Calendar Sync, Google Calendar for out-of-unit Stakes

Discussions about the Calendar Tool at lds.org. Questions about the calendar on the classic site should be posted in the LUWS forum.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:49 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I too would like to see the subscriptions separated from the calendar display. Perhaps a button to set all the check boxes to match my subscribed calendars, but otherwise there should be no connection.


We already have all of that -- you don't have to view all the calendars you are subscribed to, and we have a link that will show all your subscribed calendars, which makes the check boxes match all the subscribed calendars.

This thread is discussing sync being separate from subscriptions. That is the functionality that is missing. Your only option currently is to sync all subscribed calendars.
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Postby jdcr256 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:41 pm

It's not likely that we'd ever build a feature to allow you to sync separate calendars according to the current sync model. It's too cumbersome to implement, and likely very cumbersome to use.

What we are currently looking at as a future enhancement is to add CalDav support. This would incidentally add the ability to retrieve events on a per calendar basis, rather than all subscribed calendars at once. It would also support full two-way interaction from any calendar application that supports CalDav, including most mobile calendar apps. CalDav implementation is still at the "discussion" level, meaning we have not yet begun to design for it, so I can't give any kind of estimate on when it might be implemented.

However, I don't think this would fulfill what the original poster is asking for. The move to CalDav will require authentication via LDS Account. It sounds like the OP wants a calendar sync that can be exposed publicly. The requirement to maintain a certain level of privacy around youth/primary activities makes it unlikely that we will ever support a method for publicly exposing calendar information. Hence the warning on the Sync tab of the current calendar, "This URL is provided for your own personal use. It should not be shared with anyone else."

It's more likely that we may add a feature in the future to allow organizations (stakes, wards, etc.) to share specific calendars with other organizations (e.g. another stake or perhaps group of stakes). Another option being considered is to enable another level (e.g. Area) of calendars, but this introduces additional problems, such as how these calendars are managed, and how rights to edit them are controlled.

Anyway, we are considering multiple ways of enhancing the calendar to meet these needs. Resources and time are our only real hurdle.

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Postby russellhltn » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:44 pm

aebrown wrote:We already have all of that -- you don't have to view all the calendars you are subscribed to, and we have a link that will show all your subscribed calendars, which makes the check boxes match all the subscribed calendars.


The problem is I can't view more then what I'm subscribed to.

I think we're looking at the same problem from different sides. I'm perfectly happy using subscriptions to limit what goes to my personal device, but I'm unhappy that it limits what calendars I can view on the main calendar page.

I'd be perfectly happy decoupling the list of viewable calendars from the subscription. It would make for a long list, but it would also make it easy to quickly check another calendar I don't normally look at.

As it stands now, every time I want to do something with the stake calendar, I have to alter my subscription so I can see that calendar, make the changes, and then go back and reset my subscriptions so my sync is how I want it. That's silly.

So while you seem to be advocating making sync separate from subscriptions, I'm saying the calendar view should be separate from subscriptions.

I could go along with a new item to limit the viewable calendar list. But it needs to be a quick one-click step away from the calendar view so it's easy to change. You never know when you need to see what time some church event starts that you're not normally involved with.

I'd be also fine with a button that "checked all", "cleared all" or "subscription" so that the calendar view match the subscript as a "quick reset" of selections.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:52 pm

jdcr256 wrote:Anyway, we are considering multiple ways of enhancing the calendar to meet these needs. Resources and time are our only real hurdle.


One thing I'm seeing is there are two different needs that need to be fulfilled. One is the "personal event" list - the thing I want to sync to my personal calendar. The one that tells me I need to be somewhere. The other is the "reference" calendar. This would be for leaders that want to see what events are going on in the ward without any need to be there. And I'm sure we want both of those on our mobile devices.

As a Android user, I find the existing Sync works fine for "personal", but then I have to go to the web page for "reference" (and that's where limiting that calendar to a subset of "subscribed" creates a problem for me.)

I suspect the users wanting multiple syncs are looking for a way to select "personal" and "reference" uses on the fly from their mobile device.

I know the iOS version of LDS Tools has a calendar feature. I'm thinking that might be a better conduit for "reference" functionality. At minimum, this does seem like a area of overlap between the two groups.
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Postby WoodDA » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:00 pm

That's a good way of stating it. I concur with the idea of a "personal" calendar for syncing vs a "reference" calendar.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:05 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I'd be perfectly happy decoupling the list of viewable calendars from the subscription. It would make for a long list, but it would also make it easy to quickly check another calendar I don't normally look at.


I don't think that's a good choice for most people. One of the goals of letting members choose their subscriptions is to limit the number of calendars they see in the list on the main calendar view. Your suggestion would make that list overly long for people who have no interest at all in many of those calendars.

RussellHltn wrote:As it stands now, every time I want to do something with the stake calendar, I have to alter my subscription so I can see that calendar, make the changes, and then go back and reset my subscriptions so my sync is how I want it. That's silly.


Agreed.

RussellHltn wrote:So while you seem to be advocating making sync separate from subscriptions, I'm saying the calendar view should be separate from subscriptions.


Either way could work, but as I explained above, I think it's more important to tie the calendar view to subscriptions. Either approach will require a code change, anyway. In any case, I think we both could be happy with the possible implementation of CalDav, as jdcr256 mentioned.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:25 pm

aebrown wrote:One of the goals of letting members choose their subscriptions is to limit the number of calendars they see in the list on the main calendar view.


And that's where our views differ. To me that functionality isn't nearly as important as being able to select what syncs.

I suppose quick fix would be to add a second set of check boxes to the sync page to select what subset of the subscribed calendars will be synced. I think that would work since I'd think for most members the "personal" calendar is a subset of the "reference" calendar I described above.

I'd have to study CalDav more to see if that works for me.
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CalDav would be awesome!

Postby brianpratt » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:37 am

RussellHltn wrote:I suppose quick fix would be to add a second set of check boxes to the sync page to select what subset of the subscribed calendars will be synced. I think that would work since I'd think for most members the "personal" calendar is a subset of the "reference" calendar I described above.


I like this suggestion, if it is not too much trouble to implement. What I want to see on the web and what I sync to my calendar applications is totally different for me. As the website administrator for our ward, I need to be able to see all of the stake and ward calendars online to make sure all of the events are covered, but I don't really want all of them synced to my mobile device.


Even better, a CalDav implementation like I use for Google Calendar that lets me turn calendars (delegates) on and off on the fly on my mobile device or desktop computer's calendar application. I strongly recommend this approach!

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Postby david.north » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:13 pm

It would be really interesting for the church to conduct an informal survey on how Calendar is being utilized. For example, I have never signed on to LDS.org, and viewed the calendar under Tools. I have always used a sync URL, so I can view the calendar in context of my other personal and family calendars -- primarily through Google Calendar. I would think this is a fairly common use case now.

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Re: Calendar Sync, Google Calendar for out-of-unit Stakes

Postby sbradshaw » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:13 pm

I've also wished there could be separate sync addresses for individual calendars. There are two big reasons for me:

1. Individually-synced calendars can have different colors, instead of one color for "everything from LDS.org."
2. Individual calendars can be shown or hidden individually from within my calendar program.


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