Sunbird & Web Calendar

November 6th, 2006 by Potato

So for a while I’ve been using the caldendar extension for Mozilla, but for some bizzarre reason the folks over there split it off into a stand-alone product called Sunbird (you can still get a plugin for Thunderbird, the mail client that goes along with Firefox, but the latest version of the calendar just outright sucks in Thunderbird now. It’s got something to do with the way they tried to make it fit in a pane instead of open in its own window).

I got Sunbird, and as a calendar client it’s not bad at all (though I do miss the days when email, web browser, and calendar were all a single icon on my quicklaunch bar). One of the features I really liked about it was the ability to push your calendar file to a webserver so you could sync up your client on different computers (work & home, in my case). That saved me from emailing myself reminders to put up on both separate calendars a bunch. The service I used was over at which has a few neat features in addition to using their server to sync your calendar: you can also publish a public version of your calendar so anyone with a compatable program can see what important events are going to occupy your time. Their servers will even convert your .ics file into a HTML-viewable calendar for when you (or your stalker) don’t have access to a proper calendar reader. All very keen.

So this has been going along nicely for about a month now, and then today somehow I fucked it up. I don’t know exactly what happened, but basically I added a new event to my calendar, pushed it to the server, and then refreshed my calendar to make sure it was there… and everything was gone. The only event left was the one I just added. Fortunately, I had a slightly older version that I had printed out (no electronic backups, which was stupid of me), so I entered in November’s entries again, and published it… and again, the only entry I was left with was the last one I had entered.

Given that I consider myself reasonably tech-savvy, and completely messed this up so easily, I don’t know if I can in good conscience recommend any of these tools.

Update: Upon searching my hard drive for .ics files, I found that Sunbird had made a backup a few days ago for me, so I reloaded that and got almost all my entries back (everything except what had been entered today). When you go to publish, don’t use the file->publish command, as that seems to be what’s screwing me up and only publishing the selected entry. Instead, go to the calendars tab and select the calendar, right-click, then use “publish entire calendar”. Hopefully they’ll add that to the menu under file, otherwise that could get pretty damned annoying (especially if you accidentally kill your calendar, as I did). One further annoyance I found is that it won’t always remember the address you want to publish to (though it does remember it to grab the calendar in the first place).

Update 2: I thought it was easier than when I ran into the trouble: I was still using an old version at home. At work (where I have to deal with my calendar the most), it does remember the address for me when uploading (current version as of Nov ’06).

One Response to “Sunbird & Web Calendar”

  1. Netbug Says:

    Ah yes. I used to have a calendar.

    Then I got World of Warcraft, and the whole thing was just one solid “occupied” space.