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4.0 - Minor calendar enhancements

IP.Calendar allows your users to schedule and share events through a centralized community calendar and supports many features that allow your community to coordinate, organize and interact with each other through the calendar. For instance, event organizers can request RSVP for events in order to note who will be attending before hand, and you can allow commenting on events submitted through IP.Calendar to allow users to share their thoughts about an event.

The latest version of IP.Calendar will see some minor yet useful enhancements that will allow you and your community to make better use of IP.Calendar in a more social manner than ever before.


Location support

Users will be able to specify a physical location (i.e. an address) when submitting an event to the calendar in the 4.0 Community Suite calendar application. When an address is specified and Google Maps integration is enabled in the admin control panel, a map will be presented when viewing the event that allows users to see where the event will be taking place.



Clicking on the map will take you to Google maps, allowing you to get directions to the event or otherwise find out more information about the location.

The event location, when available, will also be included in iCalendar exports using the GEO property supported by the specification. This means when sharing your calendar events with another application that supports iCalendar imports (and supports the "GEO" property), your event location will be available in those applications as well.


Downloading individual events

In previous versions of the calendar, you were able to download an iCalendar export of an entire calendar on the site, but you were unable to download an individual event as an iCalendar export. The 4.0 Community Suite calendar application will now allow you to download individual events, as seen by the "Download Event" button in the previous screenshot. Users can download individual events and import them into supported calendar applications if they desire. Events are downloaded with an ".ics" extension, which is supported by Windows Calendar, Apple Calendar, Google Calendar, Outlook, Mozilla Lightning and pretty much every other calendar application available.


Cover photo

Another small yet useful enhancement in the next version of Calendar is the ability to upload a cover photo with your events. You may now, optionally, upload a cover photo image with your events which will be displayed as a background image in the event header.



Please keep in mind that these are early screenshots and the interface is very much subject to change, however you can get an idea from this screenshot how you might end up specifying a cover photo for an event to give it some unique visual differentiation to stand out.

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Only thing I think missing from the calender at the moment (well kinda from the calender) is the ability to RSVP from a calender media link within posts. I think with this the feature on our site (and I believe many others) would likely be used to greater effect.

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I don't get the whole calendar for forums idea. Most forums aren't like FB, in that all of your close friends are going to create events that you will go hand out at. 

 

Nice feature, but just seems a bit much for where forums are at these days in respect to social websites.

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I don't get the whole calendar for forums idea. Most forums aren't like FB, in that all of your close friends are going to create events that you will go hand out at. 

 

Nice feature, but just seems a bit much for where forums are at these days in respect to social websites.

 

A couple of scenarios that quite a number of our customers use: 1) a gaming website that uses the calendar to plan in-game events (raids etc.), 2) a company that has an internal forum and uses the calendar to post company meetings and events.

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A couple of scenarios that quite a number of our customers use: 1) a gaming website that uses the calendar to plan in-game events (raids etc.), 2) a company that has an internal forum and uses the calendar to post company meetings and events.

 

Right, I agree there is a niche of websites. But that niche is so small that calendars are pretty much irrelevant at this point for forums. I'd rather see developing time go into features that the whole of IB v4.0 websites will use. Q1 is almost over and we are due for a v4.0 launch.

 

I like the whole calendar thing, but most users that come to forums would never ever care for it. Forums are becoming a creature of their own now that FB dominates. Forums are more of a support/information outlet anymore.

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Right, I agree there is a niche of websites. But that niche is so small that calendars are pretty much irrelevant at this point for forums. I'd rather see developing time go into features that the whole of IB v4.0 websites will use. Q1 is almost over and we are due for a v4.0 launch.

 

I like the whole calendar thing, but most users that come to forums would never ever care for it. Forums are becoming a creature of their own now that FB dominates. Forums are more of a support/information outlet anymore.

 

I think you are filtering your opinion through your own site's needs :) We have many, many clients who use Calendar as a vital part of their community. Remember we make community software not just forums.

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Right, I agree there is a niche of websites. But that niche is so small that calendars are pretty much irrelevant at this point for forums. I'd rather see developing time go into features that the whole of IB v4.0 websites will use. Q1 is almost over and we are due for a v4.0 launch.

 

I like the whole calendar thing, but most users that come to forums would never ever care for it. Forums are becoming a creature of their own now that FB dominates. Forums are more of a support/information outlet anymore.

 

There are loads of forums that use the calendar functions to great effect. You don't speak for most users or most forums, you only speak for yourself. Please try to remember that.

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Wow!! I think IPB has now matched & even surpassed all other competing community (forum) calendar options out there!

