used to sort and filter the data in several ways. You can easily create reports that are limited to a specific set of all codes.

For other fields in events and resources, see

Code, Name, PLANNED periods, ALLOCATED periods, SCHEDULED periods, LINKS

Clipboard

In general, Clipboard is a temporary storage area for text and graphics that you are copying or moving from one place to another; Clipboard is a common holding area for all Windows applications. Mimosa is a true windows application, which can use this useful feature extensively and bi-directionally. Note that it is also possible to import data into Mimosa easily via Text files. See more information about using the Clipboard on page Import and export with Clipboard.

For instance, you can use your spreadsheet application in several ways with Mimosa and increase your productivity. Spreadsheet applications allow you to format your data very easily in several ways, and you can generate a test file or use the sample file(s) that come along with Mimosa.

1. In your spreadsheet program, input the following table:

2. Paint the above area (A1:C9) and select Edit|Copy (or equivalent) to copy it to the Clipboard.
3. Go to Mimosa and activate Resources view (click the button on top of the screen).

4. Select Edit|Paste from the Clipboard - 9 new resources should appear.

5. Go to the spreadsheet program, input then the basic information of the following 7 events:

6. Paint the above area and select Edit|Copy (or equivalent) to copy it to the Clipboard.
7. Go to Mimosa and activate Events view (click the button on top of the screen).
8. Select Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|1 Codes, names and PLANNED periods - the list of 7 events should now appear.

9. To add also the resources to events via Clipboard, go to the spreadsheet program and input the following table:

10. Paint the above area (A1:D7) and select Edit|Copy (or equivalent) to copy it to the Clipboard.
11. Select (in Events window) Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|2 Replace event resources to add resources to the events.

After this operation, you should have 9 resources and 7 events. Steps 9-11 are often easier to perform in Events window, since the application checks that the resources to be added to events are valid in cases when periods already have been scheduled.

Perhaps the easiest way to see how Clipboard can help your work is to select Edit|Copy to the Clipboard command in Mimosa and then invoke your spreadsheet application. Use the Edit|Paste from the Clipboard command and see how the data will be transmitted via the Clipboard.

Click [Ctrl+L] to view and edit the content of the Clipboard in a table format.

It is a good practice to have these both applications on your desktop simultaneously so that you can transmit data back and forth between those applications. Please note that some spreadsheet applications limit your matrix to 255 columns, and that the Clipboard capacity of Mimosa is 64 kilobytes.

If you want to overcome the 64 kilobytes size limit, you can either copy only a subset of the data to the Clipboard or store the Clipboard content to a text file, by selecting the appropriate text file type in Options|Default Clipboard Target.

With the help of the Clipboard you can:

  • input all resources from Windows applications
  • input all events with their resource lists from Windows applications
  • input the weekly allocation of events from Windows applications
  • reorganise your codes
  • copy all data to the Clipboard and paste it to other Windows applications
  • utilise your spreadsheet extensively in planning, graphics, make your own calculations or create your own reports from the data.

Note also that using the Clipboard

  • replaces the need of reports used to create statistics of periods
  • the used format is not necessarily the same that it used in your institution
  • you may need to combine several Clipboard reports or apply some functions in the spreadsheet application to create the desired output

The Clipboard format supports a TAB-limited text or table type content, compatible with all Windows applications. This means that each field on a single line is separated by a TAB character (ASCII=9) and each line ends with the CRLF character combination (ASCII=13 and ASCII=10). The Clipboard content ends with the NUL character (ASCII=0). This format is very suitable when working with other windows applications having a table form data entry, just like the spreadsheet applications.

Symmetric Clipboard operations:

Note that the following selections produce symmetric data formats. You can copy data from a selected view in Mimosa to the Clipboard, make changes it with another application and then paste it back from the Clipboard using the following pairs of commands ( : Export from Mimosa, : Import to Mimosa).

Resources view:

Edit|Copy to the Clipboard|2 Codes, names and categories
Edit|Paste from the Clipboard

Events view:

Edit|Copy to the Clipboard|2 Codes, names, categories and PLANNED
Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|1 Codes, names and categories and PLANNED

Edit|Copy to the Clipboard|4 Codes and event resources
Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|2 Replace event resources
Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|3 Add to event resources

Edit|Copy to the Clipboard|9 Timetables|1 Code + Week + Day + First slot + Last slot
Edit|Paste from the Clipboard|5 Timetables

Weeks view:

Edit|Copy to the Clipboard
Edit|Paste the Clipboard

Timetables view:

Edit|Copy to the Clipboard|11 Bookings
Edit|Paste the Clipboard|1 Bookings to current week
Edit|Paste the Clipboard|2 Bookings to all weeks

For more examples about Clipboard, go to chapter Import and export with Clipboard.

Codes of events and resources

Each event and resource is supplied with a unique code which contains a maximum of 15 characters. The code column cannot be blank and events and resources cannot have same codes. The code is used as a shortcut to all other information associated with it. It is advisable to select its first characters so that it informs the user as much as possible about the content associated with it, and it also helps the user to identify the right event or resource when it is sorted by code. References to resources and events are often performed on the screen with the help of the code, when there is not enough space to show the name. When printing timetables or other reports, the user often has the option to show either code, name or both.

In case you want to reorganise or rename several codes, you can use Clipboard and code conversion table in selection Tools|Code conversion... and you can also automatically change the codes to upper or lower case in Options|Other. If you have selected Tools|Sort automatically, adding of new resources or events reorganises them again according to non-decreasing order.

If codes are required to be sorted first by categories and then by codes, select first Tools|Sort first by categories. This is usually selected in case of resources, since it groups all resources of the same category.

For other title fields related to events and resources, see

Name, Category, PLANNED periods, ALLOCATED periods, SCHEDULED periods, LINKS

Collections or event resources

Collections or event resources or lists of resources of an event are sets of resources selected for each event (the collection of each event may consist from one to 240 resources). It can consist of only one teacher and one room, or from a list of students plus their teacher, room and subject and so on. When the collection of an event is selected, each of its resources shares the same schedule for that event. When a period of an event is scheduled or unscheduled, the timetables of all resources are scheduled or unscheduled simultaneously.

