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What is the Best Calendar? 309

An anonymous reader writes "In the flurry of AJAX applications being put to market, Google's new calendar has been getting quite a bit of attention. But being drowned out in this media blitz is Kiko, a startup from Paul Graham's Y Combinator program, along with spongecell, Trumba, Yahoo! calendar, and 30boxes. Which do you prefer?" Update: 04/16 14:55 GMT by Z : YCombinator link fixed.
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What is the Best Calendar?

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  • Mayan (Score:5, Funny)

    by bj8rn ( 583532 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:02AM (#15137836)
    No doubt about it.
  • Offline (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mattygfunk1 ( 596840 ) * on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:03AM (#15137838)
    I've got a sexy Drew Barrymore calander which works for me.
    • Re:Offline (Score:2, Funny)

      by tpgp ( 48001 )
      I've got a sexy Drew Barrymore calander which works for me.

      Sorry, it's either a sexy calender or a Drew Barrymore calender - can't be both.
  • WebCalendar (Score:4, Informative)

    by Masa ( 74401 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:04AM (#15137840) Journal [] It's stable and it does everything a web calendar should do.
  • iCal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by generic-man ( 33649 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:04AM (#15137841) Homepage Journal
    I like iCal. Of all the calendars listed, iCal works the best when I'm in an airport and I don't want to spend $8 for Internet access during a 1-hour layover. :)
    • Luckily, the iCal standard was built in, and is completely compatible with, Google Calendar.

      And frankly, Google's implementation's a bit more useful when you don't have your own computer with you, let alone a Mac.
      • ...when you don't have your own computer with you...
        Heh -- as if that'll ever happen! C'mon, man, this is Slashdot!
      • Re:iCal (Score:3, Interesting)

        by generic-man ( 33649 )
        The iCalendar standard is used by Google Calendar. Google Calendar doesn't synchronize bidirectionally with*, so you can't access your Google Calendar when you're without Internet access. (It happens.)

        * doesn't support two-way synchronization by itself; iSync does but there's no Google Calendar plugin for iSync.
      • Google's implementation's a bit more useful when you don't have your own computer with you, let alone a Mac.

        I thought that was what .Mac was for...

        From []:

        "Access contacts, calendars, bookmarks, and email on the Web via any Internet-connected Mac, Windows-PC or even hotel TV"

        Although, I don't use a Mac myself, so Google's calendar is pretty damn good IMO.

  • Julian (Score:2, Funny)

    by AnalystX ( 633807 )
    Like *NIX, it just works.
  • Lunar all the way!
  • Integration (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thsths ( 31372 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:05AM (#15137845)
    I would prefer any calender that integrates properly with my email client. Why is that so difficult? If I receive an invitation (from Outlook Express or Evolution or what not), I want to be able to accept it right there, without saving it first and then importing it into the calender.

    Mozilla Calendar cannot do it, Yahoo Mail fails the test, even Gmail does not integration (or I haven't figure out how to switch it on). The only program that really does this is evolution (and of course Outlook). For all the other, it should be back to the drawing board.
    • Re:Integration (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gmuslera ( 3436 )
      Integration is the key, and gmail calendar just saw the light. As with gtalk, maybe in few time we could see it integrated in ways we didnt expect into gmail or google services in general.

      Is not what actually have what matters me more, is the potential future, so doing raw comparisions right now could be unfair. With future integration in mind, i think that either yahoo or gmail will be the best for their respective mail users.

    • Re:Integration (Score:3, Informative)

      by ciroknight ( 601098 )
      If you have a Gmail account, go into your Calendar (if you have it), and under the "Calendars" box, you should see a link that says "Other Calendars +". Click it. You now should have the option of adding Public Calendars, Friends Calendars/events, Holiday Calendars, etc, right in front of you, with the same ease of use as Gmail.

