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Difficult: Syncing Contacts

 This is a difficult request that might be worthy of a separate program, but it would make BeOrg a backup for iOS Contacts! 


If BeOrg could have a Contacts Import button and a Contacts Export button, that would be outstanding.  The buttons would do the following:

  1. The Import button would read the iOS Contacts and overwrite the default-contacts-file with an org-contacts style form of each contact.
  2. The Export button would read the default-contacts-file and overwrite the iOS Contacts DB with the translated contacts.
Issues:
  • Can you do the overwrites?
  • Can you get everything from iOS in an understandable form?
  • Will iOS accept everything back when you reload iOS?
Assume:
  • Backups can be done by making copies of the Org file.
Advantage:
  • Org would not be dependent on iOS for Contacts

You can selectively mark files as read only using the Scheme variable file-read-only-list. For example...


(set! '("file1.org" "file2.org" "file3.org"))


...will make the files file1.org, file2.org and file3.org read only.


One issue here is that the same init.org would make read only the same files. To get around this I've added some new Scheme variables device-name, device-model, device-os-version and device-type. The variable device-name would allow you to conditionally configure the read only files for particular devices. These variables will be in 2.15.0 which I hope to release next week.


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Oh! I missed that with Calendar.  I think that can cover all the use cases I can think of.  I'll look at that more.


Seems like you're heading the right direction with Reminders.  I look forward to that.


Contacts synchronization will be a game changer!


OH!  One option that might be nice would be a read-only option.  I could then install BeOrg on the devices of my wife and daughter and keep them from accidently updating things until I feel comfortable they understand it.

You should be able to view multiple calendars in beorg. Any calendars you have configured in iOS should be available to view - check the Settings tab and then Configure Calendars to see a list.


Basic Reminders support is coming in the next release - you'll be able to see reminders with a due date in your beorg agenda. Additionally you can perform basic editing on reminders and calendar events that appear in your agenda. The editing is initially limited to changing the title, notes, start date and deletion. Creation of calendar events or reminders is not yet supported. Ideally I would like users to be able to generate (and keep a link to) from Org tasks.


Contacts is an interesting proposition in helping beorg become a PIM style hub and a way to enable people to more easily bring this data into Org mode. There are a few more building blocks needed before I could implement this - support for property drawers being the main one. I shall give this more thought. Thank you for the suggestion!

Basically, my core thinking (correct me if I missed something) is that the key connection between the full functionality of Org and the full functionality of iOS is:

  1. Calendar - this is provided mostly by BeOrg.  The hiccup is that people have to use BeOrg to connect the two.  BeOrg doesn't (currently) support multiple calendars (Mine, Family, Work)  Better option might be publishing your calendar to HTML?
  2. Reminders - Org and iOS each have tasks, but they aren't connected, so I can't use Org to set Reminders for my Team (Family).
  3. Contacts - thus my request.
All other functionality is just fluff to this core.

This is something that potentially could be done using Shortcuts or an app such as Scriptable. In the future if the Scheme scripting in beorg got a major boost in terms of functionality it could be implemented within beorg itself.


This might make an interesting learning article on how contacts could be imported into beorg - if I get time I'll take a look what could be done with Shortcuts.


An interesting idea. To be honest as a piece of core functionality I'm not sure, but as something which beorg could be extended to do (with or without another app such as Shortcuts) does give me some things to think about.

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