Ray Ozzie reminds us what a fiasco calendars still are:
Each fall, as I manually enter the entire Celtics season schedule, my company's holidays and my childrens' school calendars into my own personal calendar, I am again reminded how ridiculous it is that The Net has not yet ubiquitously embraced the everyday exchange of virtual objects so basic as calendars and as vCards - which can also likewise be subscribed-to, aggregated into Contact Lists and auto-updated via personal RSS feeds. Bizarre. Ray Ozzie's Weblog
The situation is perhaps slightly less dismal than that, but not much less. I asked Google for Celtics schedules. It found a CSV file from nba.com that I could download into Outlook, and also an iCal calendar at iCalShare.com that I could subscribe to on the Mac. I don't know how many people have bothered to acquire the Outlook-compatible data, but according to iCalShare's stats, an underwhelming number of Mac folk have subscribed to that version.
Recently, the need to share event information between entities has dramatically increased. Individuals desire to aggregate, publish and distribute event information in many locations, and by various means. Doing this has been made difficult because of a lack of a formal format by which to distribute this event information. The ESF is designed to provide that standard formant, allowing entities to communicate event information in a standard format and manner, by using an XML-grammar, which facilitates the aggregation of information, and provides a well-defined pattern of usage for instances of this grammar.
The major goal of the ESF is simplicity and extensibility. To that end, the ESF is built as an extension of the already popular and widely used RSS (Really Simple Syndication) 2.0 format.
Well, here we go again. 14 months after Apple got us all in a dizzy over their new iCal app for OSX, the subject has come up again thanks to a recent post by Ray Ozzie asking about what has been done to integrate calendaring and RSS.
During the last go around, I actually did some research to better educate myself about the various vCard, vCalendar, iCalendar, xCal spec names. What I found out was simply that iCalendar (normally called iCal) was the latest standard calendaring spec which is what Apple used for their iCal app and that it wasn't XML and that there was an XML version of the spec being drafted. Read my original post for more details and history.