The Adventures of Systems Boy!

Confessions of a Mac SysAdmin...

Publish iCal Calendars on the Internet for Free

Ever want to share your iCal calendars on the 'net? Well, I have. Unfortunately, iCal publishing requires a server that runs the WebDAV protocol. Apple's .Mac offers such a service, and .Mac, indeed, uses WebDAV. But .Mac costs money, and I've never seen a compelling enough reason to pay for it. Setting up iCal on a Macintosh server is also fairly easy, but it's an awful lot of trouble to go to and a waste of resources if all you're interested in is sharing your iCal calendars. But today I've discovered an easier — and free — way to do just that.

Box.net offers 1 GB of online file storage for free. The data is accessible via the web, so you can get to it from any connected computer. They have a web interface for accessing you files. On Windows they also have client software that lets you access your data as though it were on a shared volume, right from the Desktop. But on the Mac you can connect to it right from the Finder using the ever-trusty "Connect to Server..." command (or command-k) in the "Go" menu. How is this possible you ask? Because the Mac Finder has WebDAV accessibility built right in. And because box.net shares it's data via the WebDAV protocol.

If you haven't put it together yet, this means you can use your free box.net account to host your iCal calendars. The process would go something like this:

  1. Sign up for a free box.net account. It's easy as pie, and faster than a bat out of hell. Give 'em your email, a password, and you are d-o-n-e, done. (NOTE: Obviously, to share the calendar with others, they'll need the URL and the box.net username and password, so you might want to make sure you set this account up with information you don't mind giving out. Use a second, private account for stuff you want to keep secure.)
  2. To access your box.net account via the Finder, click "Connect to Server..." and type "https://www.box.net/dav" into the URL field of the connection window. (NOTE: Some folks are unable to connect using the "https" protocol. If this fails for you, try it with "http" instead. Either one works for me.) You will be prompted for username (the email you used to register the account) and your box.net password. Enter these and your online data will appear on the Desktop in a volume called "dav" which will be pre-populated with a few default folders.
  3. But to publish your iCal calendar, just open iCal, select the calendar you want to share and choose "Publish" from the "Calendar" pulldown menu.


    (click for larger view)

  4. In the dialog box that follows, name your calendar (or keep the existing name if it suits you), for "Publish on:" select "Private Server," enter "https://www.box.net/dav/Documents" for the "Base URL:" and enter your box.net username and password in the "Login:" and "Password:" fields respectively. (NOTE: Here, too, secure http sometimes fails, so if you have trouble try using "http" instead of "https".)

  5. You might also want to check or uncheck some of the checkboxes at the bottom, depending on your needs.
  6. Finally, hit "Publish" to publish the calendar. You'll see your calendar now sports the "I'm Published" icon just to its right.
  7. To subscribe to this calendar (say, from another computer), choose "Subscribe" in the"Calendar" pull-down menu.
  8. In the URL field enter:
    "http://www.box.net/dav/Documents/YourCalendar.ics"
    (where "YourCalendar" is the name of the calendar you just published).


    (click for larger view)

    Be careful NOT to enter "https" here. Just use the "http" protocol to subscribe. Enter your box.net username and password at the prompt and you'll suddenly find yourself subscribed to your own calendar.


    (click for larger view)

  9. A final note: Updates to the calendar take some time. Hitting refresh too often (like every minute or so) on a subscribed calendar will generate an error. Just wait and let iCal do it's thing and it will keep everthing up to date. No pun intended.

I'm not sure if many people will find this useful. But to me it seems like a good way to share you iCal calendars, either between remote locations (like work and home) or between groups of people, like friends, family or members of an organization. And hey, it's completely free. How cool is that?

UPDATE 1:
A lot of people have written in with great suggestions, alternatives to and variations on this process, including a page for similarly configuring Sunbird. Please read the comments for more useful information.

UPDATE 2:
I have added a note to the publishing instructions in this article regarding the use of "https". In a nutshell, both publishing and subscribing sometimes fail because of problems with secure http. This is something I receive a lot of comments about and I just wanted to clear things up. If you are having trouble either publishing or subscribing, try doing so using "http" instead of "https". While somewhat less secure, it tends to be far more reliable.

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12:55 PM

I had to remove the "s" in from the URL you listed in order to connect.

http://www.box.net/dav

thanks for the helpful tip! : )

I'm loving that there's finally an easier way to publish calendars!

thomas    



1:29 PM

Thanks, Thomas. I've added a note to the article regarding this problem. Glad it's working for you.

