10 Replies Latest reply: Sep 20, 2012 7:58 AM by USB_Connect
slightly baffled Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello, I've read my way through the forum, but I still haven't found a solution for my conundrum. Here goes. I receive invites from a person who is located in Central Europe, while I am in the UK, so different time zones. Let's say the invite is for 4pm Central European Summer Time, which would be 3pm British Summer Time. The invite entry ends up at neither time in iCal, but instead at 5pm, which is complete nonsense whichever way one looks at it, and since it is an invite I can neither move the entry nor allocate a different time zone to it.

 

Any ideas of a) what's going wrong here and b) how I can correct it? I don't mind the entries ending up at the sender's time, although ideally I would like to be able to adjust the time zone so that they end up at the time that's correct for me. But having them moved by iCal in the opposite direction makes no sense at all.

 

Any help appreciated, the current state makes iCal pretty useless to me.

Thanks

  • John Maisey Level 5 Level 5 (6,895 points)

    Hi,

     

    Is this from only one person?

     

    Do you have iCal's timezone support turned on in Prefernces > Advanced? If so what does it say th etimezone is at the top right of iCal's main window?

     

    Have you looked at the raw text of the invite to confirm their invite has the correct time information?

     

    Best wishes

    John M

  • slightly baffled Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi John

     

    this is only from one person - I don't use the function much, so won't be able to compare to others. The sender is using Lotus Notes.

     

    Timezone support is turned on and it says United Kingdom Time in the top righthand corner.

     

    I have re-sent one of the invites to myself so I could have a look at the file with TextEdit. The only time reference I can see in there is DTSTART:20120920T171500Z - the event it supposed to start at 17.15 CET, so that seems about right. However, in iCal it ends up as beginning at 18.15 UK time, which is clearly wrong. 17.15 CET corresponds to 16.15 UK time. (When I switch the time to CET in the top righthand corner, the event appears scheduled at 19.15 rather than the expected 17.15 - again two hours off, whichever way I look at it).

     

    Any ideas what could be happening here?

    Still baffled

    C.

  • John Maisey Level 5 Level 5 (6,895 points)

    The date DTSTART:20120920T171500Z indicates a date at 5.15pm GMT on the 20th September 2012, not CET.  The Z indicates the date is UTC (Universal Time Code) which equates to GMT. Offsetting for BST that would be 6.15pm BST. Therefore the date is being shown correctly in iCal.  For the date to be Central European Time the DTSTART element would reference the timezone (and not end in z).

     

    More than you want to know about the iCalendar standard. Section 4.3.5 refers to the date formats used in iCalendar files.

     

    I suggest you could contact your friend to check their timezone settings, or perhaps Lotus Notes doesn't do timezones...

     

    Best wishes

    John M

  • slightly baffled Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So basically you are telling me that the problem is at the other end. What puzzles me though is that the entry refers to an event beginning at 5.15pm Central European Summertime, which is two hours ahead of UCT/GMT. It shows up at the right time on the sender's device, and funnily enough when I use Outlook it goes where it belongs, at 4.15 BST. But when I use iCal it seems that somewhere along the way the CEST gets re-interpreted as UTC.

     

    Apparently Lotus Notes does do timezones and even recognizes different zones for the beginning and end of an event. The sender is positive that the invite he sent refers to CEST, and what's happening with Outlook would support that. But obviously something somewhere reads things differently - but what and where?

     

    I'm afraid I'm not much nearer to solving that mystery. Invites work in Outlook, but are two hours off in iCal. Unfortunately going back to Outlook isn't an option.

     

    Thanks for your help so far!

    C.

  • John Maisey Level 5 Level 5 (6,895 points)

    I'm not saying the problem is at the other end, just that the date as you posted it was not a CET date.

     

    Do you have a copy of the original invitation email with the attached .ics file?

     

    John M

  • slightly baffled Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry, then I have misunderstood you,

     

    I've dug up the original invitation, which had three attachments: two .ics files with identical content, but different names, and one empty html file. Which bit is it you're interested in? The .ics file? I'll copy it in, obviously edited where privacy demands it:

     

