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  • Forum Calendar would be cool to use

    I noticed no one is using the forum calendar to schedule anything.

    I was thinking of merging the www.defcon.org DC Groups calendar with the calendar here, and using it as a central repository for upcoming hacker related events.

    Has anyone played around with the functionality? Any opinions on what would make people use the calender more?
    PGP Key: https://defcon.org/html/links/dtangent.html

  • #2
    umm.. 'me too' post here?

    I can't say for having tested its functionality in vB, but I can attest that such a thing would rock, especially after noticing a lot of folks pimping their DC Group meetings through the calendar.. I need to get our groups details in ..


    As far as the actual conference is concerned.. I started up this thread pimping my very basic calendar .. trying to formulate my own central base of all things DEFCON .. whether official or not. It is very low tech. .. html tables. I hoped to overlap speaker schedules and official events etc once it fills out more, but for now was trying to encourage folks to add in all the unofficial things they could think of.

    Basically, the number one thing I've found so far is that very few people have settled on specific dates or times for these type of events .. still too early in the game for the non-planners.

    At any rate, I am very interested in this as a general topic; and pumping out additional features if desired. I know it's already been mentioned that a PDA friendly, or even RSS version might be desired .. especially for tentative events or scheduling changes.


    -- enter theCotMan --
    Last edited by converge; March 9, 2006, 18:54.
    if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Dark Tangent
      I noticed no one is using the forum calendar to schedule anything.

      I was thinking of merging the www.defcon.org DC Groups calendar with the calendar here, and using it as a central repository for upcoming hacker related events.

      Has anyone played around with the functionality? Any opinions on what would make people use the calender more?
      Yep. I've played around with the calendars.

      First, I tried to remove all of the religious holidays from view. However, we can add our own holidays. :-)

      There are two kinds of calendars: Public and Private.
      All users (except banned users) may view public calendar events

      All users except banned, guests, and maybe "Lurkers" may edit their own "private" events, but I do not think private events can be viewed by other users.

      Forum Leader/Organizers, Goon, Mods, Super Mods, UberGoons (goons who are mods), and admins may make, edit and delete either public or private events.

      Just who can post new, edit, or delete events would need to be determined, and then enabled.

      We can add more calendars than just Public and Private. However, just two calendars is difficult to manage. We may want to dump the Private calendar entirely. (In order to select an event as public/private you must first select a public/private calendar view. Having more than one calendar may be too confusing and add risk for mis-placed events.)

      I suggest clobbering all private calendars, and leaving only one public calendar.

      We can also enable "Moderations of events" if desired, but moderation can be a lot of work. If moderation of events on the forum calendar is desired, then we should find people who would want to do this, since it means checking on new events and then okaying them or denying them.

      With the new revisions, it is possible to set an hour for an event too.

      For events, vB-markup(bb) is allowed, HTML, Smilies and images are not.

      Lots of decisions and options available.

      [Added:]
      Originally posted by converge
      umm.. 'me too' post here?
      Hey now! ;-)

      I can attest that such a thing would rock, especially after noticing a lot of folks pimping their DC Group meetings through the calendar.. I need to get our groups details in .
      Yes. it would be nice to have.

      As far as the actual conference is concerned.. I started up this thread pimping my very basic calendar ..
      This is a great idea. Very nice, and makes it easier to decide what to see when things are in contention for the same timeslot(s).

      At any rate, I am very interested in this as a general topic; and pumping out additional features if desired. I know it's already been mentioned that a PDA friendly, or even RSS version might be desired .. especially for tentative events or scheduling changes.
      That is somethign to consider-- Will calendar events be on the forum RSS feed? I don't know, but will check.

      -- enter theCotMan --
      Hah! How did you know?
      Last edited by TheCotMan; March 10, 2006, 11:48. Reason: added content

      Comment


      • #4
        Initial decisions on calendar

        I vote for removing private calendars and enabling moderation of entries. Black Beetle does this now for new events that people want listed on the main web site, as well as new DC Groups that want to have links.

        With a bit of help, I bet we can keep the calendar in line and pretty useful for everyone.

        I think the ultimate expansion would be to support iCal export / import. That way people can export the calendar to their devices, and google seems to like sucking in iCal data as well.
        PGP Key: https://defcon.org/html/links/dtangent.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Ya, ical support would rule, I could pull everything into Sunbird. I definately vote for one master calendar. List all the various conferences, hacker related dates, great moments in computer history, etc.

          I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

          Comment


          • #6
            A limit that I have found with the vBulletin system for scheduling when considering export to iCal comes into play with "recurring events."

            Within iCal, there is capability to have a recurring event, and from what I've seen, if I am reading it properly, the ability to cancel specific instances of a recurring event, even though all other instances instances of the "recurring event" are still fine-- all of this with a single eventid, but multiple ical objects.

            "Editing" of events can allow for updates to work in iCal exports, if sequence number system can be worked out. Right now it is manual, but I have some ideas on automating it.

            Deletion of events is probably something we will want to restrict. If an event is cancelled, then it can be labeled as such. If an event is moved, then, the event can be edited instead.

            With all of the above considered, we may consider the following for events:

            Deny "delete event" to everyone except mods and admins who will probably not use it much.

            Possibly enable moderation requirement for some users to allow posting of new events with moderator approval, but no access to edit events authorized for placement.

            For other users (perhaps goons and leaders/organizers) opportunity to create events without moderator approval, and access to edit events they create, but NO access to delete events. (If an event is cancelled, just mark it as cancelled.)

            For people who might want to create events, what kind of events would you want to post? The idea of "This Day In Hacking History" was suggested by noid, what else? Any other ideas?

