[conspire] July schedule posted

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Jul 7 12:57:48 PDT 2009

Quoting Tony Godshall (tony at of.net):

> Interesting.
> So you want the calendar generated dynamically?
> Why?

Um, no.  I never said anything about wanting any calendar (other than
BALE's) to be generated dynamically.

We seem to somehow miscommunicating.  I am not 100% sure of what that
miscommunication is, but one guess is that you have conceived the
problem to be addressed in some radically different fashion from the way
I have.

I understood the problem to be offering iCalendar format, as a
convenience to a rather small group of users, including yourself, who
actually use it and prefer it.

Therefore, I understood you to be attempting to write Python code able
to grab the event data generated by BALE's output, and/or present on the
CABAL page, parse out the respective page's data, and create a
downloadable iCalendar file based on that data.

The application "PHP iCalendar" is a Web viewer / display application 
able to present one or more iCal data file's contents to the public.
To a limited extent, it is also usable as a data format validator for
iCal files, in the sense that any data file it chokes on almost
certainly has big problems.

As I suggested in my separate posting, have a good look at the current
almost-complete BALE data displayed from bale.ics on
http://linuxmafia.com/calendar/ , and then compare that against the full
current dataset's display on http://linuxamfia.com/bale/ .  I hope
you'll agree that PHP iCalendar is prettier but less functional for the
actual needs of technical people wanting to know what's coming up in the
Bay Area.

I put a copy of the bale.ics within PHP iCalendar's data directory in
order to look it over, and also to test whether it's valid and useful
iCal at all.  (Iniitally, it was not, until I did some repairs to your

If, hypothetically, we were to fix the two remaining problems with your
script -- year rollover, and inability to process events without
start/stop times -- then I could create a cronjob to regenerate bale.ics
periodically (wget, then run your script), and create a download link
from the BALE page.  I could optionally also refresh the copy in PHP
iCalendar's data directory, thereby giving folks an alternate view of
that data plus an RSS feed.

That would be nice.

> I would have set up make to build a static html version of the calendar
> anytime its vcalendar source file changed.  That way the webserver is light
> and fast and static.

A guess:  You seem to be assuming that I am intending to convert
everything over from backending in MySQL (in the case of BALE) and flat
HTML (in the case of the CABAL page).  I never said I'd be doing that, 
and I definitely have no such intention.  It would be particularly
stupid to lose MySQL as the back-end to BALE.

Before we discuss further, we should make sure we both understand what's
going on and what problem is on the table.

> You only need dynamicism if the calendar is read-write, no?  I've certainly
> set up webcalendar's icalendar support for that (with thunderbird +
> lightning- not 100% satisfactory).  But in this instance, you want a
> easy-to-maintain icalendar file that others have RO access to (a simple http
> url) plus an HTML version of same for the web page.

I'm sorry, but when on earth did I talk about maintaining iCalendar
files?   I'm treating it so far as an export format -- which outcome
your almost-functional script comes rather close to permitting.  Which
would be cool.

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