Collections have a varied structure depending on the event type or institution. Some collections may contain one teacher, room and class/group, whereas some other may contain one teacher, two groups and two rooms. When creating individual timetables, it is typical that collections contain one teacher, one room and several students.

It is possible to solve the same scheduling problem with different set of events and their collections. The structures of the collections are not limited to some template in order to enable using Mimosa in very kinds of environments. For instance, the application can be used (and has used) to schedule conferences by creating an event for each session and constructing the collections of one or more contributors, referee, room and translator.

For instance, when scheduling the rehearsals of an orchestra or theatre performance, users may create collections from participants and room of each session.

You can edit collections in the Event editor, in the Resource editor or in the Collection editor.

Colours

Use the colour dialog below to change the colours of resources, events, screen elements and web items. Pick the colour from the list and select [OK] to accept the selection or [Cancel] not to change the current colour. Click By luminance if you like to sort the colours by lightness and select By name if the colours are going to be sorted by colour name. Select Clear to clear the current colour.

Prefer to use light colours to better contrast the texts which are on web always black. All colours are web compliant, so that they are visible on all browsers.

Clicking the colour button on top of the screen displays a menu containing some of the most frequent colour-related selections:

  • Show event and resource colours: shows/hides the colours of resources on screen
  • Clear event and resource colours: clears all colour selections
  • Change current colour: enables to change the colour of the last selected resource or event
  • Set colours by categories: sets colours to all events and resources by their categories
  • Set colours randomly: sets random colours to all events and resources
  • More colour selections: directs to tab Options|Colours for more colour selections

Comments

In Timetables view you can add comments to each slot in the current timetable. Comments do not prevent scheduling of events or making bookings in the same slot. When timetables are published and the slots contain a booking, the original booking text is replaced with the comment, in other cases the comment displayed in that slot.

After you have added a comment to slot, you can generalise it to all slots of that day, to all slots of the same timetable and to all timetables.

For more information about using comments, see Comment cell.

Conflicts or clashes

Mimosa works proactively and it does not allow users to create conflicts or clashes in the timetables. It shows only the permissible actions and tells user why a special scheduling action cannot be made or why some resources cannot be added to an event. Below are two examples:

  • When you are in Timetables view and [Double-click] the timetable to schdedule a period in the active cell, Mimosa displays a list of the resources and/or bookings preventing you from scheduling the event in this cell. See this section for further information.

  • When you are in Events view or in Resources view and you are about to add resources to events (or events in Resources view, respectively), you can click the Conflicts button on top of the window to see the details why a specific resource cannot be attached to the event. Mimosa lists always only those items which are available and do not create conflicts.

Cycling timetables

Cycling timetables (or Rotating timetables) is here a special setting where the user wants to create timetables for a number of days (n) that is larger than the days in a week. Often n is not a multiple of the days in a week. This selection generates an extra set of n timetable weeks (in Weeks view) where each of these n days will appear in turn so that finally each of them appears as often as any other. Mimosa enables you to use n=31 cycles (maximum), but in most cases this number is much smaller.

Mimosa offers many different ways to schedule your events in recurring patterns. If Cycling timetables does not suit your needs then you should also consider Block scheduling, Bulk scheduling, Intake scheduling or copying pre-scheduled days (Edit|Copy daily schedules in Events view) or weeks (Edit|Copy week and Edit|Paste week in Weeks view).

The reason behind applying cycling timetables is that there are too many events to fit in a single weekly timetable to represent all needed events of the planning horizon. This same result can be achieved in different methods of Mimosa (in Weeks view), but using cycling timetables enables using same daily timetables over again, which reduces the scheduling effort and which may be more familiar. Cycling timetables means just repeatedly and systematically copying of the schedules of individual days of the source weeks to the days of the destination weeks, which are used for cycling timetables.

This tool can also be found in Weeks view, from the selection Edit|Paste Week Special...|5 Single day from week to week, in case you want to copy each day in turn.

Events

An event in Mimosa can represent any activity in the real world that needs to be scheduled in your timetables. The event definition indicates which of your resources need to be present and how many periods need to be reserved from their timetables in order to perform the real world event or activity.

In schools and universities events are typically used to schedule courses on different subjects, each of which may require the presence of a teacher, a group of students and a room (the resources) and which may take place several times a week over several weeks (the periods of the event and their allocation to the weeks of the schedule). However, events can also represent meetings, exams, self-study periods, maintenance periods for rooms or equipment, planned absences or any other real world event or activity that needs to be considered in your timetables. You can define your own event categories in Options|Categories.

Mimosa will not allow you to schedule an event in a timetable unless all the required resources are available in the selected period, nor will it allow you to schedule more than the planned number of periods for each event without first asking you if you really want to do so.

An event must be linked to at least one resource before it can be be scheduled. Each event can be linked to up to 240 resources.

Each event contains the field PLANNED periods which should be set to the total number of occurrences of the event you plan to have in your timetables across all weeks. For instance, if an event is a one-time event, PLANNED=1, if you plan to have one occurrence of the event each week in an 8 week schedule then PLANNED=8. If you are not certain about the value of PLANNED, you can always set it to a large number initially and correct it after scheduling.

You create and edit events in Events view.

Suppose that the class LineA must study three hours in a week the event called Nursing of People at Different Ages, taught by NICHOLSON in room R112. We use the abbreviation NURSING for that event and go to the selection Edit|New event (or press the [Insert] key) to create it. As with resources, you associate a unique code of at most 15 characters, a descriptive name of at most 200 characters and select the appropriate category (from the list of event categories you created in Options|Categories.

Use the [Add] button in that window to move the selected resources from the right-hand list (green) to the left-hand list (blue), and [Remove] button to do the reverse operation. You can also [Swap] two resources between the both lists. You can pick several resources at once by keeping the [Ctrl] key down while clicking the resources with the mouse.

