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Posted by brandonsteven at Sep 15, 2014, 6:58:49 PM
Trouble merging Google Calendar
So, I merged my Google Calendar last week and everything was fine. I added some more stuff today and edited some old stuff, and it shows everything it is supposed to. But it also shows the previous version of the events I edited, as well as the edited version. How do I get the version of the event prior to editing to go away?

Posted by support at Sep 17, 2014, 1:30:33 AM
Re: Trouble merging Google Calendar
Google is pretty lousy at refreshing their iCalendar export, and it's a known problem if you search the web.

I looked at your raw icalendar feed (I won't post the url here, but you have the link and can view the file) and you will see that both of your Morning Club events (I assume these are the dupes you are talking about) are still there.

localendar will import whatever it is sent, so until Google refreshes the export, you'll still see these dupes.

As an aside, we *don't* do this kind of "caching"; all of our imports and exports are automatically refreshed.
Marc Higgins
Support Associate, localendar.com
Follow us on Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/localendar_news

Posted by loebotomy at Nov 3, 2016, 9:55:34 PM
Re: Trouble merging Google Calendar
Dear Support,

I too am having trouble where google is not updating its ical feed. I had the same problem with wordpress. There IS a solution that works with wordpress, but does not work with localendar.

In wordpress, you simply add "?noCache" to the end of your ical URL and it forces wordpress to somehow get a refreshed version of the ical feed.

So, instead of simply using the ical feed

you use

Now, sometimes that will only work once and subsequent changes are not reflected in the ical feed. In that case, you can change ?noCache to something else, such as ?2noCache or ?3noCache

I suspect that adding ? and any other string to the end forces the update.

So, my question to localendar is, if this workaround works for wordpress, why can't it work for localendar? I have to emphasize that it really really does work in wordpress. I do it frequently. Feel free to contact me if you need any other information.

Posted by loebotomy at Nov 3, 2016, 10:11:56 PM
Re: Trouble merging Google Calendar
Here's an article titled HOW TO FORCE REFRESH GOOGLE CALENDAR that explains all of this. This method DOES work within Wordpress (I use it often), but it does not seem to work with localendar.


Posted by support at Nov 4, 2016, 6:45:39 PM
Re: Trouble merging Google Calendar
We call the url exactly as it's passed. That article is 4 years old, and there are numerous entries in the comment section like this one:
well andy I've been trying to make this work for years but doesn't work. basically no only does it refreshes the calendar but actually nothing is coming up now. I'm using &noCache at the end of the URL. in the beginning neither the & nor the ? did work. Was giving a sort of parsing error from Google... However as said nothing happens.

I think the reason why so many people are saying it "doesn't work" is that this only gives a *one-time refresh*. After that, the calendar is back on the "about-once-per-day" refresh schedule. What Google really needs is a way to refresh subscribed calendars more than once per day... and neither this, nor any other method I've researched, accomplishes that.

Back to the original poster though, who had an even stranger problem. In brandonsteven's case, his Google feed actually contained duplicate events! The events weren't just the old version, both the old and new versions were present. That is really strange, and something that would need to be addressed directly with Google.

Meanwhile, regarding the refresh issue: ever since we've supported an iCal export at localendar, we have generated a clean up-to-date feed each time. Why Google can't simply do the same after years of complaints and with all their $$ and resources is something I do not understand.
Marc Higgins
Support Associate, localendar.com
Follow us on Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/localendar_news

Posted by loebotomy at Nov 5, 2016, 7:37:01 AM
Re: Trouble merging Google Calendar

I agree, it is pathetic that Google has not fixed this issue which has been around for YEARS. It is very myopic, if you asked me. I completely understand why you are saying the problem is on Google's end. They need to fix it on their end.

But, here's the thing. The method in that 4 year old article DOES work with WordPress. It doesn't work with every other product, but I can tell you that it does work with WordPress. It's tedious, and I have to go in and change the random text at the end of the ical URL every time we make a change to the Google Calendar to get the feed to update, but it works. 100% All the time. Without fail. Really.

If you would like to see for yourself, in any free Wordpress site, add a widget to the site's 'appearance' called 'Upcoming Events'. In there you can add an ical feed URL and test it out for yourself.

I don't know what's different about the way WordPress accesses the ical feed from what you an many of the other sites where the ?nocache method does not seem to work. But there sure seems to be a solution in there.

Posted by loebotomy at Nov 7, 2016, 6:48:59 PM
Re: Trouble merging Google Calendar
I have made an example that proves my point that the ?nocache work-around works in Wordpress, using exactly the same ical feed url that doesn't work in local:

Here's the local calendar. Note that most days should have only 1 event, but many still have events that have since been deleted.

Here's the example in Wordpress. I couldn't get a month-view with my free Wordpress plan. The agenda-view called "Upcoming Events" on the right is the same data. Note the lack of duplicate/wrong events.

Posted by support at Nov 8, 2016, 9:20:50 PM
Re: Trouble merging Google Calendar
If I hit this url directly from my browser:


I get this event (a sample duplicate, although the name differs from the other event with the same time) in the raw feed:

LOCATION:Pattison's West Skating Center\, 34222 Pacific Hwy S\, Federal Way
\, WA 98003\, United States
SUMMARY:Inline Practice

Note the RRULE (Recurrence Rule). This event occurs every Tues and Thus. Perhaps the WP plugin you are using does not support recurring events? In any case, if they come in the feed (and they do), we have no way to know that they should be ignored.

This is just one example; there appear to be other dupes. Also, perhaps Google does deliver a current feed depending on the origin of the request (ie wordpress.com, facebook.com)? I find this doubtful, but we must recognize it as a possibility.
Marc Higgins
Support Associate, localendar.com
Follow us on Twitter! http://www.twitter.com/localendar_news

Posted by loebotomy at Nov 9, 2016, 3:37:56 AM
Re: Trouble merging Google Calendar
If I look at this calendar, either through calendar.google.com, or through the calendar app in my phone (samsung's native calendar app or google calendar), it matches the calendar results you see in Wordpress. Only Localendar has different results, and not the results I was expecting.

I have wondered how google calendar handles recurring events, where you delete or change some events in the series. You end up with an even that's defined as
- starting on [this] day
- recurring on [these] days
- ending on [this] day
- except [these] occurrences are different or are deleted

Not having any knowledge how this all works, I imagine that the definition of the events must get complicated. I wonder localendar is having trouble keeping track of events that have been edited in this way. Obviously, google has no trouble keeping track of events where I modify events in a series. Wordpress also seems to interpret them properly as well. I have a suspicion this might be part of the issue.

I'll do some testing to see if this is part of it.

Posted by loebotomy at Nov 9, 2016, 5:11:36 AM
Re: Trouble merging Google Calendar
I spent a lot of time going over the ICS file for this calendar, but gave up. It's too hard to follow. I also tried to recreate the issue with a simpler calendar, but couldn't.

I did find a solution. One a day where there is one valid event and one ghost even that shows up, only in localendar, if I delete the valid event, the ghost event disappears with it.

I can't explain why these ghost events only appear in localendar since they don't show up in any google calendar, smart phone calendars, or wordpress. Now that I have a work-around, I am going to move on.

Importantly, my issue has nothing to do with the slow refresh rate for google's ical feeds.

Thank you for looking into this issue. If you want to delete my posts from this thread, that might be a good idea since it is not related to the original poster's issue (though I do maintain that localendar could do a better job of parsing the ICS feed since other 'apps' seem to be able to do so)

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