Monthly Archives: October 2012

Contact Service Connector Interface Proposal Draft

Thunderbird’s new address book will not exist in a vacuum. From the get-go, I’d like to bake-in the notion that contacts can exist outside of Thunderbird, and can be sync’d with.

There are lots of different contact providers I’d like to support. Mainly, CardDAV (which got a big boost since Google’s announcement), LDAP, the System Address Book, and Facebook.

I’ve been working on an interface (the application-programming kind – not the user kind) for contact provider connectors. It’s not been easy trying to generalize across each of the different features and requirements of these contact providers, but I think I got somewhere.

Anyhow, here’s a draft of my interface proposal. Are there any glaring holes?

Another update to the Ensemble UI Mockup

First of all, thanks for the great feedback on my mock-up from last week.

I’ve updated my mock-up again. Here are the highlights:

  • The contact tag selector has been decoupled from the search input, and is now on its own
  • Added widgets for sorting the contact list (currently only decorative)
  • Search queries can be cleared by clicking “X” on the search input
  • Support for semi-hierarchical tags
  • The contact list has been made wider
  • Moved the add / remove contact buttons

I’ve also updated the feedback form. Please give me feedback on this design. Once again, just to reiterate, at this point I’m primarily interested in how the mock-up lists contacts, and allows you to display that list. The view for individual contact details is of less interest to me right now.

Anyhow, check out the new mock-up here.

Usual disclaimer: The code is ugly as hell, and I haven’t tested outside of Firefox.

Note: Each tag should have some contacts. If you’re seeing empty tags (No search results for “”), try the following:

  1. Go here, and click refresh
  2. Then go here, and click refresh
  3. Then go here, hold down shift, and click refresh.

Don’t ask me why this happens, or why the above works. I think is doing some caching, and sometimes doesn’t realize that I update my stuff. Or maybe I’m doing my rsync all wrong. I have no idea.


Answering some questions about Ensemble

I keep getting great feedback from the Mozilla community, and I also get some pretty great questions.

I took the questions from this post, and formed them into an FAQ for the Ensemble project site. Answers included!

As more questions roll in, I’m going to try to keep that FAQ updated.

Update to my address book mock-up

Update: I also added “instant” style searching a few minutes ago. I thought it was cool enough that I’d update my mock-up right away.

Thanks so much for the great feedback this past week for my initial mock-up!

Today, I’ve decided to zoom in a little bit, and try to make some adjustments to the contact list, the category selector, and the search input.

The contact search, category selector, and list have been updated.


Here’s a list of the things I’ve changed, in no particular order:

  • “Instant” style searching.
  • Names in the contact list are not bold unless selected
  • The contact list is wider
  • Names in the contact list are sorted alphabetically – regardless of accents. Accents are ignored.
  • I’m using pinyin.js to help me sort the Japanese names. Hopefully the order they’re in makes some sense.
  • The category selector toggle now exists outside (but adjacent to) the search input. It’s the grey button with the “tag” icon.
  • Choosing a category puts the search query for that category into the search input, and then focuses the search input.
  • Searching within a category is now possible, with searches like: “tag:clients guertin”
  • The “Add X” items from the contact details view have been removed. I’ve got something less noisy in mind now – I’ll focus on that soon.

I got a lot of feedback about sorting during my last iteration. It sounds like sorting contacts is something people want to be able to do.

I’m curious if that’s true, and why sorting is so important. So I’ve updated my feedback form to hopefully give me some insight.

Note: If you used the old mock-up, you might need to flush your cache to view the changes. Press and hold SHIFT while reloading to flush your cache.

Another note: The same disclaimer about code quality and browser compatibility still applies.

Enough already, here’s the link to the updated mock-up.

And here’s a direct link to the feedback form.