Ausland has a myspace page. It’s new it’s fresh and it’s something I/we avoided for as long as possible. Of course we get a lot of myspace links from bands that want to play at ausland, but I never bothered to register since I despised the optics of those pages so much that I didn’t want to see more of it. I was fine with listening to the sounds on the start page and then leave as quickly as possible.

Not that those myspace links to music from different bands aren’t helpful. They are. Instead of having to organize an ever growing pile of demo cds were the interesting ones always seem to be missing we now just have to check the original email and – booom there is the music. Great.

But myspace, oooh. I mean this could be done so much nicer. And basically myspace is this huge lock-in. The only obvious way to post information to myspace seems to be manual input. Open the editor and type away. This is about as silly as the interface Zitty and Tip are providing to input your dates free of charge. Actually, come to think of it the way Zitty and Tip are doing it is even worse. They are using some silly java applet to let you input your dates, one by one and you have to navigate through some kind of calendar that simply takes ages. I mean, there are standards for this kind of thing. Ical or rdf or if you must you could provide a custom api but a java applet is simply the worst possible user experience. Which is most likely intentional since they want you to pay money to a company so they can do it for you. I wonder whether this is legal. I should ask a lawyer because I strongly suspect this is monopolistic behaviour forbidden by law. Watch for another post on that topic.

Back to silly myspace. As I said, this is the age of webservices and of course I don’t want to retype stuff already on the net just to be up to date on some silly page that is 90% obnoxious and 10% fun. So there is no rdf or ical reader available from myspace and nobody seems to have gotten around to creating such a myspace app. And I didn’t want to dive into open social just for such a little task. Maybe I’ll do when I have time.

This is what I ended up doing: I created a javascript ical application using a javascript ical parser and a javascript extension to the date object to output formated date strings. Then I whipped up a little DOM script that will write the parsed and formated dates into a blank html page. Next, I thought I’d just use a little iframe on myspace and include this page and I’m done. No such luck. No iframes on myspace. They are filtered. Which in addition to the fact that you can’t use javascript is probably the reason why everybody is using these silly flash widgets on myspace pages. So I figure, ok let’s find some flash app that basically functions as iframe loading a html page from somewhere and display it. Since I run linux and I don’t really like flash to begin with, I have neither the tools nor the knowledge to create such a flash app. So I looked around the net and found a number of tutorials on how to do just that but no ready to use swf file. None.

Just when I was about to give up I came across myhtmlspace430 which basically provides an extra editable area for your myspace page, but allows the iframe tag. So problem solved. I’m sure there are other methods but this works for me. In case anybody is interested, here is the javascript code ical used to parse ical and output to html. Remember that you can’t pull ical calendars from anything but your own domain using the javascript xmlhttprequest object.