Over the past few months I've put together a few Google Modules. A Flickr picture viewer, a del.icio.us bookmark display, and a 30 Boxes calendar viewer. I put a fair amount of time into them to make sure they were robust and full featured. These were basically for myself and my family, and there turned out to be some was modest interest from other people on the net.
When Google came out with their calendar my family quickly pushed to cut over from 30 boxes to Google's Calendar. They were like a force of nature sending invites every few minutes till I gave in. I think this is payback for all the tech I push on them. The thing is the 30 boxes module I wrote put all my calendar events on my Google home page where I would see them and it worked really well. But Google has yet to release a Calendar Home Page module.
I found that with some minor changes and the removal of a bunch of the cooler recurring event features I had added, the 30 boxes module could be converted to work for Google's Calendar. So I made the changes in about 15 minutes and threw it up on the web.
Unlike the other Modules I've written, the Google Calendar Module wasn't tested much and definitely wasn't robust. Based on the changes I made I knew it didn't work except in the most specific situations. It was meant as a stop gap so that I could move over from 30 Boxes to Google Calendar and share info with family before Google released a real calendar module. I'm sure
they will any minute now. There were a bunch of threads on groups.google.com talking about the lack of a calendar module, so I posted a link to the module homepage and told people they could use it as a short term stop gap...
So here I am, I've put a lot of time into writing some really robust modules, and the one I don't test and know doesn't work all that well gets posted to digg.com (not by me) and then makes the front page! 600 digg's and going... Pretty cool huh? My 5 minutes of internet fame ;) I guess branding helps. I called it the "Unofficial Google Calendar Homepage Module". Perhaps I should go into marketing?
A few days after it hit digg I started getting contacted by developers interested in getting it to work with recurring events. Oddly they started emailing me at my actual email address as opposed to the throwaway one I published on my module website. Privacy on the net is dead. I'm not sure it ever lived. Anyway, I traded ideas with one guy in particular and in a few days he was able to take the module and seems close to getting recurring events working. Here's a link to his version of the module
I like this open source development thing. You have an idea and other people build on it. You need something you can build on other peoples stuff. Its all very friendly and mutually supportive. Best of all I get my google calendar module and still have time to finish my homework.