Google Calendar Plugin

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  • David

    David - 2007-09-12

    I've written a gCal plugin that lets you post events to your Google calendars using the Quick Add syntax ( Its syntax allows you to specify which one of your calendars you want to post to:

    gcal | quick add syntax here > calendar name here

    If you just want to post to your default calendar however you can just leave out the calendar name part of the syntax. For authentication the plugin uses ClientLogin ( so you'll have to add your login information in the plugin's settings. This information is only sent to Google (I promise!) over a secure connection about every two weeks when the returned auth token expires.

    The plugin can be downloaded from here:

    Also, if you're a Todoist user and want to be able to quickly add items to your projects using Launchy you can download my Todoist plugin here:

    The gCal plugin has only been tested on two computers so far, one with Vista and one with XP SP2. If you're using a proxy for your http(s) traffic you'll have to configure WinHttp with your proxy settings. See the FAQ for the Launchy plugin on on how to do this.


    • laytoncy

      laytoncy - 2007-09-15

      This is a great plugin for a very useful app.  One little quirk for me is that it doesn't seem to be case sensitive at all.  If I input "meeting @ PF Changs 2pm" it outputs "meeting @ pf changs 2pm" to my gCal.  Not a big deal just didn't know if there was a way to have it specify the case.

    • AixiA

      AixiA - 2007-09-15

      Seems to be missing with time zones. My computer date and Google accounts both set up at GMT + 8. The appointment will appear 8 hours later than the time invoked in Launchy. Or should I do something different?

    • slipslip

      slipslip - 2007-09-15

      Worked great when writing events to the main calendar.
      But when I added an event to a different calendar, it posted the event 4 hrs before it was supposed to.
      I wrote "test 9am 9/22 > Work" but the event posted at 5am on 9/22.
      Error with time zones perhaps?

      Using WinXP SP2.

      David, thanks for your work on this and other Launchy plug-ins.

    • leal

      leal - 2007-09-15

      to David:

         Your Launchy plugin gcal.dll is really great! Thank you for your work!

      to AixiA & slipslip:

         I have also tried Launchy w/ gcal.dll, and it works well.
         In the beginning I came with the same problem as you, and
         tried with this workaround:


      Three-letter time zone abbreviations can be recognized following the time:

          * Enter [Call New York at 3 pm EDT]
          I tried [Basketball with Bull at 20pm CCT] (such as CCT for China Coast Time) but it didn't work at all.

          Then I checked the settings of my google calendar, and changed "Language" from "Simplified Chinese" to "English (US)", left "Country" & "Your current time zone" as before. (e.g. "China" and "(GMT +08:00) ..."). Now enter [Basketball with Bull at 20pm] and it works!!

          Maybe other languages except English are not dealed with reasonably by gcal.dll or Google Calendar.

          Just FYI and good luck!

    • David

      David - 2007-09-15

      Hi and thanks for the feedback!

      laytoncy: You're right about the case sensitivty issue. I don't think there is much I can do about this though as it seems like it is a native problem with Launchy. Dubness has the same issue as you but with the Runny plugin in this thread: and jiquera answers that it is a problem with Launchy and that he would have to rewrite the source to fix it.

      About timezones, as leal says this is probably a problem because you haven't specified the correct timezone settings for your calendars?

      There are two places where you can set timezones, under Settings --> General tab or directly in the settings for a specific calendar. My guess is that the latter has priority over what you set under General settings.

      Also I would like to mention that the Quick add syntax doesn't work for recurring events. If you for example write: "Tennis practice Tuesday 7pm to 9pm weekly" the event only gets added on today's date with the correct time and not on every Tuesday as it's suppose to. This is a shortcoming of the API and not the plugin. See this thread on Google groups for an explanation of this:

      I'm going to make a feature request about this I think because I would really want the Quick add syntax to work exactly as it does in the UI.

    • arnauld

      arnauld - 2007-09-15


      I like your plugin very much.
      The problem is that I run launchy in portable mode on a usb key, and it doesn't seem to work from there...

      any idea to help ?



      • Aaron

        Aaron - 2007-09-29

        @Arnauld - Was running in the Portable Mode with no luck as well.  While digging, I opened the \Launchy\Launchy.ini file and put in my email and password directly into the authentication string...seemed to do the trick for me!

        Looked like this to start

        Added in my email and password

        BTW - David this plugin is the best!

        • David

          David - 2007-09-29

          Thanks Aaron! Great tip on adding your login credentials to the Launchy.ini file if you use portable mode.

          When I tried out the portable mode the settings were automatically exported but I suppose they don't always gets exported properly then. Or perhaps one always have to enter plugin settings before you actually switch to portable mode?

          Great tip in any case and I hope that solved your problem Arnauld.

    • David

      David - 2007-09-15

      Arnob: No I don't know why it doesn't work from your USB Stick. Are you really running Launchy in Portable Mode?

      If not, right-click the Launchy window, then choose Advanced Options and then tick the Portable Mode checkbox in the dialog that pops up and then click OK to confirm. Restart Launchy and see if it works.

      If this isn't the reason why it doesn't work I can't help you sorry. Perhaps someone with better knowledge of what this portable mode actually does can help?

      Thanks though, I'm glad you like the plugin.

    • laytoncy

      laytoncy - 2007-09-15

      "I'm going to make a feature request about this I think because I would really want the Quick add syntax to work exactly as it does in the UI."

      That would be outstanding!

    • mccalix

      mccalix - 2007-09-16

      Does this write a log file anywhere?  I can't get it to work on my system (Vista), and have checked my settings several times.  When I try adding an event, a command window flashes very briefly, but too quickly for me to read anything.

