ICS & calendar hell

Is Apple’s Calendar just bad at handling ICS files, or is this normal?

I have a dozen things I’m needing to coordinate with a group. One person is sending me ICS invites, which I’m double-clicking manually every time I get them and adding to my calendar.

The challenge is, each event has multiple iterations (initial scheduling, clarification of agenda, adding a Zoom link, etc.). And I’m winding up with sometimes 1, sometimes 2, sometimes 3 copies of each event. And some events with only one copy seem to be missing information.

Is this Calendar? Is it the ICS files? Anybody else ever have this happen to them?

It’s been a while since I messed with ICS files, but I think that’s what happens when you import one. It’s kind of like swapping around contacts by mailing vCards around (but come to think of it, Contacts has a basic update/duplicate feature).

Would subscribing to a calendar feed work better? Then I think the changes in the primary calendar would flow through. Might not be editable by the subscribers though.

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Clearly, Calendar (and probably any other app that imports ICS files) does not consider the incoming as updates vs. new. Could it be that your group colleagues are sending you “new” calendar requests rather than updates?

See https://icalendar.org for the format of these files. UID is the field which probably defines the event and probably should be unchanged on updates. Perhaps if you really want to dig into this issue you can compare the UID field (and other fields) in the updated ICS files they send you.

I have those problems very rarely, but I figured out that in at least some of these cases, the one who is sending the ICS is using a third party calendar app, and it seems that some of those can export ICS-Files, but are not producing them 100% according to the relevant rules.