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Contacts, postal address layouts

From: Giesler, Björn
Subject: Contacts, postal address layouts
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2003 03:49:58 +0200


just a couple short comments instead of single replies, since I'm not on my
own computer and don't want to abuse my friends' too much.

Thanks for all the encouraging comments I received on Contacts (I *said*
it's buggy, Phil! :-)). I've been thinking of making the address field
free-form, but I structured the database layout loosely around the vcard
format (I think vcard import and export is very important to maintain
compatibility with other apps; SyncML uses something very similar). The
vcard spec is in the archive under Documentation.

vcard specifies the address as a semicolon-separated list of fields which
have specific meanings; so to import a vcard address and have it look right,
Contacts needs these address layouts. Whether they're just used for
conversion or whether the address is actually stored that way, I don't quite
know yet; I agree that free-form has many advantages, but what I do know is
that I'd hate to import my contacts en bloc from somewhere and have to edit
every single address. 

There will be a notes field (actually, it's there already, it just isn't
displayed yet). There will also be a birthdate field, since I'm horrible at
remembering birthdays.

The app will get an Apple-compatible API out back; out front will probably
stay close to where it is now, except there will be a preference whether it
shows a single pane or an addresses/groups browser and a separate address
panel (is that OK, Fabien? :-)). There will also be a panel that contains
just groups, contact names and one configurable other property, such as the
email address (like Apple's Mail shows when you call up addresses). This
panel will be part of the API library, so it doesn't need the main app.

OK, I hope this clarifies most of the questions I received. I won't be doing
any actual work on the project for the next three weeks, as hacking on
vacation wouldn't go down well with my girlfriend *at*all* :-))


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