Archive for April, 2009

gContactSync 0.2.0b2r2 Released

I have released gContactSync 0.2.0b2r2, and you can download it here.  The only changes are a few bug fixes, some logging improvements, support for Thunderbird 3.1a1pre, and a new link to the error reporting form in the gContactSync menu.  I recommend upgrading if possible, but if you already have 0.2.0b2r1 it isn’t too urgent.

Current Features

  • All the features of 0.1
    • Synchronizes an address book in Thunderbird with contacts from a Google Account (Gmail)
    • Customizable
    • Groups in Gmail are synchronized with mailing lists in Thunderbird
  • Duplicates (multiple contacts with the same e-mail address) are allowed
  • Much faster synchronization than 0.1
  • Only US English (en-US) until I finish adding features and strings
  • Customization of how addresses are synchronized
  • Default groups are enabled (Family, Friends, Coworkers) as mailing lists in Thunderbird
  • A new fetch-only mode where Thunderbird only receives updates and never sends updates to or deletes contacts from Google.

What Features are left for 0.2.0?

0.2.0 will probably have an option to just synchronize the My Contacts group since it contains the most important contacts and is all some devices, like the iPhone/iPod touch, synchronize.  It will also help avoid the usual problems with mailing lists.  I may also make some UI changes before 0.2.0.

Bugfixes & Enhancements since 0.1.x

Bugs in italics are new since 0.2.0b2r1

  • Bug 20779 Add a preference to disable auto-delete
  • Bug 20853 Too much recursion when the log directory is deleted
  • Bug 20852 Illegal rel value due to dummy e-mail address
  • Bug 20658 Add version info to the log
  • Bug 20739 Add links to the support forum & wiki in the menu
  • Bug 20757 Allow read/fetch of Google Contacts only
  • Bug 20546 – Search is broken in gContactSync 0.2
  • Bug 20644 – Localize all strings in options.xul
  • Bug 20656 – Error: gAddressBookBundle is undefined
  • Bug 20527 – Avoid HTTP Request errors when the Address Book window is closed
  • Bug 20509 – Add Seamonkey support
  • Bug 20508 – Consider adding overlay.css to customizeToolbar.xul
  • Bug 20487 – Add shortcut to preferences in the Address Book
  • Bug 20486 – Improve Address Preferences
  • Bug 20352 – Update gContactSync to use Contacts Data API 2
  • Bug 20148 – Default groups dont appear in Thunderbird
  • Bug 19786 – Support for Google’s ‘Most Contacted’ & ‘Suggested Contacts’

Sync Button Details

Newest instructions.

Quite a few users have reporting seeing a strange and ugly icon for the Sync button:

Toolbar buttons

It should look like this for now:

abcard-large

If you still see the incorrect icons there is a workaround that should fix it:

  1. In the Address Book window, go to gContactSync -> Preferences
  2. Check Force the Sync toolbar button image.
  3. Click OK/Close
  4. Close the Address Book window and open it again.

If those instructions still do not work, please let me know.

Feedback

I would love to hear your feedback, whether positive or negative (if polite ;)).  My new preferred method of feedback is through the forum, which will hopefully help me stop forgetting to reply to e-mail and let others add their opinions to feedback.  Please send logs with the error report form or via e-mail and do not put them on the forum.

I am working on updating the wiki with articles on how to use and troubleshoot gContactSync.

I will be adding some polls here and would appreciate any feedback.

Tutorials for 0.2.0

I will probably create some flash tutorials like the original one I had.  This time I will probably host them on YouTube to prevent my website from getting blasted again.

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Duplicate contacts in Thunderbird 3

Update: Someone else beat me to it: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/53145

As the author of a synchronization extension for Thunderbird 2 and 3, I get a lot of questions about duplicate contacts.  Duplicates are more common than ever  with the explosive popularity of mobile devices.

There is a fairly popular Duplicate Contact Manager Extension on AMO, but it hasn’t been updated recently, won’t work in Thunderbird 3, and comments mention some bugs, possibly including one that was present in gContactSync 0.2.0a1.

I have not found a way to contact the author, Marian Steinbach, to offer my assistance with updating it for Thunderbird 3.  It looks like the Google Group doesn’t have much activity.

I can reuse a good chunk of code from gContactSync which would allow it to work in Thunderbird 2 or 3, but I would most likely package it as a new extension to not force everyone to install gContactSync just to remove duplicate contacts.  I had some primitive duplicate detection code in 0.1.x, but it was inefficient and only checked e-mail addresses since that’s what Google used to identify duplicates.