    BEGIN:VCALENDAR

    X-LOTUS-CHARSET:UTF-8

    VERSION:2.0

    PRODID:-//Lotus Development Corporation//NONSGML Notes 8.5.1//EN_C

    METHOD:REQUEST

    BEGIN:VTIMEZONE

    TZID:W. Europe

    BEGIN:STANDARD

    DTSTART:19501029T020000

    TZOFFSETFROM:+0200

    TZOFFSETTO:+0100

    RRULE:FREQ=YEARLY;BYMINUTE=0;BYHOUR=2;BYDAY=-1SU;BYMONTH=10

    END:STANDARD

    BEGIN:DAYLIGHT

    DTSTART:19500326T020000

    TZOFFSETFROM:+0100

    TZOFFSETTO:+0200

    RRULE:FREQ=YEARLY;BYMINUTE=0;BYHOUR=2;BYDAY=-1SU;BYMONTH=3

    END:DAYLIGHT

    END:VTIMEZONE

    BEGIN:VTIMEZONE

    TZID:GMT

    BEGIN:STANDARD

    DTSTART:19501029T020000

    TZOFFSETFROM:+0100

    TZOFFSETTO:+0000

    RRULE:FREQ=YEARLY;BYMINUTE=0;BYHOUR=2;BYDAY=-1SU;BYMONTH=10

    END:STANDARD

    BEGIN:DAYLIGHT

    DTSTART:19500326T020000

    TZOFFSETFROM:+0000

    TZOFFSETTO:+0100

    RRULE:FREQ=YEARLY;BYMINUTE=0;BYHOUR=2;BYDAY=-1SU;BYMONTH=3

    END:DAYLIGHT

    END:VTIMEZONE

    BEGIN:VEVENT

    DTSTART;TZID="W. Europe":20120920T171500

    DTEND;TZID="GMT":20120920T184000

    TRANSP:OPAQUE

    DTSTAMP:20120822T104740Z

    SEQUENCE:0

     

    xxx unrelated bits left out for privacy reasons xxx

     

    END:VEVENT

    END:VCALENDAR

     

     

    And this is from the body of the email message:

    Subject

    dep. 17.15 CET

    When

     

    Proposed start

    -1 at

    Proposed end

    -1 at

    Original start

    20.09.2012 at 17:15

    Original end

    20.09.2012 at 18:40 GDT

    This meeting occurs in a different time zone

     

    Hope this makes sense to anyone.

    C.

  • John Maisey Level 5 Level 5 (6,895 points)

    Thanks, that makes it clearer.

     

    DTSTART;TZID="W. Europe":20120920T171500

    DTEND;TZID="GMT":20120920T184000

     

    There is one likely main issue here. The event starts in 'W. Europe' and ends in 'GMT'. iCal does not 'do' events starting in one timezone and ending in another.  Many people have pointed this out as a failing in the past. 

     

    This is just a guess, but I would expect iCal's importer is not loading the full data and reading all the offsets as GMT when reading this .ics file. You could report this as a bug to Apple, and/or ask your friend to make his events start & end in the same timezone.

     

    Hope this makes sense.

     

    Best wishes

    JOhn M

  • John Maisey Level 5 Level 5 (6,895 points)

    Sorry, my mistake. It is reading all the times as 'floating', still not much use.

  • slightly baffled Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry, you've lost me now with the "floating" bit. I must admit I'm fairly new to this all, so thanks for your patience. Doesn't "floating" mean that events stay put at a certain time, no matter what time zone the calendar is set to? It certainly does with a test entry that I put in at 2pm. It stays at 2pm whether the calender shows GMT or Pacific time or any other time. The invites however don't do that, they do move around. The invite above shows up at 6.15pm when the calendar is set to UK time, but at 7.15pm when it is set to Central European time.

     

    Incidentally, why is it that when I press "get info" for one of my own entries, I can see the time zone setting for that entry, but when I do the same for the invite, there is no time zone field? I'm on Mountain Lion, if that's any help.

     

    I'll still have a look at the suggestions in your post above. It wouldn't matter half if I was able to move items around in the calendar, preferably without having to notify the sender of the invite.

     

    C.

     

    P.S. The fact that the event is in two different time zones doesn't appear to cause the problem. I've found one that starts and ends in CET, yet it still shows up in the wrong place. It should start at 6pm CET or 5pm London time, yet in iCal it shows up at 7pm:

     

    BEGIN:VCALENDAR

    X-LOTUS-CHARSET:UTF-8

    VERSION:2.0

    PRODID:-//Lotus Development Corporation//NONSGML Notes 8.5.1//EN_C

    METHOD:REQUEST

    BEGIN:VTIMEZONE

    TZID:W. Europe

    BEGIN:STANDARD

    DTSTART:19501029T020000

    TZOFFSETFROM:+0200

    TZOFFSETTO:+0100

    RRULE:FREQ=YEARLY;BYMINUTE=0;BYHOUR=2;BYDAY=-1SU;BYMONTH=10

    END:STANDARD

    BEGIN:DAYLIGHT

    DTSTART:19500326T020000

    TZOFFSETFROM:+0100

    TZOFFSETTO:+0200

    RRULE:FREQ=YEARLY;BYMINUTE=0;BYHOUR=2;BYDAY=-1SU;BYMONTH=3

    END:DAYLIGHT

    END:VTIMEZONE

    BEGIN:VEVENT

    DTSTART;TZID="W. Europe":20120904T180000

    DTEND;TZID="W. Europe":20120904T193000

    TRANSP:OPAQUE

    DTSTAMP:20120822T104533Z

    SEQUENCE:0

    xxx

    END:VEVENT

    END:VCALENDAR

  • USB_Connect Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am having a  very similar problem and have noted in other forums that others are also experiencing similar problems. In my case the meeting invite (from Lotus Notes) is sent from London (GDT time) and iCal translates a five hour difference to CDT. It should be six hours. I have read that this happens only when the UK is on GDT and the problem goes away after the daylight savings time switch back to GMT. My guess (thougth not scientific) is that iCal is not translating daylight savings time?