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CalConnect XXXVI
Apr 18-22 2016
Ribose / OGCIO
Cyberport, Hong Kong

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CalConnect vCard Workshop
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
M.I.T., Cambridge, Massachusetts


CalConnect invites you to attend an open, one-day workshop on vCard and what to do about it. The workshop will be held Tuesday, September 18, 2007, from 0830-1730, on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Registration in advance is required and will be limited to approximately 45 people. No fee will be charged. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided. There will be an optional no host (your expense) social event (dinner or reception) after the workshop.

This workshop is intended for and open to both vendors and users of vCard and vCard-based products, plus other interested parties. You do not need to be a CalConnect member to attend the workshop.


vCard is a well established standard for representing and transferring contact information on computer systems and mobile devices. Having been in use for a while, a number of areas of the specification have been noted as problematic and in need of revision for fixes or enhancements. To that end, CalConnect (the Calendaring & Scheduling Consortium) is hosting a one day vCard-focused workshop event at M.I.T. in Cambridge, Massachusetts in September with the goal of bringing together the key players to help move forward vCard revision efforts.

Note that an effort is already under way at the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) to develop a personal address book access protocol based on the CardDAV specification, and since that is based on vCard, a revision of the vCard specification will be taking place within the IETF. However, bringing together interested parties in a focused discussion at a workshop can help drive that effort and provide supporting input to it to ensure the specific needs of the key players is covered.

The goal of the workshop is two-fold. First to determine the real interest in revising the vCard specification, and second to determine what needs to be revised and how to go about doing that.

The workshop will start with a general introduction to vCard and other related technologies, before moving into detailed discussion of the problems that people encounter in their use of it. There will be many opportunities for open discussion of issues beyond those initially determined, and opportunities for attendees to present their own issues or solutions (be they vCard based or something else). Hopefully the workshop will result in a well defined plan for moving forward with this work.

Calconnect's interest in vCard stems from the fact that several members of its members use vCard in addition to their calendaring products, and since there is a great deal of similarity between vCard and the iCalendar calendar data format, Calconnect decided it was the correct host for this event.

Preliminary Agenda

This agenda will be updated as we get nearer to the event.

08.30-09.00 Breakfast
09.00-09.30 Welcome
Welcome, intro to Calconnect, how Calconnect got involved in vCard plus "goals" for this workshop.
09.30-10.00 Introductions
Each participant introduces themselves and explains their interest in this and what they might like to see as an outcome. Plus comment on other interested or related parties that may be involved or should be involved (e.g. any ongoing IETF effort etc). To illustrate the problem we have perhaps we should ask participants to exchange vCards with each other!
10.00-10.30 Overview of the problem
Quick statement of what the workshop organizers see as the problem we are trying to solve, with follow up discussion to see whether anyone has other approaches to suggest.
10.30-11.00 Break (Tea/Coffee, etc.)
11.00-11.30 vCard and OMA DS (formerly SyncML) today
Presentation on the current state of vCard, plus review of issues related to OMA DS (formerly SyncML), including discussion of jabber XML variant, IETF & OMA extensions.
11.30-11.40 IETF vCard Revision Status
11.40-12.00 Other related standards
Liberty alliance, CardDAV, iCalendar/CalDAV, hCard, LDAP etc.
12.00-12.30 Open Discussion of current technologies and problems
BOF type session to get feedback on previous two presentations.
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-14.30 Fixing vCard, including synchronization
Presentation on how we might move ahead with fixing vCard - plus discussion on what others want. We should use this to build a set of prototype recommendations on what needs to be done to vCard.
14.30-15.00 Other approaches?
Are there other ways to tackle this? e.g. completely new contact data format.
15.00-15.30 BOF or additional presentations
15.30-16.00 Break (Tea/Coffee etc.)
16.00-17.00 The way forward
  • Do people want to move ahead with a concerted effort to deal with these issues?
  • How should we proceed?
  • Calconnect-like approach of industry/user consortium?
  • If so, should Calconnect be the place to do that, or a new consortium, or some other existing forum (OMA, LibertyAlliance, IETF)?
  • What should the goals be?
  • What should the timeframe be?
17.00-17.30 Wrap-up
Summary of decisions or follow-up action items.
Evening Optional Social Event (Dinner or Reception)
No-host event


There is no fee for attending the workshop but you must register in advance so we know who and how many are coming. Registration will be limited by the size of the room to approximately 45 people. To register for the workshop, please go to vCard Workshop Registration.


To help us prepare for this workshop, we have developed a small questionnaire which we would appreicate your taking a few minutes to respond to. Responses are not limited to workshop participants, but are especially encouraged from those who plan (or hope to) attend the workshop. To complete the questionnaire, please go to vCard Workshop Questionnaire.

Discussion List

CalConnect has established a public discussion list to allow workshop participants and others to discuss the topics in advance of the workshop. Please go to CalConnect vCard Workshop Discussion List for more information and to sign up for the discussion list.

vCard-Related Links

Invitation to the CalConnect Event at M.I.T.

CalConnect will be holding its tenth membership meeting, Roundtable X, at M.I.T. on Wednesday-Friday, September 19-21, 2007. If you plan to attend the vCard Workshop and your organization is not a member of CalConnect, this would be a great opportunity for you to attend the Roundtable as an observer to determine if your organization is interested in CalConnect membership. To find out more about Roundtable X and being an observer, please go to Roundtable X. If your organization IS a member of CalConnect, please plan on staying over for the Roundtable.

(Note that CalConnect will also be conducting its CalConnect Interoperability Test Event on September 17-19 at M.I.T. If you are planning to participate in that event you are welcome to try and participate in the vCard Workshop as well, but you may find scheduling your time complicated - so plan on having a person available to fill in for you.) For more information about the interoperability test event, please see C.I.T.E. September 2007.

Logistics Information

Logistics information for the vCard Workshop including transportation, hotel and meeting location, may be found on the vCard Workshop Logistics page.

We hope you will be able to join us at the vCard workshop, and if you do, please accept our invitation to stay on for the CalConnect Roundtable.

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