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Calendar:FAQ

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This FAQ applies to Sunbird and Lightning calendaring.

The User Documentation can be found here

A FAQ in the Wiki. - Mostly questions from newsgroup mozilla.support.calendar

The official FAQ is at: http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/faq.html

You may also have a look at: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Sunbird

WARNING

  • Some of the solutions here are only for advanced users.
  • Some of the solutions here are outdated.
  • Calendar does not work with Seamonkey, changers from Mozilla have to use the stand alone calendar Sunbird, where existing calendar files can be imported.


Contents

Files

Where is my Calendar file?

By default local calendars are stored in a sqlite database file called "storage.sdb". This file is located in your profile folder. (LINK ME)

Network calendars can be stored on WebDAV, CalDAV, and ftp servers and also locally (in this case "Network calendar" just indicates that the iCalendar format is used and not a sqlite database). To find the file, right click on the Calendar in question in the Calendars section. Select "Properties". The file name and path are shown in the label next to "Location".

How do I save my calendar file on an FTP server?

For already existing data use "Publish" and enter the address (ftp://user@domain/filename.ics)

For new calendars you can choose

"Create new calendar" | "On the network"
Filetype: iCalendar
Address: ftp://user@domain/filename.ics

Note that the calendar file will only be created if an event/task is added to this calendar.

How do I save my calendar file on a WebDAV server?

See the comments above for ftp. Just exchange "ftp://user@domain/filename.ics" with "http://domain/filename.ics" or "https://domain/filename.ics".

How do I save my calendar file on a local/network drive

Use "file:///my/path/to/test.ics" instead of "http://", see above. For Windows this can look like

file://c:/Documents and Settings/User/Own Data/test.ics

How can I subscribe to shared iCalendar file

Use "Subscribe" or "New Calendar", choose "On the Network", Filetype "iCalendar".

You can use any of the schemes discussed above:

  • WebDAV: http:// or https://
  • FTP: ftp://
  • local disk/network share: file://

Note, that no merging is supported. If you change a file that has been modified by another client between now and your last reload you will loose data! If your file is on a WebDAV server, Calendar checks for etags before writing data. This prevents you from overwriting modified files and puts the calendar in read only mode. In that case, reload your calendar, put it back in read-write mode and retry your edit.


I want the whole family to be able to share one Sunbird calendar

If all users work on the same PC: From first user export the calendar that should be shared in iCalendar format and save as .ics file on local disc in a folder that can be read/write from all users. Delete the calendar in Sunbird. Use menu

File -> Open Calendar File

and select the previously created .ics file. You'll now directly read from / write to the .ics calendar file. Repeat the last step for all other users.

Is there a way to convert calendar.ics to a file that can be imported by Outlook 2003?

->http://www.brownbearsw.com/triplesync/index.html ->http://macslash.org/article.pl?sid=04/04/23/004200

Where can I get Holiday-Files?

here http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/holidays.html or here http://calendarhelp.mozdev.org/open.xul (Mozilla-browsers only).

Installation

How can I install calendar in my current Version of XY? It doesn't work.

Download the most recent calendar.xpi. Open it with your favorite zip-program. You might need to rename the .xpi to .zip. But don't forget to rename it afterwards. Extract the install.rdf and edit the var <em:maxVersion> of the Application you want to use to the Version you are using. I.e. 1.0 -> 1.0+ or 1.0->1.1 or whatever. Repack the install.rdf. Now you should be able to install it.

You can also try the Nightly Tester Tools, which have an option to override the compatibility test.

Warning: This shouldn't do any harm, but don't do it if you have no idea what you are doing.

Where can I download calendar?

Lightning requires Thunderbird. Download it from: http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/lightning/download.html

The Sunbird project provides a stand-alone version that does not require any other Mozilla product. Download it from: http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/sunbird/download.html

Where is the help?

