Jabber meeting reminders

11 August, 2004

I need a bot, transport whatever, which can query either my exchange server or my running copy of Outlook (via a small desktop app) and then send my meeting notifications via Jabber.

Why is so that a) I don’t have to run Outlook just for my calendar and meeting notifications (which is probably about 70% of my current use for Outlook) and b) it can use my Jabber presence indicator to see whether I’m actually in the meeting or still at my desk since Outlook has no idea, so that I’m I’m still available I’m clearly not in a meeting and c) I sometimes click “dismiss” instead of “snooze” and d) I don’t have to be running Outlook locally to get meeting reminders.

I think the easiest way to do this would be:

Obviously it would then be nice if I could publish my calendar info to the web a la Michael Sippey’s timeline and calendar solution

The problem there of course is that every time Outport accesses Outlook it prompts to allow it, so I need to find a way of either getting at the data directly without using Outlook’s OLE interface or putting Outport on some kind of whitelist of applications which are allowed access to Outlook’s data.

The situation I’m currently in is that my PDA syncs with Outlook and so when I’m at work they both remind me about meetings. I only need one reminder, thanks. Moving my notifications to Jabber and turning off Outlook alarms would definitely improve my attitude to meetings, as well as allowing the same system to notify me of private events as well as work-related events.

See other posts tagged with general and all posts made in August 2004.


17 August, 2004 at 21:57

Hmmm, you know, I wrote some code to pull events out of Outlook via Perl’s Net::IMAP module and shoot the data into a vCal/iCal file that Apple’s iCal can then use. This lets me avoid using Outlook and instead just use iCal.

If only I could get some of the Perl Jabber modules to work, I might be able to push it a bit further for notification….

24 August, 2004 at 09:03

It’s not that easy though is it? Because you need the server-side bit to only send messages when it’s actually important. I guess you could get rss2jabber to scan the feed every fifteen mins or something but you’d still need some app which regenerates the RSS frequnetly enough to be able to insert items at the point when you’d like to be notifed about them and hope that rss2jabber’s scan time coincides with it.

I don’t think RSS is the right medium for this unless you’re producing RSS 1.0 with embedded event data and your aggregator can understand it.

30 August, 2004 at 16:19

You might want to look at Outlook Redemption ( which allows access to Outlook data without the security boxes. Also, Outlook allows you to subscribe to other people’s iCalendar feeds, so I’m told, so it might allow you to export your current calendar as iCalendar?

30 August, 2004 at 22:42

That looks like a good developer tool, but I’m really not that interested in having to write my own (although if push comes to shove I will).

I think you can manually export your calendar (I’ll have to check when I get in the office), but ideally I want to be able to move away from using Outlook as much as possible, otherwise I’d have to manually export it every day or something.