      Oh, and if you're an iCal user (or for that matter, use iCalendar as a format either with any of the Mozilla Calendaring project components, or anything compatible), you can uploa
    • Gmail integration (Score:5, Informative)

      by jdbartlett ( 941012 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @12:48PM (#15138497)
      Gmail does not integration (or I haven't figure out how to switch it on).
      I may be able to help you here! According to Gogle []:
      Gmail Integration
      Gmail now recognizes when messages mention events, and you can add those events to your calendar with just a couple of clicks
      More here []:
      Gmail integration
      Gmail now recognizes when messages mention events, so when you get emailed about an event, you can add it to Google Calendar with just a couple clicks. Look for the Google Calendar links on the right side of your Gmail window.
      It'd be neat if iCal/Apple Mail had a feature like Gcal's Gmail integration.
    • and iCal does this on Mac. You click on the ics file and iCal asks if you would like to add the event.
    • Re:Integration (Score:2, Informative)

      by krycheq ( 836359 )
      I've had great luck with integrated calendaring using Kontact/Kmail/KCalendar... I receive invites from Lotus Notes users and Exchange users (outlook email client) and am able to click accept/decline buttons built into the invites email messages. Kontact manages to interprit the iCal stuff as an invite and apparently adds these clickable links to the email and then returns a reply to the meeting requestor as well as adds it to my calendar.

      I then sync my Treo to it using KPilot and all is included... even m
  • fix the link to google calender, its
  • Discretion (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:06AM (#15137849) Homepage Journal
    I prefer a 3-tier calendar, with standard presentation protocols in the UI layer (iCal, vCal, etc), arbitrary logic in the logic layer, and any storage server I want in the storage layer (RDBMS, filesystem, etc). Each in a separate component, with standard interfaces. I like Open-Xchange [], open source, Java, Postgres, many APIs. But even OX has problems, like a contacts DB ghettoized in a separate BerkeleyDB storage layer for its OpenLDAP server, rather than storing it in the same Postgres. All these apps should have completely discrete components, with minimum functional redundancy, and easily addable objects (in Java, Perl, C/C++, whatever) that can access every API and dataflow. Since there are so many calendar clients, calendaring needs that utility the most.
    • Re:Discretion (Score:2, Informative)

      by Doc Ruby ( 173196 )
      Moderation -1
          100% Troll

      Pathetic TrollMod is a SlashStalker. Surely some fool who couldn't keep up after posting something stupid in some unrelated thread, now anonymously suppressing my posts. How sad.
  • by Shayde ( 189538 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:07AM (#15137852) Homepage
    I've been hammering through this problem for the last 5 years, trying to find a group scheduling and calendaring application that has the capabilities of Exchange. It's important to note that there is a big difference between 'calendaring' apps (such as 30boxes and Yahoo Calendar and the like), and 'scheduling', where an interactive application can review a persons or groups schedule, and then add things to their calendar.

    As far as I've been able to tell, nothing does the group scheduling other than Exchange in any decent form. The best most can do is publish ICS files into a public server, and then make them available for public browsing (say, via phpicalendar), or available for remote subscription (which Evolution, et al supports).

    The golden calf for opensource would be an application that supports client-server group calendaring and scheduling, with PDA synchronizing, and multi-platform support. The only thing even remotely moving in this direction is CalDAV, which AFAICT, is moving at a glacial pace.

    Until this problem is resolved, there is no defense against "Why don't we just use Exchange for this?"
    • There is an alternative to Exchange, actually it is already used by 350.000 members in europe and accessilbe in the USA on []. Developped since 1998 in Belgium this web application integrate webmail (with filters, fax/SMS integration), group calendaring (with killing features like display common available time slot in a group, full inviting system with response tracking, iCal export, SMS reminders, ...), document sharing (with webDAV access), address book (with PDF printing, group shari
    • There are some commercial apps that appear to come close, but it's clearly not a priority for the OSS folks. My guess on this is that few OSS-oriented folks actually work on internal infrastructure or talk to desktop users (unless they're trying to write a replacement desktop and are trying to sell the user on how much more productive they'll be when the krunkulator widget goes swizzle instead of wiggle).
      • There are some commercial apps that appear to come close, but it's clearly not a priority for the OSS folks. My guess on this is that few OSS-oriented folks actually work on internal infrastructure or talk to desktop users

        Kontact does it. At present it only replaces Outlook, not Exchange, but the job's half done. I'm pretty happy with how well Kontact works with Lotus Notes, also.

