what uses calendar-like RSS?

I've got an RSS feed of the upcoming DNA calendar events (which is distinct from the RSS feed of my DNA weblog). I get almost as many hits on the calendar RSS as on the weblog RSS, so I guess people are using it.

But how? What software and/or web sites display that feed in a useful way? Most of the RSS aggregators I've seen expect things to be weblog-like (updated with daily news items), not calendar-like (a list of events that have not yet happened.)

One exception to this are the "slashboxes" on Slashdot, but I don't know of other sites that do that kind of thing. I guess the netscape.com portal used to do that, but all that crap got absorbed into the AOL collective years ago, right?

I can see how using the Mozilla sidebar for this would be useful, but that doesn't actually use RSS at all: it loads an HTML page. (Incidentally, if someone felt like sending me the JavaScript to make that sidebar trick work in MSIE, that would be cool.)

So who's using the calendar RSS and how?

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14 Responses:

  1. fdaapproved says:

    I seem to remember that there were/are a bunch of scripts for importing RSS feeds into iCal and the like.

    • jwz says:

      There appear to be a zillion things called "iCal". Which did you mean?

      (I've been using this one for years.)

      • fdaapproved says:

        Ah, true enough. I was thinking of Apple's iCal software (though, unless Mac users the world over are fascinated by DNA Lounge's upcoming events, its unlikely that it accounts for that many hits)...

        If one wanted to put your RSS feed in ical I suppose someone could whip up a Tcl-based RSS parser or something :-)

  2. I thought IE was the DEVIl.

  3. latchkey says:

    I use it with NetNewswire as my reader.

    However, you don't export enough information to make it really useful.

    Take a look at the RSS feed that I export for StudioZ.tv...it includes information about the event, links to flyers, etc...


    iCal is Apple's crappy implementation of the iCalendar spec. The application is lacking in sooo many ways...it can't have events which span past midnight making it almost useless for night clubs. =)


    For StudioZ.tv I also export in that format as well just to be complete...it was easy to do since everything on the site is run with a database backend that I wrote...I imagine you have something similar...


    • jwz says:

      Ugh, iCalendar! Years ago I got roped into proofreading the english-as-a-second-language RFC for that monstrosity before they submitted it. I had hoped it died in the cradle. *shudder*

      I've been trying to avoid having to learn about post-0.91 versions of RSS (that namespace stuff smacks of overengineered stupidity, and I really just don't want to know how bad it really is).

      So, I just changed the calendar summary to include table-ized HTML descriptions.

      Is it the Done Thing to dump encoded HTML in <description> fields? Or are there (popular) RSS tools that can only deal with plain text? I can just as easily emit plain text, but it'll be uglier.

      • dannyman says:

        I think 1.0 and 2.0 of RSS clean things up considerably. I think dumping HTML in the description field is kind of scarey, mainly because any tool that would happily pass along HTML from somewhere else just sounds like a security hazard, never mind leaving an ugly tag open ...

        I keep meaning to get around to writing up a web-based aggregator that puts the link in a small frame where you get to say if you liked the link much, then the aggregator can aggregate scores and give you reccomendations.

        • jwz says:

          If one can't use HTML, one can't do crazy things like, say, putting different links on different words. If one can't put HTML in it, then RSS is basically useless compared to normal web pages.

          Which is why everyone puts HTML in them for weblog-oriented RSS feeds.

          I was just wondering whether people did the same for calendar-oriented RSS feeds, having never actually seen one in action before today.

          • dannyman says:

            So, we realize that formatting capability is desirable. We also realize that a reader may ditch the HTML. What would Angus Davis do?

            Graceful degradation.

            Try to craft your HTML so it still looks pretty with all the tags removed.

            Good luck.

            • jwz says:

              The thing is, I've heard that some programs (some IRC client someone I was talking to was using) don't even bother stripping the tags. It just blatted the whole raw HTML string into a tooltip. Which is, of course, bogus. But common? Who knows.

              • dannyman says:

                You know, in Canada they don't lock their doors.

                My aggregator just passes HTML. It collapses entries with this Javascriptamijiggy, so to view its output, Mozilla gets to load every freaking image URL referenced in every single feed. (Thanks for having a lame LJ RSS feed full of images for my lame aggregator to suck on, jwz!)

                It would bug me more, but worrying about computer crap upsets me. Especially if nobody is passing me fat checks for my time.

                Caveat emptor. Smoke a bowl. Hey, you need any bartender trainees? The espresso machine is starting to bore me.

              • streetx says:

                Yeah... that's what trillians aggregator does. it's annoying as all hell, but at least lets me know when dna is updated. wouldn't want to ask for *too* much functionality now, would we.

  4. hotabay says:

    I wonder what will happen to all those great plugins and extensions after Moz 1.4 and they start using Firebird.

  5. vample says:

    (Incidentally, if someone felt like sending me the JavaScript to make that sidebar trick work in MSIE, that would be cool.)

    Just set the target for the href to "_search" and the url pops up in a sidebar. Set targets to "_main" for links you want to come up in the main browser window rather than replace the content in the sidebar.

    A friend did this with some javascript for browser detection described here.