Pi’s Blog

My blog about Thunderbird and GSoC 2008

New and Improved Postal Address Synchronization

When my extension was written about, the reviewers and commenters all mentioned the onerous task of editing every single contact in Google to reformat the addresses.  I have just finished some tweaking that will allow you to synchronize postal addresses exactly the way you want them formatted.

It will be included in a new release tomorrow.

Changes in Thunderbird

For now, I kept the original 6 fields for each type of address in Thunderbird: Address Line 1, Address Line 2, City, State, Zip Code, and Country.  But, I added a tab to the edit card dialog (what you seen when you edit a card) that contains three textboxes that allow multiple lines.  In the card view on the bottom, the normal address is still shown as normal, if present, but, if the new address is not empty or blank, it replaces the normal address and has its own Map It button.  The new address is automatically made from the old address when the card is converted to an XML representation.

If you use this extension, you will probably want to use the new address fields in the last tab of the edit card dialog.  You unfortunately cannot set any new properties when creating a new card without creating it and then editing it, but the addresses will be converted to the new format automatically.  The original 6 fields will then be cleared since, otherwise, you would be unable to remove an address from a contact.

Click here for a large screenshot (you can’t tell from the screenshot, but there are scrollbars on the right side of the address fields)

Changes in Gmail

You do not have to reformat addresses any more and you can put whatever you wish (as long as it is valid) in the addresses.

The new Postal Address Sync Process

The process of synchronizing postal addresses has changed, obviously.  When converting from a card to XML, the extension first looks for the new address.  If it cannot find that, it looks for the older address and creates a new address from it and sets the address attribute to that.  Then, it synchronizes the new address directly with Google’s address.

When converting from XML to a card, the extension ignores the 6 address fields and sets the value of the new address attribute to the value from Google.

Feedback

I tried not to do any too drastic before getting some feedback, so this feature is only partially complete.  Should these new textboxes then remove or disable the old textboxes?  Should the extension convert all addresses to the new format when it runs for the first time?

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August 7, 2008 - Posted by | GSOC | , , ,

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