Network Working GroupC. Jennings
Internet-DraftCisco Systems
Intended status: Standards TrackJ. Reschke, Editor
Expires: March 2007greenbytes
September 2006

vCard Extensions for Instant Messaging (IM)

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Copyright © The Internet Society (2006). All Rights Reserved.


This document describes an extension to vCard to support Instant Messaging (IM) and Presence Protocol (PP) applications. IM and PP are becoming increasingly common ways of communicating, and users want to save this contact information in their address books.  I This draftIt allows a URI that is associated with IM or PP to be specified inside of a vCard.

Editorial Note (To be removed by RFC Editor before publication)

This work is being discussed on the mailing list.

 I  edit   (type: edit, status: open)
julian.reschke@greenbytes.de2006-06-25 Umbrella issue for editorial fixes/enhancements.
Associated changes in this document: <#rfc.change.edit.1>, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 6, <#rfc.change.edit.10>.
 I  irc-uri   (type: edit, status: open)
julian.reschke@greenbytes.de2006-06-25 Take out reference to IRC URI draft (which is dead)?
 I  ref-rfc4622   (type: edit, status: closed)
julian.reschke@greenbytes.de2006-07-26 Update ref to XMPP URI/IRI spec.
Resolution: Done.
Associated changes in this document: 1, 7.2.
 I  abnf-ref-normative   (type: change, status: closed)
julian.reschke@greenbytes.de2006-09-13 Ted Hardie: I believe citing the ABNF RFC as normative is also required.
2006-09-13Resolution: Done.
Associated changes in this document: 7.1, 7.2.
 I  cite-rfc3986-for-URI   (type: change, status: closed)
julian.reschke@greenbytes.de2006-09-13 Ted Hardie: This document apparently imports the definition of uri from 2425, which in turn says that URI is "as defined in 1738". 1738's description of URIs has long been superseded, and its formal description of genericurl (the closest thing to this) is in RFC822's BNF-like grammar, not ABNF. May I suggest this document cite RFC 3986 directly? It's a full standard.
2006-09-13Resolution: Done.
Associated changes in this document: 1, 3, 7.1.
 I  clarify-type-recurrence   (type: change, status: closed)
julian.reschke@greenbytes.de2006-09-14 Clarify that type parameter contains one or more values.
2006-09-14Resolution: Done.
Associated changes in this document: 2, 2.
 I  mention-other-approaches   (type: edit, status: open)
julian.reschke@greenbytes.de2006-09-21 Lars Eggert (IESG discussion): Might want to mention that some vendors have already extended the vcard format to include IM addresses.
julian.reschke@greenbytes.de2006-09-21 I think there are two sides to this: (1) is there a deployed format that we could use instead of inventing a new one, and (2) if we decide to invent a new one, should we discuss other approaches we rejected?
My take: (1) the format used by Apple (mentioned by Lars) assigns a new type for each IMPP URI scheme - that seems to be a bad idea as it doesn't allow clients to uniformly treat different IMPP systems without prior knowledge of what the URI scheme is. So no, the format used by Apple doesn't seem to be a good idea. As for (2), I'd like to avoid that additional work. However I'm open to add minimal text mentioning other approaches if people make a concrete proposal for spec text.

1. Overview

As more and more people use various instant messaging (IM) and presence protocol (PP) applications, it becomes important for them to be able to share this contact address information along with the rest of their contact information. RFC 2425 [1] and RFC 2426 [2] define a standard format for this information, which is referred to as vCard. This document defines a new type in a vCard for representing instant IM and PP URIs. It is very similar to existing types for representing email address and telephone contact information.

The type entry to hold this new contact information is an IMPP type. The IMPP entry has a single URI  I (see RFC 3986 [3])that indicates the address of a service that provides IM, PP, or both. Also defined are some parameters that give hints as to when certain URIs would be appropriate. A given vCard can have multiple IMPP entries, but each entry can contain only one URI. Each IMPP entry can contain multiple parameters. Any combination of parameters is valid, although a parameter should occur at most once in a given IMPP entry.

The type of URI indicates what protocols might be usable for accessing it, but this document does not define any of the types. For example a URI type of

The normative definition of this new vCard type is given in Section 2, and an informational ABNF is provided in Section 3.

