Wednesday, December 27, 2006
By the way, you probably won't read about this at the usual Web 2.0 sites, since it's a new Windows app. Fancy that -- a new Windows app. And it's only $19.95. Not $19.95 a month. Just $19.95.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
I'll be talking to the folks at Novell about this on Wednesday for an Opening Move podcast about OpenXML and Open Document Format interoperability.
(Cross posted to IMJ.)
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Thursday, November 30, 2006
This makes me think of standards as seismic safety for software. With a standard, one can have a standard server running independent of the Internet that one can test against. When the server platform is a service and not a standard, if the service goes down, anything you're trying to build on top of it slams to a halt as well.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
Trumba will probably do just fine as a site for creating Web calendars and feeds. The company originally started out with a $39/year price, and is now in the process of bumping that up to $99.95 a month. Customers who already had a Trumba account prior to this week can pay $9.95 a month or $99.95 a year until 2008. A few nonprofits may feel burned after originally signing up for the free service (my church was one of them) but according to an email I've seen from Trumba support. the possibility exists of a non-profit pricing scheme in 2008. I hope Trumba does well and can offer that service as a way of keeping some nonprofits out of the Google Calendar tractor beam.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Dana also posted a transcript, if you don't have time to listen to the show.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
But there's more to the Linspire calendaring story. Carmony and his vice president of business development, Randy Linnell, are both veterans of Franklin Covey Co. Carmony was vice president of technology there, after Franklin Covey bought Carmony's company, NewQuest Technologies, which made a personal information manager, Ascend, that I vaguely recall before the acquisition. Before the acquisition, Franklin Covey really didn't have a digital calendar. Linnell was with Franklin Covey for 11 years with titles such as director of customer service and director of technology.
Point being, these guys know calendaring. Carmony is totally sympathetic with our quest to drain the swamp. We both agree Mozilla hasn't done enough work on interop. The Linspire folks looked at Chandler, but it's aiming a bit high for the average customer, and it's been further delayed by server issues. (At OSCON, the Chandler team revealed that they've been forced to abandon efforts to build its Cosmo server on top of Apache Jackrabbit.)
Many desktop Linux distributions, such as Novell's OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, and Fedora, include the Ximian Evolution calendar. Evolution now supports CalDAV, a swamp-draining move that gets it part of the way toward interop nirvana. To get true nirvana and sync with most mobile devices, you still have to inject something like the Novell Groupwise Mobile Server, which is free--provided you've already bought a bunch of other Novell server software.
Do you think Mozilla Calendar is good enough? (I don't.) Are you willing to wait for Chandler? (I'm not.) Is the Ximian solution good enough? (Only if you're provided your calendar through an Enterprise with a capital "E".)
Maybe the Linux community should rally around someone like Carmony, who knows calendaring, and build something else?
Once Desktop Linux has a widespread, popular calendar, could its popularity help drain the swamp faster? (I think so.)
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Monday, August 07, 2006
The mainstream tech media promptly ignored this aspect of Apple's Leopard announcements today. This speaks volumes about the work remaining to raise the profile of interoperable calendar technology in the popular press. Even if more and more users are clamoring for it.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Thursday, July 20, 2006
The demo exchanged free/busy info between seven different calendaring systems: Bedework, Google Calendar, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, Oracle Calendar, TimeBridge and OSAF's Chandler. CalDAV was a big technological component of making it work.
It will be a while before the fruits of this interoperability work boil down to average calendar users like me, but it's good to see this progress being made at the enterprise level.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Can't someone on this planet create a piece of packaged software, so I can pay One Price and achieve synchronization/free busy sharing between a Pocket PC and Apple's iCal? Do I really have to buy Office 2007 to pay one time only?
Saturday, June 24, 2006
"CompanionLink for Google Calendar™ is a two-way synchronization solution for people that want to extend their Google Calendar onto their desktop calendar systems or mobile devices. It can synchronize Google Calendar with all the latest Pocket PC, Windows Mobile, Palm, and BlackBerry devices in addition to Outlook, Lotus Notes, Palm Desktop, and Groupwise applications."The blog poster goes on to say:
I’ve installed the 14-day trial of CompanionLink but I’m having trouble getting it to connect to Google Calendar. It keeps telling me my email address or password is wrong, and I’m pretty sure it isn’t. So I’ll keep trying.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
As for myself, I'm still eager to route around Outlook. How will Windows Mobile support Windows Vista Calendar? And, more importantly, will Windows Vista Calendar run on Windows XP, like so many other pieces of Vista?
