External Calendaring Service for Sakai

Over the past few months I’ve been working on and off on a project to make working with iCal files within Sakai really easy – I call it the External Calendaring Service. I am pleased to announce that this is now available for your delicious consumption.

It leverages iCal4J and allows you to turn Sakai CalendarEvents into iCal files. You can aggregate a number of events together to create one calendar and then attach it to an email, then update events, delete events, add and remove participants etc. This is really useful when tools want to send out notices about events, so an obvious integration for this is the Signup tool, which fully integrates with the service.

Check out the Javadocs for the complete info:

http://source.sakaiproject.org/release/external-calendaring-service/1.0.5/apidocs/org/sakaiproject/calendaring/api/ExternalCalendaringService.html

The service is available in source code via the Sakai SVN repo, but to integrate with your project just add the following dependency to your POM and you are done:

 <dependency>
     <groupId>org.sakaiproject.calendaring</groupId>
     <artifactId>external-calendaring-service-api</artifactId>
     <version>1.0.5</version>
 </dependency>

Source: https://source.sakaiproject.org/contrib/external-calendaring-service/

Feedback or suggestions for features warmly welcomed.

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Reduce your Sakai CLE startup time

There is a current discussion on the sakai-dev list about the recent switch to Tomcat 7 and some new features in Tomcat that meant startup times took a bit longer than they used to.

http://collab.sakaiproject.org/pipermail/sakai-dev/2012-November/thread.html#19508

As it turns out there is a new feature in Tomcat 7 that scans jar files for various Servlet 3 features. However the CLE code doesn’t use any Servlet 3 features yet.

So we can just disable the scanning and cut our startup times by a fair amount.  On my local full trunk deployment I was able to reduce my startup from 175 seconds down to 89 seconds.

To do this, in catalina.properties, set:

org.apache.catalina.startup.ContextConfig.jarsToSkip=*.jar

So far, all CLE tools in 2.10 appear fully functional. If you try this and experience issues, please let me know in the comments, or post on list.

Jasig-Sakai consolidation vote passes

The recent Jasig-Sakai consolidation vote by the respective Foundation and community members has passed, meaning that we can now push forward with the last remaining steps towards forming the Apereo Foundation.

The results of the vote are:

Sakai
58 Members voted for the merger, 3 voted against, and 3 abstained. 13 Members did not register a vote.

Jasig
40 Members voted for the merger, 1 voted against, and 1 abstained. 5 Members did not register a vote.

On behalf of the Sakai Foundation Board of Directors and the Jasig-Sakai Working Group, thanks to everyone who took the time to vote in this historical event in our respective communities.