Thursday, May 31, 2007

Shared tags are a good idea, how do we agree on them?

Earlier this month Brad Templeton posted an interesting list of possible tags that could add rich meaning to the events entered in one's calendar:

Here are some levels I think one might set on tagging an external event (or even a personal one) into your day.

  • I will not attend this event (usually means it will not be shown.)
  • I will not attend but need to keep track of this event.
  • The event is canceled.
  • I have not made any decision (default behaviour.)
  • There is some chance I will attend (perhaps a percentage can be applied.)
  • I want to attend, but something may change my mind.
  • I plan to attend. (A typical default.)
  • I am central to this event (speaking, leading meeting etc.)

This is a neat list. Is anyone working anywhere to standardize such a set of tags, so they may have shared meaning between people?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Musings on Palm and Google

The Palm Foleo, announced today, and Google Gears, being announced tomorrow, both have impacts on the calendar landscape. The Foleo offers a "large screen" cell phone experience, but the initial product doesn't bring cell phones' calendars to the large screen unless they're Web-based. Google Gears will, in time, make Google Calendar truly an "always-on" app by allowing easy offline access.

Palm missed an opportunity to lure back some customers lost to other calendars, or even paper, since using a calendar on a typical cell phone is cumbersome at best, and adoption of Web-based calendars over cell phones is just beginning.

Google still has yet to address growing privacy concerns. For instance, when will Google Calendar users be able to store encrypted calendars? Simply storing them with a secure HTTP connection (https) would be an improvement, wouldn't it?

Google missed an opportunity to address this, but since taking Web applications offline represents such a large step from the state of the art, the world will forgive Google for now.

None of which has much to do with improving calendar interoperability. Generally, I avoid commenting on calendar tech in itself here. But I've been thinking of tweaking the mission of Calendar Swamp from plain "interoperability" to "security and interoperability." Let me know if you support the idea, or if you consider it mission creep.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Whoomp! There it is

Turns out Google Calendar for Mobile Phones was announced a couple of days ago. Thanks to my commenters for quickly pointing this out. I'll have to try it out.

The pressure will be on Google now to provide some kind of true sync to certain phones, particularly the iPhone.

Google Calendar for mobile devices?

Maybe this sync-with-my-native-calendar stuff is a blind alley. Maybe the best way forward is to put Google Calendar everywhere and just finish figuring out how to sync everything else to it. (That is, if you don't mind Google knowing where you are going to be from hour to hour.)

However, listen to Dave Taylor, writing back in January: "Google Calendar, however, is completely incompatible with the [Blackberry] Pearl and any other mobile device."

Gmail has worked fine on my Pocket PC for a while now. I wonder when we'll see Google Calendar on mobile devices?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Any DeskNow users out there?

DeskNow has calendar-sharing server software for Mac, Windows and Linux. It requires Java and MySQL, and before I install all this as well as the trial version, I would be interested in feedback from anyone out there who has tried DeskNow. Better yet, if you've successfully integrated Apple iCal with a Windows Mobile calendar using DeskNow, let me know. Its ability to share calendars behind a firewall is what caught my attention.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Java mobile reboot: Where's the calendar?

I'm not at JavaOne -- too much else to do -- but on first blush, Sun's reboot of mobile Java doesn't talk about calendaring on Java mobile devices, other than an vague reference to "PIM and phone apps." I was hoping there would be a more coherent calendaring (and calendar sharing) story coming out of JavaOne.