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File-based contact management

Project description

File-based contact management


Each contact corresponds to a single file inside of the bguo directory. Contact information should be edited in this directory and then exported to various output formats for use by other programs. They can also be roughly imported to this directory, but you will have to proofread the results; the importers are intended for one-time imports, not for regular synchronization with other programs.

For our purposes, a contact is a thing with a single name, a single email address, &c. People, mailing lists, and organizations can all be contacts. bguo has no special features for grouping contacts.

File format

Here is an example of a contact file.

name: Thomas Levine
phone: 883510009902082
x-favorite-color: pink

The contact file format is similar to that of an email (RFC-2822 message) except for the following changes.

  • Header names are different. (See below.)
  • Line breaks may include carriage returns, but they are not required; it is acceptable to break lines either with CRLF or just LF.
  • Non-ASCII data may be included in headers; MIME encoded-word syntax is optional.
  • The message body must be empty.

A contact file may contain any of the following case-insensitive fields and any field beginning with “x-” or “X-“.

Name of a person, mailing list, organization, &c.
Telephone number
Email address
News feed address, like for an RSS or Atom feed
Website address
Postal address

bguo will report an error if any other field is present.



pip3 install bguo


bguo -h


tar xzf bguo.tar.gz
cd bguo/examples

Supported formats

bguo supports only the formats that I (Tom) have used.

  • MH ~/.aliases file
  • Mutt alias_file
  • Newsbeuter ~/.newsbeuter/urls
  • Plain postal addresses
  • phonebook export
  • Seltzer CRM member listing (/?q=members)

For most of these formats, only the import or the export is supported, not both. This is summarized in the table below.

Format Import Export
MH Yes Yes
Mutt Yes Yes
Seltzer Yes No Yes No
Newsbeuter No Yes
Post No Yes

For imports, command-line program expects that you are converting from only one format to bguo. There was a case where I wanted to merge two formats for existing contacts, one for email addresses (MH) and the other for phone numbers (VoIP.MS). To do this, write a custom merging program with the functions in bguo.parse; examples/ is an example.

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