Pi’s Blog

My blog about Thunderbird and GSoC 2008

gContactSync version 0.1.1 released

Version 0.1.1 of gContactSync is out and available for download here.  Right-click and hit Save Link As, then install it in Thunderbird.

New Features:

  • Greatly improved Preferences dialog (thanks to some help from Leszek(teo)Życzkowski)
  • Bug 19960 – Add a preference to enable/disable the toolbar button
  • An icon (again, thanks to some help from Leszek(teo)Życzkowski)
  • Verbose logging is disabled by default (should speed things up slightly)

Bug Fixes:

  • Bug 19964 – Log file window is too small in Thunderbird 3.0b1pre
  • Bug 20099 – gdata.makeAuthBody does not encode the e-mail address or password
  • Bug 19959 – the sync toolbar item got a wrong icon and can’t be removed from toolbar – UPDATE – this may not have been fixed according to the bug reporter.  Please let me know if this still happens.

Basic Features

  • Synchronizes contacts between Google Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird (2 or 3)
  • Can synchronize several accounts with their own address books
  • Adds attributes and “types” for phone numbers and screennames to Thunderbird
  • Customizable with a preferences dialog
  • en-US and es-ES locales

More Information

As always, feedback, feature requests, and bug reports are appreciated, but please be patient as I’ve been extremely busy with college, work, and co-op/internship hunting.  Thanks to everybody who has provided feedback up to this point.

TraceMonkey Note – if you are using Thunderbird 3.0b1pre, you can try enabling TraceMonkey.  It made the synchronization process faster for me.  Great job everbody who worked on it!


October 18, 2008 - Posted by | GSOC | , , , , ,


  1. I have a couple suggestions and questions.
    Do you plan to make this available on addons.mozilla.org?
    I work for a large non-profit organization. We are currently piloting Google Apps and may move over to it full-time. I’m the main person for the pilot (and possible migration).
    Right now most of our users are using Outlook, Entourage or Apple Mail.
    Because of Thunderbird 3 + Lightning + gContactSync’s potential seamless integration with all of Google’s PIM services I would love to recommend it to our users. There is currently no PIM that I know of that offers to sync with all of Google’s services (Calendar, gmail and contacts).
    This is why I feel it’s important that gContactSync appear on AMO. Honestly, I would like the gContactSync functionality integrated into TB, but I know that’s asking a bit much.

    Another topic is the name. I think gContactSync is not very smooth or memorable. Also, I feel it looks long and ugly in the Edit Card Tabs. How about renaming it to gContacts? I know that there is another project with this name out there, but there are *multiple* projects with this name. In fact, there’s another project with the name gContactSync out there.
    I think a simpler easier name such as gContacts would change user perception, thereby positively influencing usability and adoption.

    Thanks for all your hard work!

    Comment by Mark S | October 18, 2008 | Reply

  2. Nice to see improvements!
    I seem to have some problems with the extension. First of all my account is not listed when i go into the settings, accounts. But when I try to add my account again, it gives me a message that my account is already listed. (i’ve tried to hit refresh button, restarting etc.)
    Maybe this is related to upgrade issues, so I wondered, how do I delete all the preferences related to gcontactsync in the thunderbird profile, and start all over?

    Comment by carl | October 19, 2008 | Reply

  3. I have the same “my account doesn’t appear in the list but I can’t re-add it” problem as Carl.

    I’m also having the issue of the sync toolbar button having the wrong icon. Here’s what it looks like: http://lh5.ggpht.com/bhaelochon/SQSRlIkA9_I/AAAAAAAAAyo/zzNxCO7d7JQ/s288/TB%20Toolbar.jpg

    My toolbar options are:

    * Show: Icons
    * Use Small Icons: Yes (checked)

    Comment by Bill | October 26, 2008 | Reply

  4. I forgot to mention I’m using TB (20080914) on XP SP2. I’m also having an issue where the gContactSync options don’t appear on a “new” contact card, but they do when I edit an existing card.

    Comment by Bill | October 26, 2008 | Reply

  5. @Mark S:
    Once I get a few bugs straightened out and a faster sync time I would like to get it on addons.mozilla.org (AMO).
    I agree that the name is less than ideal, I’m not very creative 😉 If I do put it on AMO I’ll probably change the name.
    Thanks for the comments!

    Open the Preferences for Thunderbird (Tools -> Options on Windows), go to to the “Privacy” tab, then the “Passwords” tab and click on “Edit Saved Passwords.” You should see a saved password with the URL: “chrome://gContactSync” or a HTTP address containing “clientlogin” and your username. Select it and click delete.

    See the instructions above for the login problem.

    The incorrect icon is a known issue (see Bug 19959 [1]). It should work in the next version, which I will release later tonight and publish tomorrow. If you want to try the pre-release of 0.1.2 [3], could you let me know if the icon works?

    The extra options added by this extension aren’t visible in the new card dialog in Thunderbird 2 because of some limitations of Thunderbird 2. They are visible in Thunderbird 3. See Bug 19753 [2]. If enough people would like it, I should be able to add them if I change the new card dialog to make a new card then edit it, but I’m not sure if it is worth the time when TB 3 is coming soon.

    Thanks for all the comments!

    [1] https://www.mozdev.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=19959
    [2] https://www.mozdev.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=19753
    [3] https://www.mozdev.org/projects/overview/gcontactsync/

    Comment by pi | October 26, 2008 | Reply

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