Related link: http://www.disobey.com/dnn/2002/09/index.shtml#001373
Everyone knows that Apple’s free calendar application, iCal has been released. One of the niftiest features is subscriptions: you can subscribe to someone else’s calendar, much like you can subscribe to a mailing list or someone’s RSS feed. Welp, here’s a spiffy idea proposed by Jim Roepcke: I want to make a … page that generates an iCal file so people can subscribe to the blog in iCal… It would be a nice groupware feature, wouldn’t it?
So, I’ve thrown together a simplistic Movable Type blog-to-iCal implementation.
There are a couple of things not-so-perfect (and any ignorance of my own is due to not reading the vCalendar spec, instead merely mimicking a sample calendar I created for this purpose. For one, timezones must be correctly set (my template defaults to US/Eastern, since I’m over in New Hampshire). Then, certain characters, like commas and colons (and probably others) need to be escaped with a backslash, else iCal will stop reading the event at the point of unescaped character. In Movable Type, you can sorta accomplish this by using <MTEntryTitle dirify=”">, which will turn your event name into something like “ical_and_blogging”, which isn’t ideal. Finally, and perhaps most annoying: URLs aren’t clickable, so I can’t easily jump off to read the complete entry.
UPDATE, 2002-09-12: Solved the encoding issues with a Movable Type plugin, added a DESCRIPTION (to supplement the SUMMARY) and customized the name of the calendar when loaded into iCal. See more and the latest template here. Been chatting with some other people as well - some movement in this area, it seems. Good, good. Sidenote: Thanks go out to redmonk who gave patient and helpful comments whilst I rapidly barked out “Refresh! RefressHH!” over and over again from the dark dungeons of a Windows 2000 machine (Gasp! I know. Hey, I multi-task).
UPDATE, 2002-09-12 (later): Huh. iCal chokes if your calendar has Mac linefeeds. Also, Slashdot has been converted by Mike Krus of NewsIsFree.com. More information about both is available in my last update of the night. Also, how to make clickable URLs as per one of the Talk Back comments (below).
Done anything neat with iCal and subscriptions? Let me know!