`open-event` specifies a way to store information on events/meetups/meetings as JSON files.
Last updated 5 years ago by leichtgewicht .
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Open Event

open-event specifies a way to store information on events/meetups/meetings as JSON files. It also contains a JavaScript library to process and validate those JSON files.


The specification consists of three parts

  1. A JSON Scheme that specified the structure of a file event.schema.v1.json
  2. A file-name specification that has to be used for an event.
  3. A combinatory specification that considers both the file content and the path.

Only if a file adheres to all three aspects it is considered a event.

JSON Properties

Property Type Description Example Note
name string Name of the event. 'First Hangout'. If not given, it will default to {user}/{repo}/#{number-of-event}.
online ** object Location of an online event.
online.url * string URL at which people will be able to meet. ''.
online.timeZone * string IANA Timezone to use for the time specification. 'Asia/Tokyo'.
location ** object Location of an offline event. * string Name or address of location. 'Joyent, Sausolito California'
location.directions string Instructions on how to find the location. 'Take the elevator Nr. 3 next to the south entrance.'
location.url string URL of the location. '' * number Latitude of the position. 12 Together with lng forms the geographic position of the event. The time-zone is evaluated using this position.
location.lng * number Longitude of the position. 140
openTime string Time at which the location is available to enter. '19-30'
endDate string Date at which the event ends. '1999-12-31'
endTime string Time at which the event ends. '21-30' Specifies together with endDate the finishing time of the event.
contact * string Email of the person that is responsible for this event. ''
url * string URL to sign-up for the event or get more information. ''
coc string URL for the Code of Conduct. ''

*: Required. **: Conditionally Required.

File-name specification

The file name must start with a start time specification in the format: YYYY-MM-DD_HH-MM. It then must have a _ followed by a freely definable name and has to have the file ending .json.

Summary: YYYY-MM-DD_HH-MM_{name}.json is the file format.

Note: The time specifies the moment at which the events start. If the venue is available before use openTime

Combinatory specification

If given, the event's end time has to be after the start time. If given, the event's open time has to be before the start time.

JavaScript Usage

Additionally to the specification this project also contains a Node.js validator. It can be installed with $ npm install open-event.

var openEvent = require('open-event')

For more information on the api, look into the examples folder.

Detailed Rationale

This specification considers several priorities.

  • It provides only one way to write down information in order to ease implementation and usage of the file format.
  • It only assumes the minimum required information.
  • It aims to be consistent and human friendly.
  • It supports online or offline events as well as online and offline events.

Why is a contact-email required?

Through experience of running events it has become apparant that the legitimization as organizer of an event is important for various reasons. Email addresses are chosen because:

  • ... everybody knows how to interact with them
  • ... unlike html links, emails are cheaper to maintain and thus less likely to be deleted
  • ... unlike a instant messaging account they are more likely to be actually received by someone
  • ... it is easy and common for people to setup one email address to reach multiple persons (if the organizer is not alone)

Why require latitude and longitude for offline events?

Validating and writing addresses properly is a very difficult task that would make this file format depending on an address-lookup service to work. With a latitude and longitude this data is easy to put on a map and allows together with description to be easily reached. As it doesn't require a lookup the geo location also supports a timezone lookup which is important to make sure that the time entered is placed to the right place.

Why the start time in the file path?

By having the start time in the file path multiple events get automatically correctly sorted by age.

Why is the end time split in two different properties?

We have considered to specify the end in a single property that contains both the end date and end time with the date being optional, like: end: "(YYYY-MM-DD_)HH-MM". This might reduce the amount of text to type but will result in a less verbose JSON file where the act of adding the optional date would be to modify the time. In short: we chose the more verbose way to write which humans make less errors to write.

Why the requirement on the name in the path?

Experience shows that it is important to be able to address an event properly which means that having a name is required. A name in the file path allows us to see which event it is by just glimpsing over the folder which is important and good practice. The name property in JSON is optionally available in case you want to improve the text formatting.

Why HH-MM for the time definitions?

The usual time notation HH:MM is not possible in the file path. As such the start and end specification would


Other file formats such as YAML are easier to manually edit but they are harder to process in various languages. JSON files are immediately usable in web projects.

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