            (Feedback desired from registered users through to mods.)

            Comment


            • #7
              Anyone want to test the output of a script that converts forum events to what should be ical events as of today?

              Removed. Newer flatfile posed below

              If you find bugs, problems, issues, suggestions, please report them.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TheCotMan
                Anyone want to test the output of a script that converts forum events to what should be ical events as of today?

                URL REMOVED

                If you find bugs, problems, issues, suggestions, please report them.

                Apple scipt I am guessing?
                Last edited by TheCotMan; March 17, 2006, 18:38. Reason: remove obseleted URL (newer beta provided)
                PGP Key: https://defcon.org/html/links/dtangent.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dark Tangent
                  Apple scipt I am guessing?
                  No. Though AppleScript is an OK language, its application and usefulness is limited to the whim of a company that has a history of changing their support and direction quickly. I also don't like "screenscraping" of data, since small changes to an interface can break regex patterns used to snarf data.

                  The unpublished script is written in PHP and runs on the server. Once the code is cleaned up, it is fully tested, and rigorously checked for cleaning of dirty data, and is seemingly bug free, I'd like to make it available for any registered user to "click" so they can download a current copy of forum events in ical format.

                  There is potential for making this into a general purpose plugin for these forums so others outside of defcon can use it, but I'm still working through the Proof of Concept to make sure all forum features can be mapped into ical. (This is why I am only providing flat files now, and asking for feedback and verification that it works.)

                  After reviewing an ical rfc, I *know* that not all ical object descriptions are possible with the present forum event data-- ical is far more advanced than the forum event system. (forumsEvents -> ical = (so far, seems good) BUT ical -> forums = (Risks and problems))

                  Once finished, the script should make it easy to export live copies of forum events to ical, but make import of ical object to the forum DB impossible in some cases, "at risk" for data loss in some more, and dangerous in other cases.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think as long as people can export to iCal they will be happy. It will take more work to populate the calendar, but it will allow us to get it up and running sooner.
                    PGP Key: https://defcon.org/html/links/dtangent.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I misunderstood portions of the ical RFC in cases of RRULE and UNTIL fields, and as a result, have yanked the previous flatfile beta releases. I've fixed these for AllDay, Daily, Weekday, and Selected weekday with intervals, but still have to fix two more monthly and two more yearly recurring events with UNTIL.

                      Fixing the UNTIL computation problems, and dealing with the addition of VTIMEZONE entries for recurring events that span period of DST will take a bit longer. Don't expect a new beta flatfile for about 1 or 2 weeks.

                      In addition to my own difficulties (above) this work seems to have exposed two bugs in Sunbird. These have been reported to the SunBird people.

                      Perhaps, by the time this tool is ready for release, SunBird will work flawlessly with this tool. :-D (This is assuming my tool is flawless... Hey! I can dream, right? ;-)

                      Features to be made available:
                      User selection of format to download:
                      1) "html" so as to be viewed on a web page, but not as a file for import.
                      2) "ical" format with mime type text/calendar
                      3) "txt" file with mime type text/plain

                      User will be able to choose to not include "deleted" events. (For completeness, if an event is deleted, and a new event is created to replace the old one, is see no way to "update" any previously imported event that is later deleted, unless "fake" events are generated with the same UID to replace any existing events. (This is the present "solution.")

                      It is a kludge, but it should work. (This is one of the reasons why we should try to avoid deleting events. We can canel, then schedule them in the past, and edit the descriptions if we want, but we don't need a ton of DELETED events for people to import and delete.

                      We've got a few other kludges that will work for our purpose, but will need to be revised later.

                      What other features would be good to include with export generation?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheCotMan
                        What other features would be good to include with export generation?
                        The forum RSS feeds do not display "upcoming events."

                        Would a separate RSS feed for "upcoming events" be desired too? Would this be more important than access to a live ical exports of events? How many weeks (from "present" minus 24 hours) should be included in separate feed? (Consider this: During Defcon, we may have tons of events, that may take a while to load, but during the rest of the year, we may have long periods with few events.)

                        Would a separate calendar for *just* Defcon events be better, or would having multiple calendars be too complicated? (When I played with multiple calendars, it was a bit confusing for creating new events. Perhaps, a second calendar would be limited in some way?

                        Other ideas or suggestions?
                        Is RSVP really needed? Should I remove it?
                        Look through the "Categories" and see if there are any other categories that should be added.
                        Should the optional "URL" field be removed, and automagically replaced with a link tothe forum event, or do you prefer to have control over that field if you might need it?

                        Updates:
                        Two more bugs in sunbird were found and reported. They appear to be old bugs that were never fixed.

                        Integration of the present code with legal timezones is progressing nicely. You should now see another required field when creating a forum event for events with a legal country/city or country/state/city designation. They are in Alphabetical order, except the top item which maps to "America/Los_Angeles"
                        These timzeones deal with conversion of dates and times, paying attention to daylight saving time or other government imposed alterations to their GMT offset. (

                        The interface is clunky. I plan to add an integer prefix (+12 -> -12) for "Standard Time" offset from GMT, and then sort the list by this integer. This should (hopefully) make it easier to locate your legal timezone. I know it sucks that two timezones are included, but the forum timezones are not as granular as they need to be for ical support.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would like to see a calendar page laid out for a CE device.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by astcell
                            I would like to see a calendar page laid out for a CE device.
                            If CE devices support import of ical, then we will have that soon enough.
                            If the CE device needs another format, I would need to see the RFC or whitepaper on the format for files to import.

                            Do you have a specific CE Device in mind?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nothing in mind right now...what got my attention was the nice layout google has on a cell phone. Heck even a cellphone layout would rock!

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