Resources of this event (3):

All addable resources (10):

With a similar procedure you can create all events of your school, and in most cases events consist of a class, teacher and room, but there are other combinations. If the teacher is required to teach pupils from two classes simultaneously, both classes are added to the left-hand list. To demonstrate this example, create the following event:

Suppose that two teachers divide one class to two smaller groups and give them intensive teaching in two rooms:

Sometimes pupils from several classes are mixed with several teachers. The pupils from classes LineA and LineB are divided among three teachers PACINO, PESCI and PFEIFFER to study 5 hours either Anatomy, Astronomy or Athletics, respectively:

The list of events after adding the examples above might look like the following:

For examples of various event structures, go to Create and edit events.

Export to other calendars

You can use sevaral formats to export Mimosa schedules to other calendar applications used on your desktop (such as MS Outlook), web calendars or mobile phone supporting the formats below:

  • .csv (Comma Separated Values)
  • .vcs (vCalendar)
  • .ics (iCalendar)

Use the selection File|File Export|Other file formats. This selection is only enabled if you have checked [X] Align Mimosa weeks with calendar in tab Options|Time so that other applications understand how Mimosa weeks are mapped with real calendar weeks. Check in the same options tab that the selected time periods can be interpreted correctly by the receiving application. Preferably use the format "hh:mm-hh:mm" for the start and end time stamps (for example 08:15-09:00). Note that the receiving application may interpolate your original time period definitions if they are not correct.

In these selections you can select the weeks and resources you want to include, and also to select if you want to create individual files for each resource or merge them into one file.

If you check [X] Add links to .ics files in File|Print|Timetables, Mimosa automatically creates up-to-date .ics files which users can download from the published timetables.

Feasible timetables

Timetables for the resources are called feasible if they do not contain any conflicting periods. There cannot be any pair of events having the same resource in their lists of resources which have occupied the same slot in some of the timetables. Timetables which are not feasible have conflicts or clashes, and they can be automatically removed in the selection Tools|Check for conflicts. This tool enables also to view conflicts without removing them and it copies all conflicts to the Clipboard. Conflicting timetables are not normally allowed in Mimosa, but they can be created only by special actions. For instance, user can in remove checking for conflicts in case of some resources, and permitting of this kind of overlaps in schedules is sometimes mandatory.

Mimosa works in a preventive fashion and it automatically prevents users from creating conflicts in timetables and when timetables are created manually, it also displays available options and enables to clear slots from other timetables to enable scheduling in the active timetable. Feasible timetables are also created with the help of the Initial solution.

Mimosa pre-checks all conflicts, and this approach may differ from other applications, which views and removes conflicts from timetables after the solution is created. It is also possible to create conflicts in timetables intentionally with special tricks, for instance in removing the Create timetables for selection from some or all categories in selection Options|Timetables.

Gaps in timetables

Gaps are empty cells between cells containing periods or bookings. If you have selected [x] Treat bookings like events (when counting gaps) in Options|Timetables, also bookings are considered as periods when gaps are counted. When optimising the timetables, the number of total gaps weighted by their category is the criteria that is minimised. In Timetables view the indicators show the change of the number gaps in timetables if the assumed action is taken.

Note that the number of gaps is not the only criteria for a "good" timetable. When timetables are created automatically, minimising the gaps is the goal function, but there are also additional restrictions user can apply. See details in Optimise.

Import or add data to Mimosa

You can enter all your data into Mimosa manually, but if you have it already available on some other format, you may save a lot of time when using the Clipboard feature of your spreadsheet application or import or add the data with help of Mimosa text file format. You can also use all these three methods in any order.

It is typical to use both of these import methods incrementally, starting first manually and then adding new data from other sources. Clipboard and text file import both work similarly: both will add codes (events and resources) if they do not yet exist, and if they exist, they will update the data with a new content.

Import data with Clipboard:

Use the links below how to import your basic data (resources, events and lists of resourcess) from the Clipboard:

The page Clipboard contains several other examples how to use your spreadsheet application in companion with Mimosa.

Import data with text files:

You may like to take a look at the example on page Import/export data with text files how to use the text files to import, add and export your data.

Initial solution

Initial solution schedules all or selected events into timetables and generates a starting solution, which may be good or bad, depending on the requirements and on the restrictions that are used. You will create the end solution using the optimisation tool. Initial solution never changes the possible previously scheduled periods; it adds new periods in the timetables. See Optimise and Timetables view.

Since Initial solution creates only an approximate starting solution for your timetables, you may have inserted some critical events in Timetables view beforehand. If you have done this, you may have protected those events by locking them with [Ctrl+U] in this window. It is also a good practice to save this solution on disk before you start the Initial solution or you begin to optimise, since you can always read this file again into the application, if something unexpected happens - as it sometimes does.

The timetables are often manually and automatically created. When events are properly selected, it is possible to schedule a lot of "easy" events automatically. It is a good practice lock those events that are not intended to be modified automatically and save the file on disk before making big changes.

Intake scheduling

Intake scheduling permits to use the same schedule or allocation of periods all over again. In some institutions similar kind of events are repeated several times during the school year or over several years (Mimosa allows to define up to 255 weeks/terms in one file). In some cases this tool may save a lot of time, if many events repeat the same pattern over again. There are at least two approaches to solve this in Mimosa, and both are described in detail in Intake Scheduling.

LINKS of events and resources

For events, LINKS are the total number of resources in an event or the size of its list of resources. For resources, LINKS represent the number of events that use this resource as a member in their lists of resources. For each event, the maximum number of LINKS is 240 (size of the event resource list), but there are no upper limit for LINKS (or event references) for resources.

When editing of Events or Event references of resources, LINKS represents the number of items on the left box.

For other fields in events and resources, see

Code, Name, Category, PLANNED periods, ALLOCATED periods, SCHEDULED periods

Lock and unlock events

You can lock events to disable their accidental schedule changes in Weeks and Timetables window. You can lock and unlock an event by clicking [Ctrl+U] or the corresponding button. In selection Tools|Lock events you can lock and unlock several events at once and set locks by resources. Note that locking locks all periods of a selected event.

Locking of events prevents the user from making accidentally mistakes in interactive and automatic scheduling, or when allocating periods to weeks. Lock those events you want to freeze either temporarily or permanently. Another way to prevent user from mistakes is to set Bookings to some of the free cells in timetables. This prevents from scheduling periods in undesired slots.