-systemsboy    



1:57 PM

I've got a neat way that you can show your public google ical to other people...

http://cal.orgbit.com

I think they're gonna support ical urls, then maybe the box.com authenticated urls :)    



2:37 PM

That's pretty cool, but... Can't people already see your public Google calendars? I'm not sure I see the point of this. Also, it's intensely slow right now for some reason.

There's also this, for publishing calendars on the web, but it's kind of a different thing:
http://www.icalx.com/

BTW, I skimmed your blog a bit. Looks nice. Keep it up.

-systemsboy    



3:07 AM

One step nearer. But what one really needs is SYNC capability (two-way). Care to knock-up an imitation of .Mac's iCal sync... ?    



11:27 AM

http://www.gregwestin.com/webdav_for_ical.php
On this page you can find a step by step to create your own WebDav server, only with the built-in Apache server of MacOS X client

Beber    



12:30 PM

Rob,

Having never used .Mac I didn't realize it did two-way sync. That's actually a very cool feature. I assume that it works with Safari bookmarks and the like. .Mac has been a temptation to me for years, but I just don't need it badly enough to shell out the dough. Fortunately, there are free ways to do the two or three things I want the most. I wish, though, that .Mac offered more granular payment options. If I could pay per-service, I'd probably do it. Alas, it's not the Apple way. Oh well.

Thanks for mentioning the two-way sync. And no, I will not be mocking up my own version. I'm far too lazy for that, though I have read some possible solutions. They sound painful:
http://www.drijf.net/dototto/
http://www.drijf.net/dototto/wwwmac.html
http://www.drijf.net/dototto/webdav.html

Cheers!

-systemsboy    



12:32 PM

Beber,

Cool. Thanks. There are some additional tips on WebDAV in the links in the above comment.

-systemsboy    



1:10 PM

Cool tip. Btw, by adapting your instructions for use on a Windows XP box, I was able to get my Firefox calendar plug-in to publish and subscribe to the calendar I published to Box.net. Thanks for the info!    



1:18 PM

Adam,

That sounds intriguing. I'll have to check that out.

Thanks!

-systemsboy    



4:08 PM

Your description and instructions are spot on - I am well known for not following instructions well and managed to get up to Published in just a few minutes.

For people like me who follow the text before reading to the end - number nine could be incorporated into number 1 along the lines of "Give 'em your email, a password you don't mind sharing with those who will be subscribing, and you are d-o-n-e, done."

I had to go back and change from my *use it everywhere* password to a general one.

Thank you very much. I have been waiting for a long time to find a system as easy as this!    



6:16 PM

Am I wrong or is your tutorial not working with the free box.net account?

I could publish my calendar to the box.net account but when i tried to subscribe to my calendar Google Calendar only said "could not fetch the URL". No question for a username and PW. It is also not possible to get a direct link to the ics-files in the box.net account...only if you upgrade.    



6:50 PM

This process is not intended for Google Calendar. It is only intended for use with the iCal application, though it may work with others.

-systemsboy    



6:51 PM

Any Danger,

Glad this works well for you. I have incorported your suggestion into the article. You know, for the instructionally challenged.

-systemsboy    



7:43 PM

You know, for the instructionally challenged.

GRIN

That'd be me then!    



9:36 PM

Thanks Systems Boy!!    



11:49 PM

When I load a file into my Box Document's folder by webDav it up loads then vanishes from the mac finder window. It's really there since I can see it from the Safari file browser on the Box Site. It just is invisble on the mac. Any ideas how to make the files visible on the mac side?    



11:56 AM

@Gurney, it's a bug with box.net, it happens when there are spaces in the filenames. See the link below for more info, and some app you can upload bunches of files with (save you having to rename a lot of files).

http://techpaedia.com/apple/2006/06/08/boxnet-on-your-mac-filename-bug-workaround/    



1:16 PM

Thanks for clearing that up, James. I had no idea.

-systemsboy    



11:31 PM

getting an error trying to publish from Outlook 2007. It says:

"There was a problem uploading the file to the server. Error parsing server's file property response."

any ideas guys?    



3:20 AM

Have tried to follow these instructions but it completely fails for me for no clear reason. Tried everything and box.net will take the published calendar but then my laptop iCal when it tries to subscribe and download can't get anything.    



4:06 AM

Thanks systemboy for the post on box.net---I had no idea about this service. wish I knew BEFORE I shelled out for .mac account, but your tip will certainly help a lot of friends when I show them the post.    



2:52 PM

Does it work with Sunbird or the Firefox extension?    



3:08 PM

Coming soon to servers near you is CalDAV, a version of WebDAV specific to calendaring. There is an open source CalDAV server in the works: cosmo.osafoundation.org.

disclosure: I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation, writing the Open Source app "Chandler", which is a CalDAV client.    



4:08 PM

Wanted to post back some responses to the latest comments as I've been away from the computer most of this weekend.

Re. xxdesmus' Outlook 2007 error:
Sorry, I don't use Outlook and I never have, so I can't really help you with this. Bummer.

Re. anonymous' complete failure:
Make sure you're not using "https" to subscribe. Use only "http" in the subscription address. As always, be sure everything is spelled correctly and that the paths are correct. Beyond that, as I've not had any such problems, I have no suggestions.

Re. anonymous' .Mac lament: Take heart. There is still a lot you can do with .Mac. And apparently .Mac allows 2-way sync (editable published calendars, I guess) so it's not a total loss.

Re. anonymous' Sunbird/Firefox question:
I've been playing with Sunbird a bit recently, and this technique SHOULD work with it. But Sunbird has been very buggy with my remote calendars (both iCal- and Sunbird-generated), so your mileage may vary. I'm not sure what Firefox extension you're referring to as there are about 80 bajillion of them.

Re. clith's CalDAV comment:
Yes, I noticed CalDAV support in Sunbird but hadn't heard of it before then, and I don't know the difference between the two. Maybe I should RTFM, eh? In any case, upon cursory inspection, Chandler looks great. I am very interested in checking it out. I have some tricky online calendaring needs for one of the staff here. I've been looking at various solutions — hence my experiments with Sunbird — and will definitely check out Chandler. BTW, the link in your comment is wrong. (Looks like you missed the "d.") Folks, the Open Source Applications Foundation is here:
http://www.osafoundation.org/

Go check it out. And thanks, everyone, for reading and commenting.

-systemsboy    



7:56 AM

I've used iCalX for a few years now but it has been buggy. I sure wish the kind person who set it up would update the version of PHP iCalendar.

The benefit of using iCalX is that you can allow people to either subscribe to the calendar or view it online. I suspect that using box.net is more geared for personal use rather than sharing (because some people may just want to view your calendar online).

Your thoughts?    



7:12 PM

Rob Fay,

Yeah, the iCal/Box.net solution is really for iCal to iCal shares, and doesn't allow viewing in a browser. I use it to see home calendars at work and work calendars at home. But I don't want that info publicly available. The same could be true of friends who want to share calendars, or small workgroups. I have to admit, though, I didn't realize that iCalX will allow subscription through the iCal application. I thought it ONLY did publishing to a web page.

So, yeah, this solution is maybe better for folks who don't want iCal shared out to the world, but rather just to specific individuals who use iCal or some other form of desktop calendar application, for whatever that's worth. Plus, it's just kind of cool.

-systemsboy    



6:40 PM

You're a legend. Thanks. :-D    



6:58 PM

This is a great way to share without dot mac. I have been using icalx, and it works.. but goes down now and again.. and I don't think their web page has been updated in years...    



12:19 PM

You might want to also check out http://ifreebusy.com... similar to icalx.com, but with an updated version of phpicalendar... it also does translation to freebusy format so that MS Outlook users can subscribe to your availability. Finally, it has a web-based freebusy view that you can send to others when you are looking for compatible meeting times.

Disclaimer: I'm the creator of the site.    



3:05 AM

System Boy,

Thanks for the awesome directions. I have been racking my brain and searching all over the internet how to even publish with webdav or caldav.

The story behind it is that i recently upgraded to Windows XP MCE (multimedia Center) which the palm desktop software is not compatable. So for the last week or so I have been trying to figure out how I am going to live with my palm and no desktop access. I have resigned to keeping a separate calendar on the desktop until I can figure out an alternative.

The solution is Sunbird from mozilla. I was noticing the publish features and started my quest. With some doing, as someone else mentioned, I was able to create, share, and remote access using sunbird and box.net. This is awesome. If you would like me to i can write up my steps to this process. I am not a big techincal writer but we can try my hand at it.

Thanks again, you really saved my bacon!! 8*)    



4:42 PM

Quick Responses:

Neil,
I will definitely check out ifreebusy. Looks pretty cool.

Rob,
Yes, this technique works with Sunbird, and with Sunbird there is the added advantage that calendars can be set up as readable — iCal prohibits this with anything other than .Mac (bastards!). If you would like to post instructions in the comments, that would be fabulous. Otherwise I leave it as an exercise for the reader (though not a terribly difficult one).

Thanks, all!

-systemsboy    



7:25 PM

Hey guys,

For setting up Sunbird I made a site for others in my family. you may have to tweak these some, like the directory name. Hope it helps, if you need to ask questions of me you can e-mail at jrhicks@wyohicks.com

http://calendar.wyohicks.com    



2:42 PM

Thanks, Rob. I've linked to your instructions in an update to the main body of the article.

-systemsboy    



9:27 AM

If you use iBlogger you can set up a blog using box.net's Webdav too!    



5:58 AM

Does .mac really do two-way synchronisation? http://www.apple.com/dotmac/ only says 'view your iCal calendar online', it doesn't mention being able to edit it.    



1:31 PM

trin trini,
Wow! Cool. That's a great tip.

Anonymous,
I don't know that .Mac does two-way calendar sync. I've never actually used it. Another commentor suggested that it does.

-systemsboy    



10:10 AM

Unfortunately, you cannot subscribe from Google Calendar unless you upgrade, since they don't let you access your calendar through a public link with the free account.    



10:59 AM

I found this post very useful- much obliged.    



5:52 PM

I first tried your solution and then realized it doesn't work for Google Calendar, since username and password is required to look at the calendar on box.net. It's also not possible to show the calendar as a webpage, as it is with .mac. However, the solution to all this appeared to be http://www.icalx.com/ This does all that for free. Try it! It's great!    



12:41 AM

Is there a way for someone who does not have a Mac (Windows) see your iCal? If so, please let me know    



1:02 AM

Yes, you can do the exact same thing with a calendar application called Sunbird, which is free and works on Mac, Windows and Linux.

It's made by the same folks who make the Firefox browser. Get it here:
http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/sunbird/

Enjoy!

-systemsboy    



2:38 AM

Thanks so much for the very well-put-together guide!

Ryan Origin    



8:17 PM

I have tried doing two way sync with iCal through .mac. It just says that Calendar's that you subscribe to are read only. Only the person sharing the calendar can edit.    



8:26 PM

Ah ha! So there you have it. There is no advantage to sharing calendars via .mac versus over box.net.

Thanks for the info.

-systemsboy    



12:55 PM

Hi Systems Boy and Friends,

Thank you for the useful and clearly-presented information. I'm thrilled to have the ability to publish and subscribe calendars with my Mac-user colleagues. We also have PC users at our non-profit, and to be really useful we need to include them in the fold. So I am searching for the solution. My investigations lead me to conclude that MS Outlook 2003 doesn't support the ics format or WebDav. So I need a plug-in or some other client for my PC people.

Checking into RemoteCalendars on SourceForge- I'll let you know how that pans out. So far the installation has been unsuccessful.

Also intrigued by the Firefox plug-in; will try that.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,
Deanne
Sonoma Ecology Center
California    



1:08 PM

Deanne,

Try Sunbird. It works on Mac and Windows, is free, and works with Box.net similarly to what's outlined in the post in terms of sharing. One reader has even posted instructions on how to set it up:
http://calendar.wyohicks.com

Cheers!

-systemsboy    



1:30 PM

the answer to the PC problem is...

Mozilla Sunbird!

Beautiful calendar software that subscribes and publishes over WebDav.

Get it at
http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/releases/sunbird0.3.html

Deanne    



1:24 PM

Hi All,
Well I thought the answer was Sunbird, but it seems buggy. After first installing it I was able to subscribe to my box.net calendars just fine. But later I found that a whole sequence in the subscription set-up was missing- it acts like I'm adding a local calendar, and the part about logging in to the remote location is completely gone. has anyone else seen this?

I'll try the other things people have talked about here. I'm starting to think it's just impossible for people to share calendars, which is pretty sad in this day and age!

Deanne    



11:43 AM

Thank you for this, you have saved me a lot of time!    



12:18 PM

hey there,

thought i'd followed the instructions to the book, but after hitting publish i'm getting a message:

"Error : Calender could not be published. There was an unknown network error (-2)"

I'm probably doing something wrong! any ideas?    



3:31 PM

Jon,

Don't know what could cause that error. I'm able to publish without issues. It's possible Box.net servers were down for a time when you tried. You might try again. But it doesn't sound like something you've done wrong. I've attempted to reproduce the problem, but I can't. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Let me know if you figure it out.

-systemsboy    



8:21 PM

you rock. thanks.    



7:39 PM

Thanks systemsboy - weeks of searching and finally I've come across a real solution. You're a genius!!

Brett    



8:42 PM

icalx seems to be down a bit, and not being supported, I recommend icalshare.com.
-Kiki    



4:33 PM

Hi Systemsboy
I have followed your instructions but how do i set up my system so that I can update all my ical diaries on all my different machines? And if I edit an entry on my ibook can it than update/sync with my imac? Many thanks
Nick    



5:40 PM

Nick,

If your calendars are all located on a server, and you subscribe to them via various machines, they will all be synchronized. Unfortunately, iCal will only allow write-access to a calendar on the machine from which that calendar was published. So, for instance, I can modify my "Work" calendar only from my work computer, because that's the computer that publishes the calendar.

"Syncing" calendars between machines would be exceptionally tricky business as it would require a merge of data. It might be possible to roll your own solution, but it's not something I would ever want to bother attempting.

-systemsboy    



6:17 PM

Looks like iCal publishing on box.net, which used to work fine for me, is now busted. From the box.net website it looks like their redoing a lot of stuff and I wonder if they are dropping WebDAV support. Any thoughts?    



6:01 AM

I had to remove the s from the https and when I logged in there were no folders so I just left it at dav/.

Its working fine

Thanks a heap. Keep the good work going    



6:12 AM

I am a trainer, www.lead.org.in. and had wanted to create a separate login into my laptop for my official work and personal work. Unfortunately I had been using a single Ical all this time.

Your tips helped me solve the problem between both my logins. Thanks a heap.    



3:08 PM

"Looks like iCal publishing on box.net, which used to work fine for me, is now busted."

Here's a nice alternative, and it's real easy to setup.
Just create an account. You van even Private publishing which means that only people you want to can view or subscribe to you calendars.

http://www.mac-net.nl/free-ical-hosting.html    



4:27 PM

(Love your tips!)I am a teacher trying to use box.net and blogger. I store my lectures (power point slides) in box.net. I would like a quick and easy way to post them directly to my blog. I know the option is in box.net but it wont work, the power point documents dont show up.
Any thoughts?    



6:34 PM

I've been looking for such a technique for a while. I'm having trouble though. When I try to publish, I get the following error message:

Publish failed for Calendar testcal
Calendar https://username%40domainname.net@www.box.net/dav/Documents/testcal.ics could not be found.    



6:35 PM

Sorry, the rest of that line is:

dav/Documents/testcal.ics    



2:34 PM

Anonymous teacher person,

There must be some kind of hard link to your Box.net documents. Couldn't you just post that? That's the easiest thing I can think of, but I only use Box for iCal stuff.

Thanks! Glad you like the site.

-systemsboy    



2:38 PM

Anonymous person whose publishing is failing,

You might try omitting the "s" in the protocol section of the URL. Like this:
http://link.to.your.calendar

Not this:
https://link.to.your.calendar

Sometimes https doesn't work reliably on Box.net.

-systemsboy    



10:47 AM

Just wanted to simply say, "Thank you!" Mostly because I've been using my laptop at work until we got a desktop for me to use. Well, we finally got one and now I was wondering how I'm going to get all my calendars over to the new computer. [I have like 10 calendars :\ ]

A long long time ago, a friend mentioned signing up for box.net for free online storage, and I haven't been using it for sometime, especially now that I got an external hard drive. I'm so happy that my box.net account is very handy to have now!!

This quick little tutorial was a fast, easy, and FREE solution and I appreciate the work you put into this, especially adding everyone's feedback to make it work for so many people, including myself.

Again, THANK YOU!!!

-stevie ann    



12:36 PM

Stevie,

Thanks for the praise. It's much appreciated.

-systemsboy    



10:21 AM

Unfortunately, it appears that box.net is no longer free.    



10:29 AM

steelie,

Box.net still offers a free online storage plan. It's 1 GB of space, and 10 GBs of bandwidth. This should be more than enough for iCal sharing:
http://www.box.net/info/pricing-plans

-systemsboy    



2:12 PM

If you are considering icalshare know this, I published a calendar to it as a test. But it does not do "daily" updates, and emails to the admin, "like take my calendar down!",are never answered. It is great for say a sports season calendar download, but not daily work.

Thanks so much for the box.net idea and others. A lifesaver for this non-profit..

-kurt    



7:10 PM

Thanks Kurt!

-systemsboy    



4:16 PM

Geesh. You just made my day. I've been looking all over for the reason I wasn't able to log into box.net on my mac and there it is. http and not https. Thanks a ton!
Jeff    



11:27 AM

No problem, Jeff.

-systemsboy    



1:33 PM

You have no idea how long I spent trying to figure this out with our own server. Thanks for the box.net idea!

-Jason    



11:36 AM

Brilliant tip Systems Boy! This has worked a treat and our little business is much more synced up now ;-)

Cheers    



3:48 PM

This worked great for us. had to remove the "s" after http!

thanks!    



7:05 PM

I had my calendars linked using your method for a few months and it worked great. After I updated my system software the other day, I can't publish calendars anymore. When I click the publish button I only have 2 choices for servers - .Mac or Webdav. It doesn't give me the option of a private server. Any ideas?    



9:18 AM

Brice,

As noted in the article, iCal calendar sharing happens over WebDAV. Apple appears to have simply changed the wording from the vague "private server" to the more specific "WebDAV" option in Leopard. Choosing WebDAV should do what you want, though I haven't tried it yet so I can't give you any specifics.

Let me know if it works out for you.

-systemsboy    



10:31 AM

Actually, I just tried this in Leopard and it works exactly the same way as it always did. So, I'm not sure what's going on with your system. Either way, though, WebDAV should work.

-systemsboy    



1:12 PM

No luck with publishing using WebDAV server (vs. the previous option of a private server). I get a network error. Any ideas?    



10:59 AM

Brice,

What did you update your software to? I don't see an option change like that at all in Leopard. Or anywhere else for that matter. Something sounds very broken on your system to me. But more specifics might help.

-systemsboy    



12:18 PM

I am on Panther, not Leopard.

-Brice    



1:17 PM

Well, I've never tried this on Panther. It's possible that the version you've updated to does something to break WebDAV or calendar sharing in general. But that's so far back, OS-wise, there's just no way for me to know or even test it.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

-systemsboy    



5:18 PM

man...I really want to get this to work. Unfortunately...it isn't letting me publish my calendar. I keep getting an error:
"Calendar https://johndough%40hotmail.com@www.box.net/dav/Documents/Home.ics could not be found."

Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?    



9:37 PM

Yup. Try publishing without the "s" in the "http" header. Sometimes secure WebDAV breaks on Box.net. Looks like that is currently the case.

-systemsboy    



10:13 PM

Hey I'm getting
The server responded with
"HTTP/1.1 409 Conflict"

whenever I try to publish my calendar. Any ideas?    



10:20 PM

Not a clue. Sounds like a problem on the Box.net end, but I'm not enough of an http guru to know for sure. It might help me if you told me what you put in the Base URL field.

-systemsboy    



8:49 AM

Thanks! I can't believe I've been looking for this type of solution for years and just now found your post.    



10:37 AM

t is the web link i need to use to view the calendar from another computer?

Thanks    



11:07 AM

Not to be a dick about it, but this information is already included in the article under steps 7 and 8.

-systemsboy    



1:25 PM

Thanks, this works very well. Only issue is that alarms are not transferred even though I click the right buttons during publish and subscribe. Any idea if this is possible?
George    



11:11 AM

George,

Yes, I am able to transfer alarms and to-dos. The trick is this: on the receiving computer — the one subscribed to the calendar — you must un-check "alarms" and "To Do Items" from the "remove" section of the Info window for the subscribed calendar. After doing this and refreshing the calendar, my alarms and to-dos showed up. I don't believe, however, that alarms will be active anywhere but on the host computer. I am testing this theory, and will post back if it turns out to be false.

-systemsboy    



12:58 PM

I have done that. It seems to be a problem with Leopard iCal. When I publish from a Tiger iCal, the alarms are not visible when I subscribe from a Leopard iCal. The reverse is OK. But if they are not functional it doesn't matter that much.
Many thanks
George    



1:04 PM

Hmmm... That is strange. Sounds like a bug to me. Oh well. Sorry I'm not more help.

Post back if you find a fix.

Thanks.

-systemsboy    



2:40 PM

Fixed. Simply get info on the subscribed calendar and click OK without changing anything. The alarms appear and they are functional. It seems that when you first subscribe to a calendar in Leopard it creates the calendar before you unclick the "remove alarms" button - you can actually see the calendar appearing on the left panel while the subscription settings window is open. So even if you have unclicked the button, the calendar stays without alarms. This doesn't happen in Tiger where the calendar is created after you close the subscription window.    



4:25 PM

r those having erros like "1.1 408", or other things, take out the "/document/" stuff at the end of the URL given in this tutorial.

Worked for me.    



5:04 PM

Anonymous,

Thanks for that tip! There was at least one person on this thread who was getting an "HTTP/1.1 409 Conflict" error.

So, if you're getting that error when publishing, folks, try leaving out the "Documents" part of the publishing URL. When you do this, you're publishing straight to the top level of your Box.net account, which is fine. Publishing to the Documents folder in your Box account isn't necessary, but it helps keep things a bit tidy for the computationally anal (me).

-systemsboy    



9:15 AM

systemsboy,

Great article, thanks a million.

I'm seeing "creeping password loss." Two of our Macs each share two calendars to the other Mac. Everything worked great for a week or so, then one calendar stopped syncing, saying the username or password was wrong. After retyping the password, the problem went away until the next time iCal was launched.

Now three of the four calendars are showing the same problem.

I read through all 98 comments. I saw the hint about using 'http' instead of 'https', but I was already doing that.    



9:50 AM

About .Mac 2-way syncing. It works within one .Mac account. So, for example, if you had three Macs (say, work, home, and laptop) .Mac could keep all of your iCalendars in sync. Your iPhone(s) can get into the 'sync loop' as well by connecting to its host Mac.

.Mac also does 2-way syncing for: Safari bookmarks; Address Book contacts; Entourage notes; and Mail accounts, rules, signatures and Smart Mailboxes. Third-party apps can also ride along, such as SOHO Notes.

So, I can be at the dentist's, add my next appointment into my iPhone, go home and plug it into my desktop, and the new appointment will be copied to all my Macs. And so far, to my box.net account, and from there to my wife's iBook.    



11:27 AM

ShepFan,

Thanks for the info. That's useful to know about.

Regarding your password problems, the only guess I might hazard is that there's a problem with the keychain. You might take a peek in the Keychain Access application (in /Applications/Utilities) and see if the password is set incorrectly there. Also, maybe run "Keychain First Aid" from inside that app. Yup. That's my guess.

Beyond that, I'm not sure what could cause a password to spontaneously, suddenly change. It's a little scary.

In any case, I don't think it's the service. It almost has to be the computer. Almost.

Cheers!

-systemsboy    



4:05 PM

SystemsBoy,
I'm trying tu publish an iCal calendar using the method you describe. However, I'm getting "The server responded with
"HTTP/1.1 409 Conflict""
What would be the issue? Any suggestions    



4:23 PM

Yeah, the problem is that you spelled to "t-u." That's totally wrong, dude.

Nah, I'm just messin'.

If you search the comments here you'll find you're not alone. Looks like at least one user had better luck leaving "Documents" out of the publishing path.

Do a page find for "409" and you should find everything we collectively know on the subject.

-systemsboy    



10:28 PM

The dumbest thing we realized....
and we searched,
and searched
and searched.

Everybody needs to publish / subscribe to their own calendar in order for the iCal to sync and show everyone else's events. Your article helped us tremendously, I just wished there was more of an explanation showing this in your article (for us idiots out there!).

ICal works by subscribing to other people's calendars and not having one centralized calendar that everyone adds events to. Anyway, thanks for making our office workflow a lot better.

It took us so long to figure out this very counter-intuitive problem.

-Andreas
http://www.brothersbychoice.net    



7:13 PM

Hi. Is there a way after subscribing to a calendar, to edit that calender? I am getting the message( Read-only calendar. You cannot change events or to do items on calendars to which you subscribe.    



8:47 PM

That's right, subscriptions are read-only. You can publish a calendar and modify it all you want.

If you need a calendar that is editable from multiple Macs, you probably need .Mac.

My wife and I have a pretty cool system based on this hint: we each Publish our personal calendars to each other. They're password-protected and private, and we don't need to edit each other's calendars, so we can keep up-to-date with each other.    



12:31 PM

ShepFan is correct. Subscribed calendars are read-only.

Thanks, ShepFan!

-systemsboy    



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11:48 PM

Before I start this process, and after reading all of these comments, I still can't figure out if when I publish my home ical to Box.net, and then view it from work on my Windows Pc, whether that will work. Thanks a lot.

RJ    



9:15 AM

RJ,

It is probably possible to subscribe to your Box-published calendars using Sunbird, which runs on both Mac and Windows. My experience with Sunbird has been spotty, but that was over a year ago. The easiest thing to do would be to try it and see if it works. It's free, after all.

Go on then! Give it a whirl!

-systemsboy    



10:55 PM

The piece that I'm missing that I don't see here, is what if I want my published calendar to be viewable as a page or iframe on my web site. With .Mac (dropped it because of the cost) and iCal Exchange, you can easily display your calendar and forget about whether people are smart enough to subscribe to it. And both of those solutions don't require a signin w/password.

My reservations about iCal Exchange have to do with them placing ads on my calendar. I want to have control over that.

So, either I'm missing something with the Box.Net solution, or it looks like I may have to go with the more awkward installation of WebCalendar or PHPiCalendar.

Am I right about that?    



4:15 PM

Charles,

I'm pretty sure box.net calendars require a login. 'Course the easiest way to verify this is to try it yourself. But I'm pretty sure that's the case.

-systemsboy    



2:20 PM

Hi systemsboy. I don't know how old your article or other comments are, so I don't know if this is still relevant, but your article is a huge help. I'm about 99% successful with publishing an Ical calendar to box.net; the publishing part works great, and a few times I've been able to subscribe to it, but then when I change something on it and it refreshes on the server, it messes up when I refresh on the subscribing computer. I get a message: Data downloaded from ..... is not valid. Any ideas?
thanks for your expertise!    



2:39 PM

Further to my post, if I click on the calendar file on the box.net server, it says "This calendar file is unreadable", so does this mean it's not publishing correctly? THere are no errors in the publishing process.

thanks    



6:38 PM

David S,

Make sure that the permissions are set to be readable and writable on the Box.net side. Perhaps Box is changing the default permissions for new files, though this seems unlikely. Still, whenever I've encountered a problem like this it's usually NOT due to my instructions but rather to something Box.net has changed. Often it's temporary and just clears up after a few days.

I will say that my calendar is working perfectly at this very moment. So check the file permissions on Box.net.

Best of luck.

-systemsboy    



12:33 PM

Thanks for your reply. I don't see anywhere on box.net to change permissions - I only have a free individual account. Is there somewhere else to set? I'm still thinking that it's the publishing part that's not working. If I try to open the .ics file that's created in the process, it seems to be a bad file - won't open in Ical.    



5:37 PM

Here's an odd twist - I asked box.net if they could see why I was having problems. Here's their answer:

Hi,

Thank you for your message.

The application iCal requires the webDAV protocol to operate which is currently unsupported by Box.net. Please let us know if you have more question.

Sincerely,
The Box.net Team

any comments systems boy?

thanks again    



7:01 PM

As mentioned in the article, WebDAV is the whole key to this thing working. Box's WebDAV support has wavered since day one, though it almost always works. I don't think they ever officially committed to supporting WebDAV, meaning providing support for the protocol. But it is offered and continues to work on some level. As proof, my calendars still work. If Box.net ever really drops WebDAV it will be a sad day indeed. I'm sure many people will cancel their accounts with them if that happens.

That said, I'm not sure why you're having problems. (I assume you tried publishing without the "s" in the "http" line, yes?)

Sorry I can't be of more help. If I figure anything out I'll try to post it.

-systemsboy    



4:22 PM

all I get is: There was a problem writing http://catharineburhenne%40gmail.com@www.box.net/dav/documents/Cat's%20iCal.ics.

The server responded with
"HTTP/1.1 409 Conflict"

Any help? Thanks so much!    



8:29 AM

Cat,

Pretty much everything I have to say about this particular error has been said in the comments. Just search the page for the error. There are many suggestions. I don't know what works because no one ever reports back.

Also, I would avoid the apostrophe — or any sort of punctuation — in the calendar name. Use only alpha-numeric characters. I.e., change "Cat's iCal" to "CatsiCal". That apostrophe could definitely cause a problem.

-systemsboy    



5:42 PM

The 409 error is there because the server does not have the same folder hierarchy as stated in the PUT command so the path needs to change. As stated above for some not having a Documents folder removing Documents from the PUT path will help the 409 error because the destination does not have Documents...    



6:41 PM

Anonymous,

Whoever you are, THANK YOU!

-systemsboy    



1:06 PM

Hey, any way to subscribe to a calendar without having to enter in the username and password?

Just wondering. Because we have around 1000 people on our mailing list who might like to have the automatically updated calendars, but I don't want them to hassle with the password...or even have it, really.

Thanks!    



12:09 AM

I use box.net for a couple of months for now : it isnt reliable... Right now I get some problem :

Data downloaded from http://www.box.net/dav/SimonɃ^…√fD    



3:18 PM

"Hey, any way to subscribe to a calendar without having to enter in the username and password?"

Yes if you create a free account at http://www.ical-mac.com you can also publish publicly then you won't get asked for a username/password when subscribing.    



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