[maemo-users] Postal address in Contacts?

From: Mark wolfmane at gmail.com
Date: Fri Jun 20 17:53:02 EEST 2008
On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 12:40 PM, Patrick Ohly <Patrick.Ohly at gmx.de> wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-06-17 at 17:49 -0600, Mark wrote:
>> However, the argument still stands. Having to open a separate
>> application instead of working directly in the application you are
>> really using is a PITA.
> You seem to be unaware that exactly that is possible with the Evolution
> Data Server model which is used by Maemo: one database which multiple
> different programs access using *their own* GUI.

I understand that perfectly well. You seem to be unaware that your
argument is exactly the same as Micro$oft's excuse for integrating IE
(and other, more insidious things) into Windows.

>> > Obviously you've not tried Modest. As Kevin tried to explain, Modest
>> > uses the Contacts database, not some silly seperate database, and thus
>> > integrates very nicely with all the other Maemo software.
>> No, I haven't...and now I know *not* to...
>> Every email app I've used to date instantly and painlessly imports and
>> exports address books, which is a darn sight better than Contacts will
>> ever do. Hasn't anybody learned the lesson from Micro$oft/IE that
>> "integration" is a *bad* thing?
> Only if it is based on closed data formats and proprietary technology.

Evolution may not be closed, but it may as well be proprietary in the
sense that it is yet another completely different standard and set of
protocols that developers have to learn and work around and it applies
only to Linux, not to any other OS.

>>  Powerful, painless import and export
>> (and sync) are our friends.
> And you have that today? As someone who has worked on sync technology
> for quite a while now I can tell you that getting it right is exactly
> the PITA that you complain about. It just gets worse the more programs
> you want to sync with.

I put "and sync" in parentheses for a reason: import and export is
easier to use and more powerful than sync, and at the same time is
easier to implement. My experience with syncing various things leads
me to believe that it has its place, but is too difficult to implement
well and universally.

>> Integrated=proprietary+closed+PITA.
>> Import+Export=complete freedom between many completely different apps,
>> not only apps that perform similar functions, but completely different
>> functions.
>> And the vCard format is incredibly clunky and limited. Not the best
>> choice for the only supported format.
> So what is the alternative format that gives you this "complete freedom
> between many completely different apps ... [with] completely different
> functions"?
> --
> Bye, Patrick Ohly
> --
> Patrick.Ohly at gmx.de
> http://www.estamos.de/

Easy! Plain old CSV format. It allows for any number of fields of any
size and data type, and good implementation of import uses templates
to eliminate repetition of field matching after the first time. I've
been using CSV for transporting data between completely different apps
for many years, and my experience with the N800 is the first time I've
had any issues with import/export.

As a matter of fact, I finally have all my contacts (more than 600) in
gpe-contacts in my N800 - thanks to CSV. Last night I installed
Kontacts on my kubuntu desktop. It has exactly the kind of powerful
import and export that I've been talking about, and allowed me to
import my .csv files, match fields and create import templates, and
export them all as one large vCard file that gpe-contacts was able to
successfully import. I also exported as a single CSV file that
Gnumeric can open and edit. Unfortunately, I still have a lot of
cleanup to do, because some (but not all) of the field matching issues
are apparently with the vCard format itself rather than gpe-contacts'
import function. It turned out to be a good thing that I exported to
CSV, because that file retained all the data, whereas the vCard file
stripped a lot of it and did strange things with the formatting on
some other fields. I'll have plenty to keep me busy on the bus for a


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