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Summary p2p calendar application
Category process
License GNU General Public License

Mission

The goal of the pcal project is to implement a simple calendaring and meeting scheduling system using peer-to-peer (P2P) concepts.

There are many calendaring applications out there, but each requires users to commit to a specific environment. Some are unnecessarily bound to other products.

For example:

  • MS-Outlook requires an organization to host its email service using Exchange Server
  • MS-Outlook tightly binds calendaring/scheduling with email
  • Apple's iCal works only on Apple OS X
  • KDE's calendar requires Linux/KDE

The architectural goals include:

  • Server-less P2P implementation enables people to use the application without requiring the organization's IT department to provide a server, configure users, do installs on desktops, etc.
  • Work identically across all common computers/operating systems without requiring a software port.
  • Implement a system that can communicate with other tools, like email, without being bound to a particular MUA/MTA.
  • Use internet standard XML for inter-application communication.
  • Enable mobile users to disconnect/reconnect or people to shut down their computers.
  • Provide a user interface that will adapt to desktop and PDA screen sizes.
  • Notify users of events using multiple technologies (e.g. email, pager).
  • Enable events to contain markup text (e.g. HTML) and multiple attachments of various types (e.g. documents, audio).
  • Internationalization.
  • Multi-threaded.
  • Security (encryption, but not necessarily authentication)
  • Simple deployment model.
  • Enable other applications to discover and talk to this one with a standard API.

Other high-level assumptions and ground rules:

  • Effective application documentation using industry-standard templates to support future maintenance and expansion
  • Java implementation, but server-less constraint means no J2EE and no web interface.
  • Java Web Start deployment model (challenge: requires a web server!)

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