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Ask Slashdot: Events Calendar Software For Local Community?

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the suggestions-welcome dept.

Software 120

First time accepted submitter hughbar writes "I live in a London suburb that has many activities and classes, yoga, IT [of course], running, art, assorted volunteering and many others. With the help of the local council, we'd now like to make a centralised, searchable database of these, with a number of helpful features: Easy to make submissions, otherwise the whole thing will always be out of date; Web accessible [obviously] but mobile phone friendly as well; Maybe, publish and subscribe, so people can 'subscribe' to yoga listings for example; Handles repeating events, like a classical web calendar; Maybe, can be consolidated with nearby events calendars. I'm aware of MRBS and WebCalendar, but I'm wondering whether there are other suggestions, especially as this is a useful social application. And, yes, I'd like it done with open source, then we can tailor it."

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Joomla (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46064515)

Joomla - boy that was hard

Re:Joomla (1)

hughbar (579555) | about 3 months ago | (#46065203)

Thanks. I'm aware of and use Joomla too, but I'm looking for 'close fit'. I think one or two are appearing further down the thread.

Re:Joomla (2)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | about 3 months ago | (#46066213)

Not sure what you mean by closer fit.. you could launch a joomla with only the calendar, Jevents is a decent mature app and joomla 3 is small screen capable. You also get the update infrastructure to manage your security and updates. Joomla gets a hard rap around here, but its not that bad when you work with it for a while. I could launch this from start to dns flop over in around 3 hours.

Google (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46064517)

Docs for Non-Profit that is.

You just can't beat their calendar for mobile access and colaboration.

Re:Google (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 3 months ago | (#46064539)

Good, free, but not open source.

Re:Google (3, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 3 months ago | (#46064637)

Pick two

Re:Google (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 3 months ago | (#46064683)

Sometimes you get all three (Linux, Android, etc), but not this time.

Re:Google (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 3 months ago | (#46066021)

Yeah, I realized that when I said it, but in terms of raw quantity, that is the exception and not the norm (and you might want to redact Android ... it's kind of quasi free and open)

Other notable examples include Mozilla's efforts, Audacity, VLC and... uh, I can't think of any others at the moment. For every truly excellent open source project out there, there are a thousand of 'em where the developers have their heads up their asses and clearly are incapable of thinking from the perspective of their users.

Re:Google (1)

blade8086 (183911) | about 3 months ago | (#46066149)

apache, vnc, ssh, mysql, gimp (yes I know its not photoshop - but please show me a competing 'free' editor?), inkscape, dia, .... etc etc etc
are all good programs

civiCRM (4, Informative)

oregonjohn (1902706) | about 3 months ago | (#46064525)

https://civicrm.org/ [civicrm.org] is extraordinarily powerful for community work. It can deal with any number of different organizing needs from paying for classes to calendaring, from constituent matters to membership sites. Check it out. I'm currently working to make civiCRM work as a law practice management solution. It needs some significant tweaking to make it work for that purpose, but for you needs it will probably work "out of the box" so to speak. Like any major software package it requires setting up, but there a lots of people around the world who have experience setting it up, you can even just pay to get the settings you want.

Re:civiCRM (4, Informative)

SpzToid (869795) | about 3 months ago | (#46065131)

CiviCRM is extremely good at what it does, and works with Drupal, as well as Joomla.

I like Drupal a lot. Drupal is like LEGO bricks you can build anything out of, and if you install CiviCRM on top of Drupal, that's like building the Millennium Falcon Star Wars Edition LEGO along with a spaceport for it. If that interests you, then also add OpenAtrium to your short list of things to check out too. In fact you can combine them if you want and they'll give you complimentary functions, however you might also find OpenAtrium is good enough for your CRM needs. Or you might swap out CiviCRM from your OpenAtrium platform as described, and use RedHen CRM instead.

