Philipp’s Developer Notes: Alarms and Invitations

String freeze is coming up so I’ve decided to give an overview of what’s on my radar and what has been. Aside from calendar work my semester is about to end but that unfortunately doesn’t mean I have more time.

I have put a fair amount of work into bug 353492 in hopes of supporting multiple alarms and different alarm types for the provider for Google Calendar. Due to the large amount of code and the high possibility for regressions I don’t think this will make it into the next release. There is still an open issue regarding repeating alarms which has kept me from requesting review on that bug. If you are interested in helping out I have summed up the problems in the bug quite well. Nevertheless I think its reasonable to already check in the strings before the string freeze in case we come to a solution. If you are interested in testing (as an end user) I have a linux xpi attached to the bug. Be sure to back up your profile though since a database upgrade takes place.

Something mentioned in our roadmap for the next release is “better interoperability”. Of course this is a very wide topic and I’d like to tell you a bit about what I have planned. Something that was (almost violently) discussed after the last release was a number of problems with accepting invitations. I’m looking to improve the situation a bit also in hopes that I can fix a few Provider for Google Calendar bugs regarding invitations too.

Note however that this motivation does not come from the newsgroup discussions. I must say these were quite annoying and it aggravated me to see that users were insisting on us developers dropping everything and fixing the bug that annoys them most. Of course its annoying if something that you were used to broke in the next version but the way things were demanded was just wrong. The way things were discussed made me think for quite some time that I should not do a da** thing for invitations, but there are other reasons I’d like to go forward. I don’t want to offend anyone but next time something doesn’t work as you’d like it to, please be gentle and understanding instead of trying to force me into things. That works better and usually lets you reach your goals quicker.

Recently Daniel fixed a bug that allows me to display invitations from Google Calendar
in the invitations dialog. This patch was also checked in on that bug so it would be nice if you guys could give it a whirl to see if it works. Please be sure to enable “display invitations in your
calendar” on

The next thing that would be nice for the Provider for Google Calendar w.r.t interoperability is managing sending invitations automatically when saving events. Currently this is globally disabled via an advanced preference option. It would be better to instruct the server to send
invitations only when needed.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of whats going on in my (calendar) world.

Until next time


  1. Ricardo Palomares

    Very interesting notes those of Philipp, Berend and Simon, although I guess it took more than five minutes to write it. :-) Even with half long posts, I find interesting to know what are the Calendar Project members working on. Good work!
    And, of course, I agree with Philipp’s rant: being polite is the very least you can ask for to complaining users. You still know than many of us appreciate every single effort you do to improve Calendar, and reckon how far this project has moved since you took the decission to drop old Calendar code.

  2. Thanks Philip for this insider’s view!

  3. It always amazes me how people can whine about bugs in something they are getting for FREE. I get the same thing happening with my own little personal projects (much, much smaller of course) and they all get told they can either ask nicely and possibly get it moved up the list, suck lemons or give me some incentive to fix the bug they demand be fixed (asking them to pay for a few hours of work always shuts people up, hehe). If all they want to do is whine it gets put on the list and fixed when it’s fixed.
    I use Sunbird to keep track of all my Uni assignments and projects and I must say it does an excellent job thus far. Being able to just keep it all stored in one place on a laptop along side all the papers and class notes makes life so much easier than dealing with a paper planner.
    Don’t let the whiners get to you. Those of us that appreciate the work may not be so vocal be we most definitely are here.

  4. Gentlemen:
    I’m one of the older (in years)users, and I’ve probably been one of the whiners re:calendar project.
    I wholeheartedly agree with Ryan K, and I will make it a POINT to be quiet & enjoy watching your project progress daily. I only regret that I am unable to help!

  5. Also enjoying the blog entries.
    Let me add my thank you to the list. I do appreciate everyone’s hard work.

  6. I’m glad you agree, and am happy to see you enjoy the new developer notes. I’ll try to find a nice topic to write about soon!
    Note: I also have win32 builds available for the alarms bug, and also a gdata provider that supports SMS and EMAIL alarms. See

  7. What tremendous generosity the (human) developers of this project, giving their time and expertise for all our benefit. Courtesy in communication toward them, seems a small price indeed.