Matching tags

When you let Mimosa attach rooms to events automatically in Events view, selection Edit|Optimise room usage, also other suitability criteria than the capacity of rooms and seat requirements of other resources may apply. If you want to take the suitability of events and rooms into account, you can add matching tags to event and room names. Matching tags are tags in the names of events and rooms which have the prefix "%". They describe the type of events and the rooms which can be combined together, such as "%Studio" or "%Lab". They can be used to prevent that an inappropriate room would be attached to an event, which has room type requirements.

You can find more information about using tags in Mimosa in section "Tags".

Memos of events and resources

You can attach memos to each event and resource. You can turn this feature on and off with the shortcut [Crtl+K] or in Options|Other and edit memos on all Mimosa views. You can also select to display the entered memos on web reports by checking the options Show event memos and/or Show resource memos in File|Print|Timetables.

Merging Mimosa files

You can merge (or synchronise) one or more Mimosa files together in various ways. The file(s) you are going to merge must first be converted into text format (with the extension .mxt) with the selection File|File Export. The structure of this format is described in the section File formats and it contains all the information of the default Mimosa binary file (with the extension .mfw).

Merging enables several users to view and edit their Mimosa files and merge them together when they want. After files are merged, Mimosa automatically removes possible conflicts from the resulting file. It is also possible to merge the text format files or their subsets created with other applications. The basic tool in merging is the selection File|File Add.

It is also possible to split the merged file back to suitable subsets with the selection File|File Split and to cancel File|File Add with File|File Remove by removing the resources and events which are about to add.

Once you have created the text file (.mxt) from your Mimosa binary file (with File|File Export), it can be merged to a Mimosa file in the following alternative ways:

  • Select File|File Add in Mimosa and pick the file that is going to be added to the current file.
  • Select File|Network|Read from network to add one or more files at once (see Network)
  • In Options|Other, define the Mimosa file that is automatically opened upon startup plus the text file name that is going to be added
  • Use the Mimosa file name and the text format file name on the command line after the application name "mfw.exe" as follows:

    mfw.exe filename.mfw addfile.mxt

    and optionally add the parameter "/W" if you want Mimosa automatically write the resulting Mimosa file back on disk. If you want to convert a Mimosa file to a text file, add the parameter "/T".

When other applications create the text format file which is added to a Mimosa file, it is only required that only those entries and their respective section names are listed in the .mxt file. See more information in Import and export with text files.

Names of events and resources

Each event and resource is supplied with a name of 200 characters maximum, which is a description of the content or goal of the event or in case of the resource the name of the student, subject, room, equipment or teacher in question. Name field can also be blank or same as the Code field. The Name can also be used as a sorting criteria.

You can also insert hidden text to Name field, by enclosing the text between special characters (such as {...}, [...], <...>), selected in Options|Other. By default, this additional information is not visible on screen or in reports, but it is seen when the name is edited. This hidden text may include confidential comments. 

For other fields in events and resources, see

Code, Category, PLANNED periods, ALLOCATED periods, SCHEDULED periods, LINKS

Network

Mimosa permits several users to access the same file simultaneously. When several users want to access the same file, the version saved by the latest user overrides all other versions. If several users want to modify the same file, there must be some agreed rules how it is done, but the preferred way is to use the File|Network selection in File menu of Mimosa. Note that this functionality is a generalisation of File|File Add selection in File menu, which enables synchronising of two Mimosa files. When this command is repeated several times, it is possible to combine as many files user wants. It is also possible to use the selection File|File pre-check to check for possible conflicts of two files before they are combined. Note that combining any two files does not change their content on disk. The result of the combination resides in the memory and it should be stored on disk with a different name.

Mimosa utilises its own sophisticated database system, which is not record-based. The reason is that all elements in this database are dependent on each other (courses, resources, timetable items and so on), and therefore a traditional record-based approach cannot be applied, since it violates the integrity of the items. This means that you cannot edit or extract any item of the database without endangering to break its structure.

Since all data items in Mimosa depend on each other, it is practically impossible to access the same file simultaneously, as in the case of many database applications, where the file structure is composed of independent data records. For instance, if some of the users wants to edit some of the resources, the change is reflected to all events, timetables and bookings which are dependent on it, and so on. This dependency indirectly affects all items in a single Mimosa file, and while one user is about to make any change in the file, all other users have to wait until the task is completed, in order to keep the file intact. Since this kind of setting is not very user-friendly, networking is performed by combining or merging the files.

The Network concept of Mimosa enables a lot of flexibility and users can easily change the working habits between network and single file access at any time. However, it is a good practice to follow the rules below:

  1. Use the same codes for resources in all files (to enable conflict checking).
  2. Use the same week schema in all files (to ensure that periods fall in same weeks).
  3. Use different code ranges for the events in all files (to prevent that two or more users do not accidentally edit the same event but with different content).
  4. Use different Mimosa file names such as peter.mfw, paul.mfw and mary.mfw (to prevent file overwrites).

Before starting using the commands File|Network or File|File Add, you should start from a single Mimosa file where at least the resources have been created and all weeks defined. This file is then saved with different file names to all users. If you are about to change the resource codes or the weeks, it is wise to inform the other users about that.

When users want to share their files to other users, they select the command File|Network|Write to network, which stores a text file copy of the file into a folder which is accessible by all users and which is defined in File|Network|Select network folder. When all users have stored their files in this folder, the command File|Network|Read from network shows a list of stored files (in the sample case peter.mxt, paul.mxt and mary.mxt), which can then been combined selectively in any order with the Mimosa file user has read into memory. All conflicts are then removed from this combined file, and it can then be stored with a different file name (for security reasons).

This method allows the users to combine the files of other users in various ways and it also prevents from making mistakes accidentally.

Files are combined in the computer memory, and the files on the disk has not been modified. Since the resulting file may have conflicts or it may contains elements that the user does not want to have in the original file, it is always safer to store the content of the computer memory on disk with a different file name, until the user is accepted the changes that has been made. Note that when users combine several files, the combined file tends to grow, and when other users remove unnecessary events or resources, they are not removed from the combined file.

