[CalConnect Fall 2007] Technical Committee discussions

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CalDAV –

There’s a bunch of progress being made on various CalDav scheduling standards drafts.

We had a long discussion about how to handle floating events in free/busy as people travel among different time zones.

EventPub –

VVenue – proposed extension to rfc2445bis that provides detailed information about a place where events occur. It extends the Location property on VEVENT. draft-norris-ical-venue. Next steps include waiting for rfc2445bis to be approved before VVENUE goes therough the process. VVENUE could be used to attach venue information to calendar items from, say, address books, and then publish that info. Cyrus brings up the issue of VVENUE information not necessarily mapping well into VCARD for purposes like import/export. There’s a bunch of discussion on the relationship of VVENUE to VCARD.

Chuck goes on to talk about the Event Sharing Framework, which makes it easy for event owners to publish their event data to the public event space. Data is published into “the cloud”, where it can be retrieved by anyone who’s interested. The EventMap is modeled after Google’s SiteMap. Chuck notes that small organizations don’t necessarily have the amount of technical knowledge needed for providing this event sharing.

XML BOF

There’s a discussion of whether and how to represent iCalendar data in XML – how rich does such a representation need to be, and how faithful does it have to be to iCalendar?

Mobile –

The group has been working on publishing a synch focused Mobile Calendar Interoperability Test Suite. That resulted from a May 2006 survey that found that improved calendar synchronization was high on the desired list by mobile users. They published a white paper recommending the use of iCalendar for syncing.

The purpose of the test suite is to assess a mobile device’s capability to synchronize calendar data with a calendar store. Covers basic calendar and contact synch, but concentrates on known problem areas. There are event tests for Basic Sync (create, update, delete), reminders, long fields and truncation, access & priority mapping, special characters, and multi-byte characters. all day events (with time zone handling), “holiday” events, anniversary events. There are a large number of tests around repeating entries (create, update, delete), bidirectional from server-device and vice versa. There are test cases for scheduling – syncing attendee info, accepting/declining invites, and initiating invitations. There are test cases for time zones and daylight savings time issues. There are similar set of tests for tasks as well as events. There’s a special set of tests for task completion. There are a set of tests for Contacts as well – including addresses, phone numbers, email and URLs. Some mobile devices don’t decompose addresses into discrete elements, which causes problems.

Andrew makes the point that it’s good to have the mobile device makers in the consortium, and it would be even better if the carriers were involved in this activity.

There’s some discussion about how to prepare for an interoperability test event.

The next work item for this group is to work on a white paper on CalDAV implementation for mobile devices.

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