Author Topic: Getting Started [read this first]  (Read 17373 times)

Josh Geenen

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Getting Started [read this first]
« on: December 08, 2009, 07:40:54 PM »
Version 0.3 is nearing completion so I would like to start releasing alpha (early testing) and beta (testing) versions.

Before you begin, make sure you perform the following before testing:

MozBackup seems like a good tool, but I have not tried it myself.

Also note the following known issues:
  • Postal addresses may be lost when updating a contact using Google's interface (a1pre) - Bug 21042
  • Postal addresses may not appear in Thunderbird at all (a1pre) - Bug 21042

Features:
    * Can synchronize your Google Contacts (external link) (Gmail, Google Apps, etc.) with Mozilla Thunderbird (external link).
    * Supports multiple Google Accounts and Address Books
    * Groups in Google can be synchronized with individual Address Books or mailing lists in one AB
    * Each Address Book can be synchronized with one of the following:
          o All contacts and all groups with mailing lists
          o One specific group
          o All contacts
    * Every synchronized AB can have its own custom settings
    * You can choose to complete synchronize your contacts (so Thunderbird matches Google), to only read changes from Google but never apply TB's changes, or to only write to Google and never apply changes made remotely.
    * Contact photos are synchronized (only visible in Thunderbird 3 & Seamonkey 2)
    * Supports importing contacts/friends from Facebook, MySpace, and Plaxo, including photos.

Changes from 0.2:

    * The Accounts section of the Preferences dialog has been moved to its own dialog
    * Each Address Book now can have its own preferences (defaulting to their previous value in 0.2) and synchronization settings
    * New fields ("People") and types for existing fields (many more phone number types)
    * Contact photos are synchronized (only visible in Thunderbird 3 & Seamonkey 2)
    * The birthday field in Thunderbird 3 is synchronized
    * More links in the gContactSync menu
    * The Sync button can now be customized like a normal toolbar button in Thunderbird. However, you must go to View -> Toolbars -> Customize and add the button to the toolbar yourself
    * You can synchronize from the main Thunderbird window
    * The import functionality is new.

Download info
« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 04:03:27 PM by Josh Geenen »
gContactSync: info FAQs

tanstaafl

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 02:52:51 PM »
Hi Josh,

Dang, I missed this! Great news... :)

Ok, I'll set up a new profile on a few workstations to start testing with, but a couple of questions first if you don't mind...

1. We should ask questions/report problems in this thread? Or maybe you should create two more - one for reporting bugs/problems, and one for feature requests...

2. Has anything been done to resolve the problem with the phone number fields getting mixed up/in the wrong category/columns?

I'm not sure yet, but I think if someone fixes these in a contact (changes the order back to the normal order of Work / Home / Work Fax / Mobile / Pager, and moves the data to the right one), those changes are NOT getting synced up with everyone else. If you say they should, I'll do some specific testing to see whats up... maybe part of the problem is some people have older versions?

That is the only real problem we have had, and we have about 20 people syncing with one so far.

I'm really looking forward to being able to use one gmail account to sync multiple Address Books - especially being able to set one to one-way only (except mine, which will be the only one used to make updates)!

Many thanks for this amazingly useful extension! Its time to talk to the wife about letting me make a donation. :)


tanstaafl

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 03:19:08 PM »
Oh, one more question, concerning using one gmail account to sync multiple TB AB's...

If one of the TB address books has one or more mail lists in it, I'm assuming gContactSync simply ignores it and doesn't even try to sync it?

As long as the lists will still exist/work in TBird, I'll be happy...

Thanks again! This is a nice Christmas present. :)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2009, 08:39:53 AM by tanstaafl »

Josh Geenen

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2009, 04:13:25 PM »
Quote from: tanstaafl
1. We should ask questions/report problems in this thread? Or maybe you should create two more - one for reporting bugs/problems, and one for feature requests...
You can use this board Version 0.3 Testing, but I might create one or two more if there are too many threads.

Quote from: tanstaafl
2. Has anything been done to resolve the problem with the phone number fields getting mixed up/in the wrong category/columns?

I'm not sure yet, but I think if someone fixes these in a contact (changes the order back to the normal order of Work / Home / Work Fax / Mobile / Pager, and moves the data to the right one), those changes are NOT getting synced up with everyone else. If you say they should, I'll do some specific testing to see whats up... maybe part of the problem is some people have older versions?

That is the only real problem we have had, and we have about 20 people syncing with one so far.

No, phone numbers and postal addresses are the next items on my list, and probably the last major changes I'll make before I release 0.3.0beta1.

I can see why changes to the order of phone numbers in Thunderbird will not be synchronized.  gContactSync just reads a phone number from Thunderbird, checks if the Google contact has a number with that type, and updates it if necessary.  The Google contact already has the phone numbers so the order may not get updated.

Quote from: tanstaafl
I'm really looking forward to being able to use one gmail account to sync multiple Address Books - especially being able to set one to one-way only (except mine, which will be the only one used to make updates)!

One-way 'synchronization' hasn't been completely tested yet, so please make sure you use a test account.  I should be able to test basic functionality soon now that finals are over and I'm done with my part-time job/internship.

I haven't implemented the password protection on settings, but you have to open the Accounts dialog, select the Address Book and check "Show advanced settings".

Quote from: tanstaafl
If one of the TB address books has one or more mail lists in it, I'm assuming gContactSync simply ignores it and doesn't even try to sync it?

That depends on what the address book is synchronized with.  If it is synchronized with all contacts/groups then it uses the mailing lists like normal.  If it is not synchronized with all groups then mailing lists are just ignored.  I've been working on minimizing the use of 'dummy' e-mail addresses and hopefully allowing multiple address books/group will make them much less annoying (number 1 bug report/question/complaint).

Thanks again for the comments and suggestions! :)
gContactSync: info FAQs

tanstaafl

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2009, 04:38:58 PM »
No, phone numbers and postal addresses are the next items on my list, and probably the last major changes I'll make before I release 0.3.0beta1.

I can see why changes to the order of phone numbers in Thunderbird will not be synchronized.  gContactSync just reads a phone number from Thunderbird, checks if the Google contact has a number with that type, and updates it if necessary.  The Google contact already has the phone numbers so the order may not get updated.

Hmmm... ok, so, do you think you'll be able to come up with a way to fix this so that these changes *would* get synced? Having every person do this manually is not really feasible.

Worst case, could I get one fixed, then go around to each secondary workstation and delete the account and force a full re-sync?

But there's got to be a way to resolve this so it will just work... :(

Quote from: Josh Geenen
Quote from: tanstaafl
I'm really looking forward to being able to use one gmail account to sync multiple Address Books - especially being able to set one to one-way only (except mine, which will be the only one used to make updates)!

One-way 'synchronization' hasn't been completely tested yet, so please make sure you use a test account.

Ok, will do (but of course), and will be sure to look closely at this feature during testing.

Quote
I should be able to test basic functionality soon now that finals are over and I'm done with my part-time job/internship.

Hope everything went well! :)

Quote
I haven't implemented the password protection on settings, but you have to open the Accounts dialog, select the Address Book and check "Show advanced settings".

That will suffice for now, but hopefully this is still planned?

Quote from: Josh Geenen
Quote from: tanstaafl
If one of the TB address books has one or more mail lists in it, I'm assuming gContactSync simply ignores it and doesn't even try to sync it?

That depends on what the address book is synchronized with.  If it is synchronized with all contacts/groups then it uses the mailing lists like normal.  If it is not synchronized with all groups then mailing lists are just ignored.

Right, thats what I understood from your description. This would be a case where I am syncing multiple address books with one gmail account, using a different gmail group to sync with each Address Book.

Quote
I've been working on minimizing the use of 'dummy' e-mail addresses and hopefully allowing multiple address books/group will make them much less annoying (number 1 bug report/question/complaint).

Yeah, those are irritating - and a little awkward to explain to people... ;)

Quote
Thanks again for the comments and suggestions! :)

Your welcome, but hey, thank *you* for the gift of gContactSync! :)

Josh Geenen

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2009, 10:43:18 PM »
Quote
Hmmm... ok, so, do you think you'll be able to come up with a way to fix this so that these changes *would* get synced? Having every person do this manually is not really feasible.

Worst case, could I get one fixed, then go around to each secondary workstation and delete the account and force a full re-sync?

But there's got to be a way to resolve this so it will just work... :(

It probably is possible, but it looks like it will be fairly easy to add a phone number preference that doesn't add phone number types and syncs with the original fields.  If it is easy enough and 0.3 isn't ready to be released soon I could probably add it to 0.2.  It wouldn't show up in the Preferences dialog, however, since that would require all translations to be updated.

Quote
Hope everything went well! :)

Yeah, it did.  I'm still waiting to see one more final grade.

Quote
That will suffice for now, but hopefully this is still planned?
Possibly, but I cannot think of a way to actually protect that setting.  The user has access to password manager, config editor, and the source so any sort of password protection would be difficult.

Quote
Quote from: Josh Geenen
I've been working on minimizing the use of 'dummy' e-mail addresses and hopefully allowing multiple address books/group will make them much less annoying (number 1 bug report/question/complaint).

