Publishing or sharing calendars

Say you want to publish a list of appearances. That's easy for most people, just make a web page and list the dates, times, places, etc you will be speaking. Then later you must remember to remove the old entries and add new ones.

However suppose you want to go beyond that? Let's say you want to more easily edit these events than using your web publishing tool? What if you want to offer your visitors a way to integrate your schedule to their calendar, like if they're a Mac user using iCal? Or what about your daily schedule? Or if you want to share your daily schedule with one or more other people? What if your site houses a group of people, all having their own events, each wanting their own calendar?

What are some useful features to look for?

  • Exporting the calendar in a data format easily integratable to other applications, such as the iCal format or whatever it is Outlook uses.
  • Does it support other calendar systems than the Gregorian calendar used in the U.S.?
  • If you can host it yourself, what are the hosting requirements, and how easy is it to install?
  • Can you update calendars through a web browser, or must it be done through a specialized application?

The following is a survey of the available calendaring options.

planzo.com - The online planning community (http://www.planzo.com/): Allows one to create an online calendar. The user interface is the new-fangled AJAX style with lots of nice interactivity right in the web browser. They claim you can share events on a blog, web-page and many more places. There is a programming interface allowing one to build other applications on top of their platform.

jWebCalendar (http://jwebcalendar.sourceforge.net/index.php): This is a Java "servlet" that renders a nice calendar. It is not a complete calendar creation service, instead you edit events in an XML file and upload that to the server. The servlet provides lots of options to control the display.

WebCalendar (http://www.math.utexas.edu/webcalendar/doc/index.html): is a web-based calendaring and scheduling system for managing personal, group and corporate events over the internet. It is a full featured online application that allows you to keep track of your personal appointments, group projects, company meetings and resources reservations. It offers you a reliable, platform independent, real time scheduling solution for small-to-medium sized organizations, providing you with a centralized source for all your scheduling needs.

WebCalendar (http://www.k5n.us/webcalendar.php): Not to be confused with the previously listed WebCalendar. WebCalendar is a PHP-based calendar application that can be configured as a single-user calendar, a multi-user calendar for groups of users, or as an event calendar viewable by visitors. MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, DB2, Interbase, MS SQL Server, or ODBC is required. It can share calendars to clients like Sunbird, iCal, Evolution, etc.

Kiko (www.kiko.com): A "web 2.0" sort of calendar. To them this means rich use of dynamic HTML (a.k.a. AJAX) techniques to make for a nice in-the-browser user interface, and a web API enabling content from the Kiko site to be incorporated into other sites.

Calcium Web Calendar Server (www.brownbearsw.com/calcium/WhatIsIt.html): This is a perl-CGI script you install on your own web server, and then customize for your needs. It can run on any server host which supports perl base CGI, the most commonly available of web application technologies. It is commercial software, so if you expect to run it for real use you should buy a license.

HTML Calendar Maker Pro (http://www.htmlcalendar.com/products/windows/ and mac version): A desktop application that builds for you static HTML pages containing calendars.

Calendars for the Web (http://www.greathill.com/calendar.htm): Very featureful commercial web application software for group wide calendaring. For example the software can merge "group-wide" events, handle conference room scheduling, etc. This is commercial software, and they offer a hosting service.

Easy PHP Calendar (http://www.easilysimplecalendar.com/) is a powerful PHP calendar script that is easily integrated into web sites and is simple to customize. This attractive, full-featured calendar is suitable for display on a calendar of events page, home page, or any other page that needs a calendar.

DATES!™ Web Calendaring (http://www.hardysystems.com/) is a web event calendaring and scheduling service. It provides event calendars to your web site for your visitors, with searching, sorting, and visitor-interaction built in. The service offers many display options, but does not offer iCal integration.