Whatever direction you choose for CRM, I hope you'll give OpenAtrium consideration towards your requirements, (that is what the White House uses for its workgroup collaboration too). It's a good Space Dock Platform to hold your calendaring, notifications, public/private docs, etc.

http://openatrium.com/ [openatrium.com]
http://redhencrm.com/ [redhencrm.com]
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog... [whitehouse.gov]

Pro-Tip: In a lot of places where I have introduced OpenAtrium, when I get around to installing the sheetnode module, and everyone gets collaborative spreadsheets, I often hit a home run. The spreadsheet usefulness and ajax is extremely good.

https://drupal.org/project/she... [drupal.org]

Re:civiCRM (1)

hughbar (579555) | about 3 months ago | (#46065225)

Thanks for all of these. I'm aware of Drupal and CiviCRM too. I've used Joomla for more recent projects because end-users find Drupal management 'harder', actually both are non-trivial. CiviCRM is really great but used to be pretty hard to install.

I'm not aware of openatrium and redhencrm, so thanks for those!

Re:civiCRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46067059)

Drupal + Date API + Date Views + Calendar achieves this in about 10 minutes, plus or minus a week of tweaking ;)

Add in jQuery Data Popup and you get a fancy data selector too.

I recently ported over a pretty major book publisher's catalog site from Joomla to Drupal. The end users found Drupal's interface at least 100x easier to deal with than Joomla's (I also set it up to be extremely streamlined as well, something Drupal doesn't necessarily do out of the box).

Re:civiCRM (1)

hazah (807503) | about 3 months ago | (#46067101)

It's almost always a mistake to hand over the same admin interface you get in drupal to your clients. We solve this by building one for them. A couple of views here and there (with bulk ops), and panels with rules for fine tuning and you can almost always create a simple enough admin interface for them. Alternatively, you can write up a small module just for that purpuse to have full control of it. Use Beans in stead of raw blocks, use Entityforms instead of Webforms so that you can easily setup prebuilt UI facing forms and Organic Groups is almost often good enough to fine tune permissions across multiple roles. Use Nodequeue for things like slideshow management. I find that with Drupal, if you don't have a final idea in mind before you begin, it'll almost always be clunky, but conversly, with a solid plan, it's a trivial matter of knowing your modules.

Owncloud (3, Interesting)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | about 3 months ago | (#46064533)

Though it provides a handful of other features, such as file storage and address books, it has a pretty robust CalDAV management interface, complete with user & group sharing and mobile device support - which is what I've primarily set it up to do for our SME without the need of signing up for Google Apps at $5 a pop.

Hope this helps.

Re:Owncloud (3, Interesting)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 3 months ago | (#46064849)

As much as I love owncloud I've found the calendar to be buggy when it comes to repeating events. Sometimes my weekly events will suddenly be a day later on 1 week. I haven't checked if it's only in the interface or if it affects the iCal interface, but it's something to watch out for (and test). Note: I have not had any issues with one-off events.

Integration with google calendars a must... (2)

bhlowe (1803290) | about 3 months ago | (#46064565)

I use multiple google calendars-- one for each kid, my spouse, and for some clubs I'm in. I use Calenmob on my iphone to see them all... but I would love it if there was more software that let you have a club (or class or whatever) add events to your calendar... Seems like a great idea that should have been solved.. but hoping someone here can recommend something.

Re:Integration with google calendars a must... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46064797)

I personally use a couple google calendars integrated with iOS's calendaring. I've never needed any other software to integrate with it since it works so well.

Re:Integration with google calendars a must... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46065323)

as long as that club, etc. has a standard cal url you can import it in google and get the events automatically. you can certainly add different google cals to yours and toggle their visibility as needed.

calagator (3, Interesting)

everydayotherday (1291642) | about 3 months ago | (#46064717)

What you're talking about is similar to Calagator in Portland, OR. The site is http://calagator.org/ [calagator.org] and has a link to the source code.

Re:calagator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46066513)

Calagator is great. The way it handles venues makes it easy to add events to; it's easy to browse, and all around handy.

My work in progress (2)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about 3 months ago | (#46064729)

I've been working on such a thing for a smaller scale for just three rural counties. Most of the calendars I've come across are modules in CMSs like Drupal or Joomla, way overkill for a platform and the calendar detail presentation sucks as well as the user entry. Most programmers don't try to understand events.

There are also some web event services out there that are more wide ranging like eventsetter... but they supplement with a lot of ads and you only find a few trees in the global forest of data.

