TimeFinder released – An open source timetabler

This week I released the first public version (2009-v1) of my open source project called TimeFinder.

Although it is an alpha quality software it could be useful for schools (and universities). There are limitations! But today I will list the features only 😉

All interested users can try it out, comment the functionality and provide feedback what they don’t understand or if they want a new feature (e.g. import/export from a special dataformat). Please contact me under peathal at yahoo . de


More detailed documentation can be found here.

Manual Timetabling

With TimeFinder you can create your timetable from scratch:

  1. Manually manage persons, events and locations
  2. Assign persons to events and a room to an event
  3. Required features for events can be defined. E.g. chemistry should only be scheduled in rooms with the feature ‘lab-suppport’.

Automatic Timetabling

Probably the most important feature of TimeFinder is its automatic timetabling engine. With that engine started (one single click after defining the data) you can optimize even difficult timetables within a few minutes or seconds. The algorithm was developed for the International Timetabling Competition 2007/08; it solved (no hard constraint conflicts) all problem sets in the given time.
The application is not limited to school or university timetable: for example it can be used for a JavaOne timetable, because it is nearly the same task: no person can attend more than one event at a time. And timefinder simply minimizes the conflicts for all attendees.

Visual Planner

Special thanks goes to Vijay Nathani for his work on the visual planner component, where he combines Java with JavaFX. The component is read-only at the moment and shows a list of all resources (e.g. persons) with its assigned events. Later on we will implement drag and drop functionality to change e.g. the start time of events visually.

Download & More Details

You can start TimeFinder as webstart application from here (21MB) or get the zip bundle (17MB). Java1.6 is required. The software stands under the Apache License, Version 2.0 – this is a very commercial friendly license – so, you can use the TimeFinder’s UI and the engine in nearly all (good!) applications.

The data storage of TimeFinder is currently file-based (xml) – a database storage will follow some day.

With MyDoggy the application supports drag and drop of the windows – so you can align and manage them as you like.

Further Thanks

This application wouldn’t be the same without the following nice open source projects: