Open-Source and Linux Calendars, Part 1
Fulfilling a New Year's promise to become more organized this year, I'm on the hunt for the best calendar program.
by Web Editor
While visiting my family in Pennsylvania this past holiday season, I had a realization: despite 31 years of thought to the contrary, in truth, I am not an organized person. This thought had been floating in my subconscious for a while, but this time I had misplaced the little stack of papers that contained my trip information, bills to pay, car rental confirmation number and tracking numbers for all the last-minute Christmas gifts I'd ordered on-line at 4 in the morning, 3 days before Christmas.
I had some free time that trip--there's not a whole lot going on in Dallas, PA, after 7pm--and I thought about all the occasions over the past year when I'd forgotten an acupuncture appointment, a Spanish class, a friend's birthday. I also thought about the late car insurance payments, the missed article deadlines (sorry again, Jill) and other details that I remembered after the fact.
I thought about all of these things and the toll they had taken on me in terms of stress, guilt and sleepless nights. I finally admitted that my almost-obsessive list-making tactic simply wasn't cutting it--I am disorganized. I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, so I made a new list titled "Things to Work on in 2006". It's less pressure that way in a make-or-break it kind of way. And at the top of that list is "Become More Organized".
So what does any of this have to do with you, Tux readers? I need a calendar application for my computer. I want it to be open-source and Linux because that's what my desktop runs. I want it to be easy to use, robust and flexible. I want to be able to make changes, add things and generally navigate through the calendar in an intuitive way.
Although I've worked with Linux for over six years now and probably could manage it, I don't want to download a ton of files, build everything and then spend many hours playing "hunt for the missing component". Like you, I don't want to spend most of my time with the application doing sysadmin; I want to use it and get on with things. Bottom line, I want a calendaring program that will improve my quality of life, not complicate it.
I'm not totally familiar with what's available in the realm of open-source calendaring applications. What I intend to do with this series of articles is make an informal investigation of what open-source calendar programs are available, what they offer and what their limitations are. I'll also let you know what the installation and set-up process is like for each.
In response, I'd like to hear from you about what you're looking for in a calendar program--do you want it offer many options or a few key ones? Do you want to be structured or more free-form? Also, if you have a calendar program to recommend--or suggestions about what to avoid--feel free to e-mail me or use the comments section below.
Currently, my list of calendar programs to test include Chandler, a still-in-development personal information management (PIM) application; the calendar portion of PHProjekt, an open-source group software suite; and Mozilla Calendar, an application extension that runs as part of another full Mozilla program installation (such as the Firefox Web browser). I'll also be testing Sunbird, which is the standalone version of Mozilla Calendar.
As you probably can tell, the programs I'm going to test drive are a mix of Web-based and standalone calendars. I'm not sure right now which is best for my needs, but I hope to figure that out as I go along. In turn, I hope you also will be able to gauge which method is better for your own calendaring needs.
I'll have the next installment of this experiment ready in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, let me know if you have any ideas and/or suggestions regarding my need to organize my life and my first step toward doing so.