The challenges are (beyond responsive/mobile design and data structure)

- Making a user friendly form where the submission could be directly used by the calendar... I've concluded most of them are useless for the general public (especially here - we may soon crawl out of dialup in some remote parts of our counties!). So the main input is just a text area (preloaded with what needs to be included), which I transcribe into the real form on the admin side. This could be a lot of work for folks doing this for a large suburb, but the results are better as you can standardize the content as you transcode.

- Getting people to submit data. This might be a case of having to get traction before it gets going but even then, people are lazy, even if the 'add info' buttons are in plain sight on just about every page. Currently I do 95% of entries.

So, here's mine - http://www.doplaces.com/ [doplaces.com] been on-line about six months now (to get a better idea of events go to the calendar, back to december and view, was alot going on then). It also includes a community directory of groups, businesses services and other locations with mucho cross-referencing between those and the events calendar.

Sweet Baby Jesus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46066637)

Dude, thanks for sharing and congrats on your work so far.

But, Sweet Baby Jesus, that site is ugly! Is this your first website? Good job if it is. If it's not your first; bad dog!

Re:Sweet Baby Jesus (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about 3 months ago | (#46066799)

I'm more into utilitarian, stuff people are looking for, not flashy graphics... and it will improve with time.

Re:Sweet Baby Jesus (1)

edibobb (113989) | about 3 months ago | (#46066959)

You can make a site pretty if you make if you remove most of the functionality and make it really hard to use. It's the new way! Even /. is headed that direction.

Re:Sweet Baby Jesus (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about 3 months ago | (#46067343)

Yeah I have realized, people won't return to your information site just because its pretty, only if provides what they need. I'm not overly worried about the look as long as its informative, easy to understand, and quick use.

I guess the biggest missing point I see is location, need to add something that to locate the user, and better orient them.

Re:Sweet Baby Jesus (1)

hazah (807503) | about 3 months ago | (#46067149)

Just follow standard practices. Readable fonts, good contrast, proper sizing and use of negative space. It's pretty much a formula. Get that right, then go creative (improvements). It's easier to improve a proper foundation.

Re:Sweet Baby Jesus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46067165)

I think he means you've got bad UI design, like buttons overlapping text fields and making it so you can't actually click in the text field without going into Firebug and manually moving the buttons down some :P

Using Firefox 26 on Mac OSX here, for reference. Had same issue on Chrome 32.

Re:Sweet Baby Jesus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46068393)

Firefox 26 on Linux

Leaving color/style out of the equation, since they are a matter of taste and are therefore subjective...

Links/buttons do not appear to be links or buttons.
Buttons overlap other elements including search box.
Lower links do not appear to be links or buttons.

At least you proudly take the blame at the bottom. ;D

Re:Sweet Baby Jesus (1)

ActivateLinds (3513063) | about 3 months ago | (#46068401)

Nothing on the Do Places site appeared to be clickable, which is just the beginning of the poor UX there... There are a million platforms that simply allow manual addition of an event. Plus... where is this? What community? Here's what I'm working: Portland.ActivateHub.org Folks can sync calendar feeds from existing organization calendars, so events show up automatically in addition to manual entry. Plus much more. Would love your thoughts!

Close fit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46064767)

Check out a Nowegian OSS based project here: underskog.no. Looks like a close fit, not sure if it's all OSS.

it's been twenty years, or forty (4, Insightful)

holophrastic (221104) | about 3 months ago | (#46064889)

Explain to me how it's 2014, and this is the same question that I've been asked since I started my web business in 1992? I'm just plain bored with it. We've had twenty years of web calendars, and forty years of software calendars. I've had enough of the question. What a waste of an entire industry. What good is an industry that can't solve a single basic problem in two decades? I'll be 60 in 25 years. I'll have retired twice, and I'll be consulting for random other companies. I swear my very last project, on my death-bed, will be the very same "we need an event calendar, what should we do?".

Show of hands. How many readers here have built, installed, chosen, spec'd, designed, setup, trained, populated, migrated, or exported an event calendar more than six times? I'm approaching about 150 at this point.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 3 months ago | (#46064955)

So you are 35, and you have already done this 150 times and you haven't got ONE suggested solution for a community calendar?

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (2)

hughbar (579555) | about 3 months ago | (#46065261)

Thanks! I'm the submitter, I'm 63 and have spent most of my life in IT. There's several 'near' fits to this problem, usually using CMS software, but it's still interesting to look for 'closer' fits and, in general, learn from others. 'Learn from others' is always fun, almost more than shouting at the kids on my lawn.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46065299)

so your a break fix douche that couldnt mod a single script to save your life

what your question should be is "can someone custom mod me a calender we already like but are too stupid to tweak 4 -5 php values?"

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (3, Interesting)

hughbar (579555) | about 3 months ago | (#46065437)

Although, this is [without a doubt] young male troll-talk, I'm going to answer:
  • - It's a lot simpler to find software that's as 'near' fit as possible, cuts down on custom code
  • - You may have to maintain custom code, to keep up with changes in the core project, additional resource
  • - This is a volunteer gig, so I'm anxious not to write thousands of lines of code for it
  • - It's fun for everyone to exchange information about this, it's a very common problem
  • - If it's a small set of mods, I'm going to try and get some of the local kids to do them
  • - [in reply to the specific trolly-talk] Nope, I'm not asking for community custom mods

Good luck to you sir, but please grow up a little!

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

emaname (1014225) | about 3 months ago | (#46067715)

If I had mod points, I'd give them all to you for a very informative response.

So how about +5 informative, instead.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46068391)

- You may have to maintain custom code, to keep up with changes in the core project, additional resource

You have to maintain all code that you're responsible for, whether you write it or not. It gets easier when there is a community, but you'll still have to stay up-to-date and audit the code for security, especially when it's open source PHP code like most of the suggestions here.

Honestly, I think your insistence on an open source solution that you host yourself seems somewhat of a selfish choice, choosing to put your own ideals above what's best for your community. I agree with other posters who advocate some sort of Google Calendar based solution...something that minimizes the work of whoever has to take over for you in a year. Your current mindset in choosing a solution will lead to a situation where your successor will either have to replace everything you've created wholesale or will have the unenviable position of being a volunteer maintaining someone else's crap.

Basically, service maintained by someone else > code maintained by someone else > code that you have to write yourself.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46067131)

I don't bother shouting at them anymore - got it posted. If I want to chase em off my lawn, I use rocksalt in a 410 guage shell. Works quite well and sure as hell gets the message across that I'm a cranky old coot.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 3 months ago | (#46065273)

What good is an industry that can't solve a single basic problem in two decades?

I dunno. Given that there are plenty of excellent multi-user calendar solutions, I don't know what industry you're actually describing.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 3 months ago | (#46065633)

I'm completely d'accord with the poster (hughbar).
There is always something that does not work.
Either you can only invite people that _have an account_ or are at least in the adress book or you have wiered JavaScript mouse interactions, you change the starting time of the event because by default with the mouse you can only create events at full hours and half hours, then automatically the end time changes (which is in 90% of the cases NOT what I want, especially if it goes via multiple days), the export or the email invitations don't contain standard ical formats but the microsoft illformatted version ... should I continue? The only *half* useable Web iCal for me is right now Googles. However I use it 90% of the time via an ordinary calendar app (iCal on my Mac or iPad) ... and of course it lacks the integration into a true CMS or teamwork environment.
The good thing: you can use AppleScript or Automator on the Mac to integrate everythg into iCal and push it automatically into the Google calendar.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 3 months ago | (#46066409)

There's always something that does not work? Every thought of just building your own any way you please?

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 3 months ago | (#46066493)

We live in the year 2014, not in 1914 or 1954.
How software works, should work, how it might be developed, how it should be developed is a no brainer meanwhile.
When I buy a car it usually just works.
Why should it be different with software?
Ah, yeah: all the programmers are artists. Software is an art. Sorry, they not even have managed their trait, craftmenship or even their apprenticeship.
Regarding your question: yes, I'm working on my own stuff. The point is not: "anyway you please"! The point is common sense. So much stuff, even from mayor players, makes no sense at all!

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

riondluz (726831) | about 3 months ago | (#46067951)

"Buy a car...."

Though I in near accord w/both you and GPPoster,
I would like to note that, sticking to a car analogy, Its like buying a car that works for >5 if not >10 years to avoid the viscious lease/trade-in cycle and planned obsolence.

So, the mechanic who craftily repairs and replaces parts (functionality) is something of an artist and someone prized and trusted if good at their trade.

I've been round the same block too many times as you refer to. I love and will only use opensource and have a bias for "many ways to do one thing". Though,, for all its merits, FOSS has delivered no better than proprietary insofar as "just works". It is just a richer toolchest for the mechanic to work from.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 3 months ago | (#46068197)

There's always something that does not work? Every thought of just building your own any way you please?

Well, that came full circle quickly.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46067021)

There is always something that does not work.

Yes. It's called the real world. You should start living in it, instead of the fantasy world you exist in, and not just when it comes to calendars.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 3 months ago | (#46066415)

I'm describing the industry that results in the poster asking this question in 2014. That industry. Where thousands of comments from hundreds of responders will discuss an idea that's been in use for decades.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 3 months ago | (#46067031)

The industry has nothing to do with it; it has done its job, at least when it comes to calendaring.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

mal0rd (323126) | about 3 months ago | (#46065523)

Nice comment. Of course, it's not just calendars but basically everything; finding something as simple as a reliable and scalable email client is a challenge.

If you (or other posters) have some thoughts about how we might be able to fix this I'd love to hear it. Next month I'm going to start working full-time on trying to solve this problem because I hope the lack of success is just due too few attempts. Judging by your other replies, the issue is barely even recognized.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 3 months ago | (#46066427)

Build your own. If you can't build something from 20 years ago with modern tools, then you ought to get a new profession.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

cardpuncher (713057) | about 3 months ago | (#46065911)

I was confronted by this problem about 15 years ago when I was asked by a listings magazine to provide them with a system that would allow the input not only of community events, but theatre performances, film showings, exhibitions etc. and then use this data to automatically lay out their print as fell as feed their emerging website.

I did an extensive search of software available at the time and nothing really cut it and had to develop something from scratch. Although it's easy for one-off events, when it comes to events that repeat every alternate Tuesday except at half-term and you want to show them precisely once in a listing of events occuring over an arbitrary period (rather than once for each occurrence), it's a really tricky problem to solve. Even finding a data representation which can be searched in a reasonable time is hard - scouring through thousands of iCalendar files isn't a solution. Finding a workable user interface that allows the entry of the whole range of wacky recurrence rules is harder still. In the end, I compromised and did the whole thing by date only, leaving times (e.g. a film that might run at 14:00, 16:00, 18:30 and 21:00) to be recorded simply in the text description of the event. And I didn't have to bother with time zones, daylight savings times, etc.

Although I'm now retired, they're still using my software from 15 years ago and I occasionally have to dig out the documentation to pass on to the next IT company they appoint, promising to come up with a more modern solution and finally thinking better of it.

If you did put in all the work to create a completely generic solution, potential users would just turn round and complain it was too complicated for their very specific subset of needs. So people create solutions that meet specific requirements that then don't work for other people.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (0)

sunking2 (521698) | about 3 months ago | (#46066031)

The goal of IT is to keep itself employed, not actually solve a problem. Having started in Engineering and moving to IT at a Fortune 30 aerospace company it took about 2 years before I couldn't wait to get back into Engineering and out of the IT circle jerk cycle of paying more money to replace an existing system and having nobody that really understood what they were actually buying.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 3 months ago | (#46066441)

But the goal of hiring IT is specifically to solve the problem. If your IT guy isn't solving a problem for five years at a time, find a new one.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 3 months ago | (#46066211)

You sound like a cook in a restaurant bitching about having to cook dinner for all your customers every single freakin' night, how are those ungrateful bastards hungry again?. Seriously, get over yourself.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 3 months ago | (#46066447)

No. You've missed the point entirely. I sound like a cook in a restaurant who, among many other things, has been making peanut butter and jam sandwiches for twenty years, and someone starting a new restaurant is asking for a recipe for peanut butter and jam sandwiches.

Get under yourself.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 3 months ago | (#46067405)

I sound like a cook in a restaurant who, among many other things, has been making peanut butter and jam sandwiches for twenty years, and someone starting a new restaurant is asking for a recipe for peanut butter and jam sandwiches.

