Re: [VCARDDAV] vCard format and lack of interoperability

Alessandro Rossini <> Mon, 19 November 2012 12:49 UTC

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From: Alessandro Rossini <>
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Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 13:49:21 +0100
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Subject: Re: [VCARDDAV] vCard format and lack of interoperability
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On 17 Nov 2012, at 01:59, Barry Leiba <> wrote:

> As you've noted (with your own construction of a 4.0 vCard), most of
> what you need is representable interoperably in vCard 4.0.  It's just
> that the specification is fairly new (and, yes, it has its problems;
> we will likely need a revision of the spec (but not of the version
> number) to clarify some things and fix some errors), and support for
> it isn't out there yet.  We expect that it will be.

Yes, with the exception of social networking addresses, all the contact information in my empirical study can be represented by interoperable properties in the VCard format 4.0. However, most of the same contact information can also be represented by non-interoperable properties in the same VCard format 4.0.

For example, the web address can be represented by a standard URL property, which is interoperable:


This address can also be represented by a standard URL property grouped together with a non-standard X-ABLabel property, which are not interoperable:


These properties are currently used by Apple (and other vendors targeting Apple), and they would still be used in the future even if Apple adopted the last version of the vCard format, unless grouped properties and non-standard properties are removed from the specification. Therefore, I claimed that the vCard format, including the version 4.0, has a problem of interoperability.

Alessandro Rossini