Category Archives: calendar

Yet more calendar requirements

Ben Teitelbaum of Internet2 pushes his availability to his web site from his calendar application. He “takes Apple iCal’s iCalendar file and strips out the subject, location and agenda for each item, leaving only an availability mask” which he feeds to PHP iCalendar. This makes scheduling time for a phone call with Ben very easy.

Calendar applications should provide a configurable feed for this data that could easily be picked up by another person or by a blog plugin to do what Ben has done with slick scripts.

Oracle Calendar allows for searching of resources and people but you have to anchor the search with the correct starting characters. Example: I can search for the DoIT ARCH LCD PROJECTOR with DoIT ARCH and find the item but not with ARCH LCD PROJECTOR.

Name aliases: Oracle Calendar doesn’t understand (in LDAP lookups as we have it configured at least) that Jim might equal James.

Three more Calendar Requirements

I would also like to be able to tag calendar events with keywords then bring up a list of events that match a given keyword or suite of keywords. I have a bunch of presentations that I am giving on my calendar. I don’t remember what all of them are. I would like to search for events with the keyword: presenting and see the list. I have to go through my calendar, week by week, to look at the up-coming presentations.

Also, I want to be able to bind email to a calendar event. I have an email request to present at a given time and place. I want to be able to attach that email to the event.

Finally, I should be able to attach, flag, tag events which I do not control but have been invited too. I should be able to add my own notes for myself, my own details, etc. even though I do not control the invite.

Why don’t calendars do Time Zones?

My laptop and my palm both understand Time Zones. I understand Time Zones. Why don’t my calendar applications (Oracle’s Calendar and the Palm Calendar in the handheld) understand Time Zones. What I want:

(1) When I create an appointment I should be able to mark the Time Zone for the appointment. I should also be able to make appointments that are Time Zone neutral – not tied to a Time Zone.
(2) My clients (Palm and Desktop and Web) should all understand Time Zones and should be able to shift the alarms to compensate for my changes in Time Zone.

How would I use this? Well…

– If I get an invite to join a conference call at 11AM EST, I could just enter that time without adjusting for my local time zone. Same with UTC time.
– If I changed time zones (say fly from Madison to San Francisco), my alarms would change to be appropriate. As it is now, if I fly to California, I need to keep track of the fact that the 10AM meeting is really a 10AM Central time so I need to set an alarm 2 hours earlier.
– But I can’t do a global change because some things might be dinners in California so they need to stay on Pacific time.

We have these bright machines that understand our location and time zones. This is the perfect task to offload to these systems. It is simple and fussy and requires sifting through events and applying rules. Perfect work for a computer.

Why don’t calendars do time zones?

My laptop and my palm both understand Time Zones. I understand Time Zones. Why don’t my calendar applications (Oracle’s Calendar and the Palm Calendar in the handheld) understand Time Zones. What I want:

(1) When I create an appointment I should be able to mark the Time Zone for the appointment. I should also be able to make appointments that are Time Zone neutral – not tied to a Time Zone.
(2) My clients (Palm and Desktop and Web) should all understand Time Zones and should be able to shift the alarms to compensate for my changes in Time Zone.

How would I use this? Well…

– If I get an invite to join a conference call at 11AM EST, I could just enter that time without adjusting for my local time zone. Same with UTC time.
– If I changed time zones (say fly from Madison to San Francisco), my alarms would change to be appropriate. As it is now, if I fly to California, I need to keep track of the fact that the 10AM meeting is really a 10AM Central time so I need to set an alarm 2 hours earlier.
– But I can’t do a global change because some things might be dinners in California so they need to stay on Pacific time.

We have these bright machines that understand our location and time zones. This is the perfect task to offload to these systems. It is simple and fussy and requires sifting through events and applying rules. Perfect work for a computer.

Event & Venue Database (EVDB) – Social Sofware Event Calendar

EVDB – The Event & Venue Database

EVDB is an event calendar system based on open contributions and smart searches. Any logged in member can enter an event. Calendars and Event are tagged like in del.icio.us. The software suggests a list of popular tags (this would help with stemming of tags – Mac, MacIntosh, Apple, etc.)

When creating an event you can tag the event and mark whether the event is free or for charge. There is a Venue Search function (you can see charge-back forming now). You add the traditional information (Time, Date).

Smart Calendars are calendars based on search terms (here comes the folksonomy and social part). You can build a Smart Calendar then share the calendar with others. You can also subscribe to Smart Calendars via RSS or ICAL. Very cool.

This system does not displace the enterprise calendar application which has a strong requirement for group scheduling where all must attend. EVDB looks like a great system for one-to-many, make-it-if-you-can events and as a tool for discovering events of interest in my area.

{JJP}