Your self delusion and arrogance runs even deeper than you made it sound at first, not a trivial accomplishment.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (-1, Troll)

holophrastic (221104) | about 3 months ago | (#46067581)

I'll say it again. If you're having trouble with co-ordinating your calendar in 2014, then you ought to go back to finger painting in kindergarten. It's not a complicated issue, it's not a new issue, and you aren't in the first billion persons to encounter the problem.

Enjoy your life. I'm glad you find it challenging. Keeps you out of my way.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46067333)

Unlike food, and hunger, software never rots and satisfies eternally.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about 3 months ago | (#46067403)

I would think its been more like most of recodrded history. at least :-D

A one size fits all calendar would be a nightmare to cover the myrad of applicartions for keeping and tracking time/events.
Also as with most software the world outpaces the original design regularly, and software needs to adapt to new ideas and trends (responsive/minimalist design, phone friendly interface, etc.)

20 years ago we didnt have iphone with GPS and mobile web, facebook, etc.

As Sonny and Cher put it - The beat goes on.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 3 months ago | (#46067567)

and you think that calendar software, web calendars, and events in general have changed at all? You think the iphone changed the way we schedule events on a calendar? The iphone entered a world that existed already. It didn't bring new ways of doing things. It simply brought convenient access to the same things. No one wants gps as a part of their calendar. I have no interest in being told about all of the events near to me. Quite the opposite, actually.

And, in case you've forgotten, before there were iphones, there were much more mobile event calendars. And they were smaller too. I know because I lost six of them in one year when I was 10. They were the size of a credit card, but not as colourful. That was 24 years ago.

I'll say it again. If you're having trouble co-ordinating your calendar in 2014, then you might want to ask your parents if you were ever sent to kindergarten.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about 3 months ago | (#46068081)

> I have no interest in being told about all of the events near to me. Quite the opposite, actually.

Well, then that's just you, move along. :-)

People visinting a place would reqally like to know what's going on while they are there, not afterwards. Around here getting the word out usually entails the printing and distribution of printed materials (papers, flyers, etc. Not very efficient. Web calendars help if you have web access... again, not no one thing works for everyone.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 3 months ago | (#46068141)

Think harder please. Much harder. Here's some help. Think about everything you think is important, remove everything else that already exists, and see if it works in your own head. I promise, what you've just described doesn't work. And once you add what's needed to make it work, you no longer benefit from those things that you thought were important in the first place.

Re:it's been twenty years, or forty (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about 3 months ago | (#46068425)

Man, I must be taking up some real estate in your mind.

Thanks for the suggestion. I guess then, in your belief, I'm tilting at just my own personal windmills. I can live with that. :-D

New Calendar Software - Would Love Opinion! (1)

ActivateLinds (3513063) | about 3 months ago | (#46067909)

I would love your thoughts on ActivateHub! Check out Portland.ActivateHub.org. The calendar is mostly self-populating with events. Syncing a calendar feed results in recurring imports of new and updated events, automatically tagged. Filter by a combo of topics and / or types. Hovering over an event gives details on the side bar (I know, it should be a separate pop-up, not in side bar), and each event has its own page for promotion, and soon comments and uploads. In addition to a calendar, it has a wiki-like, filterable listing of organizations in each city.

Re:New Calendar Software - Would Love Opinion! (1)

ActivateLinds (3513063) | about 3 months ago | (#46067917)

Plus, other organizations or blogs, etc, can embed this calendar - or a filtered view of it - into their own website.

Re:New Calendar Software - Would Love Opinion! (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 3 months ago | (#46068125)

If you're asking me for my professional review of a product, contact me professionally, give me a budget, and I'll give you an invoice. If you're asking for my personal review, I just don't find that fun.

Re:New Calendar Software - Would Love Opinion! (1)

ActivateLinds (3513063) | about 3 months ago | (#46068235)

I was really looking for a "Yay" or "Nay - problem still not solved." I'm a recent college grad with nothing but debt and a seasonal / temporary waitressing job, so I don't think professional review is in my budget at the moment, unfortunately! But since you were passionately bemoaning the lack of an adequate tool for all these years, I thought you might be interested in a chat, or at least give a quick look.

