Modified events not updated

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lleach4
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Modified events not updated

Postby lleach4 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:40 pm

So, I had written a longer post expressing some frustration with the ongoing sync issues... how you really need a moderate level of tech skill to set up a google calendar and get it to appear as an option on iOS, and then hope the link doesn't stop working without you noticing it. But, I narrowed down my issue more before posting. My frustration with the unreliability of syncing remains but I think I can be more specific now.

Two weeks ago, I deleted a few events from our stake calendar and they were subsequently deleted when my google calendar synced up. At the same time that I deleted the events, I also modified another event and that one is not syncing properly. Has anyone else seen that issue? When I say it is not syncing properly, I mean that it shows correctly on lds.org but not on my google sync and not even on my LDS Tools calendar. I am going to delete today's event and repost it as a new event to see if that takes care of it.

From what I have seen, the majority of sync issues are not with lds.org, but with google (which I wish would give us the ability to manually refresh a synced calendar). But, the sync would be sooooo much more reliable and simple to set up if the nine minute refresh restriction were eliminated. With as much emphasis as the Church puts on calendaring, will that ever happen?

Thanks in advance for your help and responses.

russellhltn
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Re: Modified events not updated

Postby russellhltn » Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:27 pm

lleach4 wrote:At the same time that I deleted the events, I also modified another event and that one is not syncing properly.

What did you change?

Something you might want to do is paste the synce URL into your browser. You should be rewarded with a iCal file that you can look though with a text editor to see what information is getting sent. Note that this trick is subject to the 9-minute limit as well.


lleach4 wrote:From what I have seen, the majority of sync issues are not with lds.org, but with google (which I wish would give us the ability to manually refresh a synced calendar).

I use Android, but from what I remember, there's a trick to getting it to manually sync. Something like turning it off and back on.


lleach4 wrote:But, the sync would be sooooo much more reliable and simple to set up if the nine minute refresh restriction were eliminated. With as much emphasis as the Church puts on calendaring, will that ever happen?

Not likely. The limit was put on later due to the server load. It seems some members decided to set their sync to once a minute.
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lleach4
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Re: Modified events not updated

Postby lleach4 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:17 am

I have done a little more experimenting. An existing event that is updated does not sync the update to the google calendar. For instance, we have a stake priesthood meeting in August that I listed as an all day event in January. Once we received specifics from the visiting authority, I modified the existing all day event and it never updated. So, I created a second event, naming it slightly different, and it did sync to google. However, on my iphone the time of the priesthood meeting is correct in the detail but it appears as an all day meeting in the time summary on the side. Whether this is on the lds servers or whether it is problem with how google imports the info, I am not savvy enough to say. I don't know the practical implications of it.

I had a similar instance with a stake council meeting that was scheduled for tomorrow. About two weeks ago we decided to push the meeting back a week so I changed it on lds.org. It has yet to sync properly with google so I am going to just delete it and create it as a new event next week.

I am not a tech guru but until we can sync directly with the church, I don't see the calendar ever being reliable. It worries me because so many members have been trained to rely on the electronic version of the calendar and - besides the fact that the average member doesn't know how to create a google sync (not to mention that not everyone uses google calendar) - the syncing just isn't happening correctly. IMAP email works beautifully. It will be nice when calendars sync as well as email does. The best thing for now is probably to try and get members to log in directly to lds.org or rely on LDS Tools.

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aebrown
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Re: Modified events not updated

Postby aebrown » Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:22 pm

lleach4 wrote:I have done a little more experimenting. An existing event that is updated does not sync the update to the google calendar. For instance, we have a stake priesthood meeting in August that I listed as an all day event in January. Once we received specifics from the visiting authority, I modified the existing all day event and it never updated. So, I created a second event, naming it slightly different, and it did sync to google. However, on my iphone the time of the priesthood meeting is correct in the detail but it appears as an all day meeting in the time summary on the side. Whether this is on the lds servers or whether it is problem with how google imports the info, I am not savvy enough to say. I don't know the practical implications of it.

The frequency of the sync is entirely dependent on the application that pulls the information from the Church servers. Some applications allow you to specify how often they pull the information, but in my experience most do not.

One way to determine if the Church servers are causing the problem is to go to your Google Calendar and remove the synced LDS calendar. Then create the calendar again, which will do a fresh sync using the current data on the Church servers. If that works, then you can be sure that the Church servers are providing the correct data.

