Google Calendar Makes Date with Atom

Google Calendar can import and export calendars created as Atom feeds but does not support RSS, according to Byrne Reese:

Only a small minority of people will care about this obscure technology fact, but in the syndication community I think this is tremendously significant. To an engineer, adding RSS support is trivial, so the syndication industry must ask themselves, and the RSS folks especially, why did Google only support Atom?

Google also introduced their own proprietary Atom elements or what I could only call the "Google Calendar Atom Extension."

Public calendars -- such as the upcoming U.S. soccer schedule -- are available in Atom 1.0 and iCal formats and can be imported into another calendar.

The Atom feeds have items with published dates in the future that coincide with the scheduled date of the event, which sometimes triggers a warning in the Feed Validator.


But the feeds, RSS or ATOM, seem less than useful. The soccer feed, at least when I view it in SharpReader, doesn't show me the dates of the games! So what good is that?

Those Atom feeds aren't well-suited for presentation in a reader in their current form.

Since Google's added a namespace for calendar features that includes a when element for the event date, they could make the feeds more presentable by using the published and content elements to announce the upcoming event.

Those Atom feeds aren't well-suited for presentation in a reader in their current form.

That kind of advocacy, independent of the underlying representation chosen, is very much needed.

There has been some discussion on atom-syntax John works for AOL, Kyle, for Google.

We're listening and are aware of the issues with the Google Calendar feeds for feed readers. The atom:content element in the Calendar feeds currently contains the event description, which is sometimes blank or does not contain enough basic info (event date/time, location, etc) to make the feed reader view of the event as useful as it could be.

One option we're evaluating is moving the description data to an extension element and auto-generating that contains more suitable, html-formatted aggregate info about the event.

The best place to send Calendar Atom feedback is here

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