Contacts/Calendar discussion?

Magnus Bergman magnusbe at
Mon Mar 29 22:22:38 EEST 2004

On Thu, 25 Mar 2004 19:42:02 +0100
Nicos Gollan <gtdev at> wrote:

> Hi all,
> some time back (July 2003), there had been a discussion about standard
> locations and formats of contacts (addressbook) and calendar data.
> That discussion somewhat died in a discussion about favourite mailbox
> formats.
> Has there been any further work on shared addressbook and calendar
> data? It is something I think is very important for home users since
> it can be quite some pain to change from one MUA to another without
> doing some more or less hard work to keep data and also to keep, say,
> a Sylpheed addressbook, in sync with KDE's addressbok/PIM.
> I think the common denominator was that:
>  - VCard files may not be optimal for address data due to
> access issues (long loading time, missing fields)
>  - iCal is pretty a pretty good format
>  - there is need for a locking system to ensure data integrity with
> concurrent accesses

This can be split into three different issues. It is probably not
desired to have a standard for them all.

  1. An interchange format (or formats).
  2. A backing store.
  3. An API or protocol to access the backing store.

Perhaps it's desired to use the interchange format(s) for backing store,
perhaps not. The trend these days seems to be having a daemon for
solving locking issues (and all kinds of "virtual objects" instead of
plain files). As mentioned before LDAP is already a complete solution
for this problem. GConf could also be used (and could potentially use
LDAP as a backing store too). I guess Gnome Storage also aims to handle
this. So please everybody, don't construct a whole new complex storage
system just for this. At least let it be possible to integrate with
already present solutions.

What Microsoft has done to solve this is to use the WinFS file system.
If I understod it correctly, mails and meetings and everything is
chopped up into it's components and stored in a relational database.
Addressees mentioned in e-mails and people mentioned in meetings are all
linked to "person objects". So an address book is build on the fly by
querying the e-mail adresses of sertain users. Like "show the e-mail
addresses of all people I have a meeting with this week". But also let
the user do different queries like "let everybody else who recieved this
e-mail have full access to that folder".

More information about the xdg mailing list