SPIP 1.7 introduces a feature to easily follow the life of your site: the synchronisation of public and private information of the site with a calendar software.
SPIP provides a feature to export the site calendar in the iCal format. This format allows an external calendar software to display a list of dated events and tasks by automatically retrieving them from the Web.
This feature is particularly useful to monitor the activity on multiple SPIP web sites. You can, for example, display in the same calendar software:
- a list of the last articles published on your own site,
- a list of editorial activities performed on other SPIP sites you are participating in,
- your personal meetings (the personal notes you record on your site, the private meeting announces of an association web site, etc.).
- a list of the last articles syndicated by the Portail des Copains,
- the dates of the next public holidays,
- the time of the matches of your preferred basketball team
There are not many software solutions that support this format at the moment — but their number is growing. With MacOSX, the iCal programme is highly recommended. For the other platforms, the Mozilla Calendar extension can extend Mozilla, FireFox and Thunderbird. Google Calendar may also be used directly from your preferred browser.
When you have chosen — and installed — a calendar software, you can click on the iCal link provided by a web site to display it. The management and navigation in the calendar is very simple after that.
The above screen capture (click on the thumbnail to see a larger image) illustrates Mozilla Calendar’s features. You can see:
- on the top left, a list of the subscribed calendars. Colour codes can be assigned to each calendar to easily match the meeting and tasks associated to a calendar;
- on the left, a list of tasks to perform; for example, you can see the number of articles and news items proposed on different web sites;
- in the main window on the right, “meetings” are presented on a calendar view (using a monthly layout): in grey the last articles on rezo.net, in pink the personal meetings, in yellow the last articles proposed on another site...
- double-clicking on a meeting will display its details; the title, date and description of the articles are displayed as well as a web address (URL) where you can get more information about the event.
N.B. “Synchronisation” is not possible in both directions:
- you can retrieve the data from a SPIP site’s calendar and regularly update it,
- but you cannot send new events and modifications back to the calendar of the SPIP site.