There’s a “family calendar” at Casa Mens which is shared on several devices: we’re reminded when the next dinner invitation is and when our friends celebrate their birthday. This calendar was on a Gmail account because Google has a service that just works.

The operative word is was on a Gmail account.

For years, literally, I’ve been searching for a suitable replacement, and the data-privacy “issues” have kicked me into action: future data will be better hidden.

DAViCal looked OK, but I never dared try it, and OwnCloud is too fat – it has too many features I don’t require.

I stumbled over Baïkal recently. It was written by Jérôme Schneider and does exactly what I need.

Baikal dashboard

To cut a short story even shorter, within four hours I had

  • set up a server here with TLS,
  • installed MySQL,
  • installed and configured Baïkal,
  • used iCal to export CalDAV from Gmail to a local file,
  • imported said file to Baïkal using iCal,
  • and re-configured all iDevices to use our new CalDAV server.

Ye olde birthday textfile got imported into its own CalDAV calendar with a wee little Python, and I can report that we’re all pleased as punch! It’s fast enough, and it’s been working very reliably.

Baïkal supports CardDAV as well; it’s not as interesting for me, but it works well from iDevices and OSX’ AddressBook.

Android’s support for CalDAV and CardDAV is pretty abysmal (understandibly), and so is its address book. I’m experimenting with aCAL (which certainly takes first prize for having the worst design I’ve ever come accross in an app) and CalDAV-Sync.

For contacts, a combination of Contact Editor Pro and CardDAV-Sync, both of which look rather promising, seems to do the job quite nicely.

CalDAV and CardDAV :: 01 Sep 2013 :: e-mail