SPUG: address book reformatting from Win2K text file to HP iPAQ

Michael R. Wolf MichaelRWolf at att.net
Fri Nov 28 15:39:27 CST 2003

I'm lazy! It's a virtue!!! I'm starting down a path and would like to
find who's been down it before so that I don't have to reinvent the
flat tire.

Basically, I'm looking to convert an address book. Address books
aren't rocket science, and yet, searching for schemas, modules, or
tools seems to have turned up very complex solutions. I know that in
the general case, they can be very complex, but I'd happily take a
simpler solution that ignores some of the details on the esoteric


 - address book data in a text file in BBDB (The Insideous Big Brother
   Data Base, an add-on package to GNU emacs, written in emacs lisp)

 - HP iPAQ 1945 running WinCE - you can't make up a better name, can
   you? :-)

Possible intermediate points:
 - Outlook with Business Contact Management
 - Microsoft ActiveSync
 - a networked SuSE 8.1 box (but not as good as a one system Windows
   2000 solution)

My favorite tools I could use to glom it together:
 - Perl that someone else already wrote
 - all the Unix stuff I can get from cygwin
 - Perl that I write

Did I mention I'm lazy? Lazy as in the virtue?

I'd like to start where someone else left off, using my own Perl as
glue to slap some really big pieces together - pieces that already

Ideas on where to start?
 -- address book schema standards (CSV, XML, LDAP)
 -- address book modules
 -- integrations to Outlook (for address import/export)
 -- integrations to ActiveSync

I don't need you to design it for me, but if you've been down a
similar path, could you send me some pointers?

Michael Wolf

Michael R. Wolf
    All mammals learn by playing!
        MichaelRWolf at att.net

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