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2005/04/17 iCalendar,vCalendar,iCal

Now really, would you think that these are all the same thing? Well, you could get some techy argument here and there: somebody might insist that iCal should refer only to the Mac OS X app of that name and not to the iCalendar internet standard, and that neither one should be used to describe the underlying file format (vCalendar). But in common usage, it's all the same. That Mozilla picked Sunbird for their app's name is about the only thing that isn't all cross-pollinated and confused.

The data files Sunbird, Mac's iCal and any other conforming calendar app use are simple text files that look like this:


BEGIN:VCALENDAR
VERSION:2.0
X-WR-CALNAME;VALUE=TEXT:Home
PRODID:-//Apple Computer\, Inc//iCal 1.0//EN
X-WR-RELCALID;VALUE=TEXT:DB326BFD-4042-11D7-8D0D-000393D8DB98
X-WR-TIMEZONE;VALUE=TEXT:US/Eastern
CALSCALE:GREGORIAN
BEGIN:VEVENT
DTSTART;VALUE=DATE:20030905
SUMMARY:John's Birthday
UID:37932AE0-D1D6-11D7-A2EC-000393D8DB98
SEQUENCE:2
DTSTAMP:20030818T234706Z
DURATION:P1D
END:VEVENT
BEGIN:VEVENT
..
END:VEVENT
END:VCALENDAR
 

That one happens to be from Mac's iCal, but Sunbird's looks very much the same:

BEGIN:VCALENDAR
VERSION
 :2.0
PRODID
 :-//Mozilla.org/NONSGML Mozilla Calendar V1.0//EN
BEGIN:VEVENT
UID
 :352dda6c-1dd2-11b2-bca5-d66706070bd2
SUMMARY
 :Ihop meeting
STATUS
 :CONFIRMED
CLASS
 :PRIVATE
X-MOZILLA-ALARM-DEFAULT-UNITS
 :days
X-MOZILLA-ALARM-DEFAULT-LENGTH
 :1
X
 ;MEMBER=AlarmEmailAddress
 :[email protected]
X-MOZILLA-RECUR-DEFAULT-INTERVAL
 :2
RRULE
 :FREQ=WEEKLY;UNTIL=20050601;INTERVAL=2;BYDAY=WE
DTSTART
 :20050420T074500
DTEND
 :20050420T090000
DTSTAMP
 :20050415T175149Z
LAST-MODIFIED
 :20050415T180040Z
BEGIN:VALARM
TRIGGER
 ;VALUE=DURATION
 :-P1D
END:VALARM
END:VEVENT
BEGIN:VEVENT
UID
 :0e2fe7ae-1dd2-11b2-be9b-fb6785adc3de
STATUS
 :CONFIRMED
CLASS
 :PRIVATE
X-MOZILLA-ALARM-DEFAULT-LENGTH
 :1
X
 ;MEMBER=AlarmEmailAddress
 :[email protected]
X-MOZILLA-LASTALARMACK
 :20050415T141910
DTSTART
 :20050415T142000
DTEND
 :20050415T152000
DTSTAMP
 :20050415T181237Z
LAST-MODIFIED
 :20050415T181910Z
BEGIN:VALARM
TRIGGER
 ;VALUE=DURATION
 :-PT1M
END:VALARM
END:VEVENT
END:VCALENDAR
 

Obviously, reading or writing these files from another application wouldn't be particularly difficult.



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