Archive for December, 2013

New Account Wizard

Version 0.4 will have a new account wizard to make setting up gContactSync for the first time and adding accounts easier.  The first page is for selecting an account to sync.  It finds IMAP and POP3 accounts in addition to existing gContactSync tokens so most users won’t even have to sign in.  The second page lets you choose an address book and the group(s) to sync.

Please let me know what you think, particularly whether I should include the synchronization direction (read-only, write-only, or bidirectional) and whether Google or TB has priority during conflicts.

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Version 0.4.0b4 Released

Version 0.4.0b4

Version 0.4.0b4 was released today.

You can download it here.  Scroll to the bottom and expand Developer Channel.  If you already downloaded a development version it will automatically update.

Changes since version 0.3


  • The first sync merges existing contacts and groups/mailing lists
  • Postal addresses are synchronized by default
  • gContactSync uses Thunderbird’s existing address fields now that Google parses addresses
  • Added Postbox 3 support
  • Minor Accounts dialog changes
  • Added an option to sync only the selected address book to the AB context menu
  • Prevents a duplicate master password prompt when Thunderbird is started
  • Miscellaneous improvements to importing contacts
    • Contacts are merged when possible.  Note that most sources only have display names and photos, so gContactSync only merges contacts with identical names (or primary e-mail address for Plaxo).
    • Better UI for picking the destination address book
  • Removed the “Other” tab on the preferences dialog.  This just caused confusion and I don’t know of anyone who actually used it.  The feature is still there, but only customizable through the Config Editor.
  • Better handling and mitigation of 503 (Service Unavailable) errors.
  • Button to clean up old contact photos (TB and gContactSync can both leave old photos behind)
  • Uses the new chat fields in Thunderbird instead of adding new fields
  • Website types are now displayed in the contact view pane
  • Added a preference for a timeout for HTTP requests
  • Added a checkbox for the TB preference to show chrome errors in the error console

Bug Fixes

  • Treat infinite last modified dates as being older
  • Fixed a strict JavaScript warning (no functional change)
  • Support for empty extended property value names (Other tab of the Preferences dialog)
  • Prevents a duplicate master password prompt when Thunderbird is started
  • Makes sure that the dummy e-mail address is added to a contact if it is being edited from the mailing list.
  • Bug fix for the preference to not sync contact photos (if a new Thunderbird contact had a photo gContactSync would add it to Google)
  • Photos synchronized or imported by gContactSync will still work when gContactSync is disabled or uninstalled (NOTE – this only applies to contacts synchronized or imported starting with 0.4.0a3)
  • Last modified date not set at the correct time, potentially causing a conflict on the next sync after adding a contact
  • Fix for last modified date being updated when a contact is not successfully uploaded to Google

Future Changes in 0.4

  • Include number of errors in the summary

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Moving to github

gContactSync is moving to github.  You can find the source code and report issues/request enhancements here.  Thanks to everyone at for hosting gContactSync these last 4.5 years!

Note: This announcement is only relevant to developers and others who would like to look at gContactSync’s source code.  The add-on should still be downloaded from and will still automatically update.


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403 Errors

Several people have reported 403 errors when trying to sync contacts.  Some are using two stage authentication, others aren’t.  Some use Windows 7, others 8.1.  I haven’t been able to recreate it myself.

If you see 403 errors please send me an e-mail with more details on your OS, Thunderbird and gContactSync version, as well as whether you are using a normal Gmail account or a Google Apps account.

Please go here: and let me know if you see anything unusual.

The ClientLogin method gContactSync uses has been deprecated for a while (2012) but Google said they would support it until 2015.

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