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TAMU Webmaster's Blog

Information and insight from the A&M Webmasters

RSS and iCal

July 30th, 2007 by Erick Beck

The overview of the CMS products we had last week helped give us a better idea of how our ideas for the new university web site fit into content management. One of our primary goals was go get news content onto the front page through RSS syndication, and in this respect the systems hold up very well. Because all content in the system is already in XML format, importing information from another site that is managed by the system becomes increadibly easy.

Calendaring, however, is another matter. While all of the systems we looked at have support for calendaring at one level or another, it was not very robust in any of them. Events from sites in the system will be able to be imported with no problem, so this isn’t a concern for most of you. But gathering information from other sites not managed by the system could be problematic, and that’s exactly what we need to do for the university site. Most of these systems do not natively support the non-XML based iCal or other calendaring protocols. I’m still mulling over whether some 3rd party tool, such as PHP iCalendar, might be necessary as an intermediary layer. Of course more extensive training on the system might show this to be easier than it looks right now.

Monday, July 30th, 2007 CMS,
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2 Comments to RSS and iCal

  1. The calendaring issue is not surprising. Ben Floyd and I have been working on a new system for scheduling appointments at the University Writing Center, and the whole calendaring thing turned out to be much more complex than we realized when we started the project. For something that seems so simple at first glance, it is actually pretty complicated when you start figuring in recurrences and variances.

    Fun stuff! :^)

  2. Tracy Persky on July 30th, 2007
  3. Yeah, iCal really is the way to go rather than XML. It handles recurrence pretty well until you get way out on the fringes. I just wish there were more readily available parsers for it.

  4. Erick on July 31st, 2007

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