iCal (ics) export of friends birthdays
Short, concise description of the idea
Make the Friends birthdays information (a la http://www.livejournal.com/birthdays.bml) available in .ics iCal format.
Full description of the idea
An alternative URL to access the friends birthday list in ICS format.
Could also provide individual links per friend so they can be downloaded one at a time (not so useful IMHO)
- A handy list of friends' birthdays imported into many calendaring applications, including Mozilla Calendar, iCal, Outlook etc.
- Data is in an open standard format
- Some calendaring applications let you subscribe to a URL, allowing the birthdays in their calendar to be kept automatically up to date.
- Shouldn't be too hard to implement, it's existing data in a new format.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
- Increased support load to deal with users unfamiliar with the concept
- Increased server load with client applications subscribed to the .ics URL
- Client application must be able to access/maintain login cookie to access the .ics file (Calendar plugin in Firefox can do this, not sure about others)
An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
- For an example iCal link, see http://www.slug.org.au/events/
- The feature could be implemented as a new .bml page or by capturing an additional parameter to the existing birthdays.bml page and providing the alternative format.
- There are almost certainly libraries available to help with formatting the data in .ics form.
- Applying an annual recurrence to each event should see it working into eternity.
- .ics also provides for a link, this could link back to the friend's LJ user info or latest entries.