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CalConnect Major Work Projects
This page provides more information about the major projects underway in CalConnect as an amplification of the "current projects" box on the home page.
Autodiscovery - "One-stop setup for devices and new service providers for calendaring, e-mail, etc. based on internet standard protocols"
Currently there is no simple, "one-stop" way to set up a collection of internet standard services such as e-mail, calendaring, and so forth. This is an issue when someone starts with a new organization or changes service proficers, and is even more difficult when one acquires a new smartphone. We are working on a new standard protocol to specify how to automatically discover and set up internet standards-based services such as e-mail, calendaring, address book, etc. which can be implemented in a single, easy to use user interface.
CalDAV Alarms - "Extend alarm support to allow for cross-device dismissal, proximity triggers based on location, default alarms in CalDAV"
Sharing calendars and tasks across multiple devices is great - having the alarms go off on all of them isn't. This extension to CalDAV (the standard calendar service protocol) will allow for effective user management of alarms, including choosing which device(s) should enable each alarm, and the form of the alarm.
CalDAV Attachments - "Extend the calendaring server to manage attachments"
This CalDAV extension will provide an interoperable and efficient mechanism to allow clients to store and manage attachments associated with a meeting (e.g. copy of a presentation, agenda,...) on a CalDAV server. Beyond the basic storage aspect, the server also becomes responsible for ensuring that only attendees of a meeting have access to those attachments.
CalDAV/CardDAV Sharing - "Sharing calendars and contacts between users"
CalWS-REST and CalWS-SOAP - "We need to (finally) provide platform and system-independent calendaring and scheduling operations APIs for web services - it's long past time"
Calendaring (and scheduling) should be avaiable as a service on any platform with a calendaring system installed, much like middleware. To make this work and expose the calendaring system to other applications, widgets, and so forth, we need a platform-independent and system-independent API for calendaring operations. CalWS-REST and CalS-SOAP provide both RESTful and SOAPy web service implementations of this API.
Consensus Scheduling (VPOLL) - " TimeTrade, Doodle, WhenisGood do it, it should be interoperable - scheduling driven by the attendees who get to vote on the best times and locations for group events"
Consensus scheduling involves using a poll-based or vote-based mechanism to determine the date, time, location of an event or a task. This has been implemented by several vendors in their own systems but should be available and interoperable within mainstream scheduling. VPOLL is an additional iCalendar and iTIP component designed to allow the implementation of consensus scheduling with any system and client.
Event Publishing Extensions - "Calendaring standards need to support the rich environment of Web 2.0 (and beyond) for the publication of public events - rich text, participants and image support"
Events for publication require more and richer information than conventional meeting events. CalConnect is working on defining some new properties:
* structured locations - perhaps as vcards
* participants - for example, the team, audience, principal performer, contacts
* rich and locale-specific descriptions - allows html and multi-language support
iSCHEDULE - "We need server to server scheduling between dissimilar systems - we have had client to server scheduling for a long time"
Scheduling a meeting between co-workers on a single calendaring system has been available for a long time, but trying to schedule with people on different calendar servers has only be available by hooking it onto emails. iSchedule provides a system-independent server-to-server mechanism to allow inter-system scheduling and ultimately "ad hoc" scheduling - the ability to schedule a meeting or appointment with anybody with a calendar and a calendar server, regardless of what system they are on.
jCal - "We need a standard representation of iCalendar in JSON. It's a natural follow-on to the recently completed xCal (iCalendar in XML)"
jCal (iCalendar in JSON) will make it easy for processes such as widgets to accept and manage calendar data without the need to work directly with the iCalendar format, and is essential to enable easy consumption and ultiziation of calendaring information outside of calendaring applications themselves. jCal will allow correct bi-directional two-way converstion between iCalendar and JSON formats.
Non-Gregorian Calendars - "Establish a way for recurrences to work with non-Gregorian calendar systems, in particular lunar/solar calendars"
We have established the CALSCALE Ad Hoc committee to develop a draft proposal for supporting recurrences for non-gregorian calendars via the CALSCALE parameter in iCalendar and an RSCALE extension to RRULE. The goal is to allow clients supporting non-gregorian calendars to create recurring events without having to implement non-standard mechanisms.
OASIS WS-Calendar - "Working with OASIS to develop their new WS-Calendar standard (scheduling for the Smart Grid), based on xCal, CalWS-REST and CalWS-SOAP"
We are working with OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Systems) to develop their WS-Calendar standard. It was original intended for the exchange of power information for the smart grid, and is based on xCal (iCalendar in XML) and CalWS (web services API for calendaring) protocols developed by CalConnect. OASIS and CalConnect maintain reciprocal memberships and liaisons between their WS-Calendar technical committee and our XML technical committee.
Timezone service and registry - "Full timezone support via dynamic server calls rather than embedding timezone information in events - no more having event times wrong when timezones change and your software isn't updated"
Traditionally calendar entries coded in iCalendar have had to include timezone information to allow interpretation of the date and time of an event, and can be incorrect if the timezones have changed since the information was put in the event. Having a separate, online timezone service which can be queried at any time will allow timezone information to be included by reference in events, rather than embedded in them, and ensure correct interpretation of dates and times even if the information changes.
Use cases - "Use cases to establish the "holy grail" for scheduling - ad hoc scheduling with anybody"
The Usecase Technical Committee is currently developing use cases in support of extra-enterprise and ad hoc scheduling (scheduling across calendar systems) and exploring the implications for organization security and other related issues. The goal is both to demonstrate the need for ad hoc scheduling, and to identify the issues which will have to be addressed in order to implement it in any widespread fashion.
VAVAILABILITY - "New iCalendar component to describe availability, to 'condition' freebusy lookup and scheduling (e.g. you may be 'free' at 3 a.m. but you aren't available for a meeting)"
VAVAILABILITY is a new component for iCalendar which allows an indivdiual to specify when they are available to be scheduled for meetings (As opposed to "busy" when they already have a meeting scheduled, or "free" when nothing is scheduled). VAVAILABILITY will also allow the implementation of "office hours" applications, in particular for academic institutions, and has significant use also in the smart grid work being undertaken by OASIS.
vCard Resources - "Define the vCard representation of calendaring resources to ease the discovery and scheduling of resources between any calendar client and server"
In keeping with the goal of TC RESOURCE to develop recommendations for seamless interoperable resource scheduling, we have been working on defining how such resources should be represented. RFC 6350 defines the vCard format which allows the electronic capture and exchange of information on users, devices, and more. TC RESOURCE is working on an extension of the vCard RFC to include all required information for representing calendaring resources.
VTODO - "Extend the functionality of VTODOs to support needs such as project management, smart power grids and business task scheduling"
The VTODO component of iCalendar must be extended to offer functionality for new use cases such as the smart grid, project management, and business task scheduling, in a way that allow a calendaring system to manage the data and calendaring clients to display and change it. TC TASKS is working on extending iCalendar in areas such as project managment, WS Human Task, and smart grid energy management.