Google announces screenshots of next-generation calendar (CL2)

It’s been well over three weeks since Google first announced that its next-generation calendar app known as CL2 was in the closed-beta phase. According to the company, around 200 individuals were given access to the calendar (the rest of us just get an invalid page error), with strict instructions on how to preserve secrecy. In spite of this, TechCrunch.com indicates that one of the beta testers provided access to Yahoo! While Yahoo! has since notified Google of this, it would be rediculous to assume they did so before carefully analyzing all of the new features.
The advantages offered by the new CL2 should be many and varied. Obviously, the calendar will be highly integrated with Google’s popular Gmail e-mail application, and will utilize the latest in AJAX programming techniques. TechCrunch also has a list of some of the features that Google is intending to include in the public release:

Creating Events

You can create events on your calendar in a number of ways.

Click ‘Create Event.‘ This brings you to the create event page, where you can enter information about your event.

Click on Quick Add (or type the letter Q). Quick Add gives you a text box where you can type all the information about your event in normal English, and we’ll fill out the form for you. We’re pretty excited about this feature, so please let us know how it works for you.

Drag-to-create. If you’re looking at the day where you want to create an event on your calendar, just click and drag your mouse from the desired start time to the end time. Once you’ve selected your time range, you can just choose a title for your new event.

Event Pages

Whenever you create an event, we create a web page which you’ll see when you click on the “more details” link on any event. This web page is only visible to you, unless you’ve invited other people to your event or made the event public, in which case you can use the page to share information about the event with people who are attending or the public at large. Note: you don’t have to be a CL2 user to be able to see event pages, so you can use these pages to share information with anyone involved with the event, regardless of what online tools (if any) they use. (Ever wish your favorite local band would learn how to use HTML and publish their calendar? Once we get your feedback and open CL2 to the world you can help them do just that.)


While it seems that Google’s release of its CL2 software is imminent, it’s probably a good idea to assume that some serious additional testing will have to be accomplished before that can become a reality. Plus, if the introduction of Gmail was any indication, we’re looking at a slow and steady release to the general public based on limited numbers of ‘invitations’ extended to those who already have accounts. This approach seemed to work excellently with Gmail, as the Google team was able to roll out additional addresses by offering users the ability to invite first 6, then 50 users to establish an account. The snowball effect of this type of rollout should not be ignored by future web-based application developers, as it provides a means for quickly expanding a software product’s reach, all while allowing the company to maintain control over just how rapidly the software proliferates. For most of us, though, this means either jumping on the bandwagon early, or getting shut out in the cold until a more widespread release.

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