PHP-Calendar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46065085)

It won't meet all of your needs, but it's the best I've seen: PHP-Calendar [php-calendar.com].

fai7Zors (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46065089)

at my frrelance would mar BSD's Reciprocating 3ad [klerck.org]? startling turn continues toChew All over America a previously

Drupal (1)

jbov (2202938) | about 3 months ago | (#46065209)

Drupal would fit this project well. Here is what you can accomplish with Drupal for your project:

- Visitors may register for accounts. The usual suspects like CAPTCHA for the registration & login form, password reset feature, e-mail verification, etc.. are either core or available with modules.
- Members can subscribe to event listings via the notifications module.
- Members can PM other members.
- Visitor's or registered users may post events with moderator approval
- Using the views, taxonomy, better exposed filters, and date modules, you may list and filter events by date, type, etc...
- Events are searchable. You can also use Apache Solr integration if you need to speed things up.
- Dates can be chosen with a jQuery pop-up calendar.
- Recurring dates can be done by enabling the Date Repeat
- You can specify start and end dates. You can also specify "all day" instead of listing a time.
- Event locations can be stored, and displayed using the Google Maps API
- Proximity searches are available with Views and the Location modules.
- Images can be posted for these events, and displayed in a lightbox style gallery.
- Contact information may be posted for the event coordinator.
- Visitor's can use a personal contact form or entity form to contact the owner of an event via a web based form.
- By using the proper fields for the data you are storing, the data can be validated to check that a web address, e-mail address, phone number, etc.. is in the proper format. You may also create your own validation rules.
- Comments can be made on an event listing, with moderator approval.
- The fivestar module will allow visitors to rate events.

The possibilities are somewhat endless. If you choose a dedicated calendar application, instead of a web CMS, you'll soon outgrow the features and be faced with the task of migrating your site.

Re:Drupal (1)

hazah (807503) | about 3 months ago | (#46067227)

There is a caveat though. It's not possible to have multiple different repeats of an event. So something like every thursday at 7 and every friday at 8 is not possible without at least going though entity collection (which complicates things). Also, the event entry interface is quite lacking... haven't found a way get a full stack without at least doing the entry form through a custom module.

how about a facebook page? (1)

bazorg (911295) | about 3 months ago | (#46065257)

There's quite a lot you can do with Facebook pages, and a lot of people will already have username/pwd there.

Re:how about a facebook page? (2)

hughbar (579555) | about 3 months ago | (#46065327)

For me, that's not a solution, I want something that doesn't depend/share-data-with a large for-profit. Actually I don't even have a facebook account.

Re:how about a facebook page? (1)

bazorg (911295) | about 3 months ago | (#46065843)

Well, I did not get that from the original submission. I hope you don't end up wasting public funds to re-invent Facebook and then realise that people are not aware or not willing to sign up for yet another region-specific social network.

Your basic problem is "nearby". (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 3 months ago | (#46065319)

Your basic problem is "nearby".

You need to find the intersection of where you are normally located, and where the events are normally located, combined with the radius you are willing to travel, and the radius that the even planners are willing to consider "these people are local". In a lot of cases, "these people are local" are not defined by distance, but by geographic boundaries, such as boroughs, which are administrative divisions within a county. They may also apply to self selecting groups, such as "this message goes out to all Hassidic Jews in Brooklyn; no one from Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, or Staten Island need attend; hold your own event if you want one".

You would probably also want to make a division based on "I work in the area" vs. "I live in the area" vs. "I used to live in the area, and within driving/cab/ferry/bus distance for some events".

The solution to your problem involves me revealing location information which I may not want to reveal to you, or which I won't reveal to you because I live 50 feet outside your "acceptable people" radius, and so me revealing it would exclude me from an event I might want to attend, even if you'd prefer to exclude me from it. For example, this is commonly the case with block parties, where you could invite friends and family, if you lived on the block, but people the next block over aren't invited to partake of the free food and entertainment (and we are back to the "hold your own event if you want one" case).

So far, most social media is not geographically linked, except for voluntary group membership, and explicit exclusion of people from the group, or approval based membership by a deciding authority -- e.g. the group administrator(s) or owner(s).

There's also the exception rider for "Everyone in the radius/locality who isn't John Doe who everyone knows has a terrible hygiene problem which will put everyone else who shows up off their food".

And yeah, not everyone is going to give their missile coordinates to you, since an "I'm going on vacation" announcement on facebook and a location datamine through your putative service would be a two step lookup away from a "People you could rob who wouldn't know about it for at least a week" GIS.

