Friday, January 15, 2010

Plancast: So far, yet another patch of swamp

So after reading Dave Winer's plug for Plancast, I signed up.

This helps me how? I can visit this site and see friends' upcoming event schedules, but I can't subscribe to iCal feeds of these schedules. Calendar Swamp awards Plancast a SwampDrain penalty of -1 point. Just say no to visiting yet more Web sites to look at event info!

6 comments:

Jay Marcyes said...

I'm one of the developers of Plancast and we've actually offered an iCal feed for all the schedules since the very beginning. It's the little red and white icon next to the "view past plans" button.

I agree Plancast has barely scratched the surface with regards to calendar interoperability but we have big plans so look for lots of improvements in the future.

If you have any specific thoughts about what you would like to see us do or what standards you would like us to support, feel free to contact us:

http://plancast.com/contact

We'd love to hear from you. Thanks.

Scott said...

Jay, I beg to differ with your advice. What you are offering is a function to export your Plancast to an iCal file format. That is NOT an iCal feed. An iCal feed is a URL (typically, starting with ical://) that can be accepted by a calendar program such as Google Calendar. Import/export must be done repeatedly; feeds need only be added once. And your RSS feeds don't produce a valid iCal feed, only a simple RSS feed.

Jay Marcyes said...

Hi Scott, we don't use the ical:// scheme but the feeds do automatically update when you subscribe to them in calendaring applications like iCal or Google Calendar.

The ical feed is actually next to the RSS feed icon so it's easily missed. Here's an example:

http://plancast.com/jaymon?feed=ical

The one problem our feeds do have is they don't completely validate in a validator like:

http://icalvalid.cloudapp.net/Default.aspx

but I am working on it so we get to 100%. I want to thank you also since I actually found that validator through your site, it's much better than the one I was using before.

Scott said...

Jay, thanks for helping me discover the syntax for testing your iCal feeds. However I still don't see the link you refer to. The icons I see are the RSS feed icon and the iCal export icon. Neither of those point to anything that looks like http://plancast.com/jaymon?feed=ical.

Jay Marcyes said...

It's the "ical export" link, which is unfortunately named since they are actual feeds that can be subscribed to in calendars like iCal using the method described in this post:

http://foursquare.tumblr.com/post/336129986/show-foursquare-check-ins-in-ical

The rss and ical links look different than my example because they have keys that are appended to them which make the urls look a lot uglier (and a heck of a lot bigger) but are necessary so we can remotely validate the user without them being logged in (e.g., other user can't see your /home page, but you couldn't either from something like iCal without the key).

Jeff Cutler said...

I'm confused. Are you saying that you CAN import FROM ical in Plancast or not? Export isn't import? Why would the button be named that?

Thanks,

Jeff