[maemo-users] Postal address in Contacts?

From: David Greaves david at dgreaves.com
Date: Sun Jun 22 13:24:10 EEST 2008
Mark Haury wrote:
> Patrick Ohly wrote:
>> On Fri, 2008-06-20 at 14:55 -0600, Mark wrote:
>>> You are confusing "convenience" with "flexibility". Syncing can be a
>>> whole lot more *convenient*, once you have it properly set up (which
>>> can be a real bear), but it is in no way as flexible or powerful as
>>> import/export.
I suggest that, generically, import/export is a subset of sync.

Sync to an empty service (using a CSV backing store?) = export.
Sync from a full service (using a CSV backing store?) = import.

Sync can also do merges and therefore sync is more powerful.

>> True. However, the flexibility that you value so much comes at the
>> expense of a lot more manual work each time you do an import/export. CSV
>> has the same problem: it's kind of okay when you manually define your
>> fields *and* teach your apps what you mean with these fields, but it is
>> unsuitable for automated data exchange without this upfront
>> configuration.
I agree - saying "a manual process is more flexible" kinda defeats the point
until we start comparing AIs...

>> You remarked that SyncEvolution is too hard to use because there is no
>> GUI and one has to edit configuration files. Someone has written a GUI
>> ("Genesis"; implemented in Python, so it might run on Maemo, although I
>> haven't tried that) and in 0.8 one can also change the config from the
>> command line. CSV on the other hand requires that you define your own
>> file format - is that really easier for non-technical people? I'd argue
>> that syncing is becoming easier to set up than import/export.

Indeed, the degree to which various implementations work is the issue.
This argument appears to be "I prefer the implementation/UI for import/export",
maybe with a bit of "and I grok import/export better than sync".

> You still have not responded to the the main problem, which is that sync
> is not and never will be as flexible as import and export, and in some
> cases is absolutely, positively impossible.
Name one.
Specious arguments such as 'I can't sync to a machine I can't connect to' are

> Import and export *always*
> works to some extent, as long as you have the patience to keep looking
> for a solution.
This is just a restatement of 'import/export' is an easy subset of sync and is
a) more likely to be implemented and b) less likely to have bugs.

> Sometimes it requires jumping through some hoops, but
> jumping through hoops (and adequate - as opposed to complete - data
> transfer)  beats absolute impossibility every time.

Which is a restatement of your requirements and priorities.

Personally, my priorities are more along the lines of "I want to change data on
multiple devices and not loose any changes".
This *cannot* be done with a *simple* import/export.
(Yes I can export all my data, run an n-way diff/merge and ta-da...)


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