August 24th, 2006


userinfo senji
2006/08/24 13:39:00 - Thoughts on addressbook “solutions”
Lots of thought and effort goes into synchronising addressbooks on phones and PDAs and corporate mail servers and the like, and the biggest problem of the lot is that your data goes out of date. Of course, with in a corporation there are often complex X.500/LDAP setups which solve some of this problem, but because these aren't globally accessible additional effort is then spent transfering data to Blackberries and laptops and the like.

So, I thought, how about taking a leaf out of the Hesiod model and just encoding the data into the DNS somehow, e.g.:

senji.livejournal.com IN TXT 
    "Senji|+441632960123|23 Leinster Gardens,London,UK"

With this you could just hand out the domain name for your details and PIM software could update itself as and when needed.

However this runs into the obvious problem that you might not want the entire world to know your phone number, so my subsequent thought is that you hand out a domain name and a key (or multiple keys) to your correspondants and store the actual data encrypted, possibly with more than one record under each name such that the end user tries to decrypt all of them and integrates any that succesfully decrypt.
Current Location: CB4 0WS
Current Mood: [mood icon] geeky
Entry Tags: computers, dns, geeky, thoughts

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userinfo mooism
2006/08/25 16:31:42
I've been thinking vaguely about this problem. I'm thinking that your contact details should be stored in the metadata of your homepage. If you don't want your contact details to be globally visible, you insist that agents log in if they want them, using openid or something similar. Of course there is *still* no satisfactory standardised method of distributed authentication.

Encyption would make it all a bit difficult to use. I won't be able to remember my key to scribble it down on a piece of paper, and if I have it printed on a business card, people will make typing mistakes entering it in.
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userinfo khendon
2006/09/01 05:56:02
I don't understand why you couldn't just get the devices to talk LDAP; you'll already have to implement new things on them under your scheme, so why not make it something designed for the purpose than bodged on top of DNS?
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userinfo senji
2006/09/01 08:05:17
  • LDAP is a horrible miscegenation based on X.500 of all things!
  • DNS and text (or even DNS and vcard or DNS and some other simple addressbook format) is a lot simpler than LDAP, and consists of componants that most phones already have nowadays.
  • LDAP appears to fail to inherently solve the problem of showing different data to different people (short of everyone having an account on everyone's LDAP servers.
  • KISS

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Thoughts on addressbook “solutions” - Squaring the circle...

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