cornmaster

Jan 152012
 

This is the third part of a three part series on how to embed a Google Calendar into a web page and use it to accept online bookings/appointments from other online users.

The Series:

  1. Part 1: Setting up Google Calendar
  2. Part 2: OAuth2 and Configuring Your ‘Application’ With Google
  3. Part 3: A Sample Web Page For Bookings <- You Are Here

Recap

So, I’ve gone through adding a calendar to your webpage to display to your users, and then creating your application with Google so that you can do queries against your calendar. Now we get to the fun part, writing the application! I should mention that this is written in PHP, because I don’t know if I mentioned that specifically yet.

The Plan

The plan is to create a PHP script that will display a list of calendars people can book items on, and then allow them to book off time on one of these calendars. We will also include some restrictions, like not booking over other events, not booking in the past, only allowing bookings so far into the future, and not allowing bookings during ‘closed’ times. You can add more restrictions as you see fit.

In my example, the script is hosted behind some password protection and user accounts. Depending on the nature of your application, that may or may not be required. For this example, I’m going to assume it is an open system.

The API

Google provides a series of classes that you can use to interface with their API. However, I could not figure out how to use them with refresh tokens. If you intend to use a lot of the functions of the API, it might be worth while for you to get it working. However, for me, it was easier to make raw calls to the API since I’m only using 2 of the API functions. If you want to download all of the Google code for PHP, you can find the directions here.

Getting Started

The Google API is based on REST principles, and uses JSON to encode data. To know exactly what to send to the API, I played around with the Google API explorer. To make a long story short, I’ll include the code I used for my calls.

The Functions Needed

As we are not using the Google code, we will need to create some functions to do our bidding. We need a function to manage our authentication tokens, to submit post requests (to add events), to submit get requests (to check for previous bookings), and to craft our JSON request for the POST.

Auth Function

function getAccessToken(){
	$tokenURL = 'https://accounts.google.com/o/oauth2/token';
	$postData = array(
		'client_secret'=>'############',
		'grant_type'=>'refresh_token',
		'refresh_token'=>'###############',
		'client_id'=>'#############.apps.googleusercontent.com'
	);
	$ch = curl_init();
	curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $tokenURL);
	curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, 1);
	curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $postData);
	curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);

	$tokenReturn = curl_exec($ch);
	$token = json_decode($tokenReturn);
	//var_dump($tokenReturn);
	$accessToken = $token->access_token;
	return $accessToken;
}

You will need to add your values for client_id, refresh_token and client_secret that you established in Part 2 of this tutorial. This function is pretty stand alone. The only thing you might want to add to your finished product is better token management. I generate a new token every time. It would be best to check the token before regenerating, as tokens tend to be good for 3600 seconds.

Format JSON For Post

function createPostArgsJSON($date,$starttime,$endtime,$title){
	$arg_list = func_get_args();
	foreach($arg_list as $key => $arg){
		$arg_list[$key] = urlencode($arg);
	}
	$postargs = <<<JSON
{
 "start": {
  "dateTime": "{$date}T{$starttime}:00.000-03:30"
 },
 "end": {
  "dateTime": "{$date}T{$endtime}:00.000-03:30"
 },
 "summary": "$title",
 "description": "$title"
}
JSON;
	return $postargs;
}

This function creates the body of the our post request. What you include depends on what you are storing in the event. I only need the start and end time, and a title for the event. Check out the API explorer to see what you can do.

The date is YYYY-MM-DD format, and times are passed to the function in HH:mm format. I then pad the string with the seconds and timezone.

Odds and Ends

The rest of my functions depend on these odds and ends I set up before I start doing stuff, so I’ll cover them here.

$thecal = 'court1';
if(isset($_GET['cal'])){
	$thecal = addslashes($_GET['cal']);
}

/*
 * Advance is the amount of time in the future someone can book something.
 * days
 * weeks
 * months
 * If it is 0, it will allow unlimited future booking
 */
$courts = array(
	'court1' => array('cid' => 'court1', 'name' => 'Court 1', 'id' => '###########@group.calendar.google.com', 'starttime' => '08:00:00', 'endtime' => '23:00:00', 'advance' => '1 week'),
	'court2' => array('cid' => 'court2', 'name' => 'Court 2', 'id' => '###########@group.calendar.google.com', 'starttime' => '08:00:00', 'endtime' => '23:00:00', 'advance' => '1 week'),
);

$APIKEY = '###################';

This script expects a URL parameter to tell it which calendar to load. I first set it if nothing is specified. Then I set up the calendars. I’m using this for tennis court bookings, hence my naming conventions. The keys here are:

  • The array index/cid – This is the url parameter you will pass to the page to load the correct calendar.
  • name – The nice name you will display to users.
  • id – This is your calendar id from Google that you set up in Part 1.
  • starttime/endtime – The limits in booking times specified in HH:mm:ss
  • advance – This is the amount of time in the future that you allow bookings. PHPs strtotime syntax is used for defining the future time.

The API key is the key from Part 2.

