Category Archives: calendaring

New developments in Google Calendar land

I think I’ve finally accepted Google Calendar as a stopgap solution, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the most efficient course of action from here on out is to build on it as a backend.

Interestingly, a new Google Data API blog just started today. I happened upon it by chance after spending a bunch of time searching for existing software that connects to Google Calendar. The search also made me appreciate “mash-up” directories a lot more.

Giggler2 is a Python application that implementing read-only interaction with GCal, but from a moment’s glance, its GData library seems to be pretty rich/complete. Otherwise there’s this quick Python hack, and that’s all I could find in the Python realm. Calgoo is a closed-source alternative.

All this hot on the heels of the recent Python 2.5 release.

As for the complaints I have against Google Calendar:

  • No labels.
  • No hierarchical calendars.
  • Can’t hide recurring events.
  • Notifications available only for default calendar.
  • Deleting the default calendar can be problematic.
  • Sharing model is simplistic: either subscribe to a complete calendar, or copy over events (vs. linking to individual events).
  • No Outlook-style meeting scheduler.
  • No tasks (though they’re on their way).
  • Inflexible set of data fields associated with each event.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head; I’m sure I’ve thought of more. Not that there’s anything better than GCal at the moment. I’m suffocating from the lack of features across the board of calendaring apps. GCal seems like the easiest way for me to scratch the itch – it puts me at a decent starting line, from which point I need to embed custom data blobs into events and render them appropriately in a custom rich client (probably a similar amount of work
would be required to start from scratch).