Going Mobile

I’m trying something new:

From now on (until I can’t stand it anymore), I’ll treat Twitter, Facebook, and RSS as things I do on my phone, not things I do on my computer. The mobile apps for these things have gotten very good, and I expect that getting them out of my attention stream while I’m working (at work, or at work) will pay dividends.

I’m using the official apps for Twitter and Facebook, and Reeder for RSS.

OK, JSON too

On Friday I posted about an adaptation to OPML to support transporting lists of calendars, and linked to a Google search for “OPML sucks”. I’m generally on the side of re-using existing infrastructure (and in particular appropriating things from RSS-land), but after reading some of those criticisms I’ve come around to one key point that people have made:

For the purposes of sharing feeds (RSS or iCal), OPML is an unnecessary abstraction between the data and XML (or other serialization). It’s only advantage is that it’s widely implemented.

I couldn’t quite bring myself to invent a new XML vocabulary, but an ultra-simple JSON serialization seemed like it could be a useful thing (and took about 5 minutes of work), so now there is a JSON link next to the OPML button. Here’s the JSON for DC Tech Events.

Data Portability for lists of calendars

I was surprised to discover that there was no real standard way for sharing lists of iCal subscriptions— there’s nothing in the iCal ecosystem that fills to roll of OPML in the RSS world. Even elmcity simply uses delicious as the canonical representation.

Well, my first instinct in these situations is to just steal from RSS. OPML has it’s detractors, but overall it’s been working pretty well for 10 years. We just need two extensions to make it work for Eventgrinder:

  • an iCal equivalent of OPML’s xmlUrl  (icsUrl)
  • A way to signal whether a feed is trusted or not (that is, whether events are published automatically, or queued for review)

The second item is pretty specific to my use case. Then again, it may have value outside of calendaring.

Here’s what OPML + my extensions looks like:

Screen shot 2010-12-10 at 9.57.13 PM

The namespace URL is http://eventgrinder.com/opml/ , and the two extensions are icsUrl and trusted, both attributes of outline.

This is now implemented across all of our sites, look for the OPML icon on source pages.

turning off recurring events, Ann Arbor Tech Events

Recurring events have never really worked reliably, and I’d like to focus on some of the new stuff—  so I’m going to just pull it for now.

More fun, Ann Arbor Tech Events is the first of the “whatever Tech Events”  Eventgrinder site that I’m not managing hands on, which is kind of gratifying.

(although It’s also worth noting that the GeekDC calendar is using EG behind the scenes).