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.