Deprecation is a funny word. Outside of the context of programming, it is generally only heard as part of the phrase “self-deprecating.” To be modest or critical of oneself, often in a humorous way.
So what is deprecation in the programming sense? Basically it just means, “this still works, but you should stop using it.”
Why should you stop using something that still works? Well, it has to do with the developers’ “roadmap” for future work on the project. Developers have finite resources, and generally have a plan for how they will be using those resources moving forward. That’s the project roadmap. You can only afford to deviate from the intended course so much, if you ever intend to get to your destination.
In the case of ICS Calendar Pro, version 4.2.0 brings the deprecation of Grid view. It’s somewhat ironic, in that a specific request for this type of view is what led to the creation of the Pro version of the plugin in the first place. As it happens, that work began in late 2019, and from the start, Grid view was tailored to the specific needs of that one user, as a model for what it should do. A user who was in the business of planning large tech conferences.
And then 2020 happened.
ICS Calendar Pro started to take off just as large public gatherings were… not. I heard less and less from that user — or anyone else — about Grid view, so although it is a part of the plugin, and continues to function, it has gotten basically zero development work since its initial launch. There just hasn’t been much demand. It fell off the roadmap.
Fast forward to 2022, and I started hearing demand for integrating FullCalendar.io into the plugin. As I learned more about it, I realized that not only could an integration work, but that it had the potential to be a huge improvement on what ICS Calendar Pro previously offered.
It became my personal goal to get a version of ICS Calendar Pro with a working integration of FullCalendar rolled out by summer of 2022. Some difficult events in my personal life ended up disrupting the development schedule, but I still had an ambition to launch ICS Calendar Pro version 4, featuring Full view, by the end of 2022. On December 30, it went live.
One of the many benefits of the FullCalendar library is that it offers a couple of excellent time grid-style views: both single-day and week-at-a-time. It surpasses my original Grid view in just about every way. And because it’s an open source library, as it gains its own improvements, those can easily be rolled into ICS Calendar Pro, too.
With all of this in mind, the roadmap becomes clear. There will be no additional development on the original ICS Calendar Pro Grid view. It is now officially deprecated. But like I said at the beginning, “deprecated” means “it still works.” I have absolutely no intention of ever removing the Grid view option from ICS Calendar Pro. Users who already have Grid view calendars on their websites can continue to use it for as long as they use the plugin.
I am strongly encouraging all current Grid view users to at least check out the new Full view, specifically the week and day tab layouts. (If you set Full view to only include one of the tabs, that view will display by default and the actual “tabs” will not be shown on the page.) Most Grid view users will likely find that “Full” view with the “week” tab is comparable and in many ways superior to what they’re currently using.
For new calendars though, I would discourage even trying the old Grid view. Be aware that it is not continuing to be developed, which means it may stop working at some point in the future. (I don’t intend for that to happen, but I can’t guarantee it will be feasible to continue supporting it if there are other major changes to the plugin that cause it to stop working.) Full view with the “week” tab is the way of the future!
All of this said, ICS Calendar and ICS Calendar Pro development is guided strongly by the demands of the users. Your feedback on this change is welcomed. The Feature Requests forum is a great place to share those thoughts.