Zenhack.net

WhenView

21 Feb 2016

I’ve been using When to manage my calendar lately. I switched from Orage, essentially because it’s easier to keep in sync across machines. I use git to manage a fair chunk of my home directory, including the calendar. Eventually I got sick of having to manually fix spurious merge conflicts in iCalendar files. When stores its data in a simpler line-oriented text format, which jives better with what git expects. Orage is pretty solid, and this is mostly git’s fault, but being able to sync is a big deal for me.

When doesn’t do much, and I’m generally a fan of that. It lets me define (possibly repeating) events, and query a period of time on my calendar. Just typing when prints out a list of the upcoming events, e.g:

today    2016 Feb 21 TODO: Publish blog post
today    2016 Feb 21 21:00 Go have fun
tomorrow 2016 Feb 22 13:00 Lunch with so-and-so
Tue      2016 Feb 23 18:00 Bike safety forum: mabikesafety.com
...

However, it sometimes would be nice to be able to view it like an actual calendar, and when doesn’t do that. This week I wrote WhenView, a simple wrapper around When that formats its output as HTML and hands it to your browser. The visualization makes a big difference. It may still have some rough edges, and some packaging work would not go amiss, but it’s a handy little tool and I thought I’d mention it.

P.S. The bike safety forum in the calendar above is a real thing happening this Tuesday, and if you’re interested in engaging some Massachusetts legislators about bike safety you should check it out.