Adding an ICS Event File to Google Calendar

If you register for webinars, conferences, meetings, etc. on a somewhat regular basis, you are probably familiar with ICS files. An ICS file is an iCalendar file; and can contain a single event or an entire calendar feed. Online registrations and event notices tend to make use of these files quite a bit, because they offer a one-click method for people to add the events to their calendars.

If you’re using Outlook, Thunderbird, iCal or just about any other desktop calendar program, you simply download the file, open it and save the event to your calendar.

However, if you’re using Google Calendar, things get a little bit trickier. There’s no simple way to open the file and have Google Calendar take over from there. Instead, you basically have to understand how Google Calendar expects ICS files to be used (why the system uses this logic is kind of beyond me; but that’s the way things are). Google Calendar, for some reason, does not seem to expect people to use ICS files to add individual events regularly. Instead, it uses the logic that an ICS file should include a calendar “feed”, similar to a website’s RSS feed, that would contain a complete list of events.

iCal Files for Single Google Calendar Events

Over the past few months, I have been going round-and-round trying to figure out how to link to individual events in a Google Calendar, allowing visitors to add the event to their own calendars. Google does a nice job of providing functionality to add an event to your own Google calendar, but they don’t seem to offer any functionality to add an event to other calendars.

Google does, however, provide a link to an iCal file for each calendar’s feed; which allows you to add the calendar itself to your own calendar program (Outlook, etc.). The problem with that, obviously, is that, instead of adding a single event (maybe a concert or conference you want to attend, a public meeting, etc.), it adds all of the events from that calendar.

How CSS is Implemented in E-mail Clients

The other day, Smashing Magazine tweeted about an updated guide to CSS implementation in e-mail clients. The guide is extremely helpful, as it shows you exactly what CSS techniques and features you can use within your HTML e-mail messages and which e-mail clients will display them correctly.

The chart displayed in theĀ original blog post shows over 50 different CSS techniques and elements are evaluated for 11 different e-mail/Webmail clients. Apparently the PDF and Excel versions of the chart that are linked from the post include more than 23 different mail clients. Unfortunately, looking at the chart, it appears that the safest way to create an attractive e-mail message that looks the way you intend in multiple e-mail clients is to code with tables and inline styles.

Relying On Technology

When I arrived at work this morning, I tried to open Outlook only to have it pop up and tell me it couldn’t open. A long, rambling error message spouted on and on about the fact that Outlook couldn’t open because it couldn’t communicate with the Exchange server. First of all, I’m lost as to why Outlook can’t even open when it’s unable to communicate with the server. How does that stop Outlook from working altogether? Regardless, I couldn’t access the Exchange server through the Webmail interface, either, as the entire server was down.

E-mail Client Survey – What Are People Using?

A blog entry from SitePoint was forwarded to me the other day at work. The blog entry dealt with a new survey put out by Litmus, using their Fingerprint e-mail analysis system.

The survey explored the usage of various e-mail clients throughout both the business and consumer sectors. The survey produced some very interesting results.

Some of the results I found the most intriguing are after the jump.

Frustrated With Outlook

I’ve been using Evolution quite a bit in Linux Mint lately, and it’s really made me realize just how frustrating Outlook can be. After the jump is a list of features that I believe are missing from Microsoft Outlook. If you know of any easy way to add any of these features (other than payware add-ins), please let me know. Also, if there are other features that you’d like to see Microsoft add to Outlook, please feel free to post them.