iCalendar Gotchas

Another development in progress here on the CETIS site is a calendaring and event-registration system. We’ve built a database – and various members of staff have provided some events to put in it… For our next trick we need to get the data out again.

The main player in interchange formats for calendaring is the iCalendar spec (aka rfc2445. The format neatly imports into iCal on the mac or Google Calendar or most other modern calendaring systems…

HOWEVER when cranking the information from the database into iCalendar format I came across several important gotchas which I may otherwise not have noticed.

1) The calendars must be encoded as LATIN 1 with Windows-style CR,LF line breaks. Not doing this causes iCal to barf on the file.
2) You need to watch out for carriage returns generally. For example an event description spread over several lines can cause problems – or missing one out between fields for that matter.

With these issues more-or-less sorted we now have a (hopefully) working cetis-events ical feed.


CETIS Site Redevelopment: A proposal

CETIS (Custom PHP)
Mainly: A lightweight aggregation of the various blogs
Events aggregation

CETIS Blogs (WordPress-µ)
Individual (and group) blogs for all cetis staff members
Also includes general contact info for public use, staff profiles etc
Items may be public or internal-only or private
Items can be associated with the relevant Community and/or Team
Items may be elevated to front page status.

CETIS Communities (MediaWiki)
A big wiki for the SIGS – covering specs
Can be contributed to by sig participants

CETIS Events (Custom PHP??)
Events/calendaring – single click sign-up for registered users!
Covers Public Cetis events, registration
Private CETIS calendaring
Aggregated events from elsewhere

CETIS Intranet
Internal groupware – work planning, project management
TEAM views of what is going on – team blogs
Private wikis? (MediaWiki)
Staff management
Events/calendaring (again)
Control centre for it all…

Other requrements
Common authentication!


A blog, a wiki, a tracker, a subversion
TRAC and Subversion and WordPress?
Or they do it themselves

Based on my database??
Tracks all the projects and aggregates their blogs
can be contributed to by members
Tracks standards used
Full-on doap support

Implications for old sites

Move to new structure
Deal with old content – zope.cetis.org.uk
redirections and THIS IS OLD messages

mostly archived
Framework moved into big e-framework
PROJECTS and so forth moved into hosted stacks
and/or project/software/standards directory

elearning Focus
Move to wordpress/wiki
old articles to be moved

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