Monday, May 08, 2006
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
When I was at InfoWorld in 1989, a test I was able to run on a beta of dBase IV made headline news, thanks to the cooperation of a beta-tester who was never named.
It's time for another test. If you are running a beta release of Office 2007, please create an event on your Outlook 2007 calendar for test purposes. Then, please invite me to this event by creating and sending an iCal invitation to this event to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll try to open each of them in one or more iCal clients and report the results here. If possible, I'll also reply to your invitation and will be interested in knowing if the reply gets through to you.
I'll even accept invites from Microsoft employees, but I'll also disclose that these invites were sent by someone at Microsoft. Otherwise, I won't identify anyone who participates, just in case you're worried about violating a Microsoft non-disclosure agreement. (I've got 25 years of experience with protecting sources, with no complaints yet.)
Monday, April 24, 2006
Technorati tag: Crossbow
Friday, April 21, 2006
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
The email came from Cameron Stillion, and with his permission, I hereby reprint it in its entirety:
I was recently forwarded a link to your blog. Overall, I'd say you're spot-on, with a slightly sharp edge toward Redmond... but that's not a huge surprise. You do seem to have some up-to-date information on Windows plans, especially Vista - but I'm surprised that you aren't more tuned into the Outlook support for iCal that is already in Beta as we speak. Are you on the Office 12 beta? Huge improvements in iCal parsing, support for subscriptions via webcal://, and even publishing using iCalendar. I'm only saying this because I'm the dev lead over these features and built many of them with my own hands. Call it personal pride in one's workmanship. :)
As for Vista and their plans? You'd like to think we're all one big happy family up here - but the fact of the matter is that it is just as difficult to get different vendors to behave nicely together as it is to get disparate product groups to agree on market focus, interoperability, and a cohesive grand unified user story.
A little good news, a little bad news. Isn't that life in a nutshell?
Thanks, Cameron, for responding to my interoperability concerns on behalf of the Outlook team, at long last. Again, I've no intention of trying Outlook 12 beta for the reasons I gave above. The solution to this problem cannot merely be to get everyone to upgrade to Outlook 12. I would, of course, welcome reports from independent readers of Calendar Swamp. Does the Outlook 12 beta solve your Outlook calendar interoperability problems?
My hunch is that Outlook is getting pretty good at subscribing to iCal-based calendars, but probably still has trouble when those calendars try to subscribe to it. It sounds like some progress is happening even here, however.
As for Cameron's comments about the Vista team and the Outlook team not being on the same page, I think that speaks for itself.
I encourage Cameron, or other members of the Outlook team, to start blogging so Outlook customers can have a broader dialog with the company about calendar interoperability. I also hope that dialog includes the interoperability needs of gazillions of Outlook users who don't plan on upgrading to Outlook 12 for a long time to come, for a variety of reasons, including the cost and complexity of upgrading.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
Monday, February 13, 2006
Unfortunately, it still requires you to publish your calendar to the Web on a page, and worse yet, without any access control available for that page.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Monday, February 06, 2006
Thursday, February 02, 2006
"'Outlook Sync': To be honest, we're not sure that most users will be running *both* Windows Calendar and Outlook. Windows Calendar is designed for personal calendaring, while Outlook 2007 has more advanced calendaring features, especially for groups running Exchange. You'll be able to import Windows Calendar calendars into Outlook by simply opening these files from within Outlook. However, beyond this import scenario, full interop between the two clients (such as the ability for both of them to edit the same data set simultaneously) is not planned for the Vista/Office 2007 release."Steve doesn't mentioning importing Outlook calendars into Windows Calendar, so I'm going to speculate that doing this won't be very pretty. We'll wait to hear more from Steve, or, perhaps Robert Scoble will get the answers on Channel 9, which has yet to do a segment on Windows Calendar.
