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AJAX calendars

Has Joel tried planzo.com ?  They do

-SMS reminders

-reminders at various times

-setting items by end time instead of duration

-various privacy levels for items

It may have some other parts of his wish list, too, I don't know.
Ethan Herdrick Send private email
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
 
 
LOL, nice article by Joel, reminding me why he is top-of-his-game. The suppostion of the profileration of Ajax calenders is very astute.
Dionysus
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
 
 
I think Joel was bang-on with the article - I've just recently gone through the same experimentation phase with calendars.

The same problems kept on coming up; the biggest problem was that most of them Just Didn't Work with Firefox (even after upgrading to the latest). I'd try to drag or create events or type and nothing would happen.

I also live in Australia, so getting my day's reminders at 8pm on the day that they had already happened was kinda useless.

Planzo was the best that I found, but it is still pretty lame. I've been using AbstractSpoon's ToDoList so far; while I have to do recurrences manually, it suits the rest of my needs. ReminderFox (a Firefox plugin) is looking promising. I tend to favour desktop applications over webapps.

I'm not convinced of the need for a dedicated calendar application. What I want is *reminders* each day - such and such a meeting is on, I'm having lunch with these people, I need to pay these bills, in two weeks I'm entered in a race. I don't need a pretty diagram of how my time is divided up.

One question that kept coming up in my mind was "how do these companies plan to make money?" So far, the best I've come up with is that they'll try to sell themselves to Yahoo or Google. Maybe they could show Google ads. None of them seem to have any sort of revenue collection in place thus far.
Ian H Send private email
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
 
 
How is calendar.yahoo.com an AJAX calendar?  It's a stock-standard, fill out a form-click submit web application.
Joe Send private email
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
 
 
Try http://30boxes.com/  I am looking for a good calendar I can use in an existing application.  This isn't available in source, but would like to find somthing similar that is.
Christopher Hester Send private email
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
 
 
I just tried Planzo. Only handles half-hour increments, so it can't record airline flight times correctly. NEXT!
Joel Spolsky Send private email
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
 
 
I posted that prior to seeing Joel's piece.  I am amazed none of these groups, and I have tried contacting several, are not willing to sell the source code.  I am in a build v. buy mode, and starting to see building is the only viable option.
Christopher Hester Send private email
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
 
 
Joel, you don't want a calendar.  You want a task management system.

30boxes is a GREAT calendar.  And if I can make my friends and associates use it, scheduling things with them is going to get a helluva lot easier.  A calendar lets me see the layout of obligations, it shouldn't do much more than that.

I'm building a task management system for myself.  I think it addresses what you want ('cept Timezones, I'm not going to bother working out the math for that until I have a compelling reason to do it).  When I get the damn thing done and running, I'll remember to send you a link.
Dan Nugent Send private email
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
 
 
I don't want a task management system. I have two of those, Outlook and FogBugz, and they're very good. I use Outlook for recurring task reminders and FogBugz for everything else.

I need a calendar, by which I mean, a way to schedule appointments, and be on the right airplanes at the right time (and then know what hotel to drive to, and where to be for meetings and speeches).
Joel Spolsky Send private email
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
 
 
In what way does Outlook not do that for you?
Boofus McGoofus Send private email
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
 
 
Outlook as part of Office includes a Calendar/Task management thingy and its probably the best part of Outlook.  If I could use it without the vile email client then I would.
Simon Lucy Send private email
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
For some reason I didn't read the 'not' in the comment above mine.  Sometimes my brain is off on a different time zone for no good purpose.
Simon Lucy Send private email
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
"So far, the best I've come up with is that they'll try to sell themselves to Yahoo or Google. Maybe they could show Google ads. None of them seem to have any sort of revenue collection in place thus far."

Yup.  There gonna party like it's 1999.  Apparently there are a lot of people who don't learn from history.  They don't realize they are all a division of sockpuppet.com.  Actually they remind me of the Japanese on remote islands in the Pacific that didn't realise the war was over.
banker's hours
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
Joel, what you're saying is what I envision a Task system should do for me.

Recurring events, personally, I think are better left to a simple calendar, since you usually don't need reminders and just need to see, visually, where you can place the things that don't happen on a schedule adjacent to your regular commitments or, as the case may be, shuffle a few things (in which case you'd probablly want to leave a trail of that in your task system).

I don't have FogBugz at my disposal, so I can't tell you how effective or not that is compared to what I'm building.

Look, I'm not trying to sell you on anything, I just think your perspective on Calendars is unrealistic and that what you want from a Calendar, I want from a task management system. 

Calendars, to me, just don't seem the right place for really wild new functionality.  For one thing, they have to borrow very heavily from the physical analogue for them to make much sense to users.  How, for instance, would you represent the timing of your New Zealand-LA flight on a physical calendar?  I don't have an answer to that.
Dan Nugent Send private email
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
"How, for instance, would you represent the timing of your New Zealand-LA flight on a physical calendar?"

Calendars should store you local timezone as the default, but  have a dropdown box of timezone next to am/pm.
banker's hours
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
Really, Why would you use web calendars? What for? You can schedule with any desktop app. As you say: Fogbugz &/| Outlook (or any other). You set your own warnings and if you want to know the way to someplace. Buy a GPS!

