Observations from CalConnect XXXII in San Jose, California

CalConnect held its thirty-second Conference (XXXII) and Interoperability Test Event the week of January 26-30, 2015, hosted by Kerio Technologies in San Jose, California. This event was also the Tenth Anniversary of CalConnect’s first members meeting in January of 2005 at the University of Washington. The first day of the XXXII Conference was dedicated to the Tenth Anniversary Celebration, a look back at our first decade, and a look forward to the next decade of interoperable calendaring and scheduling.

The week led off with the Interoperability Test Even on Monday. The event had 24 participants from 14 organizations.

On Wednesday afternoon, we offered a special program for our Tenth Anniversary with 49 people in attendance, including twelve who came only for the celebration, plus 34 registered participants at CalConnect XXXII, which was held Thursday and Friday. We took this opportunity to leverage this milestone conference as a first step in reprogramming our conferences to be more engaging, more interactive, and more accessible to those not directly involved in the work or topic being presented. We augmented our traditional technical content with panel discussions, invited speakers, and special presentations, looking to transform attendees into active participants. Overall, the results of this initial effort were well received.

Here’s what’s trending from CalConnect XXXII:

Trending – Membership

Fastmail, based in Melbourne, Australia, joined CalConnect in December, bringing the 2014 new member total to 5. Fastmail is a hosted e-mail service which recently added an integrated calendaring service to their offerings.

Welcoming 2015, ZeeZide, based in Magdeburg, Germany, became our first new member of the new year. ZeeZide is a software development company interested in interoperability testing and standards.

Presently, over one third of CalConnect’s membership is international (not based in North America), including members in the U.K., several European countries, New Zealand, Australia, and Hong Kong.

Trending – Technical Committees and Provisional Committees (TCs and PCs)

  • TC-EVENTPUB will begin work on a proposal for QR codes for Calendar URIs.
  • TC-FREEBUSY has continued work on VPOLL and provided a live demonstration of three VPOLL-enabled (consensus scheduling) clients conducting a poll between three separate servers via iSchedule and VPOLL.
  • TC-SHARING has submitted its base specifications for WebDAV resource sharing and notifications (see below) and is beginning work on its calendar sharing specification.
  • TC-TASKS has submitted its Task Extensions to iCalendar and iCalendar Relations drafts (see below).

Trending – Interoperability Testing

The test event was extremely successful, with 24 participants from 14 organizations, including one non-member company. As always there was much testing of CalDAV features, including new and under development capabilities such as CalDAV PUSH, Calendar/ Contact Sharing and VPOLL. Unlike recent test events we saw a lot of iMIP testing including much testing against Microsoft Exchange. We also conducted BOF sessions on CalDAV PUSH, the possibility of QR codes for Calendar URIs, and a focus session on the CalDAV Tester Suite for new users. A more detailed accounting of the test event is available at CalConnect Interoperability Test Event Reports.

Trending – Special Events: CalConnect Tenth Anniversary Celebration

Wednesday afternoon was dedicated to a celebration of CalConnect’s Tenth Anniversary; our first real members’ meeting was held in January of 2005 at the University of Washington. We had a number of invited guests present in addition to the participants attending the regular CalConnect Conference, resulting in a fairly packed room of 46.

Special sessions for the Celebration included the History of CalConnect; The Freebusy
“Challenge”; Calendaring as a Platform; and a panel discussion on the Future of Calendaring. Additionally, we had two invited speakers: Lisa Dusseault, the original author of CalDAV, spoke on the trials and tribulations of committee standards development, and Steve Allen from the University of California Lick Observatory on “The Time People Want”, an exploration of the history of the measurement of time and time zones. Our special thanks to all our invited guests and speakers for making our Tenth Anniversary event so engaging.

Trending – Documents, Specifications and Standards

Much of the work in CalConnect is focused on specifications to be submitted as internet drafts to the IETF, with the goal of having them progressed to become RFCs; other work is published directly by CalConnect itself or submitted to other organizations.

CalConnect is currently working on seventeen specifications intended for the IETF. Of those seventeen, ten are currently at the IETF:

STATUS: AD review prior to IETF last call

Non-Gregorian Recurrence Rules in iCalendar https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-calext-rscale/
This document defines how non-Gregorian recurrence rules can be specified in iCalendar data.