For the overall calendar interoperability picture, Steve's revelations mean more confusion, not less, at least in the short term. Consider this. Millions of people have mobile phones that know how to synchronize with Outlook. None of them synchronize yet with Windows Calendar, though some might sync with some iCal-based services (raising all my privacy concerns again).
So the question may become, how soon will mobile phones appear that support synchronizing with Windows Calendar, and how long will it take to get those phones into peoples' hands?
Steve's comment isn't encouraging:
"Pocket Outlook currently doesn’t have a built in ActiveSync provider to convert/sync ICS [iCal] data at this time. I’m not sure what their plan is for Vista."It's still mighty swampy, and maybe getting swampier, if you run Windows.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
I'm adding "iCalendar" to my Google, Feedster and Technorati searches which already cover "iCal."
I'm sure we'll be living with both terms in perpetuity. The Microsoft Windows Vista folks prefer "iCalendar," probably because Apple named a product "iCal." Outside of the IETF, I hardly ever heard "iCalendar" until Microsoft started using the name.
Steve Makofsky, a software design engineer at Microsoft, sent me a comment: "Windows Calendar, which is in Vista, natively runs iCalendar format."
So there's your answer. It's in Windows Vista. So why am I not jumping for joy?
1. Considering all the other hype around Vista, the iCal support in Vista's Windows Calendar has been very poorly publicized or recognized. It wasn't mentioned during any of the PDC keynotes. Windows Calendar appeared in October in Build 5231 of Vista, and didn't cause any ripples outside the Vista beta testing world.
2. Right now, the final version of Vista has an installed base of zero. It's in beta testing and will be for months to come. A Vista solution offers nothing to the existing installed base of Windows users. Sure, lots of folks will just get Vista when they buy new PCs. That's nice, but we want widespread calendar interoperability now, not whenever.
3. How the heck does Outlook work together with Windows Calendar in Vista? Having two Microsoft calendars in Windows sounds like a recipe for confusion to me. They better be totally interoperable from day one, or what's the point?
When I have the answers to these questions, maybe then Vista will be worth a SwampDrain rating.
1. For regulatory reasons, service providers aren't throwing away any data collected by their Web sites. (Pat Helland, now of Amazon.com, said this in a keynote yesterday at the Software Archictecture Summit.)
2. The U.S. government and other governments increasingly subpoena all sorts of information from service providers. Heck, sometimes they don't even need a traditional subpoena.
"But I was just trying to synchronize my calendars because the software wasn't doing it for me...and calendar sync service X was free..."
But as they say, sometimes, when you're up to your neck in alligators, it's hard to remember you were originally trying to drain the swamp.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Boo to the technology trade press for ignoring this announcement! Wake up over there.
Technorati tag: Workplace
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
The simple answer is, ifreebusy.com only stores free/busy information. AirSet stores all of my calendar information. If I have to use a Web service to synchronize calendars, I'd like to store as little personal information as possible. Ideally, I wouldn't have to use a service at all. (I call this "peer to peer" calendar synchronization.)
And yes, I do use other free Web services such as Gmail, despite my privacy concerns. No other email user has to use the same email provider as I do. and if enough people objected, I might move off Gmail as well. By keeping my calendar off the Web, I'm reducing the "attack surface" for bad things to happen to my family's personal data.
Also, check out Neil Jensen's next set of plans for ifreebusy.com, triggered in part by our conversation.
(Apologies to Steve Gillmor for putting words into his brother Dan's mouth on the Gillmor Gang. Steve's the Gillmor I meant to name on this podcast. It must be because I saw both of them in different places on the same day last week!)
Monday, January 16, 2006
Saturday, January 14, 2006
"Depending on the amount of data you plan to actively manage, the required level of data service subscription varies. For business users that synchronize business contacts and office calendar frequently, we recommend a data plan of up to 2MB to avoid additional data charges. For those using MightyPhone to manage their phone book only, a data plan with up to 1MB should be sufficient. Both examples assume an average address book of less 500 contact entries and a calendar with 4 scheduled appointments per business day."
If you already own a BlackBerry and a Macintosh, this is great news. SwampDrain factor: +2.
(At least BlackBerry users are already acclimated to data usage fees, unlike the rest of us.)
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Monday, January 09, 2006
Technorati tag: iFreeBusy