    • Take a look at Google Calendar ;). Short of PDA sync, it's got everything you're looking for (and is helping pave a way towards CalDAV becoming the acceptible calendaring standard).

      It's probably not up to snuff for you quite yet (as it was just released, and is technically still a beta), but given some time and some feature growth and likely Mail (OS X) won't be the only application Google has replaced for me.
    • Please take a look at []. It can fully replace exchange, it comes with a outlook connector, an evolution connector, and a pretty decent ajax web interface. The community edition supports unlimited email only users, and 25 full groupware users. The small business edition is under $1000. I have been playing with it for a week or two and it seems pretty nice. The small business edition can integrate with AD, so it seems like it is an answer to keeping Exchange out of the work place. Anyone el
    • Think outside the box. Calendars, email, etc. are useful tools, but it'd be a mistake to try to do everything exactly the way Microsoft does. For an alternative approach, you might want to try Citadel [] instead. Open source, AJAX-enabled, and talks to lots of client packages out there. And it doesn't try to be a clone of Microsoft's offering -- instead, it starts with the approach of helping your user community to work/play/quack *as* a user community instead of as a bunch of disparate users who happen to
    • What about Chandler []? It seems largely to meet your criteria. It is multplatform. It includes individual and workgroup calendars that can be shared across platforms. It includes overlayed multiple calendars (crucial in my view, and poorly handled by Exchange) and manages a single event across calendars.

      There is also Scooby [] for sharing Chandler calendar information with others. But PDA synching is not yet available.

    • The golden calf for opensource would be an application that supports client-server group calendaring and scheduling, with PDA synchronizing, and multi-platform support. The only thing even remotely moving in this direction is CalDAV, which AFAICT, is moving at a glacial pace.
      Did you look at
    • Outlook Connector is currently under development by a friend of mine... He recently got some corporation sponsorship so hopefully it will be completed soon...

      It connects into Outlook (via the Mapi protocol) and allows you to bypass an exchange server and instead use an open source linux solution. it is already in beta on

    • Uhm, except of course for Lotus Notes, Exchange's number 1 competitor in the enterprise.

      Admittedly, there is plenty to dislike about it, but Notes has been doing integrated, multi-user calendar+mail for years.
  • Pencil and paper (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schngrg ( 590418 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:08AM (#15137856) Homepage
    Pencil and paper :-)
    • Re:Pencil and paper (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ChaoticCoyote ( 195677 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:22AM (#15137891) Homepage

      You beat me to it...

      I just spent two weeks working and exploring in São Paulo, Brasil (my home is in Florida). I've never been to São Paulo before, and had a rather complex schedule of work and touristing, all managed with a couple of print-outs and old-fashion pen-and-paper notes. No PDA, no GPS, a borrowed cell phone just for emergencies, my laptop secured at the company offices. I did have a real (and decent quality) magentic compass in my watch, just to make certain I didn't get turned around.

      I never worried about finding an internet terminal, or having my tech stolen, or carrying flashy stuff to identify me as a "rich" American. No worries about batteries, either.

      I love my tech as much as the next geek, but I'm a believer in the right amount of tech for the job at hand. Sometimes, paper and pen are all that's needed, and the tech just gets cumbersome or disracting.

