Mayflower Barcamp 2009: Import your contacts from everywhere

As announced previously by Sebastian, the crew of MAYFLOWER spent 5 days in St. Leonhard, South Tyrol (Italy), for this year’s Barcamp. In the next couple of days the teams will present their projects ranging from LDAP to modules for PHProjekt 6 or phpmybirthday. Starting today with a ContactImporter.

Almost every internet user knows the problem: You manage your contacts at different services like social networks, webmail clients and so on. With an increasing number this can become quite confusing, and you never know where a specific contact is saved. Sometimes you wish you have a possibility to merge all those contacts at one central point.

To solve this problem was our goal the last Mayflower Barcamp. We – that is a team of 9 members, planned to develop a software that uses adapters to fetch contact data from numerous services. At a webfrontend you should be able to manage your services and later on fetch and combine all your contacts.

We were able to present a first working version of the ContactImporter after our four day hacking session. Then we had four adapters to fetch contacts from Web.de Freemail, GMX, Gmail and Twitter and a simple frontend. Some more adapters were started but were not finished till the presentation to our colleagues. In addition, we built adapters that can read the contacts from uploaded files exported from Thunderbird or Outlook.

The application is based on the new Zend Framework 1.8. For every backend service we wrote a service class to fetch the contact information. Some services offer an API to retrieve data from your account, data form other services have to be fetched with cURL and some HTML parsing.

The ContactImporter is far from being finished, but we made a good starting point during the Barcamp. Some of the team members are motivated to continue the project and eventually make a stable release sometime. If you are interested in the project, you can check out the current sources from the SVN at thinkforge:

svn checkout

svn+ssh://anonymous@thinkforge.org/svnroot/barcamp/trunk/contact_importer (with SSH port: 20022)

As last words I want to thank my colleagues for the great teamwork and Mayflower to make such an event possible!

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