Function For Get Requests

function sendGetRequest($token,$request){
	global $APIKEY;
	
	$session = curl_init($request);
	
	// Tell curl to use HTTP POST
	curl_setopt ($session, CURLOPT_HTTPGET, true); 
	// Tell curl not to return headers, but do return the response
	curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_HEADER, false); 
	curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);
	curl_setopt($session, CURLINFO_HEADER_OUT, false);
	curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array('Authorization:  Bearer ' . $token,'X-JavaScript-User-Agent:  Mount Pearl Tennis Club Bookings'));
    
	$response = curl_exec($session);
	
	curl_close($session); 
	return $response;
}

This function preforms a get request. You need to pass into it the request you want to make, as well as a valid auth token to complete the request. The function returns the response from the server.

Function For Post Requests

function sendPostRequest($postargs,$token, $cal){
	global $APIKEY;
	$request = 'https://www.googleapis.com/calendar/v3/calendars/' . $cal . '/events?pp=1&key=' . $APIKEY;
	
	$session = curl_init($request);
	
	// Tell curl to use HTTP POST
	curl_setopt ($session, CURLOPT_POST, true); 
	// Tell curl that this is the body of the POST
	curl_setopt ($session, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $postargs); 
	// Tell curl not to return headers, but do return the response
	curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_HEADER, false); 
	curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);
	//curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_VERBOSE, true);
	curl_setopt($session, CURLINFO_HEADER_OUT, true);
	curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array('Content-Type:  application/json','Authorization:  Bearer ' . $token,'X-JavaScript-User-Agent:  Mount Pearl Tennis Club Bookings'));
    
	$response = curl_exec($session);
	
	curl_close($session); 
	return $response;
}

This function accepts your post arguments that were created in another function, your valid auth token, as well as the calendar you want to post too.

It returns the result from the API.

Function To Test If Booked Already

function isTimeBooked($date,$starttime,$endtime,$cal){
	global $APIKEY;
	$start = $date . 'T' . $starttime . ':00-03%3A30';
	$end = $date . 'T' . $endtime . ':00-03%3A30';
	$token = getAccessToken();
	$result = sendGetRequest($token, 'https://www.googleapis.com/calendar/v3/calendars/' . $cal . '/events?timeMax=' . $end . '&timeMin=' . $start . '&fields=items(end%2Cstart%2Csummary)&pp=1&key=' . $APIKEY);
	if(strlen($result) > 5){
		return true;
	}
	else{
		return false;
	}
}

This function accepts the date, starttime, endtime and calendar id. It does a check to see if any event exists for this time on the calendar already. It uses the get request function to get it’s result. If the result is more than 5 characters return true, telling us that the time is used, but if it is less then 5, then there are no events, so return false.

HTML Code For Page

<html>
<head>

</head>
<body>

<div class="courtlist">
<?php 
	foreach($courts as $court){
		echo '<a href="calbook.php?cal=' . $court['cid'] . '">' . $court['name'] . '</a> | ';
	}
?>
</div>

<?php
	if(strlen($message) > 1){
		echo '<div class="message">';
		echo $message;
		echo '</div>';
	}
?>

<iframe src="https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?mode=WEEK&amp;showTitle=1&amp;showCalendars=0&amp;height=1000&amp;wkst=2&amp;bgcolor=%23FFFFFF&amp;src=<?php echo $courts[$thecal]['id']; ?>&amp;color=%232952A3&amp;ctz=America%2FSt_Johns" style=" border-width:0 " width="800" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" id="califrame" onload="document.getElementById('califrame').contentWindow.scrollTo(0,document.getElementById('califrame').contentWindow.document.body.scrollHeight)"></iframe>
<h2>Book a Court</h2>
<form action="calbook.php?cal=<?php echo $thecal; ?>" method="post" name="booking">
	<input type="hidden" readonly="true" value="<?php echo $thecal; ?>" name="calendar"></input>
	Court: <input type="text" readonly="true" value="<?php echo $courts[$thecal]['name']; ?>" name="calendarname"></input><br />
	Title of Booking: <input type="text" value="Booking for ...." name="title"></input><br />
	Date: <input type="text" value="<?php echo date('Y-m-d'); ?>" id="startdate" name="startdate"></input><br />
	Start Time: <input type="text" value="" id="starttime" name="starttime"></input><br />
	End Time: <input type="text" value="" id="endtime" name="endtime"></input><br />
	<input type="submit" name="submit" value="Book Court"></input>
</form>
</body>
</html>

This code prints out a list of calendars from our array, and links to them.

Then it prints out a message if one is set.

Then we use the Google iframe code from Part 1 to display a calendar.

Then we create a form to accept input from our users. Using a nice date/time picker would make things easier on the user. The forms posts back to itself, but you could separate much of this code into different files.

PHP Code To Handle Booking

So now that we have all of the pieces in place, we can create the code that will accept the input from the users.

