Using the iCalendar Standard

Apple's iCal, Mozilla Calendar and Mozilla Sunbird all use the iCalendar format. All allow you to subscribe to remote calendars, all allow you to publish your own calendars.

Simple Instructions: subscribing and editing

Mozilla Sunbird

Accessible from the DICE command line as sunbird; for other platforms, including MacOSX, download from the Mozilla site.

Under the File menu select Subscribe to remote calendar .... Give the calendar a name of your choice; give the URL for the .ics file; select a location for a local copy (this will happen automatically if you don't set it). If you will want to edit the calendar, check the box to select Automatically publish your changes....

Apple iCal

If you try to access a .ics url under Safari it should automagically open iCal and offer to import the events in that calendar to one of your existing calendars.

Or you can subscribe to a remote calendar, which gives you your own copy, which you can set to be refreshed periodically. Select Subscribe... under the calendar menu, and type or paste in the URL.

More Detail: publishing models, creating remote calendars

The iCal model for update and sharing differs from the Mozilla model. iCal assumes that the master for any calendar you publish sits on one Mac (a single-user, single computer model). The Mozilla model allows you to have a remote calendar on a (WEBDAV) server that is updated whenever anyone with appropriate permissions makes a change to their local copy (a multi-user/multi-computer model).

Using iCal

If you really want to always use the same account on the same computer to manage your calendar, and you have a mac, use iCal to create and publish.

Using Mozilla

If you want more flexibility, use Mozilla to create and publish. You can run sunbird from the DICE command line. The calendar extension is not currently included in the DICE firefox installation.

Tip for Mac users: You can still use iCal to subscribe to your remote calendar - the advantage of this is that you can then use iSync to sync your calendar with your mobile phone or PDA. Note that you should create at least one local calendar so that iSync has somewhere to put events created on the phone. If you do not, iSync will not let you select which of your calendars to synchronise.

Creating a shared calendar - if you find an easier way please edit!

Use Sunbird or Mozilla Calendar to create a new calendar file -- include at least one event, because some of the software is broken and doesn't handle empty calendars.

Publish this file to the WEBDAV server to create a remote calendar.

Delete the local calendar (find the menu by right-clicking the calendar under the calendar tab).

Subscribe to the remote calendar - ensure the local copy is kept somewhere it will be backed up.

Finding a WEBDAV server

We have (as yet?) only an experimental local WEBDAV server. However, icalx.com provides one, giving a free calendar hosting service, provided you can live with a very simple authentication model.

We have an account intended for informatics administrative use (course and committee schedules in particular) hosted by icalx.com. If you want to use this account, see the authentication details below. If you want to create calendars for other purposes, for the moment, sign up at http://icalx.com

Using the informatics account at icalx.com

Be careful not to tread on anyone else's calendar! If you create a new calendar, make sure you use a new name!

If you use iCal to create the calendar you will always have a master on your machine (and when you publish changes you will overwrite any changes made by others). If you use Mozilla, Mozilla will keep a local copy and update this from the remote copy when you make changes, or when told to reload. If this copy is within your backed-up storage, you should have what you need to recover from disasters. The backup copies of the committee calendars are in the school shared area - under calendars.

username: informatics password: password available to authorised staff from the school office

Using this data to authenticate, you can publish a calendar at one of the following urls (calendar-name is the name you give your calendar - omit the stars).

For calendars visible www-wide http://icalx.com/public/informatics/*calendar-name*.ics

For calendars requiring the above username and password for all access http://icalx.com/private/informatics/*calendar-name*.ics

Those without a calendar client will be able to see your calendars by adjusting the urls above following the pattern given by the committee calendars.

-- MichaelFourman - 20 Sep 2005

Note that there is actually an Informatics webdav server and some members of staff are using it for calendaring. I know of no documentation about this though and know that at least two users are having permissions issues.

-- CarwynEdwards - 21 Sep 2005

Topic revision: r6 - 03 Oct 2005 - 19:51:11 - MichaelFourman
 
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