The OS X address book is a wonderful thing. It integrates with lots of other Mac software via an API, and it will sync with my Nokia 6600 via iSync. I’m even able to use my address book for my Unix terminal-based mail client (Mutt) via a Little Brother’s Database plugin.
Unfortunately, the glorious world of Unix software has no way to get at the address book, though a patch for Thunderbird exists.
A partial solution exists with AddressBook2LDAP, which converts an Address Book so that it can be served by an external LDAP server. In fact that application only points toward the correct solution: someone should write a self-contained miniature LDAP server that directly serves a user’s OS X address book. It could restrict itself to the local system, and it should be configured to export the address books either of a single user or all users on the system.
It would be better still if Apple built this directly into their Address Book application.
Such an application would serve as another bridge between Unix and OS X. The fact that it would make my life easier (at least until I see if Tiger’s Spotlight-enabled mail client is good enough to become my primary client) is secondary. (I have a workable solution with lbdb, but zillions more Thunderbird-using Mac addicts do not.)