vcard-integration for gnome

Hi all,

First: I'm not sure if I'm addressing the correct list, but this message certainly aims towards desktop development and I found no better alternative.

Using gnome2 since its beginning, I very much like the direction it's heading towards, and noticed one bigger issue: PIM. gnome-pim obviously didn't get the port to gnome2, and by now evolution took that over in a way, but mostly for calendar-stuff only imho.

So, here's my idea: some form contact management would be a solid base for the desktop in general. We'd need a central and standardized location to store contacts, an application or ways (more to this later on) to manage them, and mechanisms which provide the functionality to other gnome-applications.

I did quite some research, but I certainly missed a lot, and thus seek for input and an evaluation or opinions from more experienced people. Now, step by step:


Having a central way to handle contacts would be a good thing from a user's point of view, as he doesn't have to think separately for every application. Applications which could make use of this are mail-clients (balsa, maybe evo), instant-messengers (gossip), video-conferencing (gnomemeeting), connective apps (a cellphone-manager, gnome-pilot) and maybe even more, like seahorse.


That's the point where I'm quite lost for now. What makes most sense? A separate library, some bonobo-components, gnome-vfs, a combination of some of these? This is certainly a decisive point where design flaws will have a heavy impact, so some people smarter than me are needed. ;)


First and easiest thing to develop is a simple gui which lets you view, edit, delete and add contacts. Yet I'm not sure if this should go into a separate application based on a library (see ARCHITECTURE), or if it would be the basic software for all this.


I came to the conclusion that vCard might be the best choice. It's quite widespread, was used by gnome-pim, is used by evolution, is suitable for interchange (cellphones, pdas) and there already is "libversit" in gnome-cvs. It should be fairly straightforward to create a "~/.vcards"-folder (might be in some .gnome*-dir as well) and save individual files there.

My personal motivation on this:
I'm experimentally about to start writing a GTK2-frontend for gammu cellphone-manager, which could need such an infrastructure, and for ages I'm looking to get some solid addressbook-handling for balsa.

Ok, so I'd be very happy to get some constructive comments, especially regarding the feasibilty and sense of all this. I have some more concrete ideas, but I'm trying to keep this short for the beginning.

Thanks for reading,

Darko Obradovic

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