2. IANA Considerations

The required email to define this extension (as defined in RFC2425) was sent on October 29, 2004 to the mailing list with the subject "Registration of text/directory MIME type IMPP" (see <>).

This specification updates the "text/directory MIME Types" subregistry in the "text/directory MIME Registrations" registry at with the following information:

Type name: IMPP

Type purpose: To specify the URI for instant messaging and presence protocol communications with the object the vCard represents.

Type encoding: 8bit

Type value: A single URI. The type of the URI indicates the protocol that can be used for this contact.

Type special notes: The type  I canmay include the type parameter "TYPE" to specify an intended use for the URI. The TYPE parameter values  I can includeinclude one or more of the following:

Additional information can be found in RFCAAAA.

Intended usage: COMMON

[Note to IANA: Please replace AAAA with the RFC number for this specification.]

3. Formal Grammar

The following ABNF grammar [4] extends the grammar found in RFC 2425 [1] I (Section 5.8.2) and RFC 2426 [2] I (Section 4).

;For name="IMPP"
 param      = impp-param ; Only impp parameters are allowed

 value      =  I uriURI
              ; URI defined in Section 3 of [3]

 impp-param = "TYPE" "=" impp-type *("," impp-type)
 impp-type  = "PERSONAL" / "BUSINESS" / ; purpose of communications 
              "HOME" / "WORK" / "MOBILE" /
              "PREF" / 
              iana-token / x-name; 
              ; Values are case insensitive 

4. Example

FN:Alice Doe

5. Security Considerations

This does not introduce additional security issues beyond the current vCard specification. It is worth noting that many people consider their presence information more sensitive than other address information. Any system that stores or transfers vCards needs to carefully consider the privacy issues around this information.

6. Acknowledgments

Thanks to  I Brian Carpenter, Lars Eggert, Ted Hardie,Paul Hoffman, Sam Roberts and Pekka Pessi for their comments.

7. References

7.1. Normative References

Howes, T., Smith, M., and F. Dawson, “A MIME-Content-Type for Directory Information”, RFC 2425, September 1998.
Dawson, F. and T. Howes, “vCard MIME Directory Profile”, RFC 2426, September 1998.
Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, “Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax”, STD 66, RFC 3986, January 2005.
Crocker, D., Ed. and P. Overell, “Augmented BNF for Syntax Specifications: ABNF”, RFC 4234, October 2005.

7.2. Informational References

Crocker, D., Ed. and P. Overell, “Augmented BNF for Syntax Specifications: ABNF”, RFC 4234, October 2005.
Butcher, S., “Uniform Resource Locator Schemes for Internet Relay Chat Entities”, Internet-Draft draft-butcher-irc-url-04 (work in progress), January 2004.
Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Camarillo, G., Johnston, A., Peterson, J., Sparks, R., Handley, M., and E. Schooler, “SIP: Session Initiation Protocol”, RFC 3261, June 2002.
Saint-Andre, P., “Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) and Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) for the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP)”, Internet-Draft draft-saintandre-xmpp-iri-04 (work in progress), March 2006.
Saint-Andre, P., “Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) and Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) for the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP)”, RFC 4622, July 2006.
Peterson, J., “Common Profile for Presence (CPP)”, RFC 3859, August 2004.
Peterson, J., “Common Profile for Instant Messaging (CPIM)”, RFC 3860, August 2004.

Appendix A. Change Log (to be removed by RFC Editor before publication)

A.1. Since draft-jennings-impp-vcard-06.xml

Remove "Notational Conventions" (weren't actually used). Take out reference to RFC2119 accordingly.

Highlight editing instructions for the RFC Editor.

Add link to mention of registration request email.

Update reference to ABNF RFC and XMPP URI/IRI draft.

Add Julian Reschke as Editor.


Appendix B. Since draft-jennings-impp-vcard-07.xml

Update XMPP URI/IRI reference.

Add and resolve issues "abnf-ref-normative", "clarify-type-recurrence" and "cite-rfc3986-for-URI".

Add open issue "mention-other-approaches".

Authors' Addresses

Cullen Jennings
Cisco Systems
170 West Tasman Drive
MS: SJC-21/2
San Jose, CA 95134
Phone: +1 408 902-3341
Julian F. Reschke (editor)
greenbytes GmbH
Hafenweg 16
Muenster, NW 48155
Phone: +49 251 2807760

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