$message = "";

if(isset($_POST['submit']) && $_POST['submit'] == 'Book Court'){
	/*
	 * Check to see if everything was filled out properly.
	 */
	if(date('Ymd') > date('Ymd',strtotime($_POST['startdate']))){
		$message = 'You cannot make a booking in the past.  Please check your date.';
	}
	elseif($_POST['starttime'] == ''){
		$message = 'You must enter a start time.';
	}
	elseif($_POST['endtime'] == ''){
		$message = 'You must enter an end time.';
	}
	/*
	 * Check to see if booking is available for this time.
	 */
	elseif(date('Hms', strtotime($_POST['starttime'] . ':00')) < date('Hms', strtotime($courts[$_POST['calendar']]['starttime'])) || date('Hms', strtotime($_POST['endtime'] . ':00')) > date('Hms', strtotime($courts[$_POST['calendar']]['endtime']))){
		$message = 'Booking not available during this time.  Please select another time.';
	}
	/*
	 * Check to see if we are alowed to book this far in advance.
	 */
	elseif(date('Ymd',strtotime($_POST['startdate'])) > date('Ymd',strtotime('+' . $courts[$_POST['calendar']]['advance'],strtotime($_POST['startdate'])))){
		$message = 'You cannot book that far into the future.  You can only book ' . $courts[$_POST['calendar']]['advance'] . ' in the future.  Please try again.';
		//$message .= date('Ymd',strtotime($_POST['startdate'])) . ' > ' . date('Ymd',strtotime('+' . $courts[$_POST['calendar']]['advance'],strtotime($_POST['startdate'])));
	}
	/*
	 * Check and see if a booking already exists.
	 */
	elseif(isTimeBooked($_POST['startdate'],$_POST['starttime'],$_POST['endtime'],$courts[$_POST['calendar']]['id'])){
		$message = 'Time already booked.  Please select another time.';
	}
	/*
	 * Everything is good, submit the event.
	 */
	else{
		$postargs = createPostArgsJSON($_POST['startdate'],$_POST['starttime'],$_POST['endtime'],$_POST['title']);
		$token = getAccessToken();
		$result = sendPostRequest($postargs,$token,$courts[$_POST['calendar']]['id']);
		//echo '<pre>' . $result . '</pre>';
	}
}

This code checks to see if a form was submitted, and then completes a series of checks to make sure that it is a valid request. If they all pass, then the event is added to the calendar. You may want to print a message to let the user know that the event was added.

At this point, you have a fully working calendar booking system. You can experiment with the API to add additional features.

Hopefully this tutorial series was of some use to you. If you have any questions, feel free to post them below.

UPDATE (Feb. 1, 2013):

By popular demand, I’ve included a complete example of putting all of these pieces together. I’ve stripped out all of the authentication and calendar codes and keys. The first two steps of this tutorial will teach you how to get all of those.

<?php
/*
 * Example of a working config for booking to a calendar.
 */
session_start();

require_once('../backend/libs/config.php');
require_once('../backend/libs/cal/corecal.php');

/* 
 * Core Calendar Functions (contents of the corecal.php file above)
 */
function sendPostRequest($postargs,$token, $cal){
        global $APIKEY;
        $request = 'https://www.googleapis.com/calendar/v3/calendars/' . $cal . '/events?pp=1&key=' . $APIKEY;

        //$auth = json_decode($_SESSION['oauth_access_token'],true);

        //var_dump($auth);

        $session = curl_init($request);

        // Tell curl to use HTTP POST
        curl_setopt ($session, CURLOPT_POST, true);
        // Tell curl that this is the body of the POST
        curl_setopt ($session, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $postargs);
        // Tell curl not to return headers, but do return the response
        curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_HEADER, true);
        curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);
        curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_VERBOSE, true);
        curl_setopt($session, CURLINFO_HEADER_OUT, true);
        curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array('Content-Type:  application/json','Authorization:  Bearer ' . $token,'X-JavaScript-User-Agent:  Mount Pearl Tennis Club Bookings'));
    
        $response = curl_exec($session);
   
        //echo '<pre>';
        //var_dump(curl_getinfo($session, CURLINFO_HEADER_OUT)); 
        //echo '</pre>';
        
        curl_close($session);
        return $response;
}

function sendGetRequest($token,$request){
        global $APIKEY;
        //$request = 'https://www.googleapis.com/calendar/v3/calendars/' . $CAL . '/events?pp=1&key=' . $APIKEY;

        //$auth = json_decode($_SESSION['oauth_access_token'],true);

        //var_dump($auth);

        $session = curl_init($request);

        // Tell curl to use HTTP POST
        curl_setopt ($session, CURLOPT_HTTPGET, true);
        // Tell curl not to return headers, but do return the response
        curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_HEADER, false);
        curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);
        curl_setopt($session, CURLINFO_HEADER_OUT, false);
        curl_setopt($session, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array('Authorization:  Bearer ' . $token,'X-JavaScript-User-Agent:  Mount Pearl Tennis Club Bookings'));

        $response = curl_exec($session);

        //echo '<pre>';
        //var_dump(curl_getinfo($session, CURLINFO_HEADER_OUT)); 
        //echo '</pre>';

        curl_close($session);
        return $response;
}

function createPostArgsJSON($date,$starttime,$endtime,$title){
        $arg_list = func_get_args();
        foreach($arg_list as $key => $arg){
                $arg_list[$key] = urlencode($arg);
        }
        $postargs = <<<JSON
{
 "start": {
  "dateTime": "{$date}T{$starttime}:00.000-03:30"
 },
 "end": {
  "dateTime": "{$date}T{$endtime}:00.000-03:30"
 },
 "summary": "$title",
 "description": "$title"
}
JSON;
        return $postargs;
}

function getAccessToken(){
        $tokenURL = 'https://accounts.google.com/o/oauth2/token';
        $postData = array(
                'client_secret'=>'......', #You need to fill these in to match your site.
                'grant_type'=>'refresh_token',
                'refresh_token'=>'...........', #You need to fill these in to match your site.
                'client_id'=>'.................' #You need to fill these in to match your site.
        );
        $ch = curl_init();
        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $tokenURL);
        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, 1);
        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $postData);
        curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);

        $tokenReturn = curl_exec($ch);
        $token = json_decode($tokenReturn);
        //var_dump($tokenReturn);
        $accessToken = $token->access_token;
        return $accessToken;
}

function isTimeBooked($date,$starttime,$endtime,$cal){
        global $APIKEY;
        $start = $date . 'T' . $starttime . ':00-03%3A30';
        $end = $date . 'T' . $endtime . ':00-03%3A30';
        $token = getAccessToken();
        $result = sendGetRequest($token, 'https://www.googleapis.com/calendar/v3/calendars/' . $cal . '/events?timeMax=' . $end . '&timeMin=' . $start . '&fields=items(end%2Cstart%2Csummary)&pp=1&key=' . $APIKEY);
        if(strlen($result) > 5){
                return true; 
        }
        else{
                return false;
        }
}
  
function checkCourtRegistrations($startdate,$starttime,$enddate,$endtime,$cal){
        global $APIKEY;
        $start = $startdate . 'T' . $starttime . ':00-03%3A30';
        $end = $enddate . 'T' . $endtime . ':00-03%3A30';
        $token = getAccessToken();
        $result = sendGetRequest($token, 'https://www.googleapis.com/calendar/v3/calendars/' . $cal . '/events?timeMax=' . $end . '&timeMin=' . $start . '&fields=items(end%2Cstart%2Csummary)%2Csummary&pp=1&key=' . $APIKEY);
        if(strlen($result) > 5){
            $result = json_decode($result,true);
            //return array($result['summary'] => $result['items']);
            return array('items' => $result['items'], 'court' => $result['summary']);
        }
        else{
            return '';
        }
}
/* 
 * End Core Calendar Functions (contents of the corecal.php file above)
 */

$thecal = 'court1';
if(isset($_GET['cal'])){
        $thecal = addslashes($_GET['cal']);
}

/*
 * Advance is the amount of time in the future someone can book something.
 * days
 * weeks
 * months
 * If it is 0, it will allow unlimited future booking
 */

$courts = array(
        'court1' => array('cid' => 'court1', 'name' => 'Court 1', 'id' => '{YOUR CAL}@group.calendar.google.com', 'starttime' => '08:00:00', 'endtime' => '23:00:00', 'advance' => '1 week'),
        'court2' => array('cid' => 'court2', 'name' => 'Court 2', 'id' => '{YOUR CAL}@group.calendar.google.com', 'starttime' => '08:00:00', 'endtime' => '23:00:00', 'advance' => '1 week'),
        'court3' => array('cid' => 'court3', 'name' => 'Court 3', 'id' => '{YOUR CAL}@group.calendar.google.com', 'starttime' => '08:00:00', 'endtime' => '23:00:00', 'advance' => '1 week'),
        'court4' => array('cid' => 'court4', 'name' => 'Court 4', 'id' => '{YOUR CAL}@group.calendar.google.com', 'starttime' => '08:00:00', 'endtime' => '23:00:00', 'advance' => '1 week'),
        'court5' => array('cid' => 'court5', 'name' => 'Court 5', 'id' => '{YOUR CAL}@group.calendar.google.com', 'starttime' => '08:00:00', 'endtime' => '23:00:00', 'advance' => '1 week'),
        'court6' => array('cid' => 'court6', 'name' => 'Court 6', 'id' => '{YOUR CAL}@group.calendar.google.com', 'starttime' => '08:00:00', 'endtime' => '23:00:00', 'advance' => '1 week'),
);

$APIKEY = '{YOUR API KEY}';

