mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Syndication Web

Calendar <-> Feed?

Does anybody know of a program or service that will look at a calendar file (e.g., vCalendar, iCalendar, hCalendar) and publish the entries on it as an RSS feed, where each entry in the feed has a link to that one calendar entry?

It strikes me that this would be useful for public calendars where you don’t want to see the whole thing dumped into your personal calendar, but instead want to selectively add events to your calendar as they become available. It should know about updates and put them at the front of the feed so you don’t miss them.

For example, the Burlingame Voice has a community calendar. They don’t have a machine-readable version of the calendar sitting around right now, but they might one day (I pinged their very helpful Webmaster). If they did, I wouldn’t want to subscribe to every little event that happens in Burlingame; however, I would want to know about events as they’re added to the calendar.

As such, this sounds like a job for a syndicated (RSS, Atom) feed. When I find entries I’m interested in, I want to be able to click on them to add the event to my calendar — which sounds like a job for iCalendar (or hCalendar, or vCalendar; hey, why is it that useful things on the internet have so many duplicative formats?).

Is such a beast out there? I’m a big believer in using my blog to avoid coding…


muttley said:

I’ve been working on a system called EventQueue for a month or so now. EventQueue can subscribe to multiple feeds - currently local DB and (optionally remote, web accessible) ICalendar files but hopefully PalmDB and SyncML soon. It then combines them and then outputs the resulting calendar in any one of multiple formats (HTML, RSS, Atom, ICalendar).

Active development has been stalled for the past two weeks because my development (and demo) machine, err, blew up but hopefully that should be rectified soon.

The only real thing left on the TODO list for version 1.0 is a decent, slick looking web based interface for adding events. Unfortunately whilst my coding skills are up to scratch my HTML and design skills are sadly not.

In version 2.0 I want to add multiple users with an easy interface for adding and removing subscriptions and, if they ever decide how they wnat to represent recurring events, hCalendar support.

For what it’s worth hCalendar is a 1-to-1 mapping of XHTML to ICalendar (which is, for all intents and purposes VCalendar). We have Apple to thank for muddying that particular namespace just a little further.

EventQueue is available from Subversion here

Thursday, October 27 2005 at 1:26 AM

l.m.orchard said:

For what it’s worth, this is what the final chapter of my book 1 is all about, albeit in a roundabout (ie. iCal -> hCal -> feed) form. This may or may not be useful to you, but here’s the code:

Thursday, October 27 2005 at 4:24 AM

steve winkler said:

I was just discussing this with a buddy of mine. He’s already written a little code so that Outlook will sync certain events in his calendar to his blog so that others know what he’s up to. I assume it wouldn’t be too hard to do in reverse, though implementing a selecter would require a little more effort. I’ll point him to this and maybe he’ll weigh in.

Thursday, October 27 2005 at 4:34 AM

Lisa Dusseault said:

I’ve been talking about this with a number of people. It’s quite likely that various members of will get involved and discuss doing this interoperably. We’ll also likely do this in Cosmo someday ( when we’ve got the base calendar and CalDAV stuff a bit more mature.

Thursday, October 27 2005 at 12:49 PM

Murty said:

Sunday, October 30 2005 at 8:39 AM

Johnny K said:

I just found out about this today, I’m not sure how good it is,, it might do what you need.

Sunday, October 30 2005 at 11:53 AM