[uf-discuss] the role of the X-WR-CALNAME property of iCalendar

ryan ryan at theryanking.com
Sat Jan 12 11:25:48 PST 2008

If it isn't already, could you please document this on http:// 
microformats.org/wiki/vcard-implementations ?


On Jan 9, 2008, at 2:58 AM, Barry Cornelius wrote:

> We have been successfully using Brian Suda's xhtml2vcal.xsl  
> (available from http://suda.co.uk/projects/X2V/) to transform some  
> hCalendar embedded in an Atom 1.0 newsfeed to iCalendar format.  It  
> is used as part of a local application for generating newsfeeds  
> called OXITEMS.  After switching from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2007,  
> a colleague is reporting a problem with the iCalendar that OXITEMS  
> is generating.
> It appears that if the iCalendar provides an X-WR-CALNAME property,  
> Outlook 2007 will not import the event(s) into your main Outlook  
> Calendar but it will create a new calendar with a name that is the  
> value of the X-WR-CALNAME property.
> Currently, xhtml2vcal.xsl always generates an X-WR-CALNAME property  
> and gives it the value of the title element of the input document  
> (using an empty string if there is no title element in the input).
> We often provide web pages listing events with iCalendar buttons  
> for each event.  The aim is to make it easy for a user to import  
> details of an event into whatever calendaring system they are  
> using.  It would be silly if the user got a new calendar every time  
> they clicked on an iCalendar button.  The OXITEMS system also has  
> the ability to send out a message with an iCalendar attachment  
> whenever an event item is added to a newsfeed.  Again it would be  
> silly if the recipient of this message got a new calendar created  
> if they opened the attachment.
> Here's an analysis of what happens for various calendar clients.
> If the X-WR-CALNAME property is present, Outlook 2007 behaves as  
> follows:
> (a) If you open an iCalendar file, Outlook 2007 will create a new  
> calendar.  If you open it again, it will create another new  
> calendar (with the same name).
> (b) If, in Outlook 2007, you explicitly import an iCalendar file,  
> it will ask you whether you want to create a new calendar or import  
> the event(s) into your calendar.  If you choose the later, it  
> assumes you only have one calendar even though Outlook 2007 allows  
> you to create as many calendars as you wish.  If instead you choose  
> "new calendar", it will create a new calendar.  If you repeat the  
> import it will create another new calendar with the same name.
> If the X-WR-CALNAME property is absent, Outlook 2007 will import  
> the event(s) into your main Outlook Calendar.
> Google Calendar, Outlook 2003 and WebCalendar ignore the contents  
> of the
> X-WR-CALNAME property if it is present.  If you have more than one  
> calendar, Google Calendar allows you to select the calendar you  
> want to import into.
> With Apple iCal, you get the same behaviour no matter whether there  
> is an X-WR-CALNAME property or not.  iCal asks you whether you want  
> to import the event(s) into a new calendar or into an existing  
> calendar and if the latter it asks which one.  This happens both  
> when you double-click an iCalendar file and also when you  
> explicitly import the file.
> I'm trying to work out what to do:
> (a) continue as now (always providing an X-WR-CALNAME property)  
> making it
>     an inconvenience for Outlook 2007 users;
> (b) always omit the X-WR-CALNAME property which, for Outlook 2007,  
> would
>     mean that all the events would go into your main calendar which  
> may
>     be not what you want;
> (c) include the X-WR-CALNAME property only if there is more than one
>     event in the calendar.
> --
> Barry Cornelius            Computing Services, University of Oxford
>                                13 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6NN, UK  
> barry.cornelius at oucs.ox.ac.uk  Phone:01865 273267 or +441865 273267
> http://www.barrycornelius.com        Reception:273200    Fax:273275
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