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MarkupiCalendar

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Hi guys,

I've been doing events sections for a few sites and for each I needed to make an iCal feed. I've wrapped up this functionality into a module now to make it a little easier for myself and anyone else that needs to make these feeds.

The module is basically a simple wrapper around the iCalcreator library (a copy is included). It's modelled on the MarkupRSS module from Ryan, so anyone familiar with that should have a feed up and running in no time.

Usage


The module takes a PageArray and creates the feed from that. The [tt]->render[/tt] method will send the output to the browser with a generated filename and will automatically download. Because it will return HTTP headers, it has to be included before any html and is best in its own template or followed up by [tt]exit;[/tt]

<?php

$today = time();
$items = $pages->find("template=event, sort=start_date, start_date>$today");

$ics = $modules->get("MarkupiCalendar");
$ics->title = "Upcoming Events";
$ics->description = "Some upcoming events";
$ics->itemStartDateField = 'start_date';
$ics->itemEndDateField = 'end_date';
$ics->itemLocationField = 'location';
$ics->render($items);

You can use the [tt]->renderFeed[/tt] method to return the output as a string instead, which is particularly useful if you want to debug or write the output to a file.

<?php

$today = time();
$items = $pages->find("template=event, sort=start_date, start_date>$today");

$ics = $modules->get("MarkupiCalendar");
$ics->title = "Upcoming Events";
$ics->description = "Some upcoming events";
$ics->itemStartDateField = 'start_date';
$ics->itemEndDateField = 'end_date';
$ics->itemLocationField = 'location';
$cal = $ics->renderFeed($items);

echo $cal;

I often put RSS and iCal feeds at the top of my listing pages so as not to clutter up the site tree with extra templates. This way /events/ may point to my events page, and /events/ical will point to it's feed. Here is an example:

<?php

// iCal feed
if ($input->urlSegment1 == "ical") {

$today = time();
$items = $page->children("sort=start_date, start_date>$today");

$ics = $modules->get("MarkupiCalendar");
$ics->title = "Upcoming Events";
$ics->description = "Upcoming events for my company";
$ics->itemStartDateField = 'start_date';
$ics->itemEndDateField = 'end_date';
$ics->itemLocationField = 'location';
$ics->url = $page->httpUrl;
$ics->render($items);
exit;

}

// Render the template as normal.
include("./includes/head.inc");

Download and feedback


You can download or fork the module here: https://github.com/f...MarkupiCalendar

At the moment it only supports all day events (as these are all I have dealt with) but I hope to add time based events soon. Any feedback is warmly appreciated and feel free to report bugs or suggestions for improvement.

Stephen

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Great stuff! Will definitely try this soon.

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Could be usefull for somes ! thanks for sharing.

Maybe add a link to a demo or live site to see the kind of results you got with that module ?

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Great job ffub! Nice work with the code and documenting how to use it too. I will add to the modules directory asap. Thanks for your work here. I will definitely be using this module in the future.

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Thanks, thats great timing, as I was just about to start hacking the rss module to do something similar for an events section.

Can I also suggest another tip that I found useful .

If you want the users to subscribe to the calendar, instead of just downloading it, use the  webcal:// uri scheme - e.g.

webcal://you.com/upcoming/ical

When the user clicks on the link, it should open up in their default calendar application.

Then whenever you update the events section, the users calendar will also get updated.  Nice!

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I hope it can be useful. As I said above, the module is still lacking support for times. I'd be curious to know how others are storing events - whether you are using a single field for date and time, or whether you are storing time separately and taking its absence to mean all-day? The main reason I can see for having it as a separate field is it leaves the date picker to work it's magic and thus makes adding events fairly painless for the user.

mjmurphy:

You are right to point out that the webcal: uri is informally used to denote iCal feeds. You can do this with the links in my examples above. While the [tt]->render[/tt] method will send the page as a download when accessed directly, I've tried it out with iCal and Google Calendar and it works just fine as a feed. If you wish to use the feed differently, such as sending different headers then [tt]->renderFeed[/tt] will let you do that. In addition to your suggested webcal:// link I tend to add Google Calendar links as many people use this now. Here's an example:

<?php
$gcalLink = urlencode($pages->get("/")->httpUrl . "events/ical");
echo "<a href='webcal://{$config->httpHost}/events/ical'>Subscribe to Calendar</a><br/>";
echo "<a href='https://www.google.com/calendar/render?cid=$gcalLink'>Add to Google Calendar</a>";

Thanks,

Stephen

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I'd be curious to know how others are storing events - whether you are using a single field for date and time, or whether you are storing time separately and taking its absence to mean all-day?

