Why isn’t everybody using iCalendar?

It dawned on me that it was several weeks since I saw any good live music (I did see Nina
Ramsby
at Debaser two weeks ago, but that
was more in the ”interesting” category — particularly the acoustic, softly played
version of Rage Against the Machine‘s ”Killing
in the name of
”), so I went to a coupleofthegig guides
for the Stockholm region that I know of, each with their own way of presenting the
concerts they had in their database, sometimes with way outdated info, and with no
way of getting the complete picture.

A couple of years ago, when Apple began launching iApplications every
other month (speaking of which, why did they choose GarageBand as
a name for their latest offering in the iLife series, as opposed to, say, iStudio?),
they offered an interesting calendar program called iCal.
Now, that name was somewhat unfortunate as there already existed a Unix program called ical as
well as a calendaring standard format called iCalendar,
but what can you do? To ensure further confusion, the Apple iCal program actually
used the iCalendar format (the unix ical program did not, if memory serves me correctly),
and had the ability to subscribe to ”calendars”, a calendar being basically a iCalendar
file with a bunch of events in it, available at a specified URL. Much like we subscribe
to RSS feeds today.

Now, if everybody offered iCalendar feeds, I could just subscribe to them in my calendaring
program of choice, and if those gig guides I mentioned had iCalendar feeds I would
have found out that Sick of it all (no link provided as their site is IE-only — what
the fuck is wrong with these anti-establishment punk bands offering sites that only
works in The Man’s
browser
?) plays here March 3rd. As their album was the 9th
best in 2003
, I’m really thinking about going, even if they’re playing at a fairly
sucking venue
.

Now, publishers won’t do that since there’s not a lot of demand, and there isn’t a
lot of demand since there aren’t many applications that can read iCalendar feeds.
Apples iCal is one, the cross-platform Mozilla
Calendar
(which unfortunately still isn’t in the standard builds) is another,
and Evolution seems to be
a third. I guess that if someone wrote a kick-ass Outlook iCalendar feed plug in (I
think outlook can import a iCalendar file, but that’s not nearly the same thing) the
format would have a better chance of taking off. However, what would motivate publishers
to offer feeds (and therefore diverting traffic from their normal, ad-supported pages)
is still unknown.