Difference: Calendar (5 vs. 6)

Revision 62011-10-13 - WilliamSeligman

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Nevis Calendars

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  • If a given user creates an event on one of these calendars, only that user can edit or delete that event.
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Shared calendars via CalDAV

CalDAV is the same calendar system used at Google Calendars and Apple's iCloud. There's a CalDAV server at Nevis, which can be used if you want to synchronize your calendars on multiple devices. All the programs listed below (Sunbird, iCal, Outlook) can synchronize with a CalDAV server, in addition to most tablets and smart phones.

The key bit of information is the name of the Nevis CalDAV server:

http://calendar.nevis.columbia.edu/caldav/caldav.php/nevis/

If you're using Sunbird, you'll have to subscribe to each calendar individually by adding its name to the end of the above URL; e.g.,

http://calendar.nevis.columbia.edu/caldav/caldav.php/nevis/university-holidays

Use your regular Nevis account name and password; i.e., the one you use to login or read your mail.

If you do this, you'll be able to see all the Nevis calendars with your program, but you won't be able create a new calendar of your own. Contact me and I'll create it for you. (The issue is that if you could create your own calendar by yourself, you'd also be able to edit everyone else's calendar as well.)

 

Shared public calendars via WebDAV

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Recently, a number of programs have become available to create and share public calendars. They can share files in the iCalendar format shared via WebDAV; typically the files have the .ics extension. Among those programs are:
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WebDAV is an older calendar protocol which is gradually becoming obsolete, mainly because it's not as good a protocol for sharing calendars between different machines. However, it's good enough if you're only going to access your calendar with a single laptop. Among the programs that can use WebDAV are:
 
  • Sunbird, a free program from Mozilla, the same organization that makes the web browser Firefox and the mail program Thunderbird. This calendar software is also available as an extension to Thunderbird called Lightning. There are versions of this program available for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

    This is the program that I recommend for you to use; apart from cross-platform compatibility, this program is more robust than the other programs listed below. There's one exception: Sunbird cannot yet synchronize with an device like a smartphone.

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To use these programs to share calendars at Nevis, you'll want to either publish your own calendar or subscribe to an existing one. Here are three calendars to which you can subscribe:
 
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https://www.nevis.columbia.edu/calendar/university-holidays.ics Columbia University holidays (complete through mid-2011)
https://www.nevis.columbia.edu/calendar/seligman.ics WilliamSeligman's schedule, including vacation days (you can also type finger seligman on any machine on which he has an account) and other significant systems-administration activity.
https://www.nevis.columbia.edu/calendar/other.ics Other dates of interest at Nevis.
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To use these programs to share calendars at Nevis, you'll want to either publish your own calendar or subscribe to an existing one. For example, you can subscribe to https://www.nevis.columbia.edu/calendar/university-holidays.ics, which contains Columbia University holidays (complete through early 2013).
 
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Notes on Apple's iCal (and possibly others as well):

  • You may have to use webcal:// instead of https://.

  • If you get messages that the program cannot connect, access, or accept the server, it may be that you have to add the Nevis certificate to your system; follow the directions on this page.
You can create your own calendars; if you'd like them to be added to above list, let me know.
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You may have to add the Nevis certificate to your system; follow the directions on this page.
  Here are the distinguishing features of this calendar software (compared to the others discussed on this page):
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  • If you want to create your own calendar files to share, you can. Just "publish" or "subscribe" to a calendar using the same naming scheme as the files above: https://www.nevis.columbia.edu/calendar/<whatever>.ics. Note that the file name must end in .ics, otherwise it will be rejected.
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  • By default, anyone at Nevis can add, modify, or delete events on any of the calendars that have been published using the above method.

  • If you contact me, I can arrange for a calendar file to be restricted so only a single user (or a small number of users) can edit the calendar. For example, only I can edit the seligman.ics file.

  • There's a hint of "security through obscurity" here: If you don't know the name of a calendar file, you won't be able to subscribe to it. However, you can see a list of available calendars through the calendar viewing page described in the next section. Just take the name you see on that page, add https://www.nevis.columbia.edu/calendar/ before it, add .ics after it, and you have the name to which you can subscribe.

Shared calendars via CalDAV

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  • By default, anyone at Nevis can add, modify, or delete events on any of the calendars that have been published using the above method. However, unlike CalDAV, you can create your own calendars.
 
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CalDAV is a more advanced of the WebDAV calendar-sharing system; it's the same system used at Google Calendars and Apple's MobileMe. There's a CalDAV server at Nevis, which can be used if you want to synchronize your calendars on smartphones or other multiple devices.
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  • If you contact me, I can arrange for a calendar file to be restricted so only a single user (or a small number of users) can edit the calendar. However, for this kind of security, CalDAV is better (see above).
 
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If you'd like to use the Nevis CalDAV server, contact the me and I'll set it up.
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  • There's a hint of "security through obscurity" here: If you don't know the name of a calendar file, you won't be able to subscribe to it. However, you can see a list of available calendars through the calendar viewing page described in the next section. Just take the name you see on that page, add https://www.nevis.columbia.edu/calendar/ before it, add .ics after it, and you have the name to which you can subscribe.

    If this trick doesn't work, it means the calendar is hosted by CalDAV; see above.

 

Viewing public calendars

 
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