Place names for cities and categories for events (was Re: [uf-discuss] CFP microformat?)

Michael MD mdagn at
Sun May 21 21:35:44 PDT 2006

The problems I see related to specifying event locations (what city an event
is in) and categories (such as music genres, etc) in calendar data for
public syndication/aggregation/sharing is in the lack of ways to specify
things like cities/countries and categories in existing calendar software.

> > There seems to be a need to distinguish between types of events, not
> > only in the area of CFPs. Is there a way to categorize hEvents or
> > other microformats?

Both hCalendar and iCal specs seem to allow for categories, but iCal
seems to lack any structured way to specify a city or country for an event.

This seems to be solved in hCalendar by combining it with hCard/adr ...
... but in existing software based around iCal there are no good ways to
enter such data.

Is there any pc desktop calendar app that can do this kind of thing yet?

I'm looking for software to recommend to event promoters who wish to provide
feeds of their (public) events.
(so that they can get listings sites like to automatically update
listings from their feeds
- for this kind of use it would be important to be able to specify a city or
country in a machine-readable way)

I think a list of tags for categories (such as the type of event, styles of
music, etc)
would be much better than the rather limited predefined categories I see in
software such as iCal, Sunbird, Outlook, etc
(which I find pretty useless - some software does let you add custom
categories but the hassle of having to pre-define a long list of custom
categories just for it to be able to even see the categories in imported
data is more hassle than I think most people are likely to be bothered with)

Cites and countries would need to be entered in a stuctured way if they want
to create a public machine-readable feed of events in their calendar
.. maybe by choosing from a list (probably with a default the user can set
if all their events are in the same city)... needs to be easy for the user if we want people to use it!

(specifying a city shouldn't rely too much on geo/lat/long either - how many
people know the coordinates of the locations of their events or can be
bothered spending the time to look them up when they are entering an event
for publication... but I think we can usually say that they will at least
know what country their event will take place in!) -

Perhaps what is needed is a standard list of place names for
cities/states/countries so people can simply choose a city from a list.
(even if for iCal sharing a workaround might be needed such as appending to
the categories or something like that - if the names are from a standard
list of place names unlikely to be used for any other purpose then perhaps
the software can still work out what they are)

I know such a list of standard place names would be a big but some way to do
this is needed!

The people who are likely to publish and share their calendars publically
(likely people to be using hCalendar or iCal formats) are likely to want to
be able to add or use standard cities/countries and tag-like categories and
if the software doesn't provide an easy way to do it such information
usually either ends up as part of unstructured text in the description,
location or summary fields or being ommitted (making it hard or messy to use
their feed for a lot of likely uses)

More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list