Are We Meeting Yet?

Tracking Mozilla meetings across time is a thorny problem. People send out meeting reminder emails, but often they forget to update a URL or a date or a time, or they update it wrong due to a DST change, or they update the local time but not the UTC time, or vice versa. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was one URL which pointed you at the next occurrence of a weekly meeting?

Enter Dirkjan Ochtman’s “Are We Meeting Yet?“.

Construct a URL like this:

Pretty obviously, the first bit is the timezone (not sure why it’s half-a-timezone), the second is the date of the first instance, the third is the time of day, the fourth says “repeat weekly”, and the fifth is the title. Visit the URL and see what sort of display you get. Note that it gives you the time of the upcoming weekly meeting even though the time directly encoded in the URL is from two weeks ago. That’s the “weekly repeat” part.

The upshot of this is that you can construct one URL for your meeting (defined in the timezone in which the meeting is fixed, which is Pacific Time for most but not all Mozilla meetings) and put it in your reminder email, and you’ll not have to change it unless the meeting time actually changes :-)

People who click the link can see the time in the timezone of definition, the time in UTC, and the time in their local timezone, all in one link. No more arguments about which form of the time is more important!

It would be nice to have a form to construct such URLs with a timezone picker, a datepicker and a timepicker. Anyone feel like coding one up? (HTML5 input controls would make such a thing easy to write, but sadly we haven’t implemented them yet :-( )

7 thoughts on “Are We Meeting Yet?

  1. It would also be nice if the mozilla wiki detected dates and times in the text and added translations to the browsers local time-zone (via a bit of javascript) in the page and perhaps a popup with values for other timezones. Then we wouldn’t need to go to third-party sites.

  2. I think the use of the word “Local” here is confuing. I’ve always used (and heard) “local” to mean the time in the location of the event (or the time in the timezone that it’s defined in). E.g., the “Set” in this case.

    For example, people say “my flight leaves at 08:30 local time” means 08:30 at the airport you fly from, not 08:30 whatever timezone you’re in now.

    I think: “Local”, “UTC”, and “Where you are now” would be more appropriate. “Local” and “Where you are now” could have the timezones in brackets to be explicit.