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IP.Board 3.2.0 Dev Update: Calendar Improvements, Part III: RSVP

As part of our continuing IP.Board 3.2.0 development update blog entries, we've already told you about some great improvements you can expect to see in Calendar with the release of IP.Board 3.2. In addition to much improved SEO capabilities in Calendar, we have also made loads of changes to improve the consistency of Calendar compared to the rest of our suite lineup. While these changes alone will make Calendar much more useful for administrators and users alike, we are most certainly not done yet. We can still squeeze some more improvements out of Calendar in 3.2.0 before moving on to other important tasks, and to that end I'd like to use this entry to discuss a new feature you will have opportunity to use in the next release of Calendar: RSVP events.

Important Note: The screenshots you will see below are taken of a very-early build of 3.2 and the interface will be subject to change. Our UX designer will be going over the RSVP changes in Calendar in greater detail in the weeks to come, so please understand that what you see below is not how the final result will appear upon release.

The Concept

Often times you will find that when creating an event on your community you want to allow users the opportunity to let you know if they will be attending or not. This is useful for both real-world events (i.e. a club meetup at a coffee shop) and for online-only events (i.e. a developer seminar). As the event organizer you may need to know how many people will be attending, and/or if specific users will be attending. It is useful to have a way to allow users to signal that they will be attending the event.

In the "real world", this is usually done through what is known as "RSVP". Basically, an RSVP is a notification from a participant to the event organizer that the participant will be attending the event.

In the next version of Calendar, users will have the ability to create events that request attendees to RSVP for the event.

Administrative Controls

Administrators can control which users can both create RSVP-requested events and which users can respond to RSVP-requested events.

For each individual calendar you create within the Calendar application, you can specify on a per-permission mask basis which users can create RSVP events, and which users can respond to RSVP events. You can also control on a per-calendar basis if the event poster is allowed to remove users who have saved an RSVP for an event or not (super moderators always have this ability). If you do not wish to use this capability in a specific calendar (or at all), you can simply not allow any users the ability to create RSVP events in the calendar.

Creating and responding to an RSVP event

Creating an RSVP-requested event is as simple as checking a box on the event submission form.

When viewing an RSVP-requested event, a new box will be shown to the user to signal that the event organizer requests attendees to RSVP, and who has already RSVPed for the event.

When you click on the RSVP button in the RSVP area, your participation status will be saved through AJAX and the attendee list will be dynamically updated. Note that if javascript is disabled, your status is saved through a normal browser redirect screen fallback.

If you have permission to remove attendees (as I do in this screenshot), a delete icon will show next to each attendee, affording you the opportunity to remove them from the list.

Wrapping Up

While we have some ideas in mind for future versions of Calendar to possibly expand the system as implemented presently, we wanted to go with a clear, simple and straight-forward approach for this first implementation of the RSVP system that we feel will be easily understood by your users (and thus, more likely to be used properly by your users as well). Creating an RSVP event is as simple as checking a box (if you have permission to do so), and signaling your attendance is as simple as clicking a button (again, if you have permission to do so). We feel this approach will make the feature more likely to be used, while still allowing us opportunities to expand the feature in the future.

Let us know what you think in the comment area below, and be sure to keep an eye out for our next blog update about Calendar, coming soon!

Feel free to comment on this blog entry below or, if you have feedback unrelated to this blog entry, start a new topic in our feedback forum. Be sure to check the What's New in IP.Board 3.2 topic for a running list of announced changes!

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