Survey: Address book exporters
#1
Hello all,
I'd like to ask you all for help. I'm developing a program that would manipulate address books (from phones, mail clients, cloud storages etc). For this, I need to know the data elements they all use. I've settled on vCard as the de-facto standard contact exchange container, but still there's a plethora of elements and settings that it can use.

So what I need many people to do:
1. Export your contacts from your phone, mail client, whatever, into a big .vcf file
2. Filter out the personal information, leaving only the technical details
3. Send the file to me

As for point 1, my phone (and I suppose many other Android phones as well) has an option to backup all contacts to an SD card: Contacts -> ... (top right) ->Manage Contacts -> Back up. Thunderbird, in its Address Book view, has a Tools -> Export menu item (note that you need to set the file type to vCard in the Save dialog).

For filtering the personal information out, I've written a simple Lua script that can do the job for you: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/madmax...ymizer.lua
Call the script with the parameters: VcfAnonymizer.lua InputFile.vcf OutputFile.vcf ; if not given, input file defaults to Contacts.vcf, output file defaults to AnonymizedContacts.vcf
You can inspect the resulting file using a text editor, if you see any personal data left over, let me know and I'll try to fix the script.

I'm only interested in the "name" part of each vcard content line - that is, the part before the colon. Usually, it contains the name of the element, plus possibly some properties (encoding, type, sorting etc.). I'd like to find out what combinations there are in the wild.
Also some VCard exporters are buggy (the one on my phone is Smile ) and output data in a malformed way. The anonymizing script will detect some of it and print a warning to the console (do not copypaste the entire warning here, it may contain personal data in the output). Just let me know that there were warnings.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
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#2
I've attached my anonymized contacts, so that you can see what I'm after.

Technical:
- The phone exporter is buggy. When exporting a long Note, it folds the line improperly (without the leading whitespace). This generated a warning in the Anonymizer script
- Since I have two contact providers on the phone and some contacts are in both accounts, some data fields are exported twice (notice "PHOTO;ENCODING=BASE64;JPEG:" on two consecutive lines). In the original data, the raw photo data for the two members is the same, duplicating the same picture twice.


Attached Files
.txt   AnonymizedContacts.txt (Size: 34.39 KB / Downloads: 50)
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#3
Thunderbird exports in lowercase. No warnings.


Attached Files
.txt   AnonymizedThunderbird.txt (Size: 5.7 KB / Downloads: 42)
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#4
It seems there is no way to export contacts on a Windows Phone
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#5
You're in for a bad surprise, then, when you decide to move to a new phone. There has to be *some* way.
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#6
There seems to be a way to export my outlook account (which is linked to my phone), but that exports to CSV.
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#7
I exported some from google. There were lots of warnings like this

Code:
FN:
WARNING: Line doesn't contain a non-doublequoted colon. Probably a bug in the exporter.
FN:
WARNING: Line doesn't contain a non-doublequoted colon. Probably a bug in the exporter.
FN:
WARNING: Line doesn't contain a non-doublequoted colon. Probably a bug in the exporter.
FN:


Attached Files
.zip   anonc.zip (Size: 1.14 KB / Downloads: 37)
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#8
Ah, there was an off-by-one error in the script, it would report all empty values. Fixed. Thanks.
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#9
New version.


Attached Files
.zip   anonc.zip (Size: 989 bytes / Downloads: 45)
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#10
I love this line: "EMAIL;TYPE=INTERNET". As if there was a chance of non-internet email being used anywhere nowadays Smile
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