$message = "";

if(isset($_POST['submit']) && $_POST['submit'] == 'Book Court'){
        /*
         * Check to see if everything was filled out properly.
         */
        //echo 'start submit' . date('Hms', strtotime($_POST['starttime'] . ':00'));
        //echo 'start default' . date('Hms', strtotime($courts[$_POST['calendar']]['starttime']));
        //echo 'end submit' . date('Hms', strtotime($_POST['endtime'] . ':00'));
        //echo 'end default' . date('Hms', strtotime($courts[$_POST['calendar']]['endtime']));
        if(date('Ymd') > date('Ymd',strtotime($_POST['startdate']))){
                $message = 'You cannot make a booking in the past.  Please check your date.';
        }
        elseif($_POST['starttime'] == ''){
                $message = 'You must enter a start time.';
        }
        elseif($_POST['endtime'] == ''){
                $message = 'You must enter an end time.';
        }
        /*
         * Check to see if booking is available for this time.
         */
        elseif(date('Hms', strtotime($_POST['starttime'] . ':00')) < date('Hms', strtotime($courts[$_POST['calendar']]['starttime'])) || date('Hms', strtotime($_POST['endtime'] . ':00')) > date('Hms', strtotime($courts[$_POST['calendar']]['endtime']))){
                $message = 'Booking not available during this time.  Please select another time.';
        }
        /*
         * Check to see if we are alowed to book this far in advance.
         */

        elseif(date('Ymd',strtotime($_POST['startdate'])) > date('Ymd',strtotime('+' . $courts[$_POST['calendar']]['advance'],strtotime($_POST['startdate'])))){
                $message = 'You cannot book that far into the future.  You can only book ' . $courts[$_POST['calendar']]['advance'] . ' in the future.  Please try again.';
                //$message .= date('Ymd',strtotime($_POST['startdate'])) . ' > ' . date('Ymd',strtotime('+' . $courts[$_POST['calendar']]['advance'],strtotime($_POST['startdate'])));
        }
        /*
         * Check and see if a booking already exists.
         */
        elseif(isTimeBooked($_POST['startdate'],$_POST['starttime'],$_POST['endtime'],$courts[$_POST['calendar']]['id'])){
                $message = 'Time already booked.  Please select another time.';
        }
        /*
         * Everything is good, submit the event.
         */
        else{
                $postargs = createPostArgsJSON($_POST['startdate'],$_POST['starttime'],$_POST['endtime'],$_POST['title']);
                $token = getAccessToken();
                $result = sendPostRequest($postargs,$token,$courts[$_POST['calendar']]['id']);
                //echo '<pre>' . $result . '</pre>';
        }
}
?>
<html>
<head>
	<!-- The below JS library is from home.jongsma.org/software/js/datepicker -->
        <script language="javascript" src="../backend/libs/picker/js/prototype-1.6.0.2.js"></script>
        <script language="javascript" src="../backend/libs/picker/js/prototype-base-extensions.js"></script>
        <script language="javascript" src="../backend/libs/picker/js/prototype-date-extensions.js"></script>
        <script language="javascript" src="../backend/libs/picker/js/datepicker.js"></script>
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="../backend/libs/picker/css/datepicker.css" />
        <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="../backend/styles/default.css" />
        <script type="text/javascript">
                function showHideCourt(){
                        if(document.getElementById('courtref').style.display == 'block'){
                                document.getElementById('courtref').style.display = 'none';
                                document.getElementById('showHideToggle').innerHTML = "Show Court Reference";
                        }
                        else{
                                document.getElementById('courtref').style.display = 'block';
                                document.getElementById('showHideToggle').innerHTML = "Hide Court Reference";
                        }
                }
        </script>
</head>
<body>
<div class="notes">
        <h2>Instructions</h2>
        <ul>
                <li>Use the links below to view existing bookings for each of the courts.</li>
                <li>Once you have selected a time you would like to book, scroll to the bottom of the page and fill out the booking form.</li>

        </ul>
</div>
<div class="courtlist">
<?php
        foreach($courts as $court){
                echo '<a href="bookings.php?cal=' . $court['cid'] . '">' . $court['name'] . '</a> | ';
        }
?>
        <a href="#" id="showHideToggle" onclick="showHideCourt()">Show Court Reference</a>
</div>
<div id="courtref" class="courtref">
        <img src="<?php echo SITE_ROOT . 'images/courts.png'; ?>" />
</div>

<?php
        if(strlen($message) > 1){
                echo '<div class="message">';
                echo $message;
                echo '</div>';
        }
?>