So, I have three questions.

  1. Would there be enough interest to warrant new duplicate contacts extension?
  2. Would anyone else like to work with me to develop one?  I already have plenty of code for working with contacts and the address book; it would just need an intuitive, customizable front-end and an efficient way to find duplicates.  I’m just a bit busy with work, gContactSync, online classes, and a possibly emerging social life.
  3. Does anyone have a way of contacting the original developer?

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gContactSync 0.2.0b2 Released

I have released gContactSync 0.2.0b2, and you can download it here.

Current Features

  • All the features of 0.1
    • Synchronizes an address book in Thunderbird with contacts from a Google Account (Gmail)
    • Customizable
    • Groups in Gmail are synchronized with mailing lists in Thunderbird
  • Duplicates (multiple contacts with the same e-mail address) are allowed
  • Much faster synchronization than 0.1
  • Only US English (en-US) until I finish adding features and strings
  • Customization of how addresses are synchronized
  • Default groups are enabled (Family, Friends, Coworkers) as mailing lists in Thunderbird
  • A new fetch-only mode where Thunderbird only receives updates and never sends updates to or deletes contacts from Google.

What’s New?

The Sync button should work in a few more cases, and I added a possible workaround (see the end of this post for details) that should force the correct image to appear, although it will use the same icon whether you have large or small icons.  If you use small icons with the workaround the sync image will be cropped to fit.

It also adds a few links to my new forum and wiki in the gContactSync menu and preferences window.

I made some logging improvements which should help me get all the information I need to help.   I am working on a bug reporting form before I release 0.2.0 on addons.mozilla.org.

Bugfixes & Enhancements since 0.1.x

Bugs in italics are new since 0.2.0b1

  • Bug 20658 Add version info to the log
  • Bug 20739 Add links to the support forum & wiki in the menu
  • Bug 20757 Allow read/fetch of Google Contacts only
  • Bug 20546 – Search is broken in gContactSync 0.2
  • Bug 20644 – Localize all strings in options.xul
  • Bug 20656 – Error: gAddressBookBundle is undefined
  • Bug 20527 – Avoid HTTP Request errors when the Address Book window is closed
  • Bug 20509 – Add Seamonkey support
  • Bug 20508 – Consider adding overlay.css to customizeToolbar.xul
  • Bug 20487 – Add shortcut to preferences in the Address Book
  • Bug 20486 – Improve Address Preferences
  • Bug 20352 – Update gContactSync to use Contacts Data API 2
  • Bug 20148 – Default groups dont appear in Thunderbird
  • Bug 19786 – Support for Google’s ‘Most Contacted’ & ‘Suggested Contacts’

Sync Button Details

Newest instructions.

Quite a few users have reporting seeing a strange and ugly icon for the Sync button:

Toolbar buttons

It should look like this for now:

abcard-large

If you still see the incorrect icons there is a workaround that should fix it:

  1. In the Address Book window, go to gContactSync -> Preferences
  2. Check Force the Sync toolbar button image.
  3. Click OK/Close
  4. Close the Address Book window and open it again.

If those instructions still do not work, please let me know.

Feedback

I would love to hear your feedback, whether positive or negative (if polite ;)).  My new preferred method of feedback is through the forum, which will hopefully help me stop forgetting to reply to e-mail and let others add their opinions to feedback.  I recently was blasted w/ new spammers on the forum and added some safeguards so if your account is tagged as spam and deleted I apologize.  Just send me an e-mail (joshgeenen <at> gmail [dot] c o  m).

I am working on updating the wiki with articles on how to use and troubleshoot gContactSync.

I will be adding some polls here and would appreciate any feedback.

Tutorials for 0.2.0

I would like to record tutorials again for gContactSync 0.2.0 since the original was nearly too popular (almost brought my site down).  I used a free trial of Camtasia Studio 5, and it looks like it is up to version 6 now.

I’m fairly certain I have the full version of Camtasia Studio 3 in some Windows installation on one of my computers from some promotion a year or so ago.  So it looks like I’ll use that, the 30-day trial of v6 and maybe buy an upgrade for $150, or use gtk-recordMyDesktop which would let me use Gentoo (my favorite OS) and is free.  I think I’ll record a demo in Camtasia Studio and gtk-recordMyDesktop and post links here to see what everyone thinks.  I will admit that I prefer using text on the screencast (which Camtasia makes easy) instead of recording my monotonous voice.  This time around I”ll put the videos on YouTube and embed them somewhere on my website.

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