    • David

      David - 2007-09-16

      Hi mccalix,
      no it doesn't write any log files I'm afraid. To debug what it sends to Google you'd have to sniff the wire for http traffic using an application like Wireshark for example. And not even that would do you much good I suppose because some of the traffic is encrypted.

      What do you mean exactly by a command window? Like a shell prompt/DOS prompt? Your problem sounds really weird to me because this plugin doesn't do any shell execution whatsoever.

    • mccalix

      mccalix - 2007-09-16

      Hi David,

      I figured it out - it was a stupid mistake on my part.  I had a batch command called gcal, that was supposed to do the same thing using Twitter, although I never set up a Twitter account to get it working.  Launchy was calling that batch command, instead of your plugin.  I've renamed the batch file, restarted Launchy, and everything now works perfectly.  Thank you - this is a great tool!

    • Marsh

      Marsh - 2007-09-17

      Wow this sounds great, but it isn't posting items for me... Does the plugin work with Google Apps hosted calendars? They use the same API, but sometimes things act just a little bit different...

    • David

      David - 2007-09-17

      Hi Marsh,
      yes it should work on both hosted and normal accounts but I had no way of verifying this before I released it. The plugin's sending the parameter HOSTED_OR_GOOGLE for the accountType variable when authenticating and that should mean that if the login information matches both a hosted and a normal google account only the hosted account will be the one that gets authenticated.

      Are you sure you're adding your full e-mail adress in the plugin's settings? It should be entered as: <username>@<hostedname> I think because if you leave out the last part it will only authenticate against

      Also, do you get any error message when you click OK in the setting's dialog? If Google can't authenticate your account it should tell you so with an error message.

    • Tobias

      Tobias - 2007-09-17

      Hi David,
      Great plugin.  Works like a charm from home, but on my corp network, new events just disappear into the ether.  I did the 'proxycfg -i' thing to set the default proxy, with no apparent affect on the situation.  Any thoughts?


      • Tobias

        Tobias - 2007-09-17

        By the way, my company proxy only allows access to the secure (ie. port 443 via https://\) version of gCal.  Does this plugin force use of the un-secure (port 80) version?  If so, perhaps an option to allow users to choose secure or unsecure?

        Thanks again,

        • David

          David - 2007-09-17

          oh ok, what a security aware company you work for then!
          The plugin makes use of both secure and normal connections to port 80 so that might be why it doesn't work then? It doesn't use https for the requests that adds events because they don't contain your login credentials.

          I'm actually not sure if those requests can be sent over a secure connection because it doesn't say anything about it in the API docs (or I just couldn't find it).I'm gonna test it and if it does work I can compile a new version that only uses https.

    • David

      David - 2007-09-17

      Hi Tobias,
      this problem really sounds like a connectivity issue then. Are you sure you entered the correct proxy settings in IE for both http and https (secure type) before you exported the settings using proxycfg -i? You can't have IE set to automatically detect your proxy settings because then it won't export any settings.

      If you're using Vista you can try to setup the proxy settings using netsh. Type netsh at a cmd prompt, then type winhttp and finally type import proxy source=ie. Also try proxycfg with the -u parameter, that might work too I think. See here for more information about these tools: (for proxycfg) (for netsh usage)

    • Erick

      Erick - 2007-09-18

      I'd really like to use this, but I can't get this to work at all.  I enter everything in correctly and hit enter and nothing happens.  I've tried every possible combination that I can think of, but no dice.  Any ideas?



    • David

      David - 2007-09-18

      Sorry but I don't know what could be wrong Erick. Do you know if you're using a proxy to connect to the Internet? Perhaps you have a firewall blocking Launchy's outbound http traffic? Are you sure your Google account is valid and that you've set up the calendar service properly?

      It's difficult to know exactly where things go wrong with so little information. Do you know how to sniff the wire with Wireshark? That could really help you figure out what goes wrong because Google replies to every request with an appropriate http response.

    • Erick

      Erick - 2007-09-18

      I tried this at work and at home with no luck.  At work I added it to the firewall (we're a small company) but that didn't seem to make a difference.  I know that I can get through that way as Hamachi is running on my machine.  I also put in bad credentials to see what would happen and it would not accept them so I know that the connection to validate my Google ID works.  Are there any special modifications that need to be done to my calender?  It is marked as private for now.  I tried setting that to public but it made no difference as well.  I'll look into wireshark, but it really should not be this hard to get things running.  A little logging would be nice! (Just a suggestion from a fellow developer.)



    • David

      David - 2007-09-18

      Hi Erick,
      no you shouldn't have to make any special modifications to your calendars. You just have to be the owner of the calendar you're posting to. Of course you shouldn't have to go through the trouble you're having to get it working but I made it perfectly clear that this is a first release and that it only had been tested on two computers so far.

      It sure would be great if you could figure out what's wrong though so I can fix it if it's a problem with the plugin. That's actually why I released it here so early in the development phase to begin with, so I could get some constructive criticism and fix the things that isn't working properly.

    • Matt

      Matt - 2007-09-29

      Great plugin!  Especially the "> calendarname" functionality...been wanting that for ages in Google's "Quick Add" box but no luck.  And now it works in Launchy!

      I was wondering, though, if it would be possible to add the ability to specify what command actually invokes the plugin.  I've been using "gcal" for actually bringing up my calendar and I still haven't broken myself of the habit so I'm constantly getting "Windows cannot find gcal" errors because I'm invoking the plugin and not my firefox bookmark. If I could specify myself something like "gcaladd" or "gcnew" or something I think it would be pretty cool. Also, I don't know if I'd call it a bug but if I type: "gcal | " with nothing after the " | " and hit enter, it throws a "(No Subject)" event at the current time. This makes technical sense but is there any way to just suppress it?


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