Mittwoch, 22. Juli 2015,

The question of how to keep all my (important) data mostly in sync across my devices (appointments, contacts, tasks, notes, pictures) while not transferring said data across the computers of untrusted third parties (aka "the cloud") is one that I worry about again and again.

My current solution for pictures is just to use rsync since

  • the number of pictures only grows, never gets smaller,
  • there is a somewhat decent rsync app for Android.

Currently I'm using kolab for all the groupware-y stuff (appointments, tasks, notes). I've used owncloud before but somehow, I lost trust in that project .. it seemed like its developers were more interested in adding new features than in fixing old problems, plus the web interface got slower and slower and slower.

On my phone, things are straightforward. I use caldav and carddav to access my data via well known Android apps and everything is peachy.

But, the more interesting part (to me) is: I use mutt as my main mail client. How to get the email-addresses from kolab into mutt? Enter pycarddav. It downloads data from a carddav server and puts them in an sqlite file/db and then also provides a query-tool that can generate output in a mutt-compatible way. So far so straightforward and according to the help-files and the findable documentation and so forth.

In order to find the exact address-book url a kolab-installation provides via carddav, I was advised to "talk to my admin", since apparently it is possible to activate an option somewhere in the admin interface for kolab/roundcube that will allow users to have that url displayed to them. There is an easier way, though. Just connect your webbrowser to the url your kolab uses for carddav in general, enter your credentials and then click around until you are in your address book .. there, there's your url.

The only real problem that needed some trial-and-error to get around was then actually using that url in pycardsyncer (part of pycarddav). The error message I kept getting wasn't very helpful ("resource missing" or something to that effect, even though the resource line was present in my config file). Turns out, if there is a percent-sign in your carddav-url (which there is if your username contains an @-sign), said percent-sign has to be escaped in the config file by putting a second percent sign in front of it (making it %%).

After that, pycardsyncer ran smoothly for me.

If it still breaks for you, there's advise out there to run it in debug mode (-d) and this might shed some light on how/where it breaks (candidates are e.g. problematic characters in a field in a vcard somewhere).

HTH. HAND. As they say.