I’ve been experimenting with calendars much more than usual lately (this will probably be the first in a series of posts) and things are not working out as I’d like them to…

I’ve been using Mozilla Sunbird and it’s been working pretty darn good. I started with Sunbird long ago instead of Apple’s iCal because the systems I was running at the time were not running the version of Mac OS X needed to run iCal. Anyway, I’ve gotten used to Sunbird over the years, and I like it. (Plus, it’s open-source.)

My calendar is stored on my server and I subscribe to it using WebDAV. (I believe the webcal:// protocol is really just WebDAV, correct me if that is wrong.) So I use Sunbird to subscribe to my calendar and edit it, and read it, and it all seems to work ok.

Enter iCal. For reasons I’ll get into next time, I’m trying to use iCal. iCal can subscribe to my remote calendar, but can’t seem to make changes to it. Is this a limitation of iCal? Is my WebDAV server configured wrong? It works fine in Sunbird… Argh…

I then though I’d test creating a calendar in iCal and publishing it to my WebDAV server. That worked, but when I subscribed with Sunbird, and added an event, it got wiped out as soon as I reloaded the remote calendar, so it seems like Sunbird cannot write to the calendar that was published out from iCal. Does iCal hold the “master copy” and just publish out a new version to the WebDAV server each time? Argh…

So right now I’m not really using iCal for any editing or adding, just for reading, and I have to do this, and I’ll get into this next time, but for now, Sunbird does a good job of editing my remotely stored calendar, so I’ll keep using it.

One more note: I have no idea how .mac works. Does it do the right thing? I’m guessing you need to take the route of creating and publishing out a calendar from iCal, and then it all works seamlessly. Can you subscribe and edit with Sunbird or other apps? Question, questions…

(See also: Calendar Woes (Part 2))

3 Responses to “Calendar Woes”

  1. I also have used Sunbird with iCal a lot. It worked great until just recently, and now it’s borked for some odd reason. I can get to my WebDAV share, but nothing is written to it.

    Anyways, my fiance and I both use Sunbird for our personal calendars, and then I use iCal to publish various automatic calendaring scripts, like my home automation schedule (http://homepage.mac.com/gregjsmith/indigoical.html)

    I’m also going to check out the “Setting up a Pseudo .Mac server” http://narcissus.net/n/www.drijf.net/dototto/wwwmac.html

    However, I imagine what Apple does is just have some simple merge utility running on their .Mac servers that handles syncronizing the files together by change date (which is stored within the iCal format for each event)

  2. Steve IvyNo Gravatar says:


    iCal will not give you write access to calendars that you are subscribed to. Any writable calendar in iCal is stored on your computer, and then “published” up to the WebDAV server. Kinda sucks, but there you go.

  3. Steve, thanks for the info. It’s kind of sad that Apple did such a poor implementation with iCal/calendars. As nice as the iApps are, I keep finding places where they sort of fall down…

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