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Contacts-App does not use standardized date-format (YYYYMMDD) ⇨ therefore causes issues when syncing via CalDAV/CardDAV

Tracked by Jolla

asked 2018-01-03 06:04:46 +0300

Picanha gravatar image

updated 2018-01-10 07:30:55 +0300

Hello together,

I found an issue with the Sailfish Contacts App that causes problems when syncing via CalDAV/CardDAV.

Description of the issue

The Contacts App does not use the standardized date-format (YYYYMMDD) for birthdays/anniversaries when transmitting contacts via CardDAV. Instead of that, it uses some unstandardized YYYY-MM-DD format with hyphens as separators. Because of that issue, OwnCloud, Nextcloud, Thunderbird and many other CardDAV/CalDAV-Services can not recognize the correct dates of birthdays/anniversaries from persons in the phone address book and therefore leave those fields empty.

  1. Jolla-format: YYYY-MM-DD ⇨ problems when syncing to OwnCloud/Nextcloud/Thunderbird, etc. Wrong transmission via CardDAV

  2. Standardized format: YYYYMMDD ⇨ seamless integration into all services using CardDAV/CalDAV: Correct transmission via CardDAV

Did anyone experience the same behavior?

You can test this by yourself by simply exporting your contacts into a *.vcf-file. The nowadays *.vcf-standard is strictly YYYYMMDD, but Sailfish produces YYYY-MM-DD nevertheless (see in file).

Even the official vCard-rules as well as the international RFC 6350 standard desire to write dates in the YYYYMMDD-format (e.g. BDAY:19700310).

Could you change this in Sailfish to the worlwide harmonized YYYYMMDD-system, please?

Thank you very much!

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For reference: from https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6350#section-4.3: "YYYY-MM-DD is disallowed since we are using the basic format instead of the extended format."

Federico ( 2018-01-05 20:02:48 +0300 )edit

Great find, hopefully a fix will land soon.

nthn ( 2018-01-06 16:13:25 +0300 )edit

I remember years ago a friend of mine (who then used a Jolla phone) had problems syncing his contacts to his exchange server. After some investigation he found out that the problem only affected contacts with a birthday. I wonder if this was the reason for it... Well, he's given up on Jolla meanwhile.

ossi1967 ( 2018-01-09 09:26:03 +0300 )edit


In my home server I use radicale and I have found no problems whatsoever. I also use thunderbird at home and will check it this afternoon...

EDIT: I couldn't find any options in Thunderbird to import from my CardDAV server.....


Pasko ( 2018-01-09 11:33:33 +0300 )edit

Thank you for your participation!

  1. @Federico: Thanks a lot for the reference! Yeah, they also say: YYYYMMDD (= 19850412) has to be used! I added your reference into my original post - thanks!
  2. @nthn: I think we have to excite Damien and @chris.adams about this thread... Unfortunately this forum doesn't provide any personal message-function I fear?
  3. @ossi1967: In my case, though the birthdays get synced to CardDAV (even with the incorrect date format), but later on any software tries to use the wrong "Jolla-format" and complains about the unusable date format (and therefore doesn't display it's value).
  4. @Pasko: You need to install the Add-on CardBook first, then you can add a network address book to Thunderbird via CardDAV.
Picanha ( 2018-01-10 07:00:41 +0300 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2018-01-05 22:29:05 +0300

SaimenSays gravatar image

updated 2018-01-08 19:31:09 +0300

You should report this directly to chris.adams, as he is responsible for CalDav/CardDav testing volunteers requested

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answered 2018-01-08 21:01:57 +0300

DarkTuring gravatar image

Date standards are relative, ideally it should use:

That way there is no mistaking what is a month and what is a year - see two digits - three letters - 4 digits.

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ISO 8601

rfa ( 2018-01-08 21:22:48 +0300 )edit
  1. @DarkTuring: Unfortunately you are completely wrong! @rfa posted the reference link (thanks!) and ISO 8601 says: "[...] the standard allows both the YYYY-MM-DD and YYYYMMDD formats for complete calendar date [...]". Your version with DD-MMM-YYYY is neither standard nor accepted anywhere and therefore should be avoided in any way...

  2. As far as the YYYYMMDD-format is the actual vCard-standard, it does not make sense to use anything else. So Jolla should switch to the YYYYMMDD-format, but nothing different...

Picanha ( 2018-01-10 07:10:05 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2018-01-03 06:04:46 +0300

Seen: 1,101 times

Last updated: Jan 10 '18