Whitstable Yacht Club Racing Schedule

WYC's webpages include a schedule which is great when you have access to the web.

But those like me who live by the calendar on their phone, PDA or desktop would like to have the schedule in their pocket. So here is a version of the schedule that you can import to the calendar that you use.

Richard Jones
30 January 2012

Note Up to 2006, I used the .dba format for that I could import the schedule into the old Palm desktop on Windows. From 2007 I have been using the vCalendar format (as I've ditched Windows for a Mac). So only a schedule in vCalendar format is provided here. If you want the .dba version, instructions on how to build your own are given below. If sufficient people ask me, then I'll build one and provide it here.


For techies only

Here's how I constructed the calendar. The details depend on whether you are using a modern calendar (which can import vCal) or are using the old Palm Desktop for Windows (which uses .dba format).

You'll need (1) Microsoft Excel, (2) Perl and, on Windows only, (3) a little tool called convdb.

  1. First, you need to grab the schedule from the WYC website.
    Excel is very good at grabbing tables from the web (to my embarrassment, my son taught me this!). Use Data>Import External Data>New Web Query, type in the url (e.g. http://www.wyc.org.uk/flattened/racing_schedule.html) and select the table you want (your mileage may vary depending on the version of Excel you have).
    Here's a web query for Excel that I made before.
     
  2. Clean the data to get rid of lines without events, incomplete records, typos etc. From experience, you need to make sure that days and dates have not been joined together (e.g. "Sun12"). Brackets are probably a bad idea too - remove them. But don't introduce commas as we are going to save the file as a csv file.
     
  3. Save the file as a csv file, say wyc07.csv.

The rest of the procedure depends on whether you want the schedule in vCalendar format (MacOS X) or you are using the Palm desktop on Windows (.dba format) or vCalendar is much easier.

vCalendar (e.g. iCal on MacOS X, Google or Outlook on Windows)

  1. Make sure the line breaks are correct. I have found that Excel saves csv files in just one long line (the curse of different newline conventions). My script likes one event per line.
  2. Run this little Perl script to convert the schedule to vCalendar format. Note the extension, .vcs. You'll need to have Perl installed obviously.
    You can also add a note to each entry. Notes are used in the (excellent) Palm DateBk calendar to format entries (e.g. with text and background colour, customised icon).
  3. Now import the vCalendar file into your calendar.

.dba (for Palm dateBook on Windows)

This is how you had to import data on the old Palm Desktop for Windows. The new Palm Pre can import from Google Calendar which is much simpler.

  1. Run this little Perl script. You'll need to have Perl installed obviously.
    You can also add a note to each entry. Notes are used in the (excellent) Palm DateBk calendar to format entries (e.g. with text and background colour, customised icon). There are two ways to do this:
  2. There's one further step for .dba: you need to use a little tool called convdb to convert the text version to a Palm .dba version which will be called output.dba. convdb. I got a copy from here. It's a pretty flexible if rather fragile tool for converting from plain text to the Palm .dba format.
  3. Now import the dba file into the old Palm Desktop.