<iframe src="https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?mode=WEEK&amp;showTitle=1&amp;showCalendars=0&amp;height=1000&amp;wkst=2&amp;bgcolor=%23FFFFFF&amp;src=<?php echo $courts[$thecal]['id']; ?>&amp;color=%232952A3&amp;ctz=America%2FSt_Johns" style=" border-width:0 " width="800" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" id="califrame" onload="document.getElementById('califrame').contentWindow.scrollTo(0,document.getElementById('califrame').contentWindow.document.body.scrollHeight)"></iframe>
<h2>Book a Court</h2>
<form action="bookings.php?cal=<?php echo $thecal; ?>" method="post" name="booking">
        <input type="hidden" readonly="true" value="<?php echo $thecal; ?>" name="calendar"></input>
        Court: <input type="text" readonly="true" value="<?php echo $courts[$thecal]['name']; ?>" name="calendarname"></input><br />
        Title of Booking: <input type="text" value="Booking for: <?php echo substr($_SESSION['fname'],0,1) . '. ' . $_SESSION['lname'];  ?>" name="title"></input><br />
        Date: <input type="text" readonly="true" value="<?php echo date('Y-m-d'); ?>" id="startdate" name="startdate"></input><br />
        Start Time: <input type="text" readonly="true" value="" id="starttime" name="starttime"></input><br />
        End Time: <input type="text" readonly="true" value="" id="endtime" name="endtime"></input><br />
        <input type="submit" name="submit" value="Book Court"></input>
</form>
<div class="notes">
        <h2>Notes</h2>
        <ul>
                <li>If you need to change your booking, please call the club house.</li>
                <li>You can only book one session per day, and up to one week in advance.</li>
        </ul>
</div>
<script language="javascript">
        new Control.DatePicker('startdate', { icon: '../backend/libs/picker/images/calendar.png', datePicker: true, timePicker: false, dateFormat: 'yyyy-MM-dd' });
        new Control.DatePicker('starttime', { icon: '../backend/libs/picker/images/clock.png', datePicker: false, timePicker: true });
        new Control.DatePicker('endtime', { icon: '../backend/libs/picker/images/clock.png', datePicker: false, timePicker: true });
</script>
</body>
</html>
Jan 082012
 

This is the second part of a three part series on how to embed a Google Calendar into a web page and use it to accept online bookings/appointments from other online users.

The Series:

  1. Part 1: Setting up Google Calendar
  2. Part 2: OAuth2 and Configuring Your ‘Application’ With Google <- You Are Here
  3. Part 3: A Sample Web Page For Bookings

Background

This was by far the hardest part of the whole exercise. I had worked with version 1 of the Google API for PHP a few years back. This allowed you to code your username and password into your script, and it would handle authentication for your application. Now that we are on to version 3 of the API, that method is no longer available. Instead OAuth2 is used for authentication and token management.

I downloaded code samples, and went about building my application, however, I quickly realized that the OAuth2 code samples are designed to allow you to interact with a visitors calendar. In the case of taking online bookings, I need to work with a single calendar, namely my calendar, not theirs.

After a lot of trial and error, and then reading, I realized that it could be done, and relied on what is called a ‘Refresh Token’ in OAuth2. This token allows you to get a new valid authentication token when the initial grant from your end user expires. Since the refresh token doesn’t expire, you can always use it to get a new authentication token, and therefore people can continue to use your application after you have initially configured it. I spent a while trying to implement it myself with no success, but then I came across this page: http://www.ericnagel.com/how-to-tips/google-affiliate-network-api.html This explains in some detail how to configure the application and token. It is written for the Google Affiliate Network API, but I made a few tweaks to make it work for Calendar. I will now take you through the steps of setting up your application with Google, and generating your Refresh Token.

Create Your Application

Log into your Google Account, and then visit https://code.google.com/apis/console/. This will take you to a page that invites you to create a project with the Google API. Click on Create project….

You are now asked to activate the services you wish to use. Click the button next to Calendar API to enable the calendar. You will be redirected to a page with a Terms of Service. Read and accept this.

Now click on API Access. Here we will configure the IDs needed for your application to authenticate with Google. Click on Create an OAuth2 client ID…. You will be offered to create Branding Information. You should add your project/product name. The rest won’t be necessary as you will not be asking users directly for access to their resources, but you can complete it if you like.

Then click Next. Here you will want to select Installed application. Click Create client ID.

You will be taken back to the API Access screen, with your new Client ID and Client secret. You will need this information to generate your Refresh Token, and to configure your application.

This page will also have your API key for ‘Simple API Access’. You will also need this API Key for your final calendar application.

Get Your Application Information

Now that you have your application information, it is time to generate your refresh token. I’ve modified the script available from http://www.ericnagel.com/how-to-tips/google-affiliate-network-api.html to just get us our refresh token for our calendar application. Here is the code for the script. Download this and save it as oauth-setup.php:

<?php
$cScope         =   'https://www.googleapis.com/auth/calendar';
$cClientID      =   '';
$cClientSecret  =   '';
$cRedirectURI   =   'urn:ietf:wg:oauth:2.0:oob';
 
$cAuthCode      =   '';

if (empty($cAuthCode)) {
    $rsParams = array(
                        'response_type' => 'code',
                        'client_id' => $cClientID,
                        'redirect_uri' => $cRedirectURI,
                        'access_type' => 'offline',
                        'scope' => $cScope,
                        'approval_prompt' => 'force'
                     );

    $cOauthURL = 'https://accounts.google.com/o/oauth2/auth?' . http_build_query($rsParams);
    echo("Go to\n$cOauthURL\nand enter the given value into this script under \$cAuthCode\n");
    exit();
} // ends if (empty($cAuthCode))
elseif (empty($cRefreshToken)) {
    $cTokenURL = 'https://accounts.google.com/o/oauth2/token';
    $rsPostData = array(
                        'code'          =>   $cAuthCode,
                        'client_id'     =>   $cClientID,
                        'client_secret' =>   $cClientSecret,
                        'redirect_uri'  =>   $cRedirectURI,
                        'grant_type'    =>   'authorization_code',
                        );
    $ch = curl_init();
 
