Obviously after kicking so much ass there was nothing left for mr. banner to do but take names.
What used to be an awkward set of instructions is about to become as simple as a checkbox.
And yes this isn’t quite the feature that gets everyone laid (hopefully at least a couple people get laid). But it’s an excellent intermediary step toward getting some more testing on the Mac OS X System Address Book connection that should be available in the next alpha. Likely in a month or so when Mark is done with your name he will have replaced this system with an even better experience.
What is the connection experience?
It’s well beyond time to be thinking about what it means to have the OS X Address Book connected to Thunderbird. There’s a long road ahead. What is the end game here?
Should all contacts be stored in the System Address Book or the Thunderbird Address Book? Would that kind of change mean something for Windows? What would that mean for Linux?
If we want to sync your contacts with your iPhone or other iAppleDevices then we should be storing our data in the OS X Address Book, however we should also be careful of another systems limitations.
I like to think of the future of the Thunderbird address book as providing an overlay on top of other address book systems like the OS X System Address Book or an LDAP type address book. We want our data to be compatible with those different basic remote and local storage services. However we also want to do more interesting things with your contacts than what most LDAP systems offer.
If I were to steal the look and feel of GNOME Mobile platform diagram (which I like a lot) it might come out looking something like this for the Thunderbird Address Book Overlay. Underneath is a system address book, ldap, or local thunderbird address book providing the basics of storage. Then above that layer is where we can begin doing interesting things with your Thunderbird Address Book. Going beyond just emails and names and perhaps linking with different kinds of accounts your friends have.
The latest Thunderbird Trunk Builds are built to integrate into the Mac Address Book and we need some testing, so stop watching bug 203927 for builds.
1. Grab an Official Mac (Universal binary) from the nightly build
2. Enable the Address Book via the config editor (sorry you have to do this)
Open Preferences / Options and go to the tab Advanced -> General
Click: [Config Editor…]
Create the following: (from bug 397811)
"ldap_2.servers.osx.description" -> "System Address Book"
"ldap_2.servers.osx.dirType" -> 3
"ldap_2.servers.osx.uri" -> "moz-abosxdirectory:///"
3. Restart Thunderbird
4. Try out using your System Address Book integrated into Thunderbird
5. File some bugs or hop on the dev.apps.thunderbird news group to ask about issues
Some Know Issues
These pref entries have to be created as they don’t already exist, see comments below.
bug 397811 has landed in the nightly Thunderbird releases, look for this menu.
I’ll be heading out to Hamburg April 18-23rd with David and others for the Calendar project face-to-face meeting. It will be great to meet Christian in person now that we’ve been talking on the phone discussing possible Calendar and Thunderbird changes. I’m excited to make a quick overnight trip up to Copenhagen as I’ve never travelled there before.
It’s great to see that Mark has started work with us. There’s lots to be done, especially on the address book, work that Joshua has developed in the Great Addressbook Rewrite. I’ve started compiling some research of other addressbook / contacts systems so we can have some ideas of what current implementaitons do.
As I got back home really late after Friday, well into Saturday morning, I didn’t end up doing much on Saturday. So in my recovery time I poked around with my bugzilla link grabber extension and added a little AJAX to it. And thus I feel buzzword compliant!
Note the lovely screenshot of the bugzilla info inlined at the bottom. It might be nicer to create those elements as hovers to the bug links so they don’t take up space in the email but appear on mouse over of a bug link.
I just picked out a few things from the bug like bug number, status, number of comments, the title and the last comment text. Other information might be a bit better, but it’s all available.
I did this by using the XMLHTTPRequest to the bugzilla bugs XML version (just add “&ctype=xml” to the url) and then running the result through XPath. There’s a bit of a problem with the XML version as it gives you all the attachments as well as all the comments so things can be a bit slow when there are a lot of large attachments in a bug.
Anyway, not bad for a quick couple hour hungover hack.
Designer Code!!! eeek!!!
The code for all this is up on github in the ajax branch, check it out.
Who knew email didn’t have to be static!