Fuzzy phone number matching

Joachim Breitner mail at joachim-breitner.de
Tue Jul 15 23:12:17 CEST 2008


the current openmoko stack (2007.2) has a problem with phone numbers: It
matches them in various places (to put SMS to the right contact, to
display the contacts with similar phone number while dialing etc.). In
all these places, it does not handle it well when a phone number is not
“fully qualified”, e.g. 0172/123 45 instead of +4917212345. For me, my
contact list is full of these human-readable phone numbers, and I think
others will expect their phone to hande these as well.

I did some hacking on openmoko-messages2 to normalize phone numbers
before comparing them (https://docs.openmoko.org/trac/ticket/1606), but
for the last bit, I would have to add this matching support to the
evolution-data-server query language, so at that point I stopped.

Also note that this is not just convenience: When sending a SMS to a
contact with a slash in the phone number, the slash does not seem to be
stripped before sending the message, so it does not even reach it’s

What would be a good way to tackle this issue? Anything else but tell
our users always to write +49172..., even when dialing by hand?


Joachim "nomeata" Breitner
  mail: mail at joachim-breitner.de | ICQ# 74513189 | GPG-Key: 4743206C
  JID: nomeata at joachim-breitner.de | http://www.joachim-breitner.de/
  Debian Developer: nomeata at debian.org
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