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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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  • 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.
  • 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-xchange.org], 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.
  • by Florian ( 2471 ) <cantsin@zedat.fu-berlin.de> on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:20AM (#15137888) Homepage
    ...is 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Re:Integration (Score:1, Interesting)

    by silverdr ( 779097 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @10:28AM (#15137910)
    iCal with Mail.app allows that quite easily, although you have to dobule-click the invitation first.
  • by marcgul ( 239050 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @11:11AM (#15138051)
    Spongecell is the only calendar that has a read/write API http://spongecell.com/api_info/ [spongecell.com] and an iPod sync tool http://spongecell.com/info/ipod_sync/ [spongecell.com]. Spongecell's Natural Language engine has fared very well in shootouts against 30 boxes, GCal and Kiko.
  • ReminderFox (Score:3, Interesting)

    by N8F8 ( 4562 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @11:44AM (#15138171)
    I just caught onto ReminderFox [mozdev.org].
    • 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 ) <infonaut@gmail.com> 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).

  • Re:iCal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by generic-man ( 33649 ) on Sunday April 16, 2006 @01:05PM (#15138567) Homepage Journal
    The iCalendar standard is used by Google Calendar. Google Calendar doesn't synchronize bidirectionally with iCal.app*, so you can't access your Google Calendar when you're without Internet access. (It happens.)

    * iCal.app doesn't support two-way synchronization by itself; iSync does but there's no Google Calendar plugin for iSync.
  • Re:Gmail integration (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jdbartlett ( 941012 ) on Monday April 17, 2006 @12:22AM (#15140746)
    Works fine for me [tinypic.com] (and I actually got the image right this time!)

    You're probably right, though, their recognition criteria will probably become more elaborate as the service becomes more established.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal