It would be great if The Form Letter Machine supported an XML schema export in either RSS 2.0 or iCalendar for online publishing of events listings. The problem with some of these schemas is that it would be nice to extend them. For example, some events (e.g. dances) have "locations" and "prices", but that's not part of the standard iCalendar or RSS 2.0 schema. Those would be user-defined fields to extend these schemas.
So let's add a "create event" macro that allows a couple user defined variable fields. The main body of each event can then be managed like TFLM would normally do (check boxes and radio buttons), but local event variables like %date%, %time%, %location%, %price% would be resolved independently for each event. There should also be a check box to include/exclude each current/outdated event independently.
On XML export, either an RSS 2.0 or iCalendar feed can be created for the checked (enabled) events. In addition, please include an hCalendar export, supporting microformats, that can be directly posted to a web page.
Perhaps the name of TFLM should be changed to "Extensible RSS Writer". If there's already a product that can do this selectively
like TFLM does, please post its URL.
-----"Mini" Help & Manual application
: There's a mutually exclusive suggestion--unfortunately. It might be desirable to employ a very rich XML schema to store TFLM's raw data. Then its data file could be edited by other high-end tools such as Help & Manual
, which uses the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) XML schema for technical documentation. Unfortunately, this approach is an overkill for most users, and you would then need to employ an XSLT translation script to convert the DITA schema to RSS (or something) to make it usable for most people like Help & Manual does.