It’s been a year or so since I gave up on my home-grown calendar sync setup. It was nice for awhile, then we upgraded our Oracle Calendar server, it broke, I tried to fix it and didn’t get very far, and that was the end of that. Well, as it happens, there’s been some recent interest in an Oracle-calendar-to-iCalendar gateway at work, so I decided to drag my old stuff out and try again. And it turns out, things have improved in a year’s time. First off, the Oracle Calendar SDK seems to be more reliable. I used to get lots of internal library errors, particularly when trying to download large chunks of calendar data. But that doesn’t seem to be happening now (I know, famous last words). And on top of that, the iCalendar output is much cleaner. For example, recurring events are now properly tagged with RECURRENCE-ID properties, so recurrences “just work” now without any extra work on my part. There are still a few little quirky things, but by and large, it’s a huge improvement.
Also improved is Sunbird, Mozilla’s standalone calendar app. It’s still a little rough around the edges, but it seems much more robust than previous versions. I’d eventually like to use Sunbird as my main calendaring app everywhere, because it’s cross-platform and it allows interactive editing of subscribed WebDAV calendars (unlike Apple’s iCal). The only stumbling block is my old, crusty Palm PDA, which only syncs with iCal. Much as I’ve liked the Palm PDAs I’ve used over the years, I’m wondering if it isn’t time to start thinking about something different. It’d be great to have something with functionality similar to Sunbird’s, in a PDA form factor. Never going to get that with something that relies on desktop sync.