  • The original AJAX calendaring tool.
  • Ah, and while we're at it, I'm looking for an event calender for a small group of people. Currently we're using yahoo groups, but it's calender has troubles with repeating events, randomly it sends or does not send the e-mails for these events, which is pretty disturbing.
    • Really. We don't yet have real groupware features, like shared calendars for resources, though we're working on those. But if you create a calendar for your group, we give you multiple ways to get it onto your users' calendars. If they use Kiko, any invitations sent out will automatically appear on their calendars, but even if they aren't Kiko users they'll still get invitations via email and be able to view an RSS feed. And our email/reminder send is now very stable. So try it out, and if you think th
      • ok, this one looks pretty nice, seems to do what I want without overdoing it. Does it cost money? If not, how do you plan to generate revenue :)
        • The web component of Kiko is completely free, and will stay that way. We're currently developing Outlook/mobile phone sync, which we'll probably charge for, and also a number of companies have expressed interest in licensing Kiko for internal use. But remember that we only have four full-time employees, so we don't need to rake in revenue the way a highly-capitalized service like Trumba or 30boxes does. Do let us know, by the way, if there are any other features you need, and we'll do our best to integra
  • by Florian ( 2471 ) <> on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:20AM (#15137888) Homepage seriously the best calendaring solution I have come across. It provides a mini languages for recording virtually every possible repetition and exception patterns of recurring appointments (next to storing unique appointments of course), prints out reminders or tabular calendars on the terminal or outputs nicely formatted postscript calendars. And all its functionality is packed into a lean 100k executable. If you don't like noting appointments in its markup language, you can use the program "wyrd" as an interactive, terminal-visual frontend. "remind" is a BSD program and part of all free BSD and Linux distributions. If you install it on a server, you use it via ssh. Implementing a web frontend should be trivial, too.
    • gopher://

      Yes, coming from the Slashdot user that still hosts a Gopher server... Why again should I use a "solution" that brings me back into the stone age? I'm sure that remind is fantastic (I would like to see GMail allow me to repeat on Mon/Wed only -- something that wasn't available as of Friday) but I'm sure it also includes archaic commands.

      Sorry but PS printing isn't something I need. Sync, group and web access, and sharing without extra coding is what I'm looking for.

      • You can repeat an event on any days you like -- click on the event and on its time and use the ckeckboxes.
  • None (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Crouty ( 912387 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:25AM (#15137900)
    Which do you prefer?
    None of them. Calendar entries are by definition personal and I do not trust any company enough, especially ones that offer the service without charge. It would be different if calendar entries were stored in encrypted form (which would require a client, but that could be done with JavaScript, too). Before you call me paranoid: Personal user data gets abused a lot and besides I really have done well without an online calendar until now, so there is no real need to use one for me.
    • I agree 110%. It shocks me how willing people are to give up their personal information. These companies can keep your information indefinitely. The government can get at it as well. Sorry, but you have to be either a moron or or completely clueless about information to buy into any of these online calendars. The same goes for online disk space, etc. There's lots of things I will never send via email because I assume anything I send with it is definitely going to be read by others. People reading thi
  • Outlook

    This AJAX stuff sucks.
  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:35AM (#15137935)
    My opinion is that it doesn't much matter which calendar you you. I've tried a bunch of them (Google Calendar, Palm Desktop, Sunbird, Outlook, Lotus Notes, Groupwise, Plaxo, etc...) and the problem isn't typically with a given calendar's capabilities. The problem is that they don't work with each other, especially if you want to use a PDA. Palm Desktop is incompatible with Outlook which is incompatible with Sunbird, etc... Most third party software seems to be written with Outlook/Exchange in mind. iCal is a nice "standard" but it has a minority of marketshare and hence doesn't get enough developer attention. Furthermore, MS isn't about to open up Outlook or Exchange to help matters. Your employer problably uses a different calendar than mine which makes life difficult if you are a consultant or simply have chosen a different calendar for your own use than your company's standard.

    I have a Palm Tungsten T3 but it's not very useful because I have to maintain 2-3 incompatible calendars to keep it useful. Import/Export is simply not a solution unless you are changing calendars and dumping the old one. Google Calendar is nice but it doesn't efficiently exchange data with my desktop calendar, work calendar and pda. It's got potential but but we'll see where it goes. Few/none of the calendar makers have shown any inclination to work together so far (customer lock in and all that) so I'm not optimistic.
  • For that really important appointment, a yellow sitcker on the edge of the monitor saves the day.
  • My PDA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Works everywhere without needing to find a hot spot. Gives me notifications when things are due. Integrates with contacts.
  • To me AJAX is just bending over backwards to make a broken architecture seem a little less broken.