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $cTokenURL);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, 1);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $rsPostData);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, true);
 
    $cTokenReturn = curl_exec($ch);
    $oToken = json_decode($cTokenReturn);
    echo("Here is your Refresh Token for your application.  Do not loose this!\n\n");
    echo("Refresh Token = '" . $oToken->refresh_token . "';\n");
} // ends
?>

Before running this script, you will need to enter your Client ID ($cClientID) and Client Secret ($cClientSecret) as we found on the API page with Google. Once these values are added, run this script from the command line like this: php oauth-setup.php. You should see output like this:

thomas@thomas-desktop:~/code$ php oauth-setup.php 
Go to
https://accounts.google.com/o/oauth2/auth?response_type=code&client_id=##########################&redirect_uri=###############&scope=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.googleapis.com%2Fauth%2Fcalendar
and enter the given value into this script under $cAuthCode

Visit the website, grant permission to access your resources, and then copy the code on this page. This is your auth code, and is normally good for 3600 seconds or so.

Enter this code into the oauth-setup.php script in the $cAuthCode variable. Then run the script again: php oauth-setup.php. You should see output like this:

thomas@thomas-desktop:~/code$ php oauth-setup.php 
Here is your Refresh Token for your application.  Do not loose this!

Refresh Token = '#####################################';

Now, copy down the Refresh Token and save it for later. You will need it to make subsequent requests to Google to get a valid Auth Code for a transaction.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of the tutorial, which will use the above information to make calendar requests to Google. And allow us to create a web application that uses Google Calendar as a backend for a scheduling application.

Dec 312011
 

This is the first part of a three part series on how to embed a Google Calendar into a web page and use it to accept online bookings/appointments from other online users.

The Series:

  1. Part 1: Setting up Google Calendar <- You Are Here
  2. Part 2: OAuth2 and Configuring Your ‘Application’ With Google
  3. Part 3: A Sample Web Page For Bookings

Part 1: Setting up Google Calendar to be embedded into a web page

You can already use Google Calendar on your web page for displaying your schedule. This tutorial will take you through that process quickly highlighting some of the key pieces that you will need later.

Step 1: Signup for a Google Account and Create Your Calendar

I’m going to assume you have, or know how to get a Google Account. You can get a Google Account (with your email address) here: https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount or you can just sign up for a Gmail account, which is awesome, here: https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount?service=mail&continue=http://mail.google.com/mail/e-11-cf5c9f72b92b7a0f5c1f47b879e4b-e035ec50fab44f274a9436e7e96b8bbcef278d4e&type=2.

Now, go into Google Calendar, and create a calendar that you will use for your appointments.

Give the calendar a name (1), description (2), and location (3).

Here you have the option to configure sharing (4). You will need to make the calendar public for others to see it. You can optionally choose to display only Free/Busy information to protect the privacy of the events (5).

Now, you need to grab the embed code to add the calendar to your site. You grab this by going to Calendar Settings.

Step 2: Get The Calendar Embed Code and Calendar ID

Here you will see the embed code (1), and a link to customize your output. On this page you will also see the Calendar ID (2).

This code will put an IFRAME on your page which will display your calendar. You can use the customized to tweak the look and feel of the calendar.

You will need the calendar ID for the next parts of the tutorial.

That is the end of this tutorial. You now have a calendar added to your website which will display your schedule to your web users.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the tutorial, which will get our application set up with Google so that we can use the API to add events to the calendar.

Dec 242011
 

For those who work on multiple Linux/Unix machines, we sometimes need to do work remotely. Sometimes the terminal doesn’t cut it, and we need to use a GUI application. There are a number of ways to view a GUI on a remote machine, but one way is by X11 forwarding through an SSH connection.

One problem with X11 forwarding, especially over the internet, is the slow speed. This post hopes to explain X11 forwarding, and ways to speed it up.

You can use the command:
ssh -c arcfour,blowfish-cbc -X -C user@192.168.11.3
To establish an SSH session with X11 forwarding enabled. Then all you need to do is launch a X program and it should appear on your local display. Before I explain the command, you must first have X11 forwarding enabled in your sshd_config on your server. Set X11Forwarding yes in your config file.

Now, for the SSH command:

  • -c arcfour,blowfish-cbc : specifies the encryption algorithms to use. These seem to be some of the fastest.
  • -X : This enables X11 Forwarding
  • -C : This enables compression
  • user@192.168.11.3 : This is the user name of the remote machine, and the IP address of that server.
Aug 092011
 

Filezilla is a great ftp/sftp/… tool. But it is missing one feature that would make it more useful: a file diff ability. This allows you to see the remote file, and local file side by side to see what is different between them. This is an often requested feature in the Filezilla forums, and until it is implemented officially, you can use this workaround to get diffs in Filezilla.

