PIMp my calendar: Aftermath

I spent some of my free time over the past few weeks trying to get the Calendar app on my Android phone to run with a non-Google and non-MS-Exchange account (see part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5). As with my printer woes, it turned out to be an enlightening excercise. I ended up running the Radicale CALDav server on my home server and Marten Gajda's CalDAV adapter on the little machine. I discovered fun facts about Android and its development tools along the way (the highlight was discovering that changing the minimum API level in Eclipse ADT fails to trigger a re-build).

As for the lessons learned, I guess there is a balance to be struck when troubleshooting a technical issue. One approach involves poking and prodding the system, observing responses and formulating hypotheses. Another option is to study information about the system - source code, documentation, online forums and other resources. Combining these modes optimally is rather delicate and I do tend to err on the side of experimentation. The knowledge it yields may be overly specific and not very reusable but the process fosters a problem-solving mind-set that comes in handy in other situations as well. Besides, documentation may be out of date and, as we've seen, even source code may not be quite what it seems. In fact, what hindered me in resolving the calendaring problem was that I failed to recognize the extent of the system I was working with - namely that it included the development environment.

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