Surprise! Your Facebook visibility isn’t what you thought it was.

I’ve long wanted to be able to add Facebook to the list of sources that my elmcity service queries for local event information. It was never possible before, but the recent changes to the Facebook API (and terms of service) prompted me to take another look. At first glance, it seems doable. Here are some … Continue reading Surprise! Your Facebook visibility isn’t what you thought it was.

elmcity and WordPress MU: Questions and answers

In the spirit of keystroke conservation, I’m relaying some elmcity-related questions and answers from email to here. Hopefully it will attract more questions and more answers. Dear Mr. Udell, I am looking for a flexible calendar aggregator that I can use to report upcoming events for our college’s “Learning Commons” WordPress MU website, a site … Continue reading elmcity and WordPress MU: Questions and answers

Hello World

In July 1995 I wrote a column in BYTE with the same title as this blog post. It began: One day this spring, an HTTP request popped out the back of my old Swan 386/25, rattled through our LAN, jumped across an X.25 link to BIX, negotiated its way through three major carriers and a … Continue reading Hello World

Celebrating iCalendar’s 10th anniversary: The best is yet to come

Next month marks the tenth anniversary of RFC 2445 (iCalendar), the specification that describes how Internet applications represent and exchange calendar information. The authors of RFC 2445 were Frank Dawson (now with Nokia) and Derik Stenerson (now with Microsoft). I asked both to join me to reflect on the past, present, and future of this … Continue reading Celebrating iCalendar’s 10th anniversary: The best is yet to come

Syndication of rules versus syndication of data

To follow up on last week’s item about parsing the kinds of dates and times that people actually write, Google Calendar’s Quick Add feature looks like the clear winner. Here’s a test page with expressions like: Third Saturday of Every Month, 10 – 11:30 am Let’s try the Chronic module from Ruby: irb(main):007:0> Chronic.parse(‘Third Saturday … Continue reading Syndication of rules versus syndication of data

Free online calendar publishing, part 1: Outlook

This post is part one of a series in which I’ll summarize what I know about publishing calendars openly on the web, for free, using popular calendar applications including Outlook, Google Calendar, and Apple iCal. Outlook 2007 With Outlook 2007, you can publish for free to calendars.office.microsoft.com. You’ll need a Live ID account. If you … Continue reading Free online calendar publishing, part 1: Outlook

Trusted feeds

As several folks rightly pointed out in comments here, a community site based on tagging and syndication is exquisitely vulnerable to abuse. In the first incarnation of the photos page, for example, a malicious person could have posted something awful to Flickr and it would have shown up on that page. Flickr has its own … Continue reading Trusted feeds