Orage: Xfce calendar application - gHacks Tech News

Orage: Xfce calendar application

As we continue on with our travels down the Xfce path, I thought it would be smart to highlight the Xfce calendaring application Orage. This tool is not an "all in one" tool like Evolution, nor does it have all of the bells and whistles of the Mozilla Sunbird calendar. But what it does, it does well and does so without taking up tons of your resources or your desktop real estate.

In this article you will see how this calendar is used so you can continue making your decision if Xfce 4 is the desktop for you.

Features

The Orage calendar won't blow you away with features. But it does have a nice set:

  • Runs from notification area.
  • Import/Export iCal files.
  • Alarms.
  • View selected date/week.
  • Archiving.
  • Popup notification for alerts.
  • Daily event listing.

Installation

Orage does not automatically install with Xfce. Instead you have to install it manually by following these steps:

  1. Open up your Add/Remove Software tool.
  2. Search for "orage" (no quotes).
  3. Mark orage for installation.
  4. Click Apply to install.

That's it. Once installed you can start Orage by clicking Start > Office > Orage. When you start Orage you might be surprised at the size of the main window (see Figure 1).  Figure 1 shows Orage with the Event Window. Even with both panes, in comparison to  the rest of the desktop, the application takes up little screen real estate. And, if that is still too much for you, you can run Orage from the notification area.

Setup

Figure 2

To set up Orage so it will run in the notification area (or system tray...or systray), you have to open up the Preferences window. To do this click Edit > Preferences. In the Preferences window click on the Display tab and make sure Show in systray is checked (see Figure 2).

There are a few other preferences you might want to take a look at. In the Main Setups tab you can set your Archive threshold. What this will do is automatically archive your calendar when it reaches the set threshold. So if you set your threshold for 3 months, every three months you calendar will archive. If it is set to 0 auto archiving is turned off.

Import/export

One of the features that made me decide to cover this tool is the Import/Export feature. Before I get to far with this, there is not auto-publishing feature for Orage. All of this is done manually. But if you are migrating from one calendar to another, it is helpful.

Figure 3

Orage allows you to Import and Export .ics calendars. This means you can import/export to Google calendars (if you use them). It's very simple to do. Click File > Exchange Data and then (from the Exchange Data window - see Figure 3) you can import and export your .ics files.

Now you may notice the Foreign files tab in the Exchange window.  This is different than the Importing feature. The import feature actually imports your .ics files into your main Orage calendar file. The Foreign files feature allows you, basically, to add new calendars so that Orage is reading multiple files. This way you don't have to combine calendars. If you think about it, this would also allow you to share out calendars with other users. What you would have to do is have those other users' calendar files set as Foreign files and add them from a shared directory. You can set these caledars as read-only if you like.

Final thoughts

Orage is a nice little calendar application. It won't blow you away with it's features and tricks, but it will work and work well for you. The ability to import/export ics calendars add "external" calendars is quite nice as is its tiny footprint. If you are looking to use Xfce, you will want to take a look at Orage and consider it as your calendaring application.





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    Comments

    1. Jay said on July 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm
      Reply

      like stated, Orage just works. it’s a pretty well written app. i find it highly useful for my integration w/ my tint2 panel setup

    2. Jeff M said on October 12, 2013 at 7:41 am
      Reply

      Nice article, I’m using wget to fetch my Google calendar from the private link and schedule it with chron and then set the path to my Orage calendar file to the file I recieved from wget. It’s a little bit more automated and convenient.

    3. Guest said on June 1, 2014 at 2:40 pm
      Reply

      Well, Orage works well when you are younger than 44 and have no contacts older than 44. Because Events with a start date before 1971 are simply not shown. A “pretty well written app” should do this. And a serious software test should have noticed that.

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