Yeah, those are irritating - and a little awkward to explain to people... ;)

I believe I found the last of the easy methods to break a mailing list from the UI by removing an e-mail address to a contact already in a list.  The only problem is that the fix may slow down the closing of the Edit Contact dialog (the New Contact isn't affected since new contacts can't be in lists) since it essentially has to get the mailing lists in that directory and check if the contact is in one of them.  This check is only done when the contact is being edited and does not have an e-mail address.
If it has to add a dummy e-mail address it displays an alert dialog with a brief explanation of why the e-mail address is there.
gContactSync: info FAQs

tanstaafl

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2009, 08:39:39 AM »
Quote
That will suffice for now, but hopefully this is still planned?

Possibly, but I cannot think of a way to actually protect that setting.  The user has access to password manager, config editor, and the source so any sort of password protection would be difficult.

Well, in a corporate setting - where this would more than likely be used - the Password Manager would be protected by a Master Password that the User wouldn't know.

Also, a basic user could do the same, preventing casual/accidental changes by someone else - and again, they could always use a Master Password to make it even more difficult.

Obviously, I am fully aware that this protection is NOT sufficient to deter a determined hacker. I'm simply concerned about users being able to casually edit/change the settings.

Quote
Quote from: Josh Geenen
I've been working on minimizing the use of 'dummy' e-mail addresses and hopefully allowing multiple address books/group will make them much less annoying (number 1 bug report/question/complaint).

Yeah, those are irritating - and a little awkward to explain to people... ;)

Quote
I believe I found the last of the easy methods to break a mailing list from the UI by removing an e-mail address to a contact already in a list.  The only problem is that the fix may slow down the closing of the Edit Contact dialog (the New Contact isn't affected since new contacts can't be in lists) since it essentially has to get the mailing lists in that directory and check if the contact is in one of them.  This check is only done when the contact is being edited and does not have an e-mail address.
If it has to add a dummy e-mail address it displays an alert dialog with a brief explanation of why the e-mail address is there.

Excellent! As long as the short delay while saving also had a visible progress indicator so the user would know it wasn't locked up, I can't see this being a problem - and the alert dialog is a great idea and eliminates those annoying questions - well, maybe not eliminates them, but at least it creates a teachable moment for those who don't read dialogs, allowing me to point to it and say 'Well, dummy, did you *read* this before clicking 'OK'? What if it had said 'All of your Contacts will now be deleted forever!'? ... (just kidding - I'm very professional when teaching people).

Thanks again Josh :)
EDIT: 12/22/09 - fixed broken quote
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 07:04:23 AM by tanstaafl »

tanstaafl

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2009, 08:46:50 AM »
Almost forgot...

Quote
Hmmm... ok, so, do you think you'll be able to come up with a way to fix this so that these changes *would* get synced? Having every person do this manually is not really feasible.

Worst case, could I get one fixed, then go around to each secondary workstation and delete the account and force a full re-sync?

But there's got to be a way to resolve this so it will just work... :(

It probably is possible, but it looks like it will be fairly easy to add a phone number preference that doesn't add phone number types and syncs with the original fields.  If it is easy enough and 0.3 isn't ready to be released soon I could probably add it to 0.2.  It wouldn't show up in the Preferences dialog, however, since that would require all translations to be updated.

Ok, so, what would happen to those that are already out of order? Would these get fixed automatically?

Also, what about doing this in a setting where a lot of people are syncing to the same gmail account/addresss book, and someone with a 0.2.x version syncs before they get updated and *after* someone with the new 0.3 version has synced and fixed things?

Hmmmm... well, maybe this wouldn't be a problem for me, since once 0.3 is released and tested I'll be changing everyone to a different gmail account (one that has multiple Groups designed to sync with different TB ABs - but it still might be an issue for someone else, so something to think about...

Josh Geenen

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2009, 09:24:01 PM »
Quote
Ok, so, what would happen to those that are already out of order? Would these get fixed automatically?
No, unfortunately the changes only happen when a contact is updated remotely.

Quote
Also, what about doing this in a setting where a lot of people are syncing to the same gmail account/addresss book, and someone with a 0.2.x version syncs before they get updated and *after* someone with the new 0.3 version has synced and fixed things?

The order will probably remain the same in Google unless someone updates the contacts there.  Both 0.2 and 0.3 will have the phone number preference.  I sync the same accounts with 0.2 and 0.3 without any problems, but I don't really use any of them for phone numbers (yet).

