Karl: Letter to the Editor

Occasionally I get emails from folks who need feedback on a particular issue or have a question regarding something that I have discussed in my blog. I usually offer my help or advice when I can but sometimes I feel like the community of readers may have a more unique take on the issue and offer a broader scope of advice. This is my first Letter to the editor post and I hope you enjoy it, please take a read and lets see if we cant help out.

Hello Jon,

I read a few posts of yours regarding 10.6 Groups functionality w/calendar, and I’m hoping really just for your opinion. And if you’re just too busy, I understand that, as well, but maybe you can take a couple of minutes and humor me!

For what it’s worth, in a former life I was a much more in-the-trenches Mac tech and developer (pre X), and now am just a semi-power user. As a complete aside, I’m
also a former Now Up To Date & Contact evangelist, and I sorely miss a lot of what that product had right out of the box.

So, that said, I run 10.5.8 Server, and really need to share Calendars andContacts, using Groups for permissions. The CalDav server works pretty well, great with iCal, kind of cumbersome to set up paths with Sunbird on Windows boxes, but works. The Wiki cal…was pretty disappointing in that it only displayed the primary calendar. And for all the meandering I’ve attempted with Groups, it hasn’t really gotten me to a good end, and client setup is again, cumbersome.

I do like the idea of Win users (or anyone, especially remotely) being able to just open a browser and view multiple calendars, for obvious reasons, as opposed to using an application (Sunbird) and setting up a half dozen calendars and paths, for instance. For this reason I’ve dabbled with Google Apps, using their shared Cals, and iCal as client for my Mac users, etc. This works quite well…no Groups permissions per se, but at least easy to assign per calendar privileges to individuals, and thereby pretty easy for individuals to log in and see all. I’ve messed with Google Groups, and again, got a little cumbersome. Worked, but cumbersome.

I ALSO very much need a good Shared Contacts solution, and Google (and everyone) still fails badly on this score, as far as I can tell. It appears that 10.6 Server will do what I need it to via CardDav, hopefully…?

SO THE QUESTION IS…should I bite the $500 bullet and buy 10.6 Server? Specifically, to your knowledge:

1) Does Address Book sharing really work now? As in, the ability to specify Groups you do or do not want shared? I’d thought 10.5 was supposed to, but was disappointed to find out it was strictly LDAP-related. So once bitten, twice shy. If it does work well, that might be reason enough for me to make the switch, even if I kept using Google calendars…

2) That said, does iCal Server now actually work with Groups, for real, for assigning Group privileges and access?!

3) …and if so, can you now use a browser to view multiple calendars, assuming you have proper Group privileges?! Or a CalDav client?

If you’ve gotten through this, thank you sincerely. Honestly, any thoughts are appreciated. When I was more ‘in the game’ I had a big network of coders and developers to chat out things like this, but now I’m pretty much out of the fold.


Karl Zarling

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