One advantage to a content management system like Joomla is add-ons and extensions like event calendars. Anyone who has coded an event calendar in a regular web site can tell you this is not easy and can be very time consuming. Joomla offers lots of different add-ons and extensions for making an event calendar. Joomla also has a great place to research these add-ons and extensions at extensions.jooomla.org. I narrowed my selection down by only looking at extensions and add-ons that were free and native Joomla 1.6. This narrowed the field down to 4 different products. Here are the 4 extensions and their descriptions.
Calendar extensions for Joomla 1.6
GCalendar connects Google calendars with your Joomla powered web site. It is a suite of extensions to show your Google calendar events smooth integrated into Joomla. Easy configuration, CSS based customization and performance gains through AJAX and advanced caching mechanism are the main targets of this extension. The date this program was last update: 2011-03-28
PHP Quick Calendar E An event calendar, easy to use. Based on the popular PHP Quick Calendar with extra functionality. It is able to display recurring events daily, weekly, monthly, annually. Currently, only has the standard and small view. An optional module for displaying the small view is also provided, which can be customized using (the component) template overrides.The date this program was last update: 2011-04-17
Calendar FX You can integrate it in any website for free without any Flash knowledge. You can modify the calendar’s width and height and there are multiple background and shade properties. The text is HTML/CSS formatted and there is the ability to change skin for info box.
Category: Events Calendars http://www.flashxml.net/calendar.html#swmi-joomla
The date this program was last update: 2011-03-02
Spider Calendar Lite is a highly configurable Joomla extension, which allows you to have multiple organized events in a calendar. You can create as many events as you need for a day. With a simple click on the date you will see the events and their descriptions recorded for that day. The date this program was last update: 2011-04-25
A Matter of Deduction
Considering the fact that I am still learning Joomla, I am using the reviews as a way to weed out my selection. The first to go is Spider Calendar Lite. It is a new extension and has a lot of bugs in it according to their reviews. I think I will wait to see how this one evolves. I then looked at Calendar FX. It has no reviews and I really did not like how the demo looked when I viewed it. I could not make changes on the demo so I did not want to try this version on a site of my own. Both GCalendar and PHP QAuick Calendar have problems of their own but it looks like both have been around a while by looking at the different versions of the extensions on their sites. I thought it would be GCalendar hands down, but after looking on their website I found that GCalendar runs native onJ1.6 and uses some Joomla 1.6 specific features. I did find out that the latest release is only a test version and should not run on production sites according to their own website. PHP Quick Calendar also has problems but their website does say Development Status: 5 – Production/Stable. I liked PHP Quick Calendar demo calendar the best. So even with their limitations, I thing that PHP Quick Calendar would be the one that I would try right now and just keep watching the rest to see how they evolve.
I found that like most of Joomla 1.6 extensions and plug-ins, the calendar extensions are still in the evolving stages. One just needs to pick the one that sounds like it has the fewest bugs and hope that it will work on your site. Just as Joomla 1.6 is evolving so are all the extensions and plug-ins. These are free and evolving so it will be exciting to see what happens next. Plus it does not cost any thing to try them out only the time you have invested in learning the programs.
Which one did you think is best?