STATUS: working group last call (TZDIST)

Time Zone Data Distribution Service https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-tzdist-service/
This document defines a time zone data distribution service that allows reliable, secure and fast delivery of time zone data to client systems such as calendaring and scheduling applications or operating systems.

Accepted by IETF Working Groups as WG Drafts

Calendar Availability https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-daboo-calendar-availability/
This document specifies a new iCalendar calendar component VAVAILABILITY that allows the publication of available and unavailable time periods associated with a calendar user. This component can be used in standard iCalendar free-busy lookups, including iTIP free-busy requests, to generate repeating blocks of available or busy time with exceptions as needed.

New Properties for iCalendar https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-daboo-icalendar-extensions/
This document defines a set of new properties for iCalendar data.

CalDAV: Time Zones by Reference http://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-tzdist-caldav-timezone-ref/
This document defines an extension to the CalDAV calendar access protocol to allow clients and servers to exchange iCalendar data without the need to send full time zone data.

Updated drafts already at IETF not yet adopted by a Working Group

Improved Support for iCalendar Relationships http://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-douglass-ical-relations/
This specification updates RELATED-TO and introduces new iCalendar properties LINK and RELATED-ID to allow better linking and grouping of iCalendar components and related data.

VPOLL: Consensus Scheduling Component for iCalendar https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-york-vpoll/
This specification introduces a new iCalendar component which allows for consensus scheduling, that is voting on a number of alternative meeting or task alternatives.

New submissions to the IETF

Task Extensions to iCalendar https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-apthorp-ical-tasks/
This document defines extensions to the Internet Calendaring and Scheduling Core Object Specification (iCalendar) to provide improved status tracking, scheduling and specification of tasks.

WebDAV: User Notifications https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-pot-webdav-notifications/
This specification defines an extension to WebDAV that allows the server to provide notifications to users.

WebDAV Resource Sharing https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-pot-webdav-resource-sharing/
This specification defines an extension to WebDAV that enables the sharing of resources between users on a WebDAV server.

Trending – Organizationally

Pamela Taylor, one of the original Directors of CalConnect and who served on the
Board of Directors until last year, and Dave Thewlis, the Executive Director of CalConnect who has also served on the Board of Directors from CalConnect’\’s inception, were honored with the CalConnect Distinguished Service Award.

Wrapping it all together

CalConnect wishes to again thank Kerio Technologies for helping to make CalConnect XXXII such a productive and enjoyable week, and to the organizations and individuals who participated in the event and in the Tenth Anniversary Celebration.

The next CalConnect event will take place May 18-22, 2015, in Bucharest, Romania, hosted by 1and1. We’ll be posting more information about this event going forward, and we invite you to join us and learn more about what we are doing — and participate in the work going forward.

Kerio Technologies Press Release about CalConnect XXXII – our Tenth Anniversary Event

Kerio Technologies hosted CalConnect XXXII, our Tenth Anniversary Event, in San Jose, California last month, and posted this press release about the event:

CalConnect Welcomes ZeeZide

CalConnect welcomes ZeeZide GmbH as a member of the Consortium. ZeeZide, based in Magdeburg, Germany, is a software development company interested in interoperability testing and standards.

Only a week until CalConnect XXXII and our 10th Anniversary Celebration

CalConnect XXXII is next week — January 26-30, in San Jose, California. And the 10th anniversary celebration is Wednesday the 28th from noon to six, with a reception to follow. No fee is required to attend the 10th anniversary celebration, but you do have to register so we know how many are coming! See CalConnect 10th Anniversary Celebration for more information, the basic schedule, and a link to the registration page. Space has become limited, so register soon if you plan to come!

For more info about the entire CalConnect week including the interoperability testing (first part of the week) and the conference itself (Thursday and Friday) see CalConnect XXXII.

See you in San Jose!

CalConnect Welcomes FastMail

CalConnect welcomes FastMail as a member of the Consortium. FastMail, based in Melbourne, Australia, is a hosted e-mail service with additional features including calendaring support.

CalConnect Celebrates its Tenth Anniversary in January 2015!

CalConnect’s first conference was held in January 2005 so the upcoming 32nd conference will be our tenth anniversary meeting – and we’re planning a celebration!

We invite those active in Calendaring & Scheduling, or with a strong interest in this and related fields, to join us in celebrating our Tenth Anniversary at the Hotel De Anza in San Jose, California on Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 for lunch, the afternoon program, and an evening reception. Please see Tenth Anniversary Celebration for more information.

