Whoop-de-doo! Now we can, get this, view the PDC schedule as raw XML rather than on a web page or in Outlook or on our phone, how cool is THAT? (conveying sarcasm in the written word is never easy but hopefully I've managed it here!)
Seriously, I admire Microsoft's commitment to OData, both in their Creative Commons licensing of it and support of it in a myriad of products
but advocating its use for things that it patently should not be used for is verging on irresponsible and using OData to publish schedule information is a classic example.
A standard format for publishing schedule information over the web already exists, its called iCalendar (RFC5545
). The beauty of iCalendar is that it is supported today in many tools (e.g. Outlook, Google Calendar, Hotmail Calendar, Apple iCal) so I can subscribe to an iCalendar feed and see that schedule information alongside, and intertwined with, my personal calendar and any other calendars that I happen to subscribe to. Moreover the beauty of subscribing versus importing is that any changes to the schedule will automatically get propogated to me. Can any of that be achieved with an OData feed? No!
On the off-chance that anyone in the PDC team is reading this I implore you, please, publish the schedule in a format that makes it useful. OData is not that format.
As an aside, I am an avid proponent of iCalendar and have a strong belief that adoption of it both in our work and home lives could have significantly positive repercussions for all of us. With that in mind I actively canvas people to publish their data in iCalendar format and also contribute to Jon Udell
's Elmcity project which you can read more about at Elmcity Project FAQ
. I encourage you to contribute.