The Calendar Help project provides help documentation built-in to Calendar or Sunbird. It does currently not support recent releases of Lightning and Sunbird! Download it from: http://calendarhelp.mozdev.org/installation.html or view it Online with a Mozilla-browser at http://calendarhelp.mozdev.org/open.xul

Printing

Printing does not work

There is a known Windows-only issue that printing doesn't work on the first attempt, but works on the second. Apart from that, printing should work. If it doesn't, please file a bug.

Poor's man solution while it gets fixed: the print preview is saved as an HTML file in your %TEMP% directory. Copy it to another file (or, if allowed, open it in a browser window) and you'll be able to print it. (To find out you %TEMP%-dir call "set" in the command-line. If you don't know how to do this, it might be better to wait until this problem is solved ;-) )

You may need to keep the print preview open when copying or opening it, because some sunbird builds appear to delete the temp calendarPrint.html file when the preview window is closed.


Alternate Printing Method:

Here is another (easier) method: Open your word processor. Return to Sunbird and start the print job. Use your mouse to highlight the text in the right hand pane (the preview). Press Control-C to select the text. Switch over to your word processor and press Control-V to paste it (or use the Edit, Paste command from the menus). Then print from there.

Other Qs

I want to be informed without having Sunbird in my task-bar

A few links:

TB / FF crashes / shows an error after installing Calendar

This is a bug. It will happen each time you do someting withh your extensions (install, delete, update). The next time you start TB/FF everything is fine.

What is the difference between a task and an event?

The following definitions are from the calendar help glossary:

event - A calendar entry that represents something that will happen whether you take action or not. For example, meetings and birthdays are events.

task - A calendar entry that represents some action by you. For example, writing a report and visiting a client are tasks.

In general, an event is something you schedule on the calendar, and it happens at a specific time and place. A task occurs over time, and while it may need to be started at a specific time or completed by a specific time, the task itself does not.

Finally, it should be noted that tasks can only be displayed in the main calendar in certain views. (ie. multiweek)

Example: A staff meeting is an event; it happens at 9:00am on the 10th.

Calling everyone on staff to review the agenda for the meeting is a task; it must be completed by 5pm on the 9th.


How can I assign colours to event categories?

Sunbird 0.2 and Calendar 0.8

In Sunbird 0.2 and Calendar 0.8, you can define styles for event categories in the userChrome.css file.

Example:
.event-category-cycling{ background-color: #99FFCC!important; }
.event-category-meeting{ background-color: #00FF99!important; }

These lines set the background colours for 'cycling' and 'meeting' events, respectively. It is CSS, i.e. you can also define other attributes like 'border-color' or include background pictures:

Example:

.event-category-radtour{ 
  color: black!important;
  border-color: blue !important;
  background-image: url(file:///D|/etc/bbbike/images/srtbike.gif);
  background-position: center center;
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  border-width: 2px ! important;
}

This lets all 'Radtour' events appear with a blue border and a road bike icon (contained in the file specified above).

Sunbird 0.3

Since calendar 0.3, the format must be

Example:

[item-category~="Radtour"]{ 
  color: black!important;
  border-color: blue !important;
  background-image: url(file:///D|/etc/bbbike/images/srtbike.gif);
  background-position: center center;
  background-repeat: no-repeat;
  border-width: 2px ! important;
}

Lightning 0.5pre

Not yet working: bugzilla entry

How can I assign colours to tasks?

This isn't possible at the moment.

Is there still development in progress?

Yes there is! Have a look through recent changes committed to the comm-central source code repository, though you may have to scan a few pages to find calendar progress among the thunderbird progress. You can also look at bugzilla reports in Calendar project modified in the previous week.

How can I synchronize data with my mobile phone?

This is currently only possible with third party programs. There is a free tool based on the Gammu GSM library for windows. The original Linux counterpart is called Wammu and supports two way iCalendar exchange with a mobile phone.

There is a free tool available, which allows two way synchronisation between Sunbird and Windows Mobile platforms like PocketPCs and SmartPhones. It also synchronizes Thunderbirs'd addressbook. It's written in Java and works on Windows, Linux and OS X. See for details: http://www.finchsync.com

You can, with some limitations, do synchronization with a PalmOS PDA (and other platforms) using the GoogleCalenderPlusGcaldaemonPlusGoosync method.