So solve the willingness problem for the idea of "nearby", and you will be well on your way; good luck with doing that, though.

Elgg (1)

mrvanes (658171) | about 3 months ago | (#46065399)

Have you looked at Elgg? http://elgg.org/ [elgg.org]

Re:Elgg (1)

hughbar (579555) | about 3 months ago | (#46065413)

Yes, and used it for a while. Thanks for reminding me, may go back there. Last thing I used it for was a borough with tens of environmental projects that needed to intercommunicate, they migrated that to Ning, their loss, IMO.

Re:Elgg (1)

mrvanes (658171) | about 3 months ago | (#46065667)

The external Event Manager (http://community.elgg.org/plugins/736695/2.7.1/event-manager) is exceptionally cool, complete with RSVP functionality.

It's one table, like this (1)

barryvoeten (5508) | about 3 months ago | (#46065471)

A well known website over here is http://aktieagenda.nl/ [aktieagenda.nl]. They have exactly this service, which is - as some comments already found out, ancient, and a DIY solution. What more do you want, when it's just 1 database table to be filled.

SharePoint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46065477)

Obviously non open source, but SharePoint comes with all that functionality out of the box, and is pretty easy to set up and customise to your heart's content. Definitely quicker and easier to get to a solution that Drupal/Joomla/GoogleDocs.

Just a thought.

Tried Podio? (1)

spieters (312206) | about 3 months ago | (#46065791)

I've found podio.com to be very useful (and free as in beer) for these types of things. Easy to build web forms and integration with Google Calendar and other calendaring tools.

Google Calendar, however not all are searchable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46065879)

The obvious answer some people have already pointed out is Google Calendars. These calendars are easy to add to any website or to most personal organizer software. They are even searchable by logging in to a Google account and going to Calendar -> Other calendars -> Explore calendars - but it doesn't work quite right. The search won't find calendars even tough they are public, over two years old, and the exact name is introduced. Google has not a good search for Google calendars, what in spanish language would be described by the saying "At the blacksmith's home, wooden knife".

Still, Google calendars for public events are likely to be displayed at websites, so the Google web search will find them. In fact, the very own search box for calendars displays a "Search in the web" suggestion. So, it's just googling "calendar place topic".

I happened to maintain one of these calendars about software public events for the spanish region of Galicia for over two years, and embedded it on a wordpress website. Now I've moved on to the Andalucia region, and found that they are doing the very same thing here: SurCodigo.es  MÃs Sur Eventos [surcodigo.es]

The Events Calendar Pro (1)

artisteeternite (638994) | about 3 months ago | (#46065939)

If you like Wordpress I strongly recommend The Events Calendar Pro http://tri.be/shop/wordpress-e... [tri.be]. It's both powerful and easy to use. It's not free but makes up for it in the time you'll save. There are plenty of plug-ins available to make it do exactly what you want it to do. I'm a designer, not a programmer, so I'm always looking for the simplest and most cost-effective web solutions.

Calagator / ActivateHub (1)

techieshark (3512659) | about 3 months ago | (#46067661)

Portland's tech scene uses this really fantastic project: http://calagator.org/ [calagator.org]

The source is available on github: https://github.com/calagator/c... [github.com]

There is also ActivateHub (which is a fork of Calagator) - Demo http://portland.activatehub.or... [activatehub.org], Source: https://github.com/activate/Ac... [github.com]

Re:Calagator / ActivateHub (1)

ActivateLinds (3513063) | about 3 months ago | (#46068051)

Thanks, TechieShark! Here's a summary of what http://activatehub.org/ [activatehub.org] has added since the Calagator fork: * More than just a one-time calendar import, sync calendars for recurring import so new events and edits to old ones are reflected on the site. * Community organization pages. Main List of orgs is filterable by topics they work on, and each org has its own page. * Hover over event details. * Calendar View / List View toggle * Topics and Types filter options * Enhanced duplication detection and administrative backend tools.

Open data collaborative agenda. (1)

deiu (813624) | about 3 months ago | (#46067873)

Have you seen http://cibul.net/ [cibul.net] yet? It allows you to create structured and rich content for your events (either personal or collaborative). It also has a nice (and free) API for the events data.
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