Just when I was about to look away you come up with these brilliant calendar enhancements! You make this so tempting! The calendar was one of several big factors for me.

My only question somewhat related to this blog post is:
Will google maps be integrated in all official addons and/or IPB editor? Use examples: Profiles for business location, IP.Blogs for travels, IP.Content (possible replacement for my business directory), etc.
 

I'd rather see developing time go into features that the whole of IB v4.0 websites will use.

Maybe we could use google maps in all official addons & profiles? Maybe we could use cover photos for the profiles with current custom backgrounds?
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Still not talk on forum integration for comments and RSVPs? :sad: And yes, as a competitive gaming community, I have great interest in Calendar if it works how I'm hoping it does!

 

I agree. Used a lot on my forum for meets around the world.

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Fabulous.  Can you confirm if calendar 4 will support custom fields and the ability to feature or pin events?

 

We have not built in custom field support for Calendar at this time, however the ability to feature events has been included.  We debated on the ability to pin events (the 4.0 framework actually makes it super simple to do) however ultimately we felt that it had effectively no purpose.  The way the calendar is presented, the concept of "pinned" events just has no real use or purpose, given that pinning typically just means the content item shows at the top of the container and nothing really else beyond that, and events displayed within a calendar don't really have a need to display "at the top".

 

Only thing I think missing from the calender at the moment (well kinda from the calender) is the ability to RSVP from a calender media link within posts. I think with this the feature on our site (and I believe many others) would likely be used to greater effect.

 

The way a calendar event is handled within a post will change with 4.0.  We don't have a blog entry queued yet about this, but we may draft one up in due course.

 

My only question somewhat related to this blog post is:
Will google maps be integrated in all official addons and/or IPB editor? Use examples: Profiles for business location, IP.Blogs for travels, IP.Content (possible replacement for my business directory), etc.
 
Maybe we could use google maps in all official addons & profiles? Maybe we could use cover photos for the profiles with current custom backgrounds?

 

Google maps integration is part of the IPSGeolocation class, which any area of the suite (ACP or front end) can utilize.  Right now the examples you provide (beyond perhaps IP.Content which is a bit more flexible) don't occur within the software, but there are many opportunities for third party developers to implement such things easily.  Google maps integration is utilized elsewhere out of the box though, yes.

 

Absolutely brilliant, thank you! Please remember to add option to exclude automatic RSVP option on Google Calendar imports, for standard public holidays they make no sense!

 

We have a blog entry regarding enhancements to RSVP functionality in queue. :)  Stay tuned.

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This looks great.

Custom fields would be very helpful too.  In particular Since this is a calendar, I'd like the option to add start and stop times for events.

Either way, it looks like a very big improvement from the current calendar, can't wait for 4.0.

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This looks great.

Custom fields would be very helpful too.  In particular Since this is a calendar, I'd like the option to add start and stop times for events.

Either way, it looks like a very big improvement from the current calendar, can't wait for 4.0.

 

You can already specify start and stop times for events.

 

 

 

That's a little disappointing - I had anticipated this being a suite-wide capability.

 

The central custom field classes can be reused by individual applications, they just haven't been implemented into Calendar specifically.

 

There are always 10000000000 changes we could make and we have to prioritize and choose which ones we feel are the best for a given release.  Unfortunately this will always mean some things that have been requested aren't included, but there's always a 4.1. :)

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The central custom field classes can be reused by individual applications, they just haven't been implemented into Calendar specifically.

 

Okay thanks for coming back to me - I'll look forward to finding out about this. :)

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two requests...

 

in the listings - can  a thumbnail of the event image be used rather than the profile image  if present?

 

also if not done already

 

can you add a noindex meta to the day listingss if no events -as  google currently picks up every empty day (including all in  last century)  - which adds up to lot of 'thin' content

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I like the cover photo, but more and more we have promotional video for event

 

 

http://www.solidedgeu.com/assets/video/SEU2014Promo.mp4

 

http://www.soliddna.com/SEcommunity/page/index.html

 

You can still add this in the event description no problem.

 

two requests...

 

in the listings - can  a thumbnail of the event image be used rather than the profile image  if present?

 

also if not done already

 

can you add a noindex meta to the day listingss if no events -as  google currently picks up every empty day (including all in  last century)  - which adds up to lot of 'thin' content

 

It's not an event image, it's a cover photo, so I don't feel it is suitable in that context personally.  Think about Facebook as an example - you have a profile photo and a cover photo, and showing your cover photo where the profile photo normally displays wouldn't generally work (because it is designed for a wider and shorter image).

 

As for the noindex meta tag, I'll look into that.  Your suggestion makes sense. :)

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