I've been very quiet on here for a few months, and the reason is (of course) because I've been doing other things. No surprise there, I guess!
What I've been doing, first of all, is writing aCal, an Android CalDAV client with a lot of help from Chris Noldus. It's probably fair to say that Chris did most of the heavy lifting while I learned Java, did most of the UI & graphic design, and the low-level CalDAV synchronisation and geeky calendaring code. This is now available in the Android market for NZD$2.00 to help us fund further development and in a few days (or a couple of weeks) I'll get the source code up somewhere public (probably Gitorious) and it will be licensed GPLv3... When I get a moment - although refer to title :-)
DAViCal 0.9.9.4 is now available, along with AWL 0.46.
This is a recommended upgrade with a focus on stability and reliability.
Release notes are on the wiki at http://wiki.davical.org/w/Release_Notes/0.9.9.4.
Most of the changes are subtle: fixes to small bugs or adjustments to correctness in respect to standards. In particular there were some errors in handling of various requests for addressbook data, and the support for WebDAV synchronisation is updated to draft -04 of the specification.
One notable addition is the new '/feed.php/username/calendar/' URL which will provide an Atom feed of the events added to a calendar. This is pretty experimental at present, but any problems with it won't affect the rest of DAViCal so I felt it safe to include in a stable release series.
I've also created a DAViCal Announce mailing list which in the future will be the primary place that notifications like this are sent to, so those of you who are subscribed here but really only want to see announcements should subscribe to that list.
In a few weeks time (well, when I remember, I guess :-) I want to move the DAViCal General mailing list to a lists.davical.org mailing list. As of today I've moved the DAViCal developers mailing list there already (pretty easy since it did not involve moving servers) but the old address for that one will continue to work indefinitely.
Also, as of yesterday, the sourceforge.net project name for DAViCal finally got changed, so DAViCal is now at http://sourceforge.net/projects/davical - yay!
At the end of January I will be presenting about Calendaring and Free Software at Linux.Conf.AU 2011 in Brisbane - I hope you've all got your tickets already, because there isn't much time left now :-)
During my recent trip to Massachusetts for CalConnect XIX I passed back via New York, surfing a few nights on the couch at the Washington Cube Garden1. This was just enough time for my new Davis VantagePro2 to arrive by UPS ground (phew!) causing me much consternation, as the box was about twice as wide as I expected it to be.
On opening it I discovered that the reason for the size was the physical dimensions of the rain gauge, leading me to realise that I had actually bought exactly what I wanted: a high quality weather station. Also leading me to wonder how the hell I was going to get it halfway around the world with me the next day.
Unfortunately that extra wide carrying case was in no way going to fit inside my suitcase. Fortunately it came with a handle. And those wonderful people at Air New Zealand gave me a Koru Gold upgrade for a 50th birthday present, so it was time to put it to the test...
I spent last week at the CalConnect XVI meeting of the Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium hosted by Apple Computer in Cupertino. I'd been hoping to get 0.9.7.3 released before I got there so I could concentrate on some of the more aggressive enhancement plans while I was there, but in the end I didn't manage to release until the Tuesday, during the event. Then, after some interaction with Kerio and a small but important bug that was found, I decided to release 0.9.7.4 with a very few small changes before moving onto the more radical enhancement plans I continue to work through at present towards a 0.9.8 release in a few weeks.
The release notes for both releases are on the wiki, including details of downloading and so forth:
At CalConnect itself, the first half of the week was an interoperability meeting which I was an observer at, though I did set up a server for people to test against, and the folk from Apple, Sun and Kerio were kind enough to test against this, including a very early version of the Symbian CalDAV client which is likely to be released sometime next year.
The second half of the week was a much more participative process, and gave me a much greater understanding of the general flow of the standards which are forming in the future. In particular it was interesting to get an idea of how close (or far away) the various nascent standards under development are. Some of the closest ones seem to be the Scheduling Extensions which is at draft 8, and will probably have only one or two more clarifying drafts before becoming an RFC. Next closest is probably the proposed CardDAV standard, and implementation of both of these in DAViCal is a priority for me.
The first thing I discovered too, was RFC5689, which is now implemented in HEAD and will be in 0.9.8. Another worthwhile standard, and relatively simple, is the Draft WebDAV Sync which is used by iCal4 if available, and which I have also implemented since leaving Cupertino. I expect there will still be some changes to the webdav sync specification, but it's relatively encapsulated so the effect of any changes are not going to be sweeping.
Support for the Scheduling Extensions for CalDAV, which I am working on now, will be more complete in 0.9.8, though probably still with a few missing parts. It is a large specification though it looks to be pretty stable now and is definitely time to move forward with it.
What the trip to Cupertino definitely showed me is that there is still a place for DAViCal in the available set of CalDAV servers. While there are starting to be quite a few around, and many are maturing nicely, there is still a niche for a free, standalone, SQL-based implementation like DAViCal and it is only through having a vibrant community of implementors around calendaring that we can flesh out the usable and useful standards that are continuing to come out of CalConnect.
Ultimately what impressed me the most were the people around CalConnect, who stand out as being a bunch of dedicated and thoughtful folk who really understand the importance of interoperation and open standards in this area. I do hope I have the good fortune to make it to another event at some point in the future.
I released a new 0.9.7.2 version of DAViCal yesterday. This reflects quite a lot of stability and small fixes for some subtle problems, and quite a lot of work with the iPhone, adding the possibility of a simpler configuration experience for iPhone users.