With the release of iPod Software 1.1 and Palm Desktop Software 4.0, which are both compliant with the popular vCard Personal Data Interchange format, Mac users may be interested in the
OpenContact.org initiative, which was launched on March 25.
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OpenContact.org is a new forum open to everyone, with the goal of exploring the possibility of a centralized contact management system. It’s Mac friendly and developed by the folks at
Macboy.com, who are known for the cartoon series, “Zap the PRAM, and Other Placebos.”
“While Apple’s adoption of the vCard specification for iPod contact management is a step in the right direction, importing and exporting data on a single computer is still a redundant method for sharing contact information between applications,” William Levin of OpenContact.org told MacCentral. “Many people like to use multiple contact management solutions for different purposes, such as Microsoft Entourage for e-mail, Palm Desktop for PDA synchronization, and a customized Filemaker Pro database for client contact information.”
A contact management solution should finally be integrated into the operating system, in the form of a central repository for contact information (perhaps a more comprehensive form of vCard), that allows ALL application to access the same database of contact records, he added. That would eliminate the tedious and error prone task of exporting and importing data from one app to the next, Levin said.
The two primary goals of OpenContact.org are to:
1. Conduct a census of available contact management solutions to determine what viable open standards, if any, are being established.
2. Serve as a home base for database programmers, application developers, and computer users to share knowledge and ideas, and discuss all aspects of creating and implementing an open standard for contact management.