If the name of the current Mimosa file is peter.mfw and you are about to combine the files of Paul (paul.mxt) and Mary (mary.mxt) with this file, it is advised that you do the following:

  1. Save the current file in memory (peter.mfw) on disk with File|Save
  2. Invoke File|Network|Read from network
  3. Save the resulting file on disk with File|Save As and use another file name, such as all.mfw, containing the result of all combined files
  4. Analyse the conflicts and check its content

Note that you can also split the resulting file into smaller parts with File|File Split and you can use the above instructions also, if you are about to use the selection File|File Add to combine files one by one.

Optimisation tools

Mimosa includes several optimisation tools and algorithms either to improve the schedules or the list of resources. These tools reduce the efforts of users if they are about to perform similar tasks manually, and they do not cause any conflicts in the schedules. These tools include a mixture of several kind effective algorithms and heuristics, known in literature often as artificial intelligence, integer, mixed programming and branch-and-bound methods.

Each event has its own a) list of resources and b) schedule (or timetable), although schedules are in most cases edited, viewed and published from the resources point of view. All event schedules linked with a specific resource together constitute the schedule of the resource, and when a) or b) changes, also the schedules of the resources change.

When the event's resource list is optimised, event's schedule is not changed. When the event's schedule is optimised, event's resource list is not changed.

Depending on the optimisation tool you have selected, Mimosa lets you optimise either the schedules of the events or the lists of resources of the events, but not both in the same application. When you have selected to optimise the schedules of events, their lists of resources are not changed, and when you have selected to optimise the lists of resources, the schedules of the events are not changed. In both cases, the schedules of resources will change, and in most cases optimisation means optimisation of the schedules and not the lists of resources.

List of the optimisation tools in Mimosa
SelectionList of resourcesEvent's scheduleSchedules of resources
Initial solution (Tools|Optimise)Not changedNew starting scheduling solution is automatically created according to the set constraints and rulesChanged
Optimise timetables (Tools|Optimise)Not changedSchedules are optimised by minimising the total number of gaps in the schedules according to the set constraints and rulesChanged
Quick optimisation (Timetables view|Edit|Quick optimisation)Not changedAll schedules of the current week are optimised by using the default optimisation rulesChanged
Optimise room usage (Events view|Edit|Optimise room usage)1) Attach rooms to selected events automatically
2) Swaps the rooms in selected events to utilise the existing seat capacities optimally
Not changedOnly the schedules of rooms are changed
Selection optimisation (Tools|Selection optimisation)1) Adds students to alternative events optimally
2) Swaps the students across events optimally in order to satisfy the set requirements
3) Balance the number of students in events
Not changedOnly the schedules of students are changed

Optimising of timetables automatically makes them more compact by eliminating their caps with a set of different kind of change, replace and move algorithms, which constitute a very complicated sequence of operations. The computer can search or those change options much faster than humans, since the number of possible combinations often grows exponentially comparing to the data file size. In selection Tools|Optimise|Optimise timetables you can control the optimisation process with several parameters.

Before timetables can be optimised, you should schedule at least some of the periods into timetables, either manually in Timetables view or automatically in Tools|Optimise|Initial solution. Note that optimisation does not schedule new periods into timetables, does not remove them, but changes their locations in timetables according to specific rules.

You can also lock selected events to exclude them from optimisation or set bookings to timetable slots to prevent undesired results. Creating of timetables is often a combination of interactive solution and optimisation. It is a good practice to schedule first critical periods manually in Timetables view, then lock those events and possible save this solution on disk to ease experimenting with different automatic solutions.

Optimise enables to apply also certain rules for the patterns in timetables in order to prevent undesired results.

PLANNED periods

With PLANNED user defines for each event the maximum number of periods indicating the total number of periods for the whole planning period (semester, year). PLANNED must be selected from the range 1-65565, and for resources PLANNED is automatically calculated from the events which are linked with that resource. The number of periods allocated to ALLOCATED can never exceed PLANNED and for cases with only one week, ALLOCATED is automatically set equal to PLANNED.

When creating events, it is also possible to set a big number in PLANNED field, say 9999, if it is not clear how many periods will be used. After allocating periods to weeks in Weeks view, user can finally set Edit|Set PLANNED = ALLOCATED ... to automatically set PLANNED to the number of real periods.

For other fields in events and resources, see

Code, Name, Category, ALLOCATED periods, SCHEDULED periods, LINKS

Prerequisites

A prerequisite event is an event that must be completed prior to enrolment in a more advanced level event. This is implemented in Mimosa by including the prerequisite event code in the name of the event that is assumed to be started after the prerequisite event is completed. Event names can include several prerequisite event codes. Mimosa checks for all exact matches of all event codes with the event names of other events, and all which are not in assumed order are listed. If event is not allocated to weeks, it is excluded.

Event prerequisites checking is implemented in Weeks view, in View|Check event prerequisites selection.

If the event "ENG_ADV" named "English for most advanced" must be allocated to weeks after the event "ENG_ABC" is completed, add the prerequisite code somewhere to this event name, such as for example: "English for most advanced;pre-req=ENG_ABC" or "English for most advanced [after ENG_ABC]".

You can use Hidden text separators as described in Options|Other to hide the prerequisite definitions from event names in reports (such as separators "[" and "]" above).

For instance, if the event "ENG_ABC" is allocated to weeks 1-5 and the event "ENG_ADV" is allocated to weeks 3-7, the latter event becomes listed, since the latter event starts before the first ends. The event becomes listed also in the case, if they have one week in common.

For example, the event sample above results in the following list of prerequisite problems.

Redo last change in timetables

This selection redoes the last action you undone Timetables view, such as scheduling periods, removing scheduled periods from timetables, moving periods to other slots or setting and removing of bookings. You can also Redo All previous commands, Set Bookmark to the current state that you are about to go back later on or trace the whole History of all actions so far. See the Edit selection in this view.

Mimosa stores up to 2000 last actions in History selection and user can jump back to any previous action or undo all actions. In other views, commands cannot be undone or redone. Therefore it is important that you save your file often on disk.

