Hi, first, let me tell you I perfectly agree with you that user data should be easily accessible to users. It's their data after all.
Now I want to shade this a bit for what is usually called PIM data. imho, users (I mean normal non-geeky users) often only know about one way of getting to their data and can only handle few at a time. This is really important wrt to what you said about mails. Somebody replied to this thread qualifying what would be the direct (brutal) application of your proposal as a tsunami of data and I can only agree with that. This would be a poor user experience really :) About standards, evolution actually uses standards to store data, mbox for mails, ics/vcard for addressbook, events & memos. It can also export all of these data from their hidden store to another standard format. Even nicer, it has a backup plugin that saves all this and configured accounts to a tarball that you can save anywhere you want. Personnaly I've had harder times getting my data out of thunderbird last time I tried (which was probably ~1.0). Now obviously all programs probably won't be able to deal with evolution's backup tarball (but most probably can with "individual" exports) but that's probably because nobody even thought about getting started on standardizing this kind of stuff before. -- Gilles Dartiguelongue <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
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