Please welcome Calendar.social

Gergely Polonkai
Jun 26, 2018 :: 05:36

I started looking at decentralised/federated tools some years ago, but other than Matrix I didn’t use any of them until recently. Then this February I joined the Fediverse (federated universe) by spinning up my own Mastodon instance. I’m not going to lie, this place is pure awesome. I follow only 53 people but unlike on Twitter or Facebook, I can’t just scroll through my timeline; I have to read the all. These 53 accounts are real persons over the Internet with meaningful posts. I could never find this on the noisy Twitter or Facebook timeline during the last 10 or so years.

Bragging aside, and given my strive for learning, I wanted to give back something to this community. I thought about an image sharing platform where people can share their photo albums with each other, but I realised I’m not that good at image handling. So I decided to make a calendar instead.

My app, creatively codenamed Calendar.social, aims to be a calendar service similar to Google Calendar (and, obviously, any calendar app you can find out there) but instead of using emails, it will use ActivityPub to share all the details (although I might add e-mail support sooner or later.)

I have a lot on my mind about what this tool should/could do when it’s done. In no particular order, here’s a list of them:

  • events that can be private (only you and the (optional) guests see them), or public (anyone can see them). They will have all the usual fields like start/end time, location, and maybe an icon and a cover photo
  • multiple calendars you would expect from a calendar app. This way you can separate your birthday reminders from the dentist appointments
  • event sharing over ActivityPub and other channels (to be decided, but I think you can take email and maybe Matrix for granted.)
  • full calendar sharing. The other party can get access from a very basic free/busy level to full write access (which might be a good idea for family or company wide calendars.)
  • Holiday calendars that store national/bank holidays. Users can subscribe to them to see the holidays of a given country/area, and optionally set them as busy (on holiday weekdays) or free (on weekends that are actually workdays for some reason.)
  • Reminders! Because you obviously don’t want to forget the birthday of your significant other, your anniversary, or your barber appointment.
  • All this developed with time zones, localisation, and accessibility in mind.

That, and anything more that comes to my mind.

You can follow the development here. Also, feel free to ping me with your ideas on Mastodon, Matrix, or any other channels you can find under the “Contact me” menu.

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Gergely Polonkai is a systems engineer of a telco company, and also a freelancer self- and software developer.

He is learning about different IT subjects since the late 1990s. These include web development, application building, systems engineering, IT security and many others. He also dug his nose deeply into free software, dealing with different types of Linux and its applications, while also writing and contributing to some open source projects.

On this site he is writing posts about different stuff he faces during work (oh my, yet another IT solutions blog), hoping they can help others with their job, or just to get along with their brand new netbook that shipped with Linux.

“I believe one can only achieve success if they follow their own instincts and listen to, but not bend under others’ opinions. If you change your course just because someone says so, you are following their instincts, not yours.”