Hey! My Box.net-Shared iCal Calendars Stopped Working

Just a follow-up to a recent, popular post. I recently noticed that my iCal calendars — the ones I share via my Box.net account — stopped publishing, displaying a warning badge over the broadcast icon.

WTF: My Calendar Share Stopped Working!
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So I tried seeing if I could still connect to Box.net via the web. Yup. Good to go. Next I checked to see if I could still connect via the Finder and WebDAV. Nope. No go. Just sits and spins. There's the problem: No WebDAV, no calendar share. (I. Can't seem. To stop. Talking in. Short. Truncated. Sentences.)

Connecting to https://www.box.net: Or Not
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After having no luck Googling a solution, I decided I'd try to figure things out myself. And after some poking around I found the problem. And solution. The problem is the "s". See it? The one after the "http"? There in the "Connecting To Server" dialog. There you go. That's the culprit. That "s" means you're attempting to connect using a variation on the http protocol (called https, if you can believe) that transmits over a different port (port 443) than that of standard http (port 80), and that uses an additional encryption layer for security. Seems Box.net has stopped using the protocol for WebDAV communications, and is, at least for now, using standard http. Removing the "s" from my calendar shares fixed them right up.

Best way I know to do that is to select the published calendar, choose "Change Location..." from the "Calendar" pull-down menu, and in the field marked "Base URL:" change the "http" in the URL to "https". Hit publish, and everything should be right as rain.

Fixed: Ahh! That's Better!
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I'm not sure why the good folks at Box.net decided to change the connection protocol for WebDAV, nor why they failed to inform anyone (as far as I could tell, anyway). WebDAV support is a beta feature at Box.net, apparently, so I suppose we should expect some changes from time to time. Either way I'm sure glad they haven't pulled the service altogether. Hard to get too mad when the price is so nice.

About five minutes after posting this article I got a comment from someone named Aaron who appears to work at Box.net. Aaron wrote:

"Sorry for the scare. Dav should be back to normal in the next few hours."

That was last night. I'm still having some weirdness, but I have to admit to being far too tired to really do any serious investigating. Thus far, I'm unable to connect to Box.net with the Finder using https or http. Neither seems to work. Oddly, publishing via iCal using http does work, but still not with https. Strange. Not a big deal. Just strange. That's about all I've energy to try. Mainly I wanted to just point out that the Box.net folks seem to really be committed to the whole WebDAV thing, and that's great. And they appear to be listening, which is also great. Thanks, Box.net folks. And thanks, Aaron.

Now off to bed with me.

Not sure when this started working properly, but publishing calendars via the https protocol is functioning normally again. Yay!
(Updated Sept. 4, 2006, 6:30 PM)

Filed Under: Internet Applications MacOSX Server