Calendar stuff is up and running

I’m now up and running with the automatic Oracle Calendar export stuff. The other day I tested the Palm sync stuff out, to make sure event deletions were propagating properly to the Palm. Initially, they weren’t. However, after I followed the instructions that I got from Mark/Space support, everything worked fine. These instructions are worth repeating here, as they may come in handy down the road:

Go to Missing Sync and hold the ‘option’ key down while you double click on the ‘Mark/Space Events’ conduit. When the settings window appears, click on the ‘Advanced Options’ button and then click on the ‘Unregister Sync Client’ button.

Then sync, when you do, you will get a dialog box with an orange iSync icon on it. Check the box to erase the device, then click the ‘Allow’ button.

This appears to erase all the existing calendar data on the Palm, and download totally fresh data from iCal. In any event, upgrading to 5.0.3b6 and then following these instructions solved my sync issues.

The next step was to automate the export of the Oracle Calendar data. I did this with a cron script. Right now I have the script run every day at 10am, 1pm, 4pm, and 7pm. It connects to the calendar server, downloads updated data, and updates the iCalendar file on the web server. (This runs on my Linux box at work,, as user www-data.)

So far, this appears to be working fine. I plan on keeping an eye on it for awhile to see if there are any issues. With this piece working, I can start to focus on improvements. Here’s the current wish list:

  • Add timezone data to the iCalendar file
  • Download attendee data for a small window of time (maybe 1 month or so starting from current date). Don’t want attendee data for everything, as it makes the iCalendar download take too long.
  • Do I want to treat “declined” events any differently from “accepted”? Right now, there’s no differentiation between the two in the downloaded calendar. Addressing this would mean keying off the STATUS field somehow.
  • Split different types of events into separate calendars. Various event types include “Meetings”, “Daily Notes”, “Day Events”, and “Holidays”. I might also want to separate out “Daily Notes” and “Day Events” that are created by users other than myself; this might be a way of handling the “accepted/declined” issue.
  • Revisit handling of alarms, if necessary.

A few of these will require tweaks to the actual download process, and the others involve rewriting the iCalendar output in various ways.

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