    It staggers me as to how people can think this stuff is so wonderful. AJAX is the embodiment of everything thats wrong with HTML as an application development medium. It's basically architecture overkill to accomplish the most rudimentary functionality for a more traditional native client side application.

    Is this really the way of the future ?! Enourmous amounts of client side javascript, overcomplicated ht
  • (Score:3, Informative)

    by houghi ( 78078 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:43AM (#15137960)

    Open-Xchange(TM) is an collaboration and integration server enviroment with a continuous right management for modules and objects. The product is based on existing components like a web server, mail server, directory server, database ...

    There are several interfaces (like WebDAV/XML interfaces) coming along with this software.
    Try it out on ine.htm []
  • Does anyone know a good server based calendar solution that works with smart phones as well as regular computers.

    Synchonization is an ugly hack that needs to be retired. It makes shared calendars almost impossible.

    Yahoo! is the best option I have found to date, that has a useable smart phone option. They at least provide a WAP interface. Overall, though, I am still looking for something better.

    I really like the concepts and general UI in the Google Calendar but, until they have a WAP interface or s

  • What I want on my webcalendar:

    1. Perfect compatibility on any browser.
    2. A TO-DO list. I'm amazed by how many webcalendars don't have such a feature.
    3. I would really like to see a mature open source app come out that can run on my own server.
    4. I want problem free syncing to any palm or pocket pc device.
    5. Encryption would be really nice.

    If anyone knows of a solution out there that fits my needs, let me know. If any developpers are reading this, please take note.

  • Undecided :P (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RealGrouchy ( 943109 )
    Back when my PocketPCs still worked, I'd use Outlook 2002 (or was it 2000?). I liked being able to print out a one-page monthly calendar for my luddite friends. However; I didn't like the lack of control over "hiding" (rather, not hiding) personal or non-important events.

    Since my PocketPCs cacked out (the batteries would run out because I primarily used my laptop), I started relying on my previously-misused brain, and countless miscellaneous pieces of scrap paper ("lists") that I kept in my pockets. Now I r
  • Spongecell is the only calendar that has a read/write API [] and an iPod sync tool []. Spongecell's Natural Language engine has fared very well in shootouts against 30 boxes, GCal and Kiko.
  • The major problem that I have with one of the on-line calendars is that your information is stored on someone else's server. Although it is unlikely that anyone would use this information, the potential is there. Not that I'm worried if someone finds out that I'm going to a baseball game next week, but the principal of the thing; I don't want anyone... not some hacker, and not the government... having access to my schedule.

    Instead, I am using Portable Sunbird (Portable Sunbird []) on a UBS Drive that goes

  • ReminderFox (Score:3, Interesting)

    by N8F8 ( 4562 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @11:44AM (#15138171)
    I just caught onto ReminderFox [].
    • Integrates into Firefox browser
    • Handles one-time and recurring events
    • Stores data in open standard formats
    • Can be configured to store data file on FTP or WebDAV site for sharing and remote backup.
    • Does Reminders (Events) and ToDos
    • Is FREE and Open Source
  • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <> on Sunday April 16, 2006 @12:46PM (#15138488) Homepage Journal

    I haven't explored all of the available calendars, but I've tried a few. My biggest problem with all of the ones I've tried thus far is that they try to replicate the 'boxes in a grid' design of paper calendars. I would prefer to see someone come up with a calendar that uses a list view, so I can always see by default a four-week view, with all of the dates laid out vertically.

    I would find it much more efficient to look at dates that are stacked vertically, so I can scroll up or scroll down through the year. Weeks could be delineated by simple horizontal lines, and months by lightly shaded background colors.

    Boxes truncate long words and are particularly inefficient for screen display, because the resolution of computer screens is so crappy compared to the resolution and flexibility of pen and paper. Providing a single long horizontal space for all the information relating to a day would be much more advantageous.