For alarms, I use the alarm clock of my mobile phone. Dead simple.
GUI Junkie Send private email
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
IanH,

> I'm not convinced of the need for a dedicated calendar application. What I want is *reminders* each day - such and such a meeting is on, I'm having lunch with these people, I need to pay these bills, in two weeks I'm entered in a race. I don't need a pretty diagram of how my time is divided up.

Backpack, from 37signals, might do what you're looking for, if you just want simple reminders:

http://backpackit.com/examples/archives/reminder/
Keane
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
30 boxes lets you enter any time...
capablanca Send private email
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
I would just like to second the vote to at least look at the 37signals products.

Their attitude: Software should not solve all of your problems. It should solve a few problems very well.

For me that means that when I expect an app to notify me three hours before a flight and five minutes before a meeting I might be expecting too much of the sofware. I don't trust software that deeply. Heaven forbid the software messes up and I missed my flight.

If you want the reliability and creativity of an executive assistant, get an executive assistant.
Ryan Orrock Send private email
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
My venerable Lotus Notes 6 meets all of the requirements of the article, though obviously it goes beyond the bounds of 'calendar only.'  Combined with my Blackberry, I get reminders no matter where I am and can access detailed information about specific events in my calendar.

Administrative assistants can be given permission to make/modify/respond-to events in my calendar, especially meeting requests.

While a fair amount of overhead is required, the permissioning seems granular enough that someone could provide this as a service to small companies.
Eric Speicher Send private email
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
If you're running exchange, and using Outlook, simply publish your calendar through OWA.  I have a smartphone and I get reminders of my appointments at any point in time.  It's web accessable so that I don't have to use it through the thick client.  I can make appointments occurr at any point in time.  It handles timezones without problems.  Other people can update your calendar if you grant them permission to do so (both read and write access).  You can print out your calendar in some reasonable format.

If you meant to say "and free" then you've got me there, but I use the above mentioned solution daily and have never had a problem with it.
Elephant Send private email
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
I don't disagree with anything Joel says in this entry, but the title is kind of funny. Really his problem isn't that there are too many AJAX calendars, but rather that they all suck.
JS
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
Paul Graham could write one and sell it to Yahoo!

That would be cool :)
Rick Tang Send private email
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
Yeah, and he could call it kiko.com. Oh wait, that one's already taken...
JS
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
Why do I always show up late at the good discussions? ...oh yeah, that's right, I was working ;)

Joel seems to be making two points here 1) there are a lot of (perhaps too many) AJAX calenders, and 2) they seem to be written to sell to someone who already has users, rather than to attract users on their own merits.

1 and 2 are certainly related.  But this reminds me of another blog entry I read on 37signals - building to flip is building to flop:

http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/building_to_flip_is_building_to_flop.php

The point isn't that selling to yahoo is a bad idea (I'm sure it's a wonderful ending for a small isv).  It's that great products don't result from the build to flip mentality. 

(as an aside... a good Ajax calender would be wonderful, and it sounds like it's still up for grabs.  At work, I'm stuck with a crappy old static web calender, round trip the the server for everything, no drag and drop, nothing dynamic.  In my job at a large university, the ability to look everyone else's calender for a staff of thousands, check conflicts, suggest meeting time and dates... those things are the deal killers.  I can live with a crappy UI... but I checked out some of the links, and while I can't attest to the usefulness of the calenders, the UI (for Kiko) really does kick ass).
Geoff B
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
What difference does it make if your calendar does not support finely grained time increments? For instance, if your international flight leaves at 3:05 PM, you know you have to be at least 2 hours early, so you mark your calendar for an appointment at the airport a 1:00 PM. I don't understand why you need the exact time in that case.

It appears to me that some people are attempting to morph these appointment calendars into some kind of project management calendar, or itinerary manager/printer. These are related functions, but they are a superset of an appointment calendar.
MBJ Send private email
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
Trumba allows 5 minute increments, which is good enough for me.  I put the actual time of a flight (as well as flight number, record locator, etc.) in the comments field.

And I just create two separate calendar entries for each flight, one for the departure and one for the arrival.  This works fine and it eliminates any issues about time zones and "duration".
David desJardins Send private email
Thursday, February 09, 2006
 
 
Simon: Outlook 2003 is actually pretty good...  iff you use it w/ Exchange.

I'm a long-time Outlook avoider, and I still use Pine as well as Outlook, but for calendar, contacts, tasks, and email, Outlook is quite good these days.  With Exchange you get Web access, and if you use a Blackberry or Windows Mobile 5 you can get your messages synced to your mailbox.

I'm far from being an MS fan, but Exchange 2003/Outlook 2003 just works beautifully.
Ward Bush Send private email
Friday, February 10, 2006
 
 
Well you were doing fine until you mentioned Exchange.

Exchange, that excuse for a mail transporter.
The least efficient mover of mail that's ever been created.
That still uses a mangled version of Jet as the back end.
That requires complicated and expensive tools from third parties to recover the data when it dies.
That doesn't play nicely with any other mail client other than Outlook.
That locks the organisation so tightly into a single vendor that its a deadly embrace.
Simon Lucy Send private email
Friday, February 10, 2006
 
 
Narendra Rocherolle Send private email
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
 
 

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