Big Calendar Plugins

I’ve been using EventCalendar3 for a couple of years. It’s a great plugin and version 3.1.4 still plays nice with WordPress 2.9.x. However, I was rolling out a new website with WordPress as CMS with a requirement for a Big Calendar. A couple of EC3 users had built big calendar capability into the development branch. The last beta version (EC3.2 beta 2) had big calendar functionality built in so I installed it. After I made the move to WordPress 2.9, everything seemed to be working fine until I realized my comments feed was returning a 404 all of a sudden. Comments on posts were feeding properly as were category based feeds and the site feed. So, I went through all the usual troubleshooting (check the forums and deactivate plugins). Turns out EC3.2 beta 2 was the culprit. When I deactivated it, my comments feed started working again.

I’ve spent a fair share of time going through the EC3 code over the past couple of years and couldn’t figure out what EC3 and comments had to do with each other. EC3 does highjack some feeds and futz with canonical redirects but everything I saw in the code seemed benign. I commented out some of the redirect functions with no luck. On my other blog with E3.1.4, my comments feed was fine and the plugin is still solid despite its apparent abandonment. Odd. After a couple of hours of troubleshooting, I packed it in.

Fortunately, I hit gold on my first stop through the WordPress plugin repository with Kieran’s excellent calendar plugin. It’s a no nonsense big calendar with two useful template tags to generate lists of events. While similar to EC3 in that it uses a separate table to store event data, it differs in that you add the events using a backend form rather than the posting method EC3 uses. You can link the event on the calendar to a blog posting (or any other url) which is a nice touch as well. Kieran’s plugin also seems pretty bulletproof as WordPress evolves.

It’s sad when a plugin withers away but plugin authors are very special people who give without compensation (for the most part) and are swamped with support requests from all kinds of folks who should have RTFM. When or if EC3.1.4 finally breaks, there’s an alternative.

2 thoughts on “Big Calendar Plugins

  1. I found a way to fix the RSS comment feed for EventCalendar3 ver 3.2 beta 2, but I am not sure if there are any sideeffects. So far, everything seems to be working – but please be aware and test the change on your site first.

    How to:
    1. open /wp-content/plugins/event-calendar/options.php
    2. go to line 148
    3. change $this->advanced_setting=$this->advanced;
    4. to //$this->advanced_setting=$this->advanced;

    As said before, I tried to fix this, but didnt quite understand how the plugin works here so I just commented out the line which was caused the comment rss feed to work.

    Perhaps you can help and offer a proper fix and not just this workaround.

    • That’s a nice bit of sleuthing but I couldn’t tell you what is affected by your change. As best I can tell, it’s a secondary property for development and feature enhancement so you’re probably ok using it in a production environment.

      It’s a very sophisticated plugin that does a ton of stuff to the way your WordPress installation functions. Deconstructing and retooling it is a significant task and not for the feint of heart, despite Alex’s excellent documentation. Because of the complexity and sophistication, I don’t hold out much hope for further development of the plugin out of beta status. Thankfully, the last production version (3.1.4) still works quite well with WordPress ver 3.0.x.

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