Contacts merger 0.1.3 in Maemo extras-testing


Since my previous post about the contacts merger, I fixed a crash, made it handle better broken vcards, improved the partial matching and made the installer quit the address book when the plugin is installed, so no reboot is needed.
The new 0.1.3 merger is now available in Maemo extras-testing, just look for “Merge your duplicate contacts” in the application manager.

What’s next

Suppose I could have some spare time to write some small applications relating to the N900 address book; what would you want me to work on? The application should be small and not require changes to the closed source components. Suggestions are welcome in the comments, but I cannot assure you anything :)

Update: I meant extras-testing of course, not extras

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One thing I noticed is that contact merger (at least the initial version) proposes to merge people with totally different names who happen to share a fixed phone (either in the same office, or because they are a couple in their own appartment).

So maybe if both have a first and last name set, and they are both different, and the phone number is identical, contact merger should ignore them. Not sure how many false positives this would generate, though.

I’d love to see contacts sync support integrated into Erminig. (ie, have Erminig sync contacts from google in the same way that it syncs google calendars).

Somewhere, somehow, there’s got to be a better way to sync contacts with Google. I don’t know if it’s SyncEvolution, or Erminig-NG, or Hermes, or one of Google’s protocols, like here …. http://code.google.com/apis/contacts/docs/3.0/developers_guide.html

[...] quebrou com o PR 1.2; aqui está como consertar. O Contacts-Merger, para achar contatos duplicados, ganha um update. Um passeio pelo Irreco – transformando seu N900 em controle remoto da sua TV. E como usar [...]

Great app. thank you!

I do not know what parts are closed but next thing could have someting to do with grouping if possible.Frontend to do groups and to list them.

syncing google contacts would also be nice thing.

Well, contrary to the other comments, I would really welcome a sync with thunderbird’s addressbook. But I have a better idea.

I would really like an app that would try to find my contact’s email address. Lets say I have a contact named “Joey Capone”, and the app finds in my email folders that I received an email from “Joey Capone” then it will know that the email address belongs to that contact.

Alternatively, this could be an extension to the duplicate contact finder.

Great work on the contacts merger. A small app I was going to do was to convert all numbers in address book to have international prefixes.

You want simple idea? I have one.

Import data from IM systems. Many of my friends have Jabber VCard filled with data and it would be nice if N900 would use those to populate contact infos.

Awesome app!
Another idea for a simple application would be duplicate data remover, I’ve had contacts that have the same phone number / e-mail, etc several times under the same contact, and removing the extra entries is quite a task.

Could you add multilanguage support?
For example the German translation for “Find duplicate contacts” is “Finde doppelte Kontakte” and “Merge” is “Zusammenführen”.

> Could you add multilanguage support?
> For example the German translation for
> “Find duplicate contacts” is “Finde doppelte Kontakte”
> and “Merge” is “Zusammenführen”.

For the german translation of “Find duplicate contacts” i would say “Duplikate finden” would be shorter and sounds nicer than “Finde doppelte Kontakte”

Just