See also the Timetables view page how to undo changes in timetables.

Resources

In order to create timetables you first need to define the things you want to create timetables for. In Mimosa these are called resources and they are defined and managed in Resources view. In schools and universities resources are, in most cases, teachers, rooms and students or sets of students (groups or classes) but may also include equipment such as projectors and other teaching aids. You can define whatever resources you like and, with the help of categories, you can give names and shortcuts for each type of resource you create. Once you have created a few resources go to the Events view to start defining which of your resources need to be present for each of the events or activities you want to schedule in your timetables.

Typical examples of resources in schools and universities are Groups, Lecturers, Rooms, Subjects, Students and Equipment. Up to 240 resources can be attached to each event. You can either use the default resource categories or redefine them in Options|Categories according to your special requirements. When you create new resources in Resource editor, you can select the resource type from the list of categories you have defined here.

Below the characteristics of the default resource categories are described:

    Groups:

    Groups consist of disjoint sets of students, pupils or other persons. Note that the content (list of students) of a group should stay constant when using in different events. Sometimes this requires that a group is split into smaller parts and in some cases you need to combine two or more groups in a single event to create the required set of students. If students are allowed to make individual selections, you are recommended to use students instead of groups.

    Never interpret a student as a member of a group and simultaneously an individual student, since this can cause overlaps. In some school forms pupils are treated as groups at lower grades, but on the last grade they have tailored timetables and they are treated as individual students. This does not cause conflicts, since the students on lower grades are groups, and they are not the same.

    Mimosa can solve all group selection combinations in events. If you define a group as "IA" and another as "IB", but you want them to be combined together in some events as "IA" + "IB", do NOT create a group called "IA&IB", since if it contains any of the students as in "IA" and "IB", you cannot avoid conflicts. Therefore, you should keep only groups "IA" and "IB" in group lists and attach them both to events when they both are needed. However, you can define disjoint groups "IA-IB" (belongs to A ut not to B), "IB-IA" (belongs to B but not to A) and "IA&IB" (belongs to A and B).

      How to use groups in events (examples):

      In most cases events consist of [Group]-[Lecturer]-[Room] triplets:

      Exception 1: When students of two (or more) groups are accessed in the same time, they should be added to the same event.

      Exception 2: When students of a group are accessed by two (or more) lecturers, they (and their rooms) are added to the same event.

      Exception 3: When students of two (or more) groups are accessed by two (or more) lecturers, all groups, lecturers (and their rooms) are added to the same event.

    Lecturers:

    Lecturers (teachers, educators, instructors, professors) are resources, which appear in events in most cases in teaching roles, but it is also possible and common to use events to describe meetings of two or more lecturers; in this case the event consists of a list of attendees plus an appropriate room.

      Event as a meeting of lecturers (example):

    Rooms:

    When using rooms in scheduling, you may have the option to split the room in smaller rooms to enable to use the space simultaneously for several events. For instance, if a room can be split in three disjoint rooms ("Sport room" = "Room_A" + "Room_B" + "Room_C"), use only the subdivisions of the rooms in the resource list ("Room_A","Room_B","Room_C") when they are needed.

    You can select the resource category that represents the classrooms or similar objects in Options|Timetables. If you do not need any rooms this selection has no effect. By default, initially the third category is set to represent rooms. Some tools in Mimosa (like Tools|Select rooms manually) or the room capacity comparison utilise this special category, since in many cases replacing a room for one or more periods in an event is easier and more useful than some other resource. When you select to optimise room usage in Events view (in Edit|Optimise room usage), Mimosa also uses the category of classrooms defined here. Except this special room category selection, Mimosa does not actually know what the resources mean in the real world.

    Subjects/Info:

    Use the resources of the "Subjects" or "Info" category for informational purposes, since by default these resources do not have any correspondence in the physical world. Therefore the use of the resources of this category is most cases completely optional. Use the Event name field as the caption for the event content (such as the course name), but you can use the subjects as descriptive comments.

    Note that in the selection Options|Timetables you can also uncheck the selection Prevent conflicts for of certain resource categories, if you do not want Mimosa to check for their conflicts, if you want to add this kind of informative resource to some events. This selection has been unchecked for the "Info" category by default, and the use of this resource category is different from others. It is therefore possible to use the resources of this category in any events without causing conflicts with another event having the same resource at the same time. For instance, you can add the resource "English" to several English courses which may possible take place in the same time, and because the Prevent conflicts for is unchecked, Mimosa does not prevent the conflict of using "Engish" in the same in two or more events.

    You can use there resources to provide additional information to events without changing the event name or other resources. For instance, you can add the resource "Remember to pack in your sportswear!" as a reminder to Athletics course and so on.

    When you use Selection optimisation in Tools menu, you need to create resources in the Subjects category to tell which events are similar (or replaceable), and of course also resources in the Students category. The similarity events is defined by first attaching the same subject to these events, and students may then select any of the events which contain the subjects in their requirements.

    Students:

    If the timetables are scheduled for individual students instead of groups, this resource category is by default used for students. In students-based timetables, the events typically consist of one lecturer, room and a list of students.

      Events for personalised timetables (example):

    Equipment:

    This category is used in a similar fashion as rooms. Some events may require an exta tool (overhead projector, instrument, truck). Adding the required equipment to an event prevent other events from using it in the same time.

Never define overlapping resources
Resources are unique: for instance, each group (of students) should always refer to the same set of persons. If the same person belongs to several groups, Mimosa cannot prevent scheduling the same person in the same time since it does not know the overlapping definition of the resources. Avoiding overlapping resources often requires to split the resource in smaller parts until the resulting resources are unique.

Roles

It is also possible add specific roles to resources which may vary by events they have been attached to. A role is a user-defined description which is added to selected resources - typically persons - when they are connected to specific events. Roles are descriptive elements only, and they do not affect the scheduling.

See the selection Edit|Manage roles in Events view for more information.

SCHEDULED periods

SCHEDULED is the total number of periods for an event that have been scheduled in Timetables view. SCHEDULED is always less or equal to ALLOCATED, the total number of weekly allocated periods. For resources, SCHEDULED is automatically calculated from the events which are linked with that resource. When all allocated periods have been scheduled, ALLOCATED=SCHEDULED, and at the beginning of scheduling, SCHEDULED=0.

