Events Calendar

Departmental Calendars

The UIC Event Calendar is built around the UICalendar system. One benefit of this relationship is the ability to post events from the Master Calendar to your own personal calendar (assuming that you are using UICalendar for your personal calendar). Another benefit is the possibility of creating departmental, college or group calendars and posting ievents to multiple calendars with one entry.

You can use the Events Calendar webpage as an interface (henceforth 'EventCal') to your departmental calendar, using it to view or add events, much as you would a normal calendar client program. Events can be shared between these calendars as desired. Thus you could add an event to your departmental calendar that would also appear on the main UIC events calendar, or make it appear just on your department's calendar, or any number of others.

For example, a department might have its own calendar, it might be affiliated with a department that also has a calendar, and the college might have one as well. The program might have an event that was of potential interest to the entire community. By entering the data using EventCal, the individual entering the event information could choose to post the entry to any or all of the four calendars at once (assuming that they have access rights to the program, departmental, and college calendars).

When you connect your departmental calendar to EventCal, you can also modify templates to change how your particular departmental calendar is displayed, so it can look however you want it to look. We also create automatic daily RSS feeds that can be aggregated usign Google Reader or any number of RSS aggregators. You'll also be able to control access to your calendar from this interface, so you can set who will be able to post events, delete events, etc.

 

Setup

 

First you'll need to create your department's or organization's calendar on our calendar server, UICal. Each department has a REACH member who is authorized to set up such calendars using a special interface. Not sure who your REACH person is? See the REACH page. If you're not able to get your calendar created that way, please email us at uical@uic.edu for assistance.

Once your calendar is created, assuming your REACH member properly assigned you ownership of it, you'll be able to access it and change options for it on our UICalendar Utilities Interface (Bluestem login required). From there you'll be able to connect your UICal calendar to the EventCal interface. Again, if you're unable to access the calendar there, and/or your REACH person can't help, please contact us at uical@uic.edu for assistance.

As part of the process, your UICal calendar will have its default viewing/booking permissions set to allow any user user to view/book this calendar. Don't change these settings or else your calendar will not be able to properly interact with other calendars via the EventCal interface.

 

Accessing your calendar

 

Once your calendar is created and connected to the EventCal interface, you'll be able to access it by modifying the main address slightly. The address will look like this, except that you will replace CALENDARNAME with your calendar's loginid.

http://www.uic.edu/htbin/eventcal/eventcal.fcgi?defaultcal=CALENDARNAME

We can also create a webalias, more suited to advertising, which will automatically redirect browsers to that address, something like

http://events.DEPTNAME.uic.edu
http://calendar.COLLEGENAME.uic.edu

Just let us know what name you want by sending us a note at uical@uic.edu.

 

Controlling Access

 

UICalendar allows for users to be added as designates of a calendar, meaning they have authority to add, modify, or delete any event on a calendar. You can control the list of designates for your calendar using UICalendar Utilities Interface, but you can also do via the EventCal Admin Panel. In the latter case, anyone listed as a designate can use the interface to view and change the list of designates.

By default, calendars are added as publicly viewable, but only designates may post to those calendars. If you want to allow any UIC user to post to your calendar, you can add "public" as a designate using the Admin Panel. Users who post events who are not designates will have control only over events they have posted.

If you do allow public access, you also have the ability to exclude certain users if that should become necessary. In the Admin Panel you will see a button to "ban" any netid.

Note that if you add designates directly to your UICal calendar via other calendar clients, the EventCal interface will not recognize them until the following day, as each night all designates are copied to the EventCal utility from your actual calendar.

 

UICal - EventCal synchronization

 

When you use the EventCal interface to enter new events or modify events, it updates its own copy of the event, as well as the data on the UICal calendar, keeping the two synchronized. However, if you add events directly to your UICal calendar using some other client, those events will not become visible from the EventCal interface until the next day, after a nightly update has run to copy them over.

You might also notice that some fields used in EventCal are stored in the "notes" section of the event in UICal, using particular formatting. If you use the same formatting, the fields will transfer as such to EventCal, otherwise all the "notes" will just show up as the description of the event.

 

Calendar appearance

 

You may wish to modify the calendar's HTML templates in order to change the calendar's appearance to suit your department's needs. To do so, you'll need some basic familiarity with web design and file management. You will also need to create a tigger account if you do not already have one.

On tigger, you'll find a directory named for your calendar at:

/usr/local/etc/httpd/htdocs/depts/accc/eventcal/depttemplates/CALENDARNAME/

By default there will be a file there called "title", in which you can specify the name of your calendar as you would like it to appear on the EventCal interface. All the other templates are not in your directory, they are in a default directory here:

/usr/local/etc/httpd/htdocs/depts/accc/eventcal/template/

You can copy any or all of the files from the default directory to your directory and modify them as you see fit. They will automatically be incorporated when your calendar is invoked. When a specific template file is not present in your directory, the default template will be used. The templates use Template Toolkit templating language.

RSS Feeds

We automatically create daily RSS feeds from your calendar, just replace CALENDARNAME with your calendar's name - deptname.deptcal - in this URL:

http://www.uic.edu/depts/accc/eventcal/rss/CALENDARNAME.rss

You'll also find an RSS link on your calendar's default page that points to this same address.