Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Making Evolution Cool

I wanted to try and find a project that I could work on in my free time that would help the community, along with helping solve some of my own needs. We have had excellent success here at the City taking time and date material from manual systems and from our financial software and loading it into iCal files which then display in Evolution.

I have been poking at developing a method for downloading time and date related information from the web and then formatting that information into .ics files which then display in Evolution. At this early stage it's just developed with lynx --dump and then a ksh script does the formatting. But I would like to develop a simple scripting language for reading this content and formatting it easily to promote the development of lots of similar plugins.

I have been working on a few simple plugins to determine the scope of fields that need to stored, and also how the scripting language would work. I have been testing plugins to display movie times at local theaters, displaying the lowest rates for car rentals for a block of dates, displaying lowest prices for air travel for a block of dates, and displaying lowest prices for hotels for a block of dates. This would turn Evolution more into a portal, that watches the web automatically and updates itself as the prices change.

Wouldn't it be nice if a plugin system like this was built into Evolution? That would make Evolution very cool. Find me on the IRC or email me (flbeachlf at yahoo.com) if you have any suggestions. It's all at a very early stage, and I'll need some help with the scripting language development. There also would have to be a method to generate front ends very quickly to allow the entry of the basic criteria.

What is a blog without screen shots? The shots show the original source material as it appears in Firefox, and the resulting information that was brought down via the scripts.

Evolution displaying car rental rates:

Evolution displaying show times at a theater:

1 comment:

tincan said...

Extremely cool!! Keep it up!