I probably should have noted that I'm using iCal in the month view. Maybe that's why my iCal thinks every new event is eight hours long? The previous iCal didn't behave this way.
And, yes, a menu item titled New Event that opens a box where I can create a new event rather than actually creating a New Event is bad design. It adds extra steps. It feels like a Microsoft thing where you click on something and then get asked if that's really what you wanted to do. When I click New Event, I want a new event to open so I can input the details including calenrar, alarm, repeating data, notes, etc. Sure, if I wanted a quick option, I'd go for the + sign to add one. But when it comes to having to change calendars or add extra info, making me go through extra steps is poor design.
There's a lot to like in the new iCal, but pushing the app away from design simplicity for VISUAL simplicity is poor design for a desktop OS app. On a three inch screen like the iPhone, it makes perfect sense. It's brilliant, in fact. But on a desktop OS? I completely understand the idea of merging iOS with OS X, but a motorcycle is not a tractor trailer even though they both have engines. To treat them as such is poor design.
Another example: in iCal, it's easy to hide calendars you may not need to see. That's a great feature. In the previous iCal, there was a pane that showed which calendars were visible and which were not. Now, if you're looking at a month, you have no way of seeing that there may also be more events that are hidden without clicking the calendars for a popup to display which are visible and which are not. I'm no Mac basher. I have a series of the black & white "Think Different" prints framed and hanging on my walls. I love Apple, but the new iCal is poor design.
The simple answer is, sadly, that you have to add a time for every event as you type it (type "iHate iCal at 10am" to see what I mean, if you haven't discovered this "feature" yet). If you add an event and then click it to open the editor to change it, you'll end up with a stupidly long event to change. If you view iCal in month view, you simply have to add a ton of info as you type. And if you want to change the calendar (from home to work, etc), you have to wade in through a bunch of needless clicks.
iCal is so brilliantly designed that it ended up being poorly designed. Calendars are hidden. Heck, they're not even calendars, really. They're CATEGORIES of events. Regardless, they're hidden, so, there's no way to see which are active at a glance without first clicking into them. That's poor design. Changing an all day event to a timed event turns it into an 8 hour long event. Poor design.
iCal could be phenomenal if Apple opened it up to developer plugins. Plugins could allow users to change the default behavior of iCal to suit their own tastes. Instead, we're stuck with iCal as it is.
I'm not sure what "this" you're referring to.
iCal in Lion is designed to add all day events unless you add a time while typing the event out.
Type "Lunch at 1pm" -- this gives you an event titled Lunch that lasts from 1 to 2PM. iCal sets the time automatically.
Type "Lunch" -- this gives you an all-day event titled lunch. If you edit the event and un-click the All Day option, it becomes an 8 hour long event.
It's not a bug. It's a "feature" (and I hate it).
I assume this is true in day / week views. I only use iCal in month view.