For other fields in events and resources, see

Code, Name, Category, PLANNED periods, ALLOCATED periods, LINKS

Scheduling tools

Mimosa provides several tools for scheduling. Each of the tools can be applied in any order and to any events or resources, and their purpose is either to add periods to timetables, move their locations or remove them timetables. These operations can be done either automatically or interactively. In some tools it is required that periods are already allocated to weeks (pre-set), whereas other tools create the allocation themselves (overwritten). Whatever tool is applied, it will never cause any conflicts in timetables. Using the appropriate scheduling tool can be a considerable time-saver. The scheduling tools and their properties are presented in the following table:

Scheduling toolDescriptionFeaturesMenu selection or view
Timetables - interactive This is the most versatile scheduling tool in Mimosa. It enables to schedule, move and unschedule periods and bookings interactive in timetables, undo or redo up to 2,000 last actions and go back to any previous stage. It also enables to view all other linked timetables while scheduling. This tool can be used to control and change any item in the timetables of the current week, and also change the event resources and weekly allocations on the fly.
  • Interactive
  • Schedule & unschedule
  • Move periods across slots
  • Undo, redo and bookmarking
  • Weekly allocations can be changed
  • Timetables view
    Optimise - automatic This selection enables to create automatically 1) the initial solution, 2) optimise the existing solution, and 3) unschedule selected or all periods from the timetables. All these selections can be used in any order, and users can control which events are managed automatically. These tools are intended to be used for events, which do not require to be scheduled in predefined slots.
  • Automatic
  • Schedule & unschedule
  • Move periods
  • Weekly allocations pre-set
  • Tools|Optimise
    Quick optimisation Optimises timetables of the current week in Timetables view, by using the last optimisation parameters and it also enables to cancel all or selected actions. This tool can be used instantly to check if the current solution of the current week can be improved by optimisation.
  • Automatic
  • Schedule
  • Move periods
  • Undo, redo and bookmarking
  • Weekly allocations pre-set
  • Timetables view:
    Edit|Quick optimisation
    Bulk schedule Schedules periods in user-defined timetable slots, based on selected time-period range, days of week selections and the week range. This tool is very suitable for recurrent events, work shifts or similar kind of repeating events where the desired locations of the periods are set beforehand.
  • Schedule & unschedule
  • User-defined slots
  • Weekly allocations overwritten
  • Events view:
    Edit|Bulk schedule
    Copy schedules across events Copies the schedule from any event to another event, enabling to use previously scheduled events as templates for other events. This tool can be used in conjunction with Edit|Bulk schedule to re-use the repeating event schedules for other events as well.
  • Copy periods
  • Weekly allocations overwritten
  • Events view:
    Edit|Copy schedule
    Copy schedules across weeks This selection copies the schedules from any week to a single week or several upcoming weeks. First a week is copied to memory (in Weeks view with Edit|Copy week) and then the timetables are copied from memory to another week (with Edit|Paste week special|Timetables to this week) or to all remaining weeks (with Edit|Paste week special|Timetables to this and subsequent weeks). This tool is most useful in cases, when the timetables of different weeks have a lot of similarities.
  • Copy periods
  • Weekly allocations pre-set
  • Weeks view:
    Edit|Copy week
    Edit|Paste week Special...
    Instant scheduling Adds periods to and removes periods from timetables instantly and interactive according to user-defined locations when editing the resource list of the event. This scheduling tool is recommended when the user likes to schedule the event in the same time when the resource list of the event is created or edited.
  • Interactive
  • Schedule & unschedule
  • Weekly allocations overwritten
  • Events view:
    Edit|Edit event|Schedule now
    Block scheduling Enables to add periods to timetable slots according to block number table(s), which guide the scheduling in Timetables view. The numbers this application creates (either manually or randomly) helps user to schedule the periods in the timetables according to a pre-defined schema.
  • Interactive
  • Schedule & unschedule
  • Move periods
  • Weekly allocations can be changed
  • Tools|Block scheduling
    Cycling timetables Creates cycling (or rotating) timetables for several weeks, based on the daily event offerings stored in the first weeks. This tool ensures that all days are scheduled equally often in all target weeks. This tools is recommended in cases, when user has too many events to be scheduled in one week, but they could be scheduled in two or more weeks. In this set-up Mimosa automatically spread the days evenly for all target weeks. Cycling timetables is often related to the Block scheduling concept.
  • Automatic
  • Schedule
  • Weekly allocations overwritten
  • Tools|Cycling timetables
    Intake scheduling Allows Mimosa to create a set of similar schedule weeks from one week, with just varying a) students and/or b) groups of each new intake. Intakle scheduling is used schools and companies who repeat the same set of courses (typically from 5 to 10 times a year). Even in cases, when the intake weks overlap, Mimosa can automatically generate other intake files from the basis of the first intake and combine them into one schedule.
  • Automatic
  • Schedule
  • Weekly allocations overwritten
  • Tools|Intake scheduling

    You can optimise the timetables and resource lists in various ways. A summary of current selections using optimisation techniques can be found at Optimisation tools.

    Split Event

    When you have created an event and have scheduled it at least into two slots, there sometimes comes situations when you want to replace or remove some of the event's resources or add new resources to the event, but you want to perform that only for certain slots or weeks. For instance, you may want to replace a teacher or room for certain time-slots or weeks only.

    Event split tools enable you to split the slots of the event into two disjoint sets without the need of manually creating an event and rescheduling its periods. Event split uses the existing event as the basis and makes the required operations, leaving only the task to replace or attach new resources to the other event (or both events). You can repeat the process for the events that have been split and select of three different cases how the split is made.

    When you split an event, Mimosa creates two non-overlapping events with the same list of resources, keeping the total number of periods unchanged.

    You can split the periods of an event into two events

    When the two new events are created from the original event, their codes are copied from the original and automatically appended by the letters 'a', 'b', 'c',... in order to keep event codes unique. If the original event code information is important and it should be kept visible after split, the best way is to attach the original event code to the new event names. When publishing events in timetables and reports, you many then not to select to display event codes, since the event name already includes the necessary information.

    New event names can be attributed by inserting the original code in front of the new event names, or enclosing it between special characters "[]", "()", "{}", "\\" or "//". If you select the first (default) option sorting the codes by their names sorts them according to their original codes. If you select the other options, you can optionally hide the code when they are printed or published, selecting the same characters also in "Hidden text separators" (see Options|Other).

    Original event:

    New events (after selecting the first attribute option):

    After event split, you can also edit the resource lists of the two new events immediately or perform that later on in events view:

    Tags

    You can use three kinds of tags in the names of events and resources for extra tasks in Mimosa. Tags begin with specific symbols #, @ or %, followed by a number or tag name.

    If you prefer to make the tags invisible in printed or published reports, you can enclose them in Hidden text separators, as instructed on page Options|Other. You can select from the list the pair of separators according to your preference. Anything which is written inside the selected separators is not printed or published.

    Examples of tags: Auditorium (#200 seats) (Room name), Group 3 A (#28) (Group name), Lecture room I [@New_campus] (Room name), Russian for beginners (%Lan_Studio) (Event name), Language room 12 (%Lan_Studio) (Room name).

    You can use several tags in the same event or resource name and they may be enclosed in the same or different pairs of separators or in none. The following expressions are equal in Mimosa, although they differ visually:

    ROOM 206 (#36) (%Studio) (@Old_campus)
    ROOM 206 (#36 seats, %Studio, @Old_campus)
    ROOM 206 #36 %Studio @Old_campus

    Summary of the tags in Mimosa:

    Tag typeSymbolUsed inPurposeSyntaxExamplesSelection
    Capacity#ResourcesTo check that seat requirements do not exceed room capacity # and integer (0-999)
    (default=1)
    Auditorium (#200 seats)
    Group 3 A (#28)
    Edit|Optimise room usage (Events view)
    Campus name@RoomsTo check if a different campus is used twice in the same day @ and campus name (A-Z,a-z,0-9,_)
    (case sensitive)
    Lecture room I [@New_campus] Tools|Check for campus collisions
    Matching tag%Rooms and eventsTo check that room types match with event requirements % and tag (A-Z,a-z,0-9,_)
    (case sensitive)
    Russian for beginners (%Lan_Studio)
    Language room 12 (%Lan_Studio)
    Edit|Optimise room usage (Events view)

    Select Options|Summary info to display a list of all the tags that have been used.

    Timetables

    In the Timetables view you create timetables for your resources by scheduling the events you have allocated to each of the weeks of your schedule. When you schedule an event in the timetable of one resource Mimosa automatically schedules it in the timetables of all the other resources required for the event, taking care that no conflicts occur.

    If you only have one week in your timetables Mimosa will automatically allocate all your events to that week. If you have more than one week (defined in Options|Limits) you need to allocate your events to weeks in the Weeks View before you can schedule them in this view.

    You can select the timetables and events in any order for scheduling and you can make bookings to timetables to prevent scheduling to inappropriate slots.

    In this view you can:

    • Schedule and unschedule
    • Make or cancel bookings to block out inappropriate scheduling
    • Move scheduled periods between timetable slots
    • Optimise schedules
    • Undo and redo all scheduling actions
    • View the timetables of all resources connected to events

    With Mimosa you can schedule the periods of events in timetables in several alternative ways, depending on your preferences and requirements. Most important tools are presented below:

    Timetables view is the most common way to schedule periods interactively and easily. In this view you can also simultaneously view all the related timetables and also Undo and Redo all the actions you have made.
    If the start and end dates and the time periods for event schedules are known beforhand, Edit|Bulk schedule in Events view is a recommended selection.
    If you prefer to schedule events when attaching resources to events, select Instant scheduling in Events view.
    You can also import schedules from your spreadsheet application by using the appropriate Clipboard selection in Events view.
    You can also import schedules as all other Mimosa data from other applications by using the Import/export with text files tools and the File|File Import or File|File Add selections.
    Timetables can also be created automatically by using the Initial solution selection and optimise the results with the Optimise tool.

    In the selection File|Print it is possible to change the layout of the timetables, such as selecting the elements that are displayed in each cell.

    See Timetables view, Reports.

    Undo last change in timetables

    Reverses actions you perform in Timetables view, such as inserting, deleting or moving periods, or changing the bookings in timetables. Up to 2000 previous actions can be undone. You can also Undo All previous commands, Set Bookmark to the current state that you are about to go back later on or trace the whole History of all commands performed so far. See the Edit selection in this view.

    Mimosa stores up to 2000 last actions in History selection and user can jump back to any previous action or undo all actions. In other views, commands cannot be undone or redone. Therefore it is important that you save your file often on disk.

    See also Timetables view how to redo last changes in timetables.

    Weeks

    In Weeks view you can allocate the periods you have planned for your events to the different weeks of your schedule. If you only have one week in your schedule all periods will be allocated automatically to that week and you can go directly to the Timetables view to schedule your events.

    You can define the number of weeks in your schedule in Options|Limits and give them names and align them with the calendar in Options|Time but you can also add weeks here by clicking in an empty column to add weeks and rename them by clicking on the column headers.

    In this view you can also:

    • Check that the weekly allocations for events and resources are balanced and aligned with your plans
    • Copy selected content from one week to another
    • Block out events from being allocated (and also scheduled) to certain weeks
    • Lock events so you can't change the allocations or scheduling inadvertently
    • Insert, delete and split weeks or change their lengths
    • Copy allocations to and from the Clipboard

    Recommended prerequisites:

    If you like to align the weeks used in Mimosa to the normal calendar, check in Options|Time the selection [x] Align Mimosa weeks with Calendar and then select the First day of the first week. When this is done, you will see the date range of the active week on bottom of the screen and also in your reports.

    If you have only one term or week in your planning period, this view is not needed (since all periods are automatically allocated to this term or week). In that case, set the Maximum number of weeks or terms to one in Options|Limits. Activate then Timetables view and start scheduling periods manually.