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Demystifying iCal

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Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 5008
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:08 pm    Post subject: Demystifying iCal Reply with quote

iCal is just an ordinary text file in a well known standard format. One site exports to the file and stores it on the exporting server. Another site reads (imports) that file and then uses the contents to update its own calendar.

So, any problems are either with the exporting site writing an incorrect file or with an importing site misreading the file.

If you are exporting an iCal to multiple destinations and it's working on all but one of them, then it's almost certainly the fault of the reading (importing) site.

Now, when I say fault, it could also be that one side is interpreting the standard differently from the other, however, when you're exporting to multiple sites that do work, I'd say that the majority wins.

As I said above, it's just an ordinary text file. One that most humans can read. IF you take the long URL that you are given and simply paste it into the address bar of your browser, you'll be able to open and view it or download it to your hard drive, then view it in WordPad. Try not to use NotePad as it may sometimes not wrap neatly onto separate lines (very technical....) or try using Word even. It should be mostly obvious.

As an example, here are two bookings. I've added spaces in the file for clarification and comments appear after "<---". They are not usually there.

BEGIN:VEVENT <--------------start of booking
UID:31235213821138 < -----unique number for this booking
DTSTAMP:20170627T211501Z < ----- when ical written
SUMMARY:e-richard < ------ name of guest
DTSTART:20170607T220000Z <------arrives on 7th June 2017
DTEND:20170621T223000Z    <------departs on 21st June 2017
END:VEVENT <--------------end of booking

SUMMARY:Michael Mouse
DTSTART:20170622T140000Z <------arrives on 22nd June 2017
DTEND:20170629T110000Z    <------departs on 28th June 2017

Hope this helps demystify iCal a bit.
** Richard
PIMS: Holiday Rental Management system
They say we learn from our mistakes. That makes me a genius !
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Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 388

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the above replies and explanations.
In fact with my ABB problem the ical imported correctly for about a year without problems. I have tried the icals generated from HA, PMP and TA as input for ABB but none work, it now seems blocked and will not sync automatically or manually with the sync button....have not been able to contact ABB and for the moment I am hand updateting the ABB calender as in the old days. All other sites HA,TA networks working fine. Plenty of people in the ABB community seem to have or have had the same problem....actually if I had an error message from ABB when syncing that would at least be a start but it just does nothing Crying or Very sad
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