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What is CGI Calendar?

CGI Calendar is a web-based calendar created with Common Gateway Interface (CGI) technology. The application is free, open source, and useful in a wide variety of personal and professional settings.

CGI technology is the standard way to create dynamic Web content, which varies based on defined parameters and individual viewing. In the case of the CGI Calendar, the content must reflect the current date, as well as any personal details included by users. As long a your server supports CGI and the programming language Perl, you should have no trouble installing the CGI calendar.

The most recent version of CGI Calendar is version 3.0 which was released in March of 2007. No further development of CGI Calendar has occurred since 2007. While CGI Calendar appears to still be fully-functional, since it is no longer in development or being supported by the original developer it would be wise to consider some alternatives.

What is unique about CGI Calendar?

A number of major features make the CGI Calendar accessible and versatile. It is multilingual, and may be configured in English, Portuguese, Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish, and Esperanto. Because the software is open source, other language translations may be possible. Another feature option is to view the calendar by month or by day. Monthly views display event summaries and times, while the daily view will show all event information.

Events can be set as one-time or repeating, and users may include event summaries, times, locations and any repeating information. If your plans extend into the foreseeable future, you'll appreciate the calendar's indefinite date range, limited only by the underlying operating system.

One simple installation can include multiple calendars, with each stored in a separate file. The group and language features are manageable via a Web-based interface.

What does CGI Calendar cost and how do I get it?

CGI Calendar is open-source and therefore free to download and use. Sourceforge.net is the host for the CGI Calendar open source project. As long as your own host supports CGI and Perl use, you should be able to use the CGI calendar on your website. No SQL database is required.

How do I install CGI Calendar?

First, verify that your hosting account provides the necessary technology. You'll need to install CGI Calendar on a CGI enabled server, running Perl 5.6 or later. Virtually all modern web servers will be able to run CGI calendar. While the program appears to still function acceptably running modern versions of Perl (currently in version 5.21) keep in mind that this program was last updated in 2007 and it is likely that functionality of CGI Calendar will cease with some future version of Perl unless development of CGI Calendar resumes.

In order to install CGI Calendar you'll first need to download the program files from Sourceforge. Installation of CGI Calendar is not a simple one-click installation. In order to install CGI Calendar you'll need to be comfortable with FTP in both binary and ASCII mode, moving files from one folder to another on the web server, editing values in a perl script file to insert file locations and server information, and setting file permissions. Detailed installation instructions are available from the CGI Calendar website.

What are some alternatives to CGI Calendar?

CGI Calendar hasn't received any updates since 2007 and the Perl code it was written in is rapidly aging. You would be wise to look for an alternative. If you're looking for a stand-alone calendar scripts we've tracked down several for you to investigate.

Booked (formerly phpScheduleIt) is a web-based calendar and schedule offered as a one-click install by several hosting providers. It is 100% free and open source, and only requires a web server running PHP and MySQL. It's easy to install, with easy admin tools, and is offered in a number of different languages.

LuxCal is a free web-based event calendar. Like Booked, LuxCal is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database (or a SQLite database optionally). LuxCal offers very flexible layouts for easy embedment into existing web pages with a range of sizes and layout options.

SuperCali is an event calendar script that supports categorization of events and multiple users. This makes SuperCali a great option for uses where multiple people will be adding events and editing event details. SuperCali is written in PHP and makes use of one MySQL database.

Maian Events is a simple free events calendar system written in PHP that stores events in a MySQL database. Maian Events offers three different templates, or you can customize the appearance yourself since it's an open source application and you have full access to the source code. Maian Events is offered in English by default, and language packs for Dutch, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish are available.

PHP-Calendar is a free open-source web-based calendar with a focus on collaborative schedule management. It offers a simple calendar solution with an intuitive interface. You will need PHP 5.3 (or newer) and MySQL 4.1.2 (or newer) to run the latest version of PHP-Calendar.

If you already have a website built using a content management system (CMS) you should also check out some of the available calendar plugins for your CMS. Some of the most popular CMS calendar options include:

  • WordPress calendar plugins: The Events Calendar, All-In-One Event Calendar, WordPress Events Calendar and many more.
  • Joomla calendar extensions: Spider Calendar, Zap Calendar, Jtag Calendar and many more.
  • Drupal calendar modules: Calendar, FullCalendar, Event Calendar and many more.

CGI Calendar Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which calendar scripts are available as one-click installations from most hosting providers?

    All of the CGI Calendar alternatives we listed above (with the exception of those that are CMS plugins) are offered through the Fantastico commercial script library. Many hosting providers that offer an admin interface by cPanel offer one-click script installation using the Fantastico library. So if your hosting provider offers one-click installation of scripts using Fantastico you should be able to get most, if not all, of the alternative options we listed as a one-click installation.

  • What calendar apps are offered by other script libraries?

    If your hosting provider doesn't use Fantastico for one-click installations they probably use Mojo Marketplace (previously SimpleScripts), Installatron, or Softaculous. These four script libraries are the most popular on the market, and each offers a different group of apps with quite a bit of overlap. The only way to know for sure what is offered by a specific hosting provider is look for the one-click install options listed on their site, or to contact the provider and ask for a list of available one-click installations.

  • How can CGI Calendar store events without using a database?

    CGI Calendar stores events in flat files rather than a relational database. Flat files are supported by Perl and ideal for storing sequential data, which makes them a natural choice for a calendar application written in Perl. Flat files are stored along with the rest of the application files on the web server, and read by the Apache web server running Perl, so no external database is needed for CGI Calendar.

  • Why are all of the alternatives to CGI Calendar listed are written in PHP?

    PHP is a programming language built specifically for generating web pages and able to run on both Linux and Windows servers. What PHP can't do, that Perl can do, is store information in flat files. However, support for SQL databases has grown so ubiquitous that it's hard to say that Perl's ability to work with flat files offers any advantage in this regard. PHP has lots of built-in functionality for web apps. So even though it is often regarded as difficult to get the hang of, PHP is one of the most popular programming languages on the web, and is supported by virtually all shared-server hosting plans.

  • How can I get my calendar page to look like the rest of my website?

    If you want the style of your calendar page to match the style of the rest of your site you have three options. First, if your website is built on a CMS why not just select a plugin, extension, or module built to integrate into your CMS? By doing that the calendar will reflect the styling applied to the rest of the site. Second, if you have an existing site that is not built on a CMS you could select one of the calendars that is intended to drop in on an existing page. LuxCal was one option listed above that offered this functionality. Third, if all else fails, and you have the technical chops, you can dig into the CSS and source code files provided with the open-source application and tweak the calendar page to reflect your site's styling as much as possible.

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