Actually there is no such thing as absence of time in unix timestamps (which is what PW uses). Every date is also storing a time. It's just a matter of whether you are using and outputting a time with it. I think that if you only specify a date, then it just uses the earliest possible time from that date (i.e. midnight).

I've developed a module that is somewhat related to yours in the opposite direction, though don't yet have it release ready. But what it does is lets you to query a Google Calendar for date ranges or keywords, and then lets you iterate and output the results like pages.

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@Ryan

I would be very interested in that Google calendar module. Building an event system can get quite complicated especially when you add on all the extra features that clients normally request like repeating and multiday events. Google calendar would solve all these issues, and give them a highly functional and collaborative calendar. The pw site could then just display the upcoming events. nice and simple

@ffub

I am using two datefields - start and end time. Each field accepts a time string (d/m/Y H:i).

I've not implemented "all day" events functionality, but i think If the date and times are the same, then this could indicate an "all day" event? Another idea might be to have an additional checkbox field which gets ticked if its an "all dayer".

While we are the subject of time (maybe I should move this to another thread), I have been trying to extend the datatime calendar widget to include a nice Time picker. It's just a plugin for the existing jqueryui datepicker

http://trentrichardson.com/examples/timepicker/

I managed to get it sort of working, but it was not saving the correct date. I was also hacking at the core module, which is probably not best practice. Any tips or advice on how to get this working would be welcome.

Thanks,

Michael

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I would be very interested in that Google calendar module. Building an event system can get quite complicated especially when you add on all the extra features that clients normally request like repeating and multiday events. Google calendar would solve all these issues, and give them a highly functional and collaborative calendar. The pw site could then just display the upcoming events. nice and simple

I agree! I hadn't worked much with Google Calendar before, but am really liking it. I'm looking forward to finishing up this module.

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@ryan

I realise that unix timestamps include a time as well, but this seems to confuse Google Calendar somewhat as multiple day events where I had not specified a time seemed to begin at 1 in the morning. It may well be something to do with the timezone and/or daylight savings though. I've not had time to debug this so for the sake of ease I am passing the events as dates rather than timestamps, eg:

CREATED:20111005T020915Z
DTSTART;VALUE=DATE:20111028

I used Google Calendar originally on my sites and I really love it. I was pulling the events in via an RSS feed. I will definitely be interested in your new module for my simpler sites now.

@mjmurphy

It's actually from the UX perspective that I have suggested having separate time fields. The datepicker lets you pick a date with relative ease and you can manually amend a time to that. This is a bit confusing for users though. Also, changing the date with the date picker, seems to remove the time. I encourage my users to stick to the jQuery UI picker as we are used to writing d/m/Y here in the UK, which is indistinguishable from m/d/Y to PHP. No amount of prodding or helpful reminders seems to make entering in a different format (such as Y-m-d) stick for them. Your date picker changes look like a very good solution to this problem for me though!

I have considered making a new dates InputType/FieldType for events that more closely mimics Google's excellent one to tackle some of these problems (see attachments). I'm not entirely sure how to go about that though. Aside from date entry, having events in PW is a doddle and presents some great possibilities in terms of linking them with other aspects of a site or providing more than a summary for each event (bookings!).

I would strongly suggest anyone else working on events to check out fullCalendar, a great little jQuery plugin. I pass my events to this with a simple JSON feed in order to make a scrollable calendar widget.

Stephen

post-500-132614279452_thumb.png

post-500-132614279455_thumb.png

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See, this is what I love about ProcessWire.

I was just in a meeting, and the question came up whether it was possible to export a list of events and dates as a calender, i.e. in iCal format. I wasn't sure about it, but I took a wild guess that there would be some way to do this. Back at home, checked the modules page, BAM, there you go.

For someone like me who is not able to do "real" PHP coding, this is a life saver. Thank you so much. :)

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At the moment it only supports all day events (as these are all I have dealt with) but I hope to add time based events soon.

