Sunbird vs Google Calendar

July 12th, 2007 by Potato

I really like Sunbird as an application and have been using it for over a year now. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a trouble-free year. The 0.29 version of the program made it very easy for me to accidentally overwrite my entire calendar with just the latest-entered event (technically user error, but it was definitely an enabler in that process). Then I had a bunch of problems with the server I was uploading my calendar to so I could sync up wherever I was. Not exactly Sunbird’s fault either, but the whole point of getting away from my desk calendar was so that I could check it wherever I was. For a while, it was pretty good living with the site ( they provided free hosting for my calendar with no advertising, and it was running well for about a year, even including perks like letting non-Sunbird (or ical compatible) users view a HTML version of my public calendar. Pretty good considering it’s really tough to find a server that will take money to sync your calendar, let alone a free one. It’s been over two months and I still can’t use Sunbird with it. The site itself is still working — I can log in and check my account, but I can’t upload or download calendars, which makes the whole exercise rather pointless.

I’ve switched over to Google Calendar now. I remember trying it a year or more ago before I settled on Sunbird, and wasn’t happy with it. What, exactly, I found displeasing I can no longer say: it’s a pretty full-featured calendar. Just about the only option lacking is a way to classify your events. There are a few other minor shortcomings, of course: it’s slightly slower than Sunbird because it’s not local: adding entries, etc, requires getting info from the server so there’ s a bit of latency. Fortunately, Google’s servers are pretty fast. And, since it’s entirely web-based, I don’t need to install it on every computer I might want to check my calendar on, just log in and go. It might even save a spot on my taskbar since I always have an open webbrowser anyway, but don’t always have (or need to have) Sunbird open.

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