[uf-discuss] Microformats + Thunderbird

Chris Messina chris.messina at gmail.com
Tue Jan 31 08:38:44 PST 2006

Well, I have no idea. I'm speaking from the perspective of a) an
end-user and b) someone who knows XHTML.

Admittedly I'm underrepresenting the potential complexity of the
problem, but since Address Book presumably works with the vcard
standard, why don't I have a folder in ~/Documents called Address
Book? Why don't I have a ton of HTML files in there for each person...
instead of vcards, just HTML snippets?

The benefit? Well, for one thing, any app can grab data from there.
Second, I can go in and hand edit the files. Third, I can save out an
hcard from any webpage and "add it" to my address book simply by
creating a text file.

Again, this probably isn't exactly an efficient solution given the
potential number of files, but it certainly would be portable! And it
would also mean that Thunderbird + iCal + Address Book + any other app
would have access to one uniform store of addresses.

Let me rephrase a little bit here... Thunderbird needs a
cross-platform store for addresses. It would be unwise to rely on the
Mac address book since it's overly platform specific... similarly,
relying on Outlook's address book on the PC or anything else would be
counterproductive (there might be other reasons -- I'm just
extrapolating here). So anyway, XHTML obviously would work
everywhere... and be totally portable and easy to read in. I dunno, am
I missing something here because this use case seems like an ideal
application of microformats?


On 1/31/06, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar <drernie at opendarwin.org> wrote:
> Hi Chris,
> Hmm. I'm not sure if I understand your solution.  To avoid
> corruption, I'm pretty sure AddressBook doesn't want people writing
> directly to its private data store (regardless of format), so there
> needs to be some API.
> Now, the idea of an "hCard" API for data access is interesting (and
> perhaps RESTful :-), but a simpler solution would arguably be to
> reuse a format they already have in common, like LDAP.  Wouldn't it?
> --- Ernie P.
> On Jan 31, 2006, at 8:01 AM, Chris Messina wrote:
> > Blogged about a little idea, probably obvious to most of us, but I
> > imagine that someone could actually figure out how to get this going
> > if they really wanted to... cross-platform address book and
> > everything, you know?
> >
> > http://factoryjoe.com/blog/2006/01/31/microformats-thunderbird/
> >
> > Chris
> > _______________________________________________
> > microformats-discuss mailing list
> > microformats-discuss at microformats.org
> > http://microformats.org/mailman/listinfo/microformats-discuss
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