    Adding more and more features to a flawed paradigm is simply annoying to me. Give me a layout that works, before adding all kinds of Ajax. Think outside the box (sorry, I had to say it).

    • by moochfish ( 822730 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @01:20PM (#15138620)
      See Google Calendar's Agenda view.
    • by Sarbandia ( 602422 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @01:34PM (#15138671) Homepage
      Have you tried kiko's upcoming view? It's exactly what you're asking for. As a Kiko developer, I made sure that we had a list.
      • I *love* the upcoming view. It's what I've been searching for in a calendar for years!

        Now, give me an application that will do this right on my desktop and be visible at all times (instead of requiring me to fire up a browser just to look at), and we'll talk.
        • Just found this dashboard widget []. Now, to buy a Mac...
        • Real question (and you're not the first person I've heard this kind of comment from about web apps):

          Why is leaving another program open all the time any different than just leaving a browser window open all the time? Especially because if you can install another program on your desktop, you can probably install Firefox, and then just leave Kiko open in a tab.

          I just really don't understand this complaint, despite it's frequency, and I'd be happy if you could explain it to me.
      • Have you tried kiko's upcoming view? It's exactly what you're asking for. As a Kiko developer, I made sure that we had a list.

        Nice. I just signed up for an account to see what you were talking about. I like the upcoming view, though I would also really enjoy it if the month view could be switched in prefs to the same kind of list view you use to show upcoming appointments.

        I understand that you can't please all the people all the time, and I know I'm probably in the minority in my annoyance with calend

    • I would find it much more efficient to look at dates that are stacked vertically, so I can scroll up or scroll down through the year. Weeks could be delineated by simple horizontal lines, and months by lightly shaded background colors.

      Now your brain has been made fully compliant to the slashdot standard of simple horizontal lines, and monster scrolling.

      Honestly now that I have spent enought time on slashdot, I want the slashdot style interface for my personal calendar, slashdot green and all. Su

      • Now your brain has been made fully compliant to the slashdot standard of simple horizontal lines, and monster scrolling.

        Actually, since you could pack more text on screen if you had the days in a month listed as a series of horizontal lines of text, it would take up less, not more space than a calendar showing a month in the standard grid view. By scrolling I simply meant that the text would be arrayed vertically, not that it would necessitate scrolling in the browser window. I'm actually looking for a

  • ...when they support Opera. It gets no love. :(
  • I'd say the Julian calendar is most logical? []

    Currently the time is: 2453842.03565 ;-)
  • I really like Plans, []
  • Kiko doesn't seem to have anything over the other AJAX calendars coming out. Looks to me like they were aiming too low. I'm not even sure who would buy them at this point, given that Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! all already have their own systems ready.
  • I have yet to find one that suits my needs, yes, even the all-holy Google Calendar.

    Here's what I demand:
    AJAX - Without it, a web calendar is as ineffective and nasty as creating ASCII art in VI.
    Easy recurrence settings - I want to easily set an appointment for every wednesday without filling out a three-page questionnaire on the topic.
    Right-click support - When I want to do something, I often look for a right-click context menu to do it in. Google, I'm ashamed of
  • Wow, no one mentioned that yet? You can sure tell this is Geekville.
  • ... for one simple reason. None of the spiffy AJAX-ified online calendars (and some are quite nice) have the ability to sync wirelessly to a mobile device. Once I got used to having instant, two-way push-syncing between my desktop and my BlackBerry, there's really no going back.

    Outlook and Exchange themselves blow. But this is one killer feature that I simply cannot, and do not want to, live without. Unfortunately it's also going to be a tough one for open source or small companies to break into, due
  • I currently rely on my Treo and Yahoo Calendar for my calendaring needs - I enter stuff on the Treo, and my SO and friends can read and/or update my Yahoo Calendar.

    I use a very old copy of Outlook as an intermediary to keep them in sync - Treo syncs with Outlook, which then syncs with Yahoo. I never use Outlook for anything other than this purpose, but it's particularly well suited to this task - like it or not, just about everything can sync with Outlook.

    I'll be checking out, now that

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker