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IP.Board 3.2.0 Dev Update: Calendar Improvements, Part I: SEO Improvements

Work is underway on IP.Board 3.2 so we wanted to start divulging some of the great changes you can expect to see in our next upcoming major release. One area of IP.Board that we wanted to spend some time improving was the calendar, and this blog entry is the first of several outlining changes and improvements you can expect to see in the calendar with IP.Board 3.2.

We intend to post several blog entries detailing changes you can expect to see in calendar, so if there's something you're looking forward to and you don't see it mentioned in this blog entry that doesn't mean it won't be coming. Keep an eye out for future blog entries outlining calendar-related changes by "liking" this blog entry.

Meta Tags

Beginning with IP.Board 3.2, Calendar will start issuing appropriate meta tags based on the page you are viewing. When I say meta tags here, I'm not only talking about "keywords" and "description", although these are certainly included. I'm also talking about context-sensitive link tags that relate to SEO, such as the canonical URL tag.

Previously, Calendar set no meta tags at all. Now, calendar will set the following meta tags as appropriate, based on the page you are viewing:

  • Keywords: Calendar will begin setting the generic "keywords" meta tag
  • Description: Calendar will begin setting the generic "description" meta tag
  • Canonical URL: Calendar will set the appropriate "canonical" link tag to consolidate backlink weighting to the appropriate page in Calendar
  • Up: Calendar will set the appropriate "up" link tag which helps navigational tools and other software designed that reads and understands this link tag
  • Author: Calendar will set the appropriate "author" link tag, again supported by some navigational tools



Friendly URLs

While Calendar supported FURLs in previous versions of IP.Board, that support was limited and often times various versions of a URL would cause the FURL not to be generated correctly. We have re-evaluated all of the friendly URLs in Calendar for IP.Board 3.2, solidifying the format and enhancing support where appropriate.

First, of note, the event title is now added to the friendly URL when you view an event. A sample event URL might look like this: /calendar/1/event/47-first-test-event

Additionally, the calendar title itself is now added to all other friendly URLs in calendar. When viewing a single calendar you may see a URL like this: /calendar/1-community-calendar ; when viewing a month, you will see a URL like such: /calendar/1-community-calendar/02-2011 ; and when viewing a day the URL looks like so: /calendar/1-community-calendar/day-2011-01-18 .

Some areas of calendar previously generated URLs with URL components in different positions within the string. The end result of this was that URLs that should have been FURL often weren't, simply because our FURL engine couldn't match them up. We have gone through all such URLs and ensured the consistency of the URL format to make sure that all URLs that support friendly URL formatting now do so correctly.


hCalendar Microformat

We have also taken this opportunity to implement the hCalendar microformat into Calendar. Microformats are basically universally-accepted HTML structuring that, when used correctly, allow software to read the page and parse it like an XML document. In particular, the hCalendar microformat very closely resembles the iCalendar format, allowing some software to read Calendar just as if it were an iCal feed.

While this may seem like a small change on the surface, the more scripts that support universal formats, the higher the likelihood that other tools will be created to interact with these formats. As you can see at the previous link, there are already tools available to convert hCalendar into iCalendar, and vice-versa.


Layout Enhancements

While we are not ready to go into detail about some of these other changes just yet (but we will in a future blog entry!), we are making other changes that closely relate to SEO in the general structure and layout of Calendar. For instance, we have consolidated all event posting pages into one, so there is just one "Add Event" button now, and we are changing the current daily view to less-closely resemble the event view. We feel these two views being essentially duplicates of each other is not only confusing to the user, but may be seen as duplicate pages by some search engines while crawling your site (if you view a day that has one event, and the event directly, the output is nearly identical, even though they are two separate views within Calendar). These changes, while we are not targetting SEO specifically with them, do impact your search engine optimization directly and indirectly. Expect future blog entries to be posted that detail these changes further.



We hope you are excited about IP.Board 3.2, and want you to know we are excited to begin discussing things you can see coming in the next version. As mentioned previously, keep an eye out for our next blog entry on 3.2!
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  • Management

[quote name='Wolfie' timestamp='1296489714']
Coolness. Any idea if this means it will be able to 'interact' at all with Google's calendar?





;)

We intend to post several blog entries detailing changes you can expect to see in calendar, so if there's something you're looking forward to and you don't see it mentioned in this blog entry that doesn't mean it won't be coming.

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  • Management

[quote name='Dan13l' timestamp='1296506334']
All 3.2.0 updates are related to calendar?! Personally Im not using calendar at all. so wondering if I should update when the new version comes up



Well seeing as this is the first 3.2.0 update then yes I guess you COULD say that all 3.2.0 updates are so far related to calendar :whistle:

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calendar improvements are more than welcome

just something i would like to see is....
when theres an event in the calendar and highlighted, to be able to hover over the
date and see a popup preview of the event on that day.
simular to whats all ready used in the forums

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I'm using calendar a lot and for me these are not suficient improvments, please take a look and consider also these:

Autogenerated topic

And maybe you'll resolve this issue:
"for posting a recurring event, we must set the end year to LESS than 2038.On OS 32b."

Maybe will consider implementing an option like "yearly recurring events with no limit" instead of setting the year limit.

In my calendar I have celebrating recurring yearly events, and there is no reason to set a year time limit in this time period, because they are repeating every year (endless).

I think it's time making lots of improvments to calendar, not only mentioned above, take in consideration also the clients requests.
I waited so much for improving calendar, do your best please :D.

Best regards!

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with the focus falling on calendar is it possible for it to have its own subsection in the forums

at this stage of development it would make sense to have one place for all suggestions, discussion etc ?

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I think Charles hinted at this but I am going to push it again anyway. (The squeaky wheel gets the grease...)

I would love to be able to import into the IPB Calendar.

Specific example: http://frvatoday.com/

That is a Google Calendar in Front Royal, Va. that is a central place to get everyone's events. It is basically an aggregator that pulls the calendars from the town, county, visitor/tourism office, chamber of commerce and our newspaper calendar. When they change an event or add one, it immediately changes in my calendar.

If I say to someone 'I want to automatically add your relevant calendar events into my own. You won't have to do anything' they like that. If I say 'Would you mind copying your events from your calendar and pasting into mine?' different response...

(Edit: on the link above, note that each source shows as a different color in the calendar.)

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[quote name='Charles' timestamp='1296507025']
[quote name='Dan13l' timestamp='1296506334']All 3.2.0 updates are related to calendar?! Personally Im not using calendar at all. so wondering if I should update when the new version comes up


Such a tease! D:

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RSVP just as the events on facebook would be a fantastic improvement.

Right now, in order to get a better view of the people that want to attend an event i have to use facebook.

Please take this in consideration.

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<p>Thx for the improvement, althought I don't know what the hell it is :)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Right now, I try to make use the calender, but nobody in my member use it. Any example ?</p>

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