Posts Tagged reset

Version 0.4.0rc6 Released

I have released version 0.4.0rc6 (click on Development Channel).  This contains the last planned features for version 0.4.0 so if all goes well I hope to release 0.4.0 in June.

Changes since 0.4.0rc5

  • Added more People fields (number is configurable)
  • Added a button to reset all gContactSync settings
  • Added an Anniversary field that is synchronized with Google (reset/replace from server to get these fields)
  • Photos are only uploaded or downloaded if they have changed instead of if the contact has change

Changes since version 0.3


  • New Account Wizard
  • 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
    • Better UI for picking the destination address book
    • Updated twitter import to use their newest API
    • Removed import sources that have taken down their APIs (Plaxo, MySpace, etc.)
  • 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/labels 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
  • Added more People fields (number is configurable)
  • Added a button to reset all gContactSync settings
  • Added an Anniversary field that is synchronized with Google (reset/replace from server to get these fields)
  • Photos are only uploaded or downloaded if they have changed instead of if the contact has changed

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
  • Bug fix for persistent “You must login to sync contacts” message after canceling an expired authentication token prompt (NOTE: if you ran into this bug you must follow the instructions here:,521.msg1680.html)
  • Bug fix for changing the type of a website or related person
  • Added a default delay between HTTP requests to mitigate 503 errors from Google (user over quota)
  • Various postal address bug fixes

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Version 0.3 Feedback, Version 0.4

Version 0.3 and Duplicates

Version 0.3 is getting a bad reputation for creating duplicates.  I haven’t heard from any of these people–please send me an e-mail at least explaining any problems you may have instead of just posting a review without enough details for me to help you.  Feel free to post reviews but please let me help you or at least others by giving me some details.

I believe that at least one of those problems may be due to syncing the same address book with the same account using two add-ons.  This is a bad idea; don’t try it.  Other than that I think people are importing their contacts from Google into TB either manually or with Google’s CSV export then synchronizing those contacts (or switching synchronization add-ons and reusing their old address book without deleting contacts).  gContactSync 0.3 expects an empty address book and treats any contacts in it as brand new, so it adds Thunderbird’s contacts to Google and adds Google’s contacts to Thunderbird during the first sync without attempting to merge contacts. You should start with a new address book when synchronizing contacts.  One exception to this is if you’ve already sync’ed that AB with gContactSync in which case it will recognize contacts it synchronized in the past.

I plan on addressing this in 0.4 by, during the first sync only, getting all Google contacts and checking each TB contact to see if any names or e-mail addresses match.  If so it’ll pretend that contact was already synchronized a very long time ago.  It’s going to be a very dumb/simplistic merge, and during the actual first sync those contacts in TB will be updated from their Google contact.  This will probably be in 0.4.0a1, release date TBA.

Resetting Address Books

There was some confusion over what exactly “resetting” an address book does in gContactSync which resulted in a 1 star review.  There are two types of resets in gContactSync:

  • Reset (replace from server) – this is also what the button in the Advanced preferences tab does and what happens if your mailing lists break.

This deletes the local copy of all contacts and mailing lists from Thunderbird only.  Your Google contacts are not deleted and gContactSync backs up your address book first.  Due to multiple bugs in Thunderbird with mailing lists and deleting address books you must restart Thunderbird after choosing this reset option.  After you restart Thunderbird and sync, gContactSync will pull in your contacts and groups from Google then sync like normal.

  • Replace to server

This option tells gContactSync to push all your local Thunderbird contacts to Google.  No contacts are deleted in either location.

Fake e-mail Addresses (nobody…@nowhere.invalid)

I’ve also received several e-mails and forum posts, along with some bad reviews, about the fake e-mail addresses that gContactSync adds to some contacts.  Thunderbird does not allow contacts without e-mail addresses in mailing lists, so in order to sync groups with mailing lists, gContactSync adds a fake e-mail address to that contact in Thunderbird only. These fake e-mail addresses will never be added to Google. I know it is ugly, but the alternative is having a broken, unsynchronizable address book.  I often refer to these as dummy e-mail addresses.

Postal Addresses

Google is now converting postal addresses between their structured (separate fields for street address/city/state/zip/country) and formatted (one field for everything) flavors.  When I created version 0.3 Google had said they would do this, but didn’t implement it yet so I turned off postal address synchronization by default and left in the new formatted address fields that gContactSync 0.2.0 added.  It should be safe to turn it on now, but you still do so at your own risk.  See this for instructions –

Version 0.4

I’m starting to work on version 0.4, which will turn on postal address synchronization by default.  It also removes the formatted address fields that gContactSync 0.2 and 0.3 added since they are no longer needed.  I will put development versions of 0.4 on (look at the bottom of the page under Development Channel).

I’d like to make it more difficult for people to get duplicates, so I will push back my plans to sync with other sources to version 0.5.

I don’t know when I’ll get the basic merging done.  I’m going to be an uncle any day now and I will be spending some time with my family next weekend.


0.4.0a1pre has been released on AMO (under Development Channel) with postal address synchronization enabled.  It also removes formatted address fields.

0.4.0a1 – Basic merging during first sync

0.4.0a2 – Basic merging during imports

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