Contacts/Calendar discussion?

Dave Cridland [Home] dave at
Sat Mar 27 01:05:29 EET 2004

On Fri, 2004-03-26 at 20:15, Nicos Gollan wrote:
> On Thu, 25 Mar 2004 23:07:45 +0000
> Tim O'Callaghan <timo at> wrote:
> > A system LDAP would probably solve these problems. I've been looking
> > at an LDAP to store my personal contacts info, and i think there is a 
> > schema for calendar info as well.
> I think it was more about a user-manageable solution that didn't
> require a seasoned IT veteran to set up and maintain. LDAP may be all
> nice, but it's a pain to handle and certainly overkill for most
> applications.

I'd mention ACAP, but then, I always do. :-)

However, the ACAP addressbook draft is well worth a read - I'll email a
copy to anyone interested, since it appears to have expired again. I've
actually been storing and accessing my addressbook in ACAP for some time
now, and the general design is extremely good. (Of course, having my
addressbook available anywhere I go is also really useful.)

Naturally, not everyone will want to run an ACAP server, or indeed an
LDAP server or anything. But some people will, and some people might
even want to have multiple contact lists in multiple places via multiple
access methods. Some people will no doubt insist on somehow perverting
HTTP into being a contact management protocol, too.

Strikes me that we need an environment variable and/or file with a list
of URLs in, and some schemes defined which adequately describe what to
do with local files. (Prepended with 'x-' to indicate they're
non-standard, of course.)

Incidentally, locking et al isn't the only problem with VCARD - the
major problem is that there's two versions, which are wildly different
(2.1 vs 3.0) - even having different MIME media subtypes. (Well, okay,
VCARD 2.1 doesn't even *have* its own subtype at all, but you know what
I mean.) Neither VCARD is designed as a storage/access format, it's a
format for sending contact information - strictly speaking, your own -
in a simple textual format. It doesn't really work well with most email
metaphors for the little black book, and anything storing contact
information in any VCARD based system always adds plenty of
vendor-specific fields to wrench it into shape.

Calendaring should probably go the same route, I think - if CAP ever
comes out, being able to specify that that's where your schedule is
could be very useful. I doubt SoHo users are likely to run a CAP server
anytime soon, though, so I would imagine filesystem-based solutions will
be the norm here for a while. At least unless I get my way.


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