Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Google Calendar: Heavy on Ajax

Category: Google, Showcase

Google Calendar has launched in beta, and it has a lot of great Ajax in it.

It feels like GMail and Google Reader, and has great performance.

There are some nice patterns, such as highlighting elements in yellow means that you can click to go into edit mode on that element. If you click on a date, the textual representation changes to become a date picker.

There are a lot of inline popups, pickers, and general helpful widgets that do not get in the way like other systems. A nice marriage of function without gratuitous Ajax.

Will I use this instead of iCal though? Not yet.

TechCrunch had a lot to say about it too including:

The Key Features

  • Text recognition – In adding an event, or detecting a new event from Gmail, Calendar automatically detects event-specific words and suggests the adding of a new event with data auto-structured.
  • Manage Multiple Calendars – set up multiple calendars (work, personal, etc) and view them separately or together.
  • Heavy Gmail integration – Gmail recognizes when messages include event information, so when you get emailed about an event, you can add it to Google Calendar with just a couple clicks. Google Calendar links on the right side of the Gmail page.
  • Sharing – Calendars can be shared with others, and you can subscribe to others’ shared calendars. Read/write permissions can be granted on a per user basis. Calendars can be published via a web page or via RSS, so readers do not need to be on the Google Calendar platform.
  • Importing – You can import events from other calendar programs, including Yahoo Calendar and Microsoft Outlook. Click “Settings,â€? then “Import Calendarâ€?.
  • Calendar Search

What do you think?

Google Calendar Edit

Google Calendar View

Posted by Dion Almaer at 9:16 am

4.2 rating from 70 votes


Comments feed TrackBack URI

i think the sms notifications are a terrific idea. it makes the app much more enticing for me.

Comment by anomalous — April 13, 2006

A rather nice, but perhaps not obvious, feature is the ability to drag over dates in the overview of the left-hand side, and have the main view update on the fly to reflect the selection. Holding ctrl keeps the ‘shape’ of what you currently have selected, allowing an easy way to skip through a week at a time.

Comment by G Jones — April 13, 2006

I don’t see gmail recognizing any event data in emails?

Can someone give me an example of that?

Comment by john — April 13, 2006

I was interested until I couldn’t get it to load my published iCal file. It hung the page twice and errored out on me a third time. If I could manage my stuff in iCal yet use the view from google it might be interesting to play with more.

Comment by Deuce — April 13, 2006

Google is getting slammed with traffic right now, that’s pretty typical on their first days.

I had similar problems adding calendars, but they actually showed up about an hour later. I’m sure after a few weeks when they get the kinks worked out, you’ll have no problems syncing it.

Comment by john — April 13, 2006

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Pingback by DENNISBULLOCK.COM » Blog Archive » Get Organized With Google Calendar — April 13, 2006

I have just played with it and, I have to say, I am pretty impressed. From an average user’s point of view, it has a very intuitive interface which provides great ease of use.

I have always wanted to use a calendar system where I can show my football team-mates when there’s a court booked for football or when there’s a match… and yet they can edit and view it as well. This is the solution.

I am very glad that Google has managed to come up with this. Kudos to them.

Comment by Ken — April 13, 2006

the gmail integration is nice, but kiko is better imho.. and has a much better design..

Comment by kemuri — April 13, 2006

I have been looking forward to this for a long time (since CL2 was first leaked) and it happily meets (and exceeds) my expectations. In response to the Gmail integration…hrm, I can’t reproduce the functionality that is being referred to…I want it…it just isn’t working from what I can tell.

Comment by Matt — April 13, 2006

Wow, google releasing more “beta” (read: unsupported) stuff… they should spend some effort getting some of their stuff into non-beta status

Comment by Steve — April 13, 2006

Google Calender is great, another puzzle in the Google Web Office. I hope that we see further progress on this, especially a Notifier-Client. Probably combined with the Gmail Notifier, they could rename it to Google Notifier and integrate it with Google Groups.