Even without dedicated synchronization software it may be possible to export a collection of calendar entries from Sunbird or Lightning to your mobile phone and import entries into Sunbird/Lightning from your phone. Many newer phones use internal calendar and task managers that are compatible with the industry standard iCalendar format and allow you to send and receive calendar entries to and from your PC using Object Exchange (OBEX) protocol via USB cable, Bluetooth or Infrared. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OBEX for a short description)

Whole calendars or parts of a calendar in Sunbird and Lightning can be exported in iCalendar format. Once exported you can send them to your phone using OBEX object push. Windows XP (service pack 2) offers support for OBEX over Blue Tooth for those with Blue Tooth connectivity. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/883259 for more information. In LINUX, OBEX support is provided through the OpenOBEX project, see http://openobex.triq.net/ for more.

Note that the iCalendar format is an industry standard format and an extension of the original vCalendar 1.0. The iCalendar and vCalendar standards include many optional features that a particular vendor may not support. For example, most mobile phone manufacturers support only a small part, if any, of the complex mini-language used to express repeated events and tasks, so these may not import correctly into your phone. The .vcs Support extension may help import or export .vcs files.

How can I subscribe to my Yahoo! Calendar?

As of January 2009, Yahoo has a beta calendar service based on Zimbra which provides CalDAV access. See Yahoo Calendar Beta Notes.

Suntray

Suntray is an application that minimizes Mozilla Calendar applications to your system tray.

It can be found here: http://users.dart.net.au/~srgeorg/.

As there are quite a few Questions about Suntray I'll add them here.

Suntray does not start Sunbird

Put Suntray in the same folder as Sunbird and start it with " -start".

I don't get any alarms

This is probably because Sunbird isn't running. Suntray doesn't show any alarms, it just hides Suntray from your task bar. So do not exit Sunbird, only minimize it. If you close Sunbird, you won't get any alarms. Try running Suntray with " -warn" so you are warned when you close Sunbird.

Sunbird 0.3a1/0.3a2

Webdav or Caldav: Which should I choose?

Almost always Webdav. If you're subscribing to any of the holiday files from the project page, or creating an icalx account, these are definitely cases to choose webdav. Anything involving a .ics file is also grounds for choosing webdav. Webdav calendars also have the advantage of Sunbird's backup system. Future versions should be able to answer this question automatically for you.

Where are my backup files?

Sunbird 0.3a1 provides automatic backup files for Webdav (.ics) calendars. These can be found in the 'BackupData' folder inside your profile directory.

I get a (javascript) error when I choose 'Refresh remote calendars'

Errors that look something like this:

Error: [Exception... "'Method not implemented' when calling method: [calICalendar::refresh]" nsresult: "0x80004001 (NS_ERROR_NOT_IMPLEMENTED)" location: "JS frame :: file:///E:/sunbird/components/calCompositeCalendar.js :: anonymous :: line 303" data: no] Source File: file:///E:/sunbird/components/calCompositeCalendar.js Line: 303

occur when you have a caldav calendar in your list. At this point, support for caldav is still being implemented. Please see Calendar:FAQ#Webdav_or_Caldav:_Which_should_I_choose? to make sure that you really want a caldav calendar in this case.

If your error does not involve calICalendar::refresh and NS_ERROR_NOT_IMPLEMENTED please consider reporting it.

I get a (javascript) error when I try to add/edit/delete an event

Your calendar may be in read-only mode. If Sunbird experiences an error working with an ics calendar, it automatically places the calendar in read-only mode to prevent further damage to the data. It should also alert you that this has happened. Alternatively, you can manually place your own calendars (of any type in read-only mode. You can check whether a calendar is in read-only mode by double-clicking on the calendar in the calendar listbox (in the top left, behind the small calendar) and examining the appropriately labeled checkbox.

If your calendar is not in read-only mode and you still experience an error, please consider reporting it.