iCalendar 0.10 released!

  • By Martijn Faassen
  •  • 
  • 2005-04-28
  •  • 
  • Tags: 
  • linux

The last couple of months I've been heavily involved in a cool Zope + Five based project involving calendaring, about which more will be announced shortly. As part of this project I've had the opportunity to improve Five. The project also needed support for the iCalendar RFC, and this lead to me to become the janitor of the awesome Python iCalendar library.

The iCalendar specification defines a format for importing and exporting information about calendars. Basically, you can specify in it that a particular event with a particular title will be happening on a particular date. There is however much more to it; certain events recur every week, for instance, and there is a way to describe that. Events may be private or public, and there's a way to describe that. And so on.

When I was faced with the task to enable iCalendar support for the project I was working on, I did a websearch first, to see whether there was any package that did this already out there. I already knew the Schoolbell project has an implementation, but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

Soon enough I ran into the iCalendar package created by Max M. It seemed general and capable, more so than the schoolbell code, and I figured I'd give it a shot using it. I did have a few smaller niggles though: I did not like the package and module structure very much -- the files were CamelCase and all directly in the distribution directory, and I've become used to a more structured approach with lowercase package names and a setup.py and the like. The package contained many doctests, but didn't contain any testrunner to run them all at once, so I wanted to fix that too.

I contacted the author, Max M, and I got permission from him to move the stuff over onto codespeak.net subversion and restructure the package structure. It turned out he had some requests from other parties as well, including Linux distributors.

So I became what I can best describe as this project's janitor. I reorganized the package structure, hooked in a test runner, and cleaned up various texts some. I do not think I actually touched the code at all so far, though there are a few places where I have some ideas for improvements now.

The more I used the iCalendar package in the project afterwards, the happier I became about it. It is very powerful and the iCalendar import/export facility came together very quickly. My goal for the iCalendar package became broader: I must let others know about this! It needed a project website, mailing lists, the works! We must form a community of users so we can work on this together. Being a project janitor is a new and interesting experience to me, and we'll see whether my efforts will help make the library more well known. If we can establish a community to develop it beyond Max M, myself and Lennart Regebro (who created a simple setup.py), I also have a chance of not being its janitor forever. :) One of my hopes is that the schoolbell people will start using this instead of their home-grown import/export system.

Max M graciously gave his permission to start working on a web presence on codespeak.net. The result of this is that for the release today, I've also (thanks to the great guys at codespeak.net) set up little a website that I linked to earlier. We also got a mailing list and checkins mailing list now. If you're interested in this project, I hope you'll subscribe.