One of the most painful aspects of being part of a large business these days is calendaring. Everyone seems to be using a different email tool and there's no universally adopted caledaring tool at Yahoo. Not Yahoo! Calendar. Not Microsoft Outlook/Exchange.
I kid you not. Locating free times is a painful process. Scheduling a conference room is too. Many hours per month are wasted trying to coordinate basic scheduling tasks.
But enough people do use Outlook that I find myself having to deal with meeting invitations from them in Thunderbird, my email client of choice. It's a bit buggy and quirky but generally quite flexible and smart. But it has no built-in calendar or ability to decode the vCalendar data embedded in meeting invitations.
Since I have an irrational fear and mistrust of Outlook (see also: email viruses, evil empire), switching is not an option for me. Perhaps that'll change over time.
Since Sunbird isn't ready for prime time, I installed Lightning and quickly concluded that it sucks ass. I once again found myself in disbelief at the complete lack of good support for something so basic.
But then I noticed something. As a byproduct of installing Lightning, meeting notices now have explicit .ics file attachment. I can double click and open it in Outlook.
After some futzing around, I quickly figured out that I can use Outlook merely as a calendar "helper app" for Thunderbird. I just disable its automatic send/receive email and made sure that it uses the right mail server to send meeting acceptance responses.
I now have the best of both worlds (for limited values of "best").
Posted by jzawodn at April 12, 2006 07:57 AM