I sync my Church calendar with my Google Calendar and it works fine. I haven't paid a lot of attention to exactly when updated LDS calendar information syncs to my Google Calendar, but it does happen eventually. It certainly takes several hours, and I think it's more like a full day in many cases.

lleach4
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Re: Modified events not updated

Postby lleach4 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:00 pm

My sync with google seems to take 24-48 hours. But I doubt I would notice that events were not syncing correctly if I wasn't the clerk in charge of the stake calendar.

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Re: Modified events not updated

Postby russellhltn » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:47 am

I did a test. I created an event, downloaded the sync URL and waited for it to show on my Android device. I then moved the event back to the prior day. I then downloaded the sync URL again. Comparing the two sync files shows that the change is there.

I've also logged into My Google calendar and I've noticed that it has updated, while my Android is still showing the old time. I'll have to wait and see if that corrects itself. It hasn't been 24 hours since it first appeared, so I'm not worried.

I generally find you have to wait 24 hours before everything updates - at least for Church -> Google Calendar -> Android.
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russellhltn
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Re: Modified events not updated

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:01 am

russellhltn wrote:I've also logged into My Google calendar and I've noticed that it has updated, while my Android is still showing the old time. I'll have to wait and see if that corrects itself. It hasn't been 24 hours since it first appeared, so I'm not worried.

Update: My phone synced. So I'm not able to duplicate the issue, but it does take time before updates come though.

I'm pretty sure there's a way to force the sync from the phone. It might be a good idea to do it before going into a leadership meeting.
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lleach4
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Re: Modified events not updated

Postby lleach4 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:29 pm

Could you try the same type of test but instead of moving the event to a different day, just change the time?

Even if it works for you, it kind of proves my point. I am not a tech guru by any means but I am significantly better than the average person. If I can't get it to work after months of experimenting and a 8-10 point checklist to get it set up in the first place, how in the world can we expect most members to stay in sync?

The calendars on my Mac and ipad synced okay but the iphone didn't. I am downloading a different calendar app to see if maybe the native iphone app is a problem.

BTW, maybe I should post my checklist on here so a few others can verify what I did to see if anything looks off.

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aebrown
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Re: Modified events not updated

Postby aebrown » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:41 pm

lleach4 wrote:Even if it works for you, it kind of proves my point. I am not a tech guru by any means but I am significantly better than the average person. If I can't get it to work after months of experimenting and a 8-10 point checklist to get it set up in the first place, how in the world can we expect most members to stay in sync?

At least on Android, all you have to do is the very straightforward setup of the Google Calendar to use the Sync URL from the LDS.org Calendar. Then the key ingredient that most people overlook is PATIENCE. That doesn't require anyone to be a tech guru, but simply to wait 24 hours or more before they should expect to see the updated event make the full cycle back to their device.

But even if you don't like that, I don't see what the Church can do about it. We've proven that the data provided by the Church servers on the Sync URL is updated essentially immediately, so the delays that require patience are all on Google's side.

I'm not familiar with all the pieces required to update Apple devices, but whatever the issues are with that technology, it seems clear to me that again the problems are not with the Church's sync process.

However, regardless of whose fault this is, the one thing we can all do to contribute is to help document where patience is needed, and what steps will make the sync work most smoothly. So your efforts are indeed helpful.

russellhltn
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Re: Modified events not updated

Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:54 pm

lleach4 wrote:Even if it works for you, it kind of proves my point. I am not a tech guru by any means but I am significantly better than the average person. If I can't get it to work after months of experimenting and a 8-10 point checklist to get it set up in the first place, how in the world can we expect most members to stay in sync?


I'm not sure what you mean. The only thing complicated in what I did was the monitoring of it to see where the problem might be. Other than the actual change, all I did was *wait*. I suppose it's possible that my monitoring triggered some updates that might not happen otherwise, but it seems unlikely.

I moved the event back two hours. I also downloaded the ICS file and saw that it was already updated. So it appears to me that the church is doing everything right.

So far my Google Calendar hasn't updated, but it's too soon to worry about that.

lleach4 wrote:The calendars on my Mac and ipad synced okay but the iphone didn't.

That sounds like a major clue. If some of your programs sync, then the problem lies with the device that didn't sync.

Also, be aware of the 9 minute throttle. You can't use the church sync URL until 9 minutes have elapsed from the last time. If your iPhone is trying to use the church URL less than 9 minutes after either the Mac or iPad, then it's not going to get a updated file. But you mentioned Google Calendar, if they're pulling from Google, then it shouldn't be a problem.
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