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Re: vCard3.0 and vCal2.0

On Friday, August 16, 2002, at 02:12 AM, Priyantha wrote:

The CHARSET tag is very usefull in Multilanguage capable developments...

But it has been eliminated in vCard 3, which is really meant for embedding in MIME, where the MIME Content header provides the character encoding. Unfortunately, the standard doesn't define any particular file format. If you just put a vCard into a file and give it a "vcf" extension, there's no way to know the encoding for certain.

The best you can hope for is to use a heuristic to guess. Most existing vCards were written by a Windows program that uses the default Windows encoding, and a lot of readers expect this, so unfortunately a lot of the vCard writers out there are oblivious to this fact (even with vCard 2, they often omitted the CHARSET tag). I recommend that everyone begin writing vCard files using Unicode UTF-16. It is then fairly safe to assume that if you see a byte order mark, or the VCARD header with zeroes every other byte, then it's Unicode.

The standard really needs to be extended with a definition for one or more file formats, probably with new file extensions (and file types for HFS volumes) to eliminate conflicts with existing files.

Chris Page - Mac OS Lead, Palm Desktop - Palm, Inc.

 The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree,
 is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals.
 We cause accidents.                            -- Nathaniel Borenstein