The Celebration will take place during CalConnect XXXII, hosted by Kerio Technologies in San Jose California, on January 26-30, 2015; registration is now open for CalConnect XXXII. You don’t have to be registered for CalConnect XXXII to come to the Celebration, but we’d love to have you stay for the Conference.

Observations from CalConnect XXXI in Bedford, United Kingdom

CalConnect held its thirty-first Conference and Interoperability Test Event the week of September 29 – October 3, hosted by Youcanbook.me in Bedford, United Kingdom.

The week led off with the Interoperability test Event on Monday, which had 15 participants from 9 organizations onsite, plus an additional 4 people from 3 members participating remotely. On Wednesday afternoon, the Conference opened with 19 participants from 13 members present, plus several others joining remotely for one or more sessions. Following our usual practice for European conferences, the regular Conference sessions were held largely in the afternoon, with Thursday and Friday mornings dedicated to Workshops and BoFs (Birds of a Feather sessions).

Here’s what’s trending from CalConnect XXXI:

Trending – Membership

In the weeks immediately preceding CalConnect XXXI, two organizations joined CalConnect, raising the total to four new members since our May event.

  • Burbio, based in Burbio, based in Pelham, New York, offers a calendar sharing and synchronization platform built for local communities such as suburban towns.
  • SmoothSync, based in Dresden, Germany, offers a synchronization tool for Android apps syncing with iCloud and Yahoo.

Trending – Technical Committees (TC’s) and Provisional Committees (PC’s)

  • TC FREEBUSY provided a live demo of a VPOLL (consensus scheduling) client, and expects to be able to demonstrate multiple clients and servers at the next CalConnect Event featuring multiple implementations each on its own server via iSCHEDULE (server-server scheduling).
  • TC FSC (Federated Shared Calendars) and TC SHARING (Contacts and Calendar Sharing for CalDAV and CardDAV) were formed from the Contacts Sharing and FSC Provisional Committees at the end of the last event, and offered their first sessions as Technical Committees at this event.

Trending – Interoperability testing

The interoperability testing was very successful, with 15 participants onsite from 9 members; additionally 4 people from 3 members attended the test event remotely. As always much testing of various CalDAV features. Some new implicit scheduling implementations testing against clients. TC IOPTEST will start building a list of areas to test next time immediately – starting early may help to provide some specific implementation goals. In particular we hope to have initial implementations of the PUSH specifications being developed by TC PUSH.. A more detailed accounting of the interoperability testing is available at CalConnect Interoperability Test Event Reports.

Trending – Special Events

Two Workshops were held on Thursday morning and Friday morning: Groups Scheduling and Sharing and History and Comment Feeds in iCalendar. A Birds of a Feather session on developing a unified Calendaring & Scheduling Architecture was also held on Friday. All three subjects seem likely to result in new work areas for CalConnect, and will probably be returned to at the next event for further exploration.

Trending – Documents, Specifications and Standards

Much of the work in CalConnect is focused on specifications to be submitted as internet drafts to the IETF with the goal of helping progressing them to become RFCs (Proposed Standards); other work is published directly by CalConnect itself or submitted to other standards organizations.

Published documents :

CalConnect internet drafts adopted for progression via IETF Working Groups:

Updated internet drafts and published RFCs:

Trending – Organizationally

Mike Douglass of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was the fifth recipient of the CalConnect Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Douglass has been active in CalConnect since 2005, and currently serves as the Chair of TC EVENTPUB, TC IOPTEST, TC TIMEZONE, and the co-Chair of TC FREEBUSY, in addition to being the CalConnect Interoperability Test Manager since 2011.

Wrapping it all together

CalConnect wishes to again thank Youcanbook.me for helping to make CalConnect XXXI such a productive and enjoyable week, and to the organizations who participated in the event. Youcanbook.me did an outstanding job with event logistics, hosting our conference at The Higgins Museum in Bedford, a departure from our usual conference rooms at member facilities or the occasional hotel, and we enjoyed The Higgins and its onsite caterers and restaurant The Pantry very much.

The next CalConnect event will take place January 26-30, 2015 in San Jose, California,hosted by Kerio Technologies. We’ll be posting more information about this event going forward, and we invite you to join us and learn more about what we are doing moving forward.

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