YAGCG Gets Timezone, Permissions Features

A few small features added to YAGCG (Yet Another Google Calendar Gadget) this morning:

  1. The on-gadget menu now has (hopefully clearer) text
    yagcg-menu.png
    Back to Today” simply re-loads the agenda — usually for when you get lost in the past or future of that scrolling agenda. “Refresh Permissions” does two things: it loads up Google Calendar in a fresh window/tab, which refreshes your login cookie, then 5 seconds later, it reloads your iGoogle page. If you’re getting the “Can’t display calendars …” message in red from Google, this is meant to refresh your permissions.
  2. Added ability to set timezone. This is a result of Google has adding some potentially confusing functionality to their embedded calendar (which this gadget uses). Now, it’s possible to view calendars in other timezones, and Google will modify the displayed times to reflect what the equivalent is in your time zone. If this isn’t what you want (and you rarely would), this can be terribly confusing. So YAGCG now has a setting added to explicitly set your time zone when you configure your calendars, which you’ll have to do if your timezone is off.
    Here is what the “Edit Settings” panel of the gadget looks like now.
    yagcg_settings1.png

YAGCG: Easy add, settable height

YAGCG got some updates today, responding to some of the feedback you’ve provided on the early version. Thank you!

Add to Google

New features

  • In “Edit Settings”, you can now add calendars in many formats: the calendar ID directly, or just paste in the XML, iCal, or HTML URL, or even the embedded javascript for the calendar. It will parse out the (name@domain) calendar ID. Note if you have a lot of calendars, you have to stay under 2048 chars total — that means stick to the short calendar ID where possible. (thanks to Rob, Geoff, and Mike for suggesting easier adds)
  • A menu added (thanks to Rob and others for suggestions here)
    • “Today”: Reloads agenda to show today’s events
    • “Full Page”: Loads Google Calendar in a fresh Tab or Page
    • “Help”: Takes you here.
  • “Edit Settings” now lets you set the agenda height, so you can show as much or as little of your future events as you like (thanks to Ben, Rob, Allan, and others)

Remaining limitations

  • You must still add calendars individually
  • No quick add for events (yet)
  • YAGCG has a different color for each calendar, but it can’t query the actual colors that google calendar uses — so it can’t match them.
  • Much of the internal formatting details of the agenda aren’t changable
  • IE still has some layout problems that Firefox and other browsers don’t

Head over to the YAGCG page if you have any other suggestions/comments. Thanks!

New Google Calendar Gadget – YAGCG

I’ve been quite frustrated that Google hasn’t produced a usable gadget for their own calendar system. I’ve tried tons of them.

So, in the long tradition of naming applications that should never had to come into being but for the failings of those that came before, here is YAGCG – Yet Another Google Calendar Gadget.

A simple Google Calendar Gadget with some advantages over the official one.

Install on your iGoogle personalized homepage: Add to Google

Here are some of the main pros and cons vs. the best official Google gadget:

  • Con: You must “Edit Settings” and add the ids of all the calendars you want to track. With the official gadget, it automatically grabs all your calendars from gcal
  • Con: To access your private calendars (e.g. your main one), you must stay logged in to gcal. When your login times out, you must pop over to gcal to refresh it before the gadget will display
  • Con: Doesn’t yet have Quick Add (although if there is interest, it will)
  • Pro: It loads much quicker. The official gadget locks up Firefox for 15 seconds or more and spikes your CPU. YAGCG puts the workload on Google’s servers instead (where it should be, of course).
  • Pro: Easy to quickly scroll ahead to future events. The official gadget only shows a day at a time
  • Pro: While you must add the ids of all calendars you want to track, that also means YAGCG has the flexibility to track a subset, or a completely different set, of calendars than what you track at gcal.

For me, the pros greatly outweigh the cons (the loading issue is a blocker).

If you are a gcal/iGoogle user, have you also struggled with the calendar? Any other pros/cons or feature requests for you? Feedback welcome.