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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Proposed IETF Working Group for vCard and vCardDAV

A new Working Group for "vCard and vCardDAV (vcarddav)" has been
proposed for the IETF Application Area. The IESG has not made any
determination as yet, but requests public comment by January 22, 2008.
Description: " A personal address book (PAB) contains a read/write
copy of attributes describing a user's interpersonal contacts. This
is distinct from a directory which contains a primarily read-only
copy of users within an organization. While these two data objects share
a large number of common attributes, their use and access patterns are
fundamentally different. The IETF has a standards-track data format
(vCard) which has been successfully used to interchange both
personal-address-book and user directory entry data objects. However,
due to the lack of a standard access control model for LDAP, the lack
of a standard LDAP schema and DIT-model for vCard PAB objects, and the
different access patterns for PAB data (as opposed to directory data),
the use of LDAP as an access protocol for PABs has had mixed results
in practice. Moreover, the vCard format has been extended by many
parties and the current specification is ambiguous for some objects.
If the deployed protocols related to interpersonal communication are
viewed as a component-based system, there are a number of points in the
system that would benefit from a standards track access protocol for
personal address book data. This WG will produce the following outputs:
(1) A revision of the vCard specification (RFC 2426) at proposed standard
status. This revision shall include other vCard standardized extensions
(RFC 2739, 4770) and extensions assisting synchronization technologies --
for example, a per-entry UUID or per-attribute sequence number. (2) An
address book access protocol leveraging the vCard data format; the
Internet-draft 'draft-daboo-carddav' will be the starting point. Among
the secondary outputs: (3) An XML schema which is semantically identical
to vCard in all ways and can be mechanically translated to and from
vCard format without loss of data. While vCard has deployed successfully
and will remain the preferred interchange format, a standard XML schema
which preserves vCard semantics might make vCard data more accessible
to XML-centric technologies such as AJAX and XSLT. Such a standard
format would be preferable to multiple proprietary XML schemas,
particularly if vCard semantics were lost by some of them and a lossy
gateway problem resulted.

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