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iCal::Parser - Parse iCalendar files into a data structure


  use iCal::Parser

  my $parser=iCal::Parser->new();
  my $hash=$parser->parse($file);

  my $combined=$parser->calendar;

  my $combined=iCal::Parser->new->parse(@files);
  my $combined=iCal::Parser->new->parse_files(@files);
  my $combined=iCal::Parser->new->parse_strings(@strings);


This module processes iCalendar (vCalendar 2.0) files as specified in RFC 2445 into a data structure. It handles recurrences (RRULEs), exclusions (EXDATEs), event updates (events with a RECURRENCE-ID), and nested data structures (ATTENDEES and VALARMs). It currently ignores the VTIMEZONE, VJOURNAL and VFREEBUSY entry types.

The data structure returned is a hash like the following:

      calendars=>[\%cal, ...],
      todos=>[\%todo, ...]

That is, it contains an array of calendar hashes, a hash of events key by year=>month=>day=>eventUID, and an array of todos.

Calendars, events and todos are "rolled up" version os the hashes returned from Text::vFile::asData, with dates replaced by DateTime objects.

During parsing, events in the input calendar are expanded out into multiple events, one per day covered by the event, as follows:

  • If the event is a one day "all day" event (in ical, the event is 24hrs long, starts at midnight on the day and ends a midnight of the next day), it contains no hour field and the allday field is set to 1.

  • If the event is a recurrence (RRULE), one event per day is created as per the RRULE specification.

  • If the event spans more than one day (the start and end dates are on different days, but does not contain an RRULE), it is expanded into multiple events, the first events end time is set to midnight, subsequent events are set to start at midnight and end at midnight the following day (same as an "allday" event, but the allday field is not set), and the last days event is set to run from midnight to the end time of the original multi-day event.

  • If the event is an update (it contains a RECURRENCE-ID), the original event is updated. If the referenced event does not exist (e.g., it was deleted after the update), then the event is added as a new event.

An example of each hash is below.

Calendar Hash

        'X-WR-CALNAME' => 'Test',
        'index' => 1,
        'X-WR-RELCALID' => '7CCE8555-3516-11D9-8A43-000D93C45D90',
        'PRODID' => '-//Apple Computer\\, Inc//iCal 1.5//EN',
        'CALSCALE' => 'GREGORIAN',
        'X-WR-TIMEZONE' => 'America/New_York',
        'X-WR-CALDESC' => 'My Test Calendar',
        'VERSION' => '2.0'

Event Hash

Note that hours and allday are mutually exclusive in the actual data. The idref field contains the id of the calendar the event came from, which is useful if the hash was created from multiple calendars.

        'SUMMARY' => 'overnight',
        'hours' => '15.00',
        'allday' => 1,
        'UID' => '95CCBF98-3685-11D9-8CA5-000D93C45D90',
        'idref' => '7CCE8555-3516-11D9-8A43-000D93C45D90',
        'DTSTAMP' => \%DateTime,
        'DTEND' => \%DateTime,
        'DTSTART' => \%DateTime
        'ATTENDEE' => [
              'CN' => 'Jay',
              'value' => 'mailto:jayl@my.server'
          'VALARM' => [
              'when' => \%DateTime,
              'SUMMARY' => 'Alarm notification',
              'ACTION' => 'EMAIL',
              'DESCRIPTION' => 'This is an event reminder',
              'ATTENDEE' => [
                   'value' => 'mailto:cpan@my.server'

Todo Hash

        'URL' => 'mailto:me',
        'SUMMARY' => 'todo 1',
        'UID' => 'B78E68F2-35E7-11D9-9E64-000D93C45D90',
        'idref' => '7CCE8555-3516-11D9-8A43-000D93C45D90',
        'STATUS' => 'COMPLETED',
        'COMPLETED' => \%DateTime,
        'DTSTAMP' => \%DateTime,
        'PRIORITY' => '9',
        'DTSTART' => \%DateTime,
        'DUE' => \%DateTime,
        'DESCRIPTION' => 'not much',
        'VALARM' => [
              'when' => \%DateTime,
              'ATTACH' => 'file://localhost/my-file',
              'ACTION' => 'PROCEDURE'



Optional Arguments

start {yyymmdd|DateTime}

Only include events on or after yyymmdd. Defaults to Jan of this year.

end {yyyymmdd|DateTime}

Only include events before yyymmdd.


Don't include events in the output (todos only).


Don't include todos in the output (events only).

months n

DateTime::Sets (used for calculating recurrences) are limited to approximately 200 entries. If an end date is not specified, the to date is set to the start date plus this many months. The default is 60.

tz string

Use tz as timezone for date values. The default is 'local', which will adjust the parsed dates to the current timezone.


Set to non-zero for some debugging output during processing.


Parse the input files or opened file handles and return the generated hash.

This function can be called mutitple times and the calendars will be merge into the hash, each event tagged with the unique id of its calendar.


Alias for parse()


Parse the input strings (each assumed to be a valid iCalendar) and return the generated hash.


Rick Frankel,


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

The full text of the license can be found in the LICENSE file included with this module.


Text::vFile::asData, DateTime::Set, DateTime::Span, iCal::Parser::SAX