3 or 4 days ago Google inflicted Google Calendar on the world, yet another in their long line of Beta products. Being part geek I tried it out over the Easter break and within about 2 minutes became very unimpressed with the product. Based on the bugs, quirks and workarounds this product does not look like it has been through even the most basic of testing. Some of the issues I came across are listed below.
- Unable to edit an event once you have added it to your calendar. This seems to be a common issue if you are running personal firewall software such as Norton Internet Security or ZoneAlarm. You can get around the issue by disabling security while you edit your calendar! As Barbara Krasnoff from Information Week says “you’ve got real problems if people need to disable their security features in order to use your product.”
- Entering events with days of the week in the title. Google has built some intelligence into the tool to help you quickly create events, but try and create and event for “Good Friday” or “Easter Monday”, no luck. You get events on the next Friday or Monday called “Good” and “Easter” respectively.
- Once you successfully create an event and go to edit it, there are no visual clues on how to change attributes. You need to click on the attribute and then the field will become a textbox.
- No hCalendar support and generally no standards support. Rod Booth from Innovation Creators provides a good summary of the issues.
- Issues with importing events and timezones, Cameron Rielly noted this issue and found a workaround. Create a calendar, import, create a new calendar import from first into second and then start using the second calendar. Doh!
Google, get back to us when you start to actually test your products before you ship them, even in beta.