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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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  • 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. :)
  • 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?"
  • Pencil and paper (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schngrg ( 590418 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:08AM (#15137856) Homepage
    Pencil and paper :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:17AM (#15137882)
    - works on my PC
    - works on my Phone
    - works from my USB stick
    - works from any webbrowser
    - works on a text console

    so front-end is irrelevant, as long as it can read and write iCal
  • 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.
  • My PDA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:41AM (#15137953)
    Works everywhere without needing to find a hot spot. Gives me notifications when things are due. Integrates with contacts.
  • Re:Integration (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:48AM (#15137977) Homepage Journal
    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.

  • by Marsmensch ( 870400 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:58AM (#15138013)

    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.

  • by secolactico ( 519805 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @11:02AM (#15138031) Journal
    Thanks for missing the point, and allowing me to bite on a troll.

    Most apps don't simply drop a sched in your calendar. What they do is simplify the process of finding non-conflicting schedules. If someone wants to meet with you, they'll send a request and the calendar app will find a time when everyone invited can attend. If it does, it will ask for confirmation and you can either re-schedule, accept or reject.

    Otherwise you would have to respond each request with a time when you are free, that might or might not conflict with somebody elses'.
  • Undecided :P (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RealGrouchy ( 943109 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @11:04AM (#15138033)
    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 rely on my cell phone. I may have also used my laptop, but it is now non-mobile.

    What I like about my cellphone is that it comes with me everywhere, it is always charged up. However, I like my cell phones to be cell phones, not cameras, video players, or any of that other crap (actually, it does have a flashlight, but I had to transfer all data from my old cell phone to it manually). So the calendar function on my Nokia is limited, and I can only view events one day at a time. However, I know it's always nearby, so I don't have to be at a computer to put something in. Also, I know it will remind me of important events; the PocketPCs were picky when it came to whether they would automatically turn on to remind me of something.

    However, I'll be checking out the Google calendar.

    - RG>
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 16, 2006 @11:10AM (#15138048)
    I'm a recent MBA, and as such have gone through more meetings than I'd care to remember. Scheduling meetings with our advisors had been a monthly/bi-monthly thing, and it has been a nightmare. Imagine this: A group of eight busy MBA students with their own lifestyles (single, married, kids, divorced, full-time, part-time) with three advisors/professors (part-time, full-time).

    Requiring to find common schedules amongst all these people had been next to impossible because the professors refused to use the standard Mail/Calendar solution (Lotus Notes - which absolutely sucks in my opinion, but that's another post). We had to resort to paper and pencil and chasing each person and professor down to find a common time that would work.

    Technology's great but you MUST HAVE buy-in from all parties involved.
  • Even simpler: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stoutlimb ( 143245 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @04:46PM (#15139429)
    Are there any calendars (other than Outlook) that will also sync with my PDA??

If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error. -- John Kenneth Galbraith