Any chance of adding this any time soon? :)

My suggestion would be to point to this thread in the module documentation. It may be because I'm not a skilled PHP coder, but I got along much better once I read your posts here.

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this thread was helpful in setting up the ical and google calendar feeds.

i changed the module a bit to get it to support the time start and end of events, otherwise your events will always appear to be all day, if you use this module.

It's a bit hackish, in that it determines whether to use the all-day style, or the actual time style by checking if the time is set to midnight, which it would be if you were not specifying a time; though this could be a problem if you had an event that started at midnight.

it might work to have a separate checkbox to indicate "all day" and then use that to conditionally output the date with or without time, if you wanted it more foolproof;

here are the relevant changes:

$start = $event->getUnformatted($this->itemStartDateField);
if( date('His', $start) == "000000"  ) {
	$vevent->setProperty('dtstart', $this->ical_date($event->getUnformatted($this->itemStartDateField)),array("VALUE" => "DATE"));
} else {
	$vevent->setProperty('dtstart', $this->ical_date($event->getUnformatted($this->itemStartDateField)));
}
			
if($event->get($this->itemEndDateField)) {
	$end = $event->getUnformatted($this->itemEndDateField);
	if( date('His', $end) == "000000"  ) {
		$vevent->setProperty('dtend', $this->ical_date($event->getUnformatted($this->itemEndDateField)),array("VALUE" => "DATE"));
	} else {
		$vevent->setProperty('dtend', $this->ical_date($event->getUnformatted($this->itemEndDateField)));
	}
}

since this module also includes the full iCalcreator library, it could be extended to support repeating events and other cool things.. might experiment with it this summer;

They mention processwire, this module, also, on the main page http://kigkonsult.se/iCalcreator/index.php

Another thing that came up was the existence of special characters in the titles of the events.

The title field needed to be decoded or you end up with &amp\; in your feed:

$summary = html_entity_decode($event->get($this->itemSummaryField), ENT_QUOTES);
$vevent->setProperty('summary',$summary);
//$vevent->setProperty('summary',$event->get($this->itemSummaryField));

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They mention processwire, this module, also, on the main page http://kigkonsult.se/iCalcreator/index.php

cool link there is a former used addon linked from a php develloper i tested addon some years ago. Have used this one on a local township site for years now:

https://github.com/phpManufaktur/kitEvent

It has a lot of thirdparty requirements but repeating events, creates ical links, creates QR-codes on events, reusing "events" for new ones...like presets...but it just a element of a real big CRM application of my former used cms "kit" is called "Keep In Touch"...so events was a part of that app.....just funny to find such a old connection to the past....;)

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On 10/13/2011 at 12:44 PM, ffub said:

You are right to point out that the webcal: uri is informally used to denote iCal feeds. You can do this with the links in my examples above. While the [tt]->render[/tt] method will send the page as a download when accessed directly, I've tried it out with iCal and Google Calendar and it works just fine as a feed. If you wish to use the feed differently, such as sending different headers then [tt]->renderFeed[/tt] will let you do that. In addition to your suggested webcal:// link I tend to add Google Calendar links as many people use this now. Here's an example:


<?php
$gcalLink = urlencode($pages->get("/")->httpUrl . "events/ical");
echo "<a href='webcal://{$config->httpHost}/events/ical'>Subscribe to Calendar</a><br/>";
echo "<a href='https://www.google.com/calendar/render?cid=$gcalLink'>Add to Google Calendar</a>";
 

I've just implemented the module on a new site after replacing the iCalcreator library with the latest one as the bundled one doesn't work on PHP 7. 
I've done it the URL segment way suggested in the first post and used the ->render method.
A few notes to the subscription links to save you some time:

  • webcal:// links worked on my Mac in Safari offering to subscribe in the Calendar app. When using https://, Safari just downloads the .ics file instead.
  • For iOS the link must be https://, not webcal:// and also had to modify the URL segment to "ical.ics" to be properly recognised.
    iOS tries to add the events, not the subscription without the .ics extension. Webcal:// links did not do anything when tapped on iOS13, simply nothing happened.
  • The Google Calendar link must contain an ULR encoded HTTP:// link, https links will give an error message and won't work.

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