This was done running Filezilla 3.3.1 on Ubuntu 10.04.

  1. First, install Meld (haven’t tried it with any other diff viewer yet)
  2. Then go to Edit -> Settings -> File editing
  3. Change to ‘Use custom editor:’ and enter: /usr/bin/meld /home/{yourusername}/filezillafake.txt
  4. Click OK.
  5. Create a file in your home directory called filezillafake.txt
  6. You may need to also select “Always use default editor”. Optionally, you can go one menu below to “Filetype associations” and add the command for any file types that you want so it isn’t available for all.

Now, when you View/Edit a file, it will open in meld with your fake file on the left, and the remote file on the right. Then drag the file from your filezilla window into the ‘Browse’ area for the fake file in the Meld Window. It will load up and show you the diff.

You should be able to edit the file here and save it and Filezilla should prompt for an upload.

This works because Meld supports drag and drop, and also inserting two file names at the command prompt. Any application for any platform that does that should be supported by this method. The only downside is that Meld is now your default editor for files, and you may not like that if you do a lot of remote editing.

Aug 072011
 

I recently began working on a new website that will catalog all of the tennis courts in Newfoundland.  You can visit at http://www.tennisnewfoundland.com

Today I added coordinates for each court and city. This allows me to create a custom google map for each page and put links directly on the map. I also added a verification feature so that courts which are confirmed open float to the top and those which aren’t float to the bottom. I made some tweaks to the style sheets as well which should make the site more userfriendly on mobile devices.

Other features include a commenting feature using Disqus, pages for cities and a list of clubs in the province.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

Jul 012011
 

Duke Nukem Forever

Well, I spent real money and actually bought a game recently.  And it was Duke Nukem Forever.  I played the original Dukes and Duke 3D when I was younger.  It was a lot of fun, and took the FPS genre a little farther, with destroy-able worlds, humour, and fun weapons.

I haven’t played many FPSes since then, played through Doom 3 single player, and a bit of the Unreal Tournament Series with a focus on multiplayer and some more realistic shooters.  I was hoping that Duke Nukem Forever (DNF) would bring back good old days of funny gameplay in a very interactive world with crazy weapons and exploration based gameplay.  Boy, was I disappointed.

DNF was not much fun to play.  The level design was very linear, with a focus on pre-programmed areas of massive combat.  Duke was only allowed to carry two weapons (only two weapons!  This is freaken Duke Nukem!) and there wasn’t much exploration at all.  Also, the boss battles were very, very, very repetitive.  The game was also very short.  I gave multiplayer a try, but it doesn’t seem all that good yet either.

All that said, when it wasn’t offensive, it was kind of funny, and the graphics, music and sounds were pretty good.  If I were you, and you were interested, pick it up on the cheap, and hope the modding community can pump out some good levels.

Flatout

To contrast that experience, I found Flatout from Good Old Games for the low, low price of $3.  All games from GOG are DRM free, and available online for download right after you purchase them.

The $3 for Flatout was the best $3 I’ve ever spent.  Flatout is an excellent racing game with several modes and bonus modes such as darts and bowling.  Where you eject your driver through the windshield to try and score points.

I even dusted off the old game pad and hooked it up to play.

If you like racing games, I would highly recommend this title.

Jan 272011
 

Recently, I needed the ability to get a readout of the average bandwidth used on the server at one time. As many of you probably know, bandwidth is tough to measure for an instant. I could not find a tool or command that would allow me to get the data I wanted. So I decided to write one.

I write a perl script that uses the output from one invocation of ifconfig with a later invocation. The results are compared, and the total transferred, along with the average bps is extracted and printed.

Here is an example of printout:


thomas@thomas-desktop:~$ perl bandwidth-checker.pl -p -i=eth0 -t=5
Monitored traffic on interface eth0 for 5 seconds:
Incoming: 17.7109375 kbit (2.2138671875 KB) Average: 3.5421875 kbps (0.4427734375 KBps)
Outgoing: 2.109375 kbit (0.263671875 KB) Average: 0.421875 kbps (0.052734375 KBps)

I wrote a little page on the script, and have the source there as well. Hopefully it will help someone else out there: http://wiki.cornempire.net/scripts/bandwidth

If you have any use for it, on find any problems with the script, please comment below.

Dec 232010
 

Hello everyone,
I’ve been saying that I was going to post this for a long time, ever since my presentation at Fusion 2010: http://www.desire2learn.com/fusion/ and now I finally have.

I have written up two pages on code I developed for use with PHP and D2L’s web services. I have been using it at my work for the last year or so, and I finally polished it up a little, and created some installation and usage instructions. I’m not finished yet, but it is a start.

If you use D2L and want to extend it through Web Services (you need to purchase the web services package from D2L, and have it installed first), I encourage you to read over these pages:

If you have any comments, please post them below. Feel free to email me with any questions or problems you run into while working with the API or the testing framework. I’m eager to improve the code for everyone.