FYI - 0.2.11 is out with my first changes for the phone number preference.  It wasn't really tested, so I didn't mention it in the release notes.  See this message for more details.
gContactSync: info FAQs

qwavel

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2009, 12:45:20 AM »
I just tried version the latest version of 0.3 with TBird 3 on Vista.

There seems to be a problem choosing the Google Contact Group to use with a TBird address book.  In particular, I have Google Contacts Groups with names like Friends and Family.  Somehow the list of group names seems to be pre-populated with group names like this.  Then, when I choose the 'find all groups' button in gContactSync, I end up with those group names listed twice.  Then it deletes all the contacts in the associated Thunderbird address book.

Josh Geenen

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2010, 11:38:46 AM »
Quote
In particular, I have Google Contacts Groups with names like Friends and Family.  Somehow the list of group names seems to be pre-populated with group names like this.
The following groups, called "System Groups", are in all Google Accounts and Google Apps Accounts: My Contacts, Family, Friends, and Coworkers.  Since they are in every account they are pre-populated in the Accounts dialog.

Quote
Then, when I choose the 'find all groups' button in gContactSync, I end up with those group names listed twice.

Do you have a regular Google/Gmail account or is it a Google Apps account?  That obviously should not happen.

Quote
Then it deletes all the contacts in the associated Thunderbird address book.

When you save changes to an account those changes sometimes require that all contacts and lists be removed from that address book.  I call that a 'reset'.  One case where there must be a reset is if you switch the group the AB is synchronized with from My Contacts to Coworkers.  If the AB wasn't reset all of those contacts in My Contacts would be added to the Coworkers group.  If the AB is reset first then the AB will get all of the contacts in the Coworkers group next time the AB is synchronized.  Another example is when you change accounts that an address book is synchronized with.  Unfortunately there is not a way for gContactSync to synchronize and AB with more than one account.

Download at least 0.3a1pre2 which resets the address book less often and shows you a confirmation dialog allowing you to cancel the reset, which I do not recommend.  I am trying to make this more obvious in 0.3a1 which will also only ask you to restart Thunderbird if necessary.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions on how I can make this more obvious in gContactSync.

Josh
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qwavel

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2010, 12:40:56 PM »
Quote
Then, when I choose the 'find all groups' button in gContactSync, I end up with those group names listed twice.

Do you have a regular Google/Gmail account or is it a Google Apps account?  That obviously should not happen.

Quote
Then it deletes all the contacts in the associated Thunderbird address book.

Download at least 0.3a1pre2 which resets the address book less often and shows you a confirmation dialog allowing you to cancel the reset, which I do not recommend.  I am trying to make this more obvious in 0.3a1 which will also only ask you to restart Thunderbird if necessary.

I am using Google Apps, not regular Gmail.

The change that you describe - to show a confirmation dialog before a reset - sounds like a very good idea.  Having my contacts deleted wasn't too bad for me because I had done a backup (since I was using alpha software), but it would be very bad for most people if this happened by mistake.

I am using a1pre2.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2010, 12:46:20 PM by qwavel »

RusticBob

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2010, 12:27:01 PM »
Just recently downloaded .3 So far I am impressed with this add-on! the initial Sync took a long time on 122 contacts in my G-Mail. I also sync that with an I-touch.
- Noticed the Address bug listed above
- Still working on the Google Group to TB-AB sync, set several some worked other did not

I will frequent this forum and help your process as much as I can. I think you have a great program on the way here.

Bob

Josh Geenen

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2010, 08:56:13 PM »
Just a reminder that 0.3a3 is out release notes/download.

Quote
- Still working on the Google Group to TB-AB sync, set several some worked other did not

Could you try again with a3?  It had one important bug fix and adds a short delay between synchronizing each address book.  Both should make group synchronization work much better, especially if you synchronize the same group or contact(s) with two or more ABs.

0.3 disables address synchronization by default due to its lack of complete functionality.  I'm still not sure what I'll do in the long term with respect to postal addresses.  I could maybe add back the old formatted (multi-lined) field and use/display that if the structured data isn't present.  However, that could get confusing and still results in the potential loss of structured data.
gContactSync: info FAQs

bblackmoor

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Re: Getting Started [read this first]
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2010, 06:57:08 AM »

0.3 disables address synchronization by default due to its lack of complete functionality.  I'm still not sure what I'll do in the long term with respect to postal addresses.  I could maybe add back the old formatted (multi-lined) field and use/display that if the structured data isn't present.  However, that could get confusing and still results in the potential loss of structured data.

This is why I am still using 0.2.

I do not mind have the postal address data duplicated in the structured and unstructured boxes. I do mind losing or not syncing that data.