Re: [VCARDDAV] vCard format and lack of interoperability

Doug Royer <> Tue, 20 November 2012 17:16 UTC

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Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2012 10:16:19 -0700
From: Doug Royer <>
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Subject: Re: [VCARDDAV] vCard format and lack of interoperability
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On 11/20/2012 09:42 AM, Alessandro Rossini wrote:.
> Yes, vendors may introduce extensions anyway, no matter if there is a standard way to do it or not. However, the standard way to introduce extensions to vCard does not really facilitate the correct implementation of a vCard parser, since the parser has to ignore unknown properties anyway, no matter if their names start with "X-" or not. Moreover, the standard way to introduce extensions to vCard may encourage vendors even more to ignore the interoperability issue rather than to cooperate with the IETF to improve the specification.

It sounds to me as if you are arguing all sides here. You do not want a 
standard way to add them. You agree they will add them anyway. And is 
sounded like you agree it can break vendors.

So if your argument is to remove a standard way of adding them, because 
they will add them anyway. If that is your argument, and given that 
there is no protocol police force, why would anyone spend money to 
change their product so that is was not compatible with their legacy 
products? It would be an invitation to their customers to spend time and 
money looking a competitive products. What company would consider that?

That I think is one of the realities of IETF protocols. At the 
engineering level, we want perfect protocols and everyone to comply.

My experience shows me that vendors at the business level want all of 
their extensions and process flow methodology and none of their 
competitors. Not because they are evil, but because their boss wants to 
know why they will be spending a month or few on something that does not 
add sales to their product. After all there product works now.

If you have done all of this work and found that there are common 
objects done differently by different vendors, write an Internet draft 
and propose a standard way to do those common objects. That's how to 
improve the specification.

If you do not want to write an Internet draft, then we agree, there are 
vendor specific extensions in those objects. If that is your point, yes 
you have made it.

Doug Royer