One thing that is missing currently is the ability to sync with handhelds, both Palm- and Windows-devices.

Especially great is the possibility to integrate external calendars, like holidays.

Comment by Sebastian Moser — April 13, 2006

Yeah, I like it… but it adds another webapp to the loooong list of Google beta apps. I’m looking forward to a second completed project from Google (first being the web search)…

Comment by Coleman McCormick — April 13, 2006

One thing I guess CL2 miss while can be seen in many other online calendar is tagging/labeling the event. I suppose it is one of the important function of a calendar application. I also hope to see the integration of GTalk reminder of event.

Comment by HU YIQUN — April 13, 2006

@Coleman McCormick

Perpetual Beta my friend. Perpetual Beta. I doubt any of their products will be ‘released’ as the whole ‘Beta’ thing gives them free reign to add on and change as they wish.

Comment by Matt — April 13, 2006

One thing I wish they’d change is when an event spans days it is shown at the top of a day (which works fine), but if the spanning event has a time it still shows at the top of the day. So if you have an event at 3pm and another that goes from 8pm to 1am, the 8pm even will appear before the 3pm one. Granted the times are shown so you can still pull the relavent information out, but it’s not as clear on a glance as it could be.

Comment by Greg — April 13, 2006


I think they hug the top because if you have things scheduled all over the place throughout the week, it’d be near impossible to get a span…it’d be zig-zag and crooked trying to stay in the appropriate time slots :D

Comment by Matt — April 13, 2006

The agenda view is nice and the way you scroll through the calendar events is slick…No scroll bar…

Overall I wouldn’t use this at work but its great for personal organization.

Comment by Andrew H. — April 13, 2006

I personally enjoy Airset better. One thing I enjoy over gmail is the adding an event and the integration of your calendar and cell phone.

Plus I don’t like how they take me too a new page when I want to edit the details of the event. When I’m in Airset I can edit an event on the same page that the calendar is on. Plus I can export and sync to my handheld devices.

Comment by Tony — April 13, 2006

@my own comment
I meant to say Google Calendar NOT gmail.

Comment by Tony — April 13, 2006

Sad, all those web 2.0 companies making elaborate ajax calendar apps (trumba, 30boxes, like 20 others). And google comes along with one that works adequate (but not great). But its light, fast, and easy to get into. I’ve moved my 30boxes calendar over and probably wont bother with that site anymore unless they come along with some really amazing new feature.

Comment by Jc — April 13, 2006

Could you ajaxians add the AJAX Experience as a public calendar in this? That would be awesome.

Comment by Justin Laing — April 13, 2006

After reading all this my expectations are skyhigh, and then I can’t sign in to the darn thing. When signing in I’m taken to my Goggle Accounts page and no further. Anyone else having the same problem?

Comment by Stian — April 14, 2006

Where’s the export? I hate all these apps with vendor lockin. Don’t want all my data trapped by google.

Comment by Steve Rock — April 14, 2006

Click on “Manage Calendars”, then on the calendar you want. The “private address” bit has links to the ics file and rss feed.

Comment by Sz — April 14, 2006

My friend was the one, last night, that sent me the link. After logging in, I immediatly viewed the source. CL2 is Ajax Heavy. Sorting through the javascript-made-by-javascript xxxxxxxxxxxxdoozercompiled.js was real fun. Oh!- Is that prototype: “…Function.prototype.bind=function(a){if(typeof this!…”

I’m excited, can’t wait to start using it. A Personalized Page Module would be nice…

Google, itself, is Beta. And change is good!

Comment by aubrey island — April 14, 2006

I’m waiting for the API to be released.. i can just thing of its immense potential!

Comment by Aditya Naik — April 14, 2006

Unlike the new Ajax Yahoo mail, which seems to have lots of big requests flying around, the Google Calendar seems to be true to the Ajax principle of many small requests, asside from that honking 300k+ javascript file that makes it tick.

Comment by dkappe — April 14, 2006

QUOTE:- “Sharing – Calendars can be shared with others, and you can subscribe to others’ shared calendars. Read/write permissions can be granted on a per user basis. Calendars can be published via a web page or via RSS, so readers do not need to be on the Google Calendar platform.”

The only publishing methods I could find were RSS and ICAL. Are you sure that publishing via a web page is available? If web page publishing is indeed NOT available, then Google Calendar would be absolutely useless for anyone wanting to post a calendar on a website.

Comment by Darren Scott — April 16, 2006

Thanks for the info, but the issue I was wondering about was publishing Google Calendar to HTML.
So here’s the scenario – I want to publish a calendar on my website; my visitor’s can 1) click on a link to download an ical file (must have a supporting application); 2) click on an xml feed link (rediculous) or 3) click on a link asking them to sign up to Google Calendar.
Is there an option 4?

Comment by Darren Scott — April 18, 2006

If you want to easily publish an ical to html, checkout EventSniper

Comment by bedingue — April 18, 2006

Mmmmm. The gmail integration seems to suck. The add event does *not* automatically pick up the info in an email, it just shows the current time/day. Bit crap, when compared to the Quick Add feature of the calendar. Why haven’t they done this? There isn’t even the option to use quick add as a link from gmail – why not?

Comment by biscuitlad — April 23, 2006

[…] Google Calendar: Heavy on AjaxGoogle […]

Pingback by Dive Into Web » Impressive Google Calendar Launched! — April 24, 2006

The full value of web-based calendars for the SMB community will only be realized when they have an easy way to publish (not share) them to a web site. Almost every club, church, team, local government unit or other similar organization could bennefit from this.

Google just beat out Yahoo in a CNet calendar shootout. If Yahoo was smart, they would make provide calendar publishing as the “killer” next feature for their offering. Microsoft has to be looking at this whole area very closely. I would bet that a significant amount of their recently announced R&D budget will be spent making their SharePoint and web collaboration services THE product to beat. It won’t be BETA either!

Comment by John Westra — May 5, 2006

Google calendar summary: big yawn. Nothing new here. I will admit I am excited that it’s free, but its only of use to individuals. If it you could view a google calendar from within a web site, now that would be exciting. Then clubs, nonprofits, associations, etc. could publish a worthy list of events that individuals would want to subscribe too. Then the RSS could be used on other places on the same site in order to show the calendar in multiple formats. Yes, Google has integrated all the right technology, but until they release publishing, it will remain a big yawn.

Comment by Kirk LeCompte — May 13, 2006

I’ve just spent the last two days trying to find a way to publish gmail (or any other quality calandar tool) calandars to a website. I don’t want to keep coding HTML, outlook’s HTML export is the ugliest thing that I’ve ever seen, and I haven’t found a publishing site that allows me to confugure the published HTML in the way that I want. I totally agree with John (above) that google calandar is useless unless for organizations because the only people that can see the shared calandar are other gmail users. It would be an excellent tool if it could be published to everyone as an HTML file hosted by google – may I hope dynamically updated.

My beef with all other calendar publishing sites is that you can’t customize the text size so that it shows the ENTIRE calendar entry title and I can’t have ads on the organization’s page.


Comment by Nathan — June 8, 2006

The automatic analysis of gmails seems to be slowly rolling out. I didn’t immediately notice the functionality, but I’ve got it now, and it works pretty well. Doesn’t always detect all the dates, probably because more than one date appears in the email. I guess the logic is if there’s any ambiguity it’s better to leave it for the user to fill in, which is pretty easy.

Can’t agree more with the comments above… html publishing would be a massive advantage, and without it I’m struggling with RSS feedreaders trying to hack the calendar onto my pages…

Comment by Brendan — June 12, 2006

I love google calandar and I hope they come out with a api so I can make something for my site… that would be cool

Comment by jeremy schoemaker — August 21, 2006

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