Author Topic: Quicksearch Extras - idea for new extension  (Read 6721 times)

tanstaafl

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Quicksearch Extras - idea for new extension
« on: September 26, 2009, 02:50:49 PM »
Hi Josh,

I love gContactsync, it is working very well - so well, in fact, that I am compelled to ask your opinion of something...

I have searched until my fingers are nubs, and cannot believe this, but there is no extension to do something so simple that I need to be able to do.

The reason I'm asking here is twofold: first, because this issue didn't really become a problem until we started using your gContactSync to sync our Vendors Address Book, and, because I don't know who else to ask.

There is an outstanding bug - 2.5 years old - to add this ability, and it seems like it would be so simple, I just cannot believe it hasn't been fixed yet.

We need the ability for the AddressBook QuickSearch box to also search the 'Organization' name, as well as what it already searches (Name or email)...

I know it is completely out in left field for me to ask if you could have pity and add code so that gContactSync would modify the QuickSearch box so it would do this - but I'm gonna do it anyway. ;)

If you don't want to do this in gContactSync - and I understand if you don't, it has nothing to do with Syncing - since you obviously have an extensive understanding of the Address Book code in TBird - how hard do you think this would be to do? If it is simple - it seems like it would be trivial - all that's needed is to add the field to the list of fields searched, and change the label to 'Organization, Name or Email' instead of just 'Name or Email' - maybe you could just hack out a separate extension? I bet I could talk our boss into shelling out a few bucks if it is trivial...

Anyway, regardless, thanks again for gContactSync Josh! You should be proud - and best of luck with your studies.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 09:27:30 AM by tanstaafl »

asjones

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Re: Totally unrelated request
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2009, 09:14:15 AM »
This does not do quite what you are after but the Advanced Address Book Search (at least in 3.0b4) can search Organization.

Now my related complaint is rally that advanced search does not offer to search the custom (1,2,3,4) fields, the notes fields, or an "all fields" option.

As categories are not supported yet this was a way I thought about trying to group people but putting key words in one of the Custom fields (1,2 ,3,4).  However I can't do the searching how i wanted.

I know that address books are not the more sexy part of Thunderbird but I wish some other developers could spend some more time on it.  I have even started wondering if i should go to another product.

Again this is not a complaint against gContactSync.  That is one are of development I am excited about.

Alan

tanstaafl

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Re: Totally unrelated request
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2009, 12:14:53 PM »
Hi asjones,

Yes, I'm fully aware of the Advanced Search - it just isn't a viable solution, which is why I specified the QuickSearch box.

The only reason I'm asking about the possibility of some kind of solution here, is because Josh/gContacySync is the best extension I've seen yet that enhances the Address Book, so he can probably answer almost off the top of his head how hard this might be. It is entirely possible that there is something about the AddressBook code that makes something that appears to be trivial a really difficult job.

Anyway, I'm still hoping this is easy enough that Josh might come back with - 'ok, here's a new extension thats all of 10 lines that adds this capability to the QuickSearch box'... ;)
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 08:56:00 AM by tanstaafl »

Josh Geenen

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Re: Totally unrelated request
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2009, 07:29:41 PM »
Hey,

Thanks for the suggestion.  I only know a bit about how quick search works in the AB from when I worked on TB Bug 496970.  It might not be too difficult but would definitely require another extension.  Do you know the bug number for the request?

Quote
I know that address books are not the more sexy part of Thunderbird but I wish some other developers could spend some more time on it.  I have even started wondering if i should go to another product.
There was some significant work done in the back-end of the address book and the interfaces were greatly improved which should make it much easier for extension developers to enhance the AB in Thunderbird 3.  I worked on the birthday field and photo field which should both be in Beta 4 and above.  I believe the AB should get more attention in TB 3.next.

Anyway, I've got a long week ahead of me filled with exams and a quiz, a career fair and (hopefully ;)) interviews.  If I do not provide an update within a week or two could one of you bump the topic so I get an e-mail?

Josh
gContactSync: info FAQs

tanstaafl

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Re: Totally unrelated request
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2009, 05:29:46 AM »
Thanks for the suggestion.  I only know a bit about how quick search works in the AB from when I worked on TB Bug 496970.  It might not be too difficult but would definitely require another extension.  Do you know the bug number for the request?

Hi Josh - yes, it is:

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=369983

Quote from: Josh Geenen
There was some significant work done in the back-end of the address book and the interfaces were greatly improved which should make it much easier for extension developers to enhance the AB in Thunderbird 3.  I worked on the birthday field and photo field which should both be in Beta 4 and above.  I believe the AB should get more attention in TB 3.next.

Anyway, I've got a long week ahead of me filled with exams and a quiz, a career fair and (hopefully ;)) interviews.  If I do not provide an update within a week or two could one of you bump the topic so I get an e-mail?

Will do - and thanks so much for even considering it, and best of luck on the exams/quiz and the career fair!

Oh - and of course its fine with me if this is a TB3 only extension... :)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 08:49:47 AM by tanstaafl »

tanstaafl

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Re: Totally unrelated request
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2009, 05:26:30 AM »
Hi Josh,

Have you had any spare brain cycles to give this any more thought?

One of our VP's said he'd be happy to donate a $50 gift certificate (I think it is Papa Johns pizza), and we may even be able to get the boss to spring for a small cash donation, but we really need to be able to QuickSearch on the Organization name in the Address Book.

If it would be difficult, I understand... but I was hoping it would be relatively simple.

Anyway, again, I really appreciate your work, and giving it away for free to us non-programmer types... if I had to pay for all of the excellent free software I'm able to use because of people like you, I'd be broker than broke.

tanstaafl

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Re: Totally unrelated request
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2009, 12:12:39 PM »
Cool! I just found a way to do this in TB2 - and just confirmed it also works for TB3b4 - by simply editing a preference in about:config...

Preference is: mail.addr_book.quicksearchquery.format

All I did was change the original/default:

?(or(PrimaryEmail,c,@V)(DisplayName,c,@V)(FirstName,c,@V)(LastName,c,@V))

to

?(or(Company,c,@V)(PrimaryEmail,c,@V)(DisplayName,c,@V)(FirstName,c,@V)(LastName,c,@V))

This doesn't change the hint text in the Quicksearch box (it still only shows 'Name or EMail'). but it definitely searches the Organization. yay!

Peeve: the field NAME (in the code) is 'Company' - I hate discrepancies like this, why didn't they just use 'Company' for the field LABEL too??...

Josh Geenen

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Re: Totally unrelated request
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2009, 08:38:14 AM »
Good find.  Anyone who needs to search for the company can edit that preference or copy the attached user.js to their profile folder.  The text would probably have to be modified in an extension, however.

Quote
Peeve: the field NAME (in the code) is 'Company' - I hate discrepancies like this, why didn't they just use 'Company' for the field LABEL too??...
There are quite a few cases of the original field names varying from the actual labels in the UI or inconsistencies among similar fields (see nsIAbCard.idl).

I'm going to move this thread into a new board I created for extension requests.  It is a good idea for an extension since the quick search in the address book isn't all that great.  Eventually I think the main TB search will be more than sufficient for finding contacts, however.

A simple extension could just provide a checkbox or list of attributes and allow the user to select the attributes that the quick search looks in then update the text accordingly.  Otherwise there could be more options as there are in the TB 2 quick mail searchbar.
gContactSync: info FAQs