Calendar Organization, CalSuites, categories etc
(Note: this page and the arguments presented are definitely a work in progress)
In this section we discuss the organization of public events into calendars and what it is we are trying to achieve.
The Big Picture
What are we trying to achieve with a public events calendar? Presumably we are looking for maximum effective coverage so that our events come to the attention of possibly interested parties.
From the users perspective a subject, or topical, organization makes most sense. As a user I may be interested in the Arts. I don't care who organized a lecture entitled "Arts and Engineering" (the engineering department) or "Engineering and the Arts" (an Arts department).
This argument often raises itself in almost exactly the same form when we look at the design of web sites. All to often the site is organized to reflect the internal organization of a department. This does not help users obtain the information they need. Why do they need to go to "Networking" first before they find the link to "Telephones" so they can get their phone fixed?
Users may also be subscribing to an events feed or a calendar remotely. We have caldav, rss, probably CalAtom and these may not allow some of the tricks we may want to play with web clients.
For this reason, we promote the organization of events into a large central pool organized by topic. A fairly coarse grained subdivision makes some sense, e.g "Arts" into "Dance", "Theatre" etc, but even there the appropriate location is open to debate.
Ownership often seems to be raised early on in the debate. Departments seem to want to own their events and the calendars within which they are placed. At least until the engineering department puts on an Arts related event and they are unable to get their event noticed by anybody interested in the Arts calendar.
For the main campus calendar, and for external feeds this organization seems to offer the greatest coverage with the least organizational overhead.
Calendar Suites and departments
Some larger sub-organizations have a legitimate desire to highlight a subset of the events that exist in the larger pool. They also wish to have a different look to the calendar, one which blends into their website. Calendar Suites are designed (with some as yet unimplemented features) to achieve this. For example, if we have a theatre which wants a calendar of productiosn at that theatre we should enable that feature but hopefully not in a way that will reduce the effectiveness of the system as a whole.
In the example given, we might create a calendar suite for that group and subscribe to the "Arts" calendar. We then filter that subscription to display only those with a particular category.