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Humane address book for the cloud

Feature state

Hackweek VI
openSUSE Distribution



This project is not about an address book. It's not about listing contacts in alphabetical order, having fields for titles and middle names, zip codes, and different types of phone numbers, it's not about concepts like meta-contacts, contact syncing, IM status notifications, device capabilities, or about formats, APIs, or other technical questions.

This project is about making computers support you in dealing with people in the age of the cloud. It's about providing a humane way to handle the data you have about the people you are related to, a way which meets your mental model of people and relationships, and not something, which is dominated by implementation details and limitations of underlying technology, be it paper address books, or electronic versions of them.

This project is also about supporting you in being connected in the cloud without giving up control about your data. It's about integration and access on your terms, not the terms of a random service provider.


The goal of this project is to implement a tool which helps you to manage your data about people and your relationships with them, based on a number of principles:

People. This is about people, about what you want to remember about other people, about your relationship to other people, about individuals, who have some common history with you. It's not about contacts, addresses, personal information, it's about people.

Humane interface. The way the tool works should be based on humane concepts of how to think of and deal with people, and hide the details and limitations of the implementation. It should support concepts such as groups, history, physical or logical proximity, visual models, and fuzzy data.

Ubiquity. You should always have access to your people data, no matter where you are, what kind of device you use, if or what kind of network access you have.

Eternity. Information you have about people, your familiy, your friends, your colleagues, and others, is valuable. It's part of your history. It should be stored forever, without the danger of losing it, or forgetting about the past.

Control. You should be in control of your data, who accesses it, what's visible, where it's stored, what's connected, This is your personal social network, owned and controlled by nobody else than you.

Connect to the cloud. Lots of personal data is in the cloud. The tool should be able to connect to it, pull in, what you are interested in, share what you want to share. This should be done in a decentralized, distributed way, so you don't need to let others aggregate your data, but you do it on your own terms. So you can make use of the cloud matching your own model, which can go beyond the model social networks use in the cloud.


There is a wealth of technology available to implement such a tool. But this shouldn't be the priority. Technology will come together to serve the higher principles and goals.


icons/user_comment.png M. S. wrote: (7 years ago)

I would like to have something like that especially if it would allow me to synchronize (sync) the addresses on my Android phone with an application on my openSUSE linux system (Evolution, Thunderbird) without giving Google or someone else access to 'my' private or business related data.
Could/should I tag the feature with Android (compare: https://features.opensuse.org/query/tag?tag=android), too?

Something like it for timetables/calendars would be fine, too.

icons/user_comment.png C. S. wrote: (7 years ago)

I worked on this for Hackweek VI, a blog about it is still pending, will publish it soon.

icons/user_comment.png C. S. wrote: (7 years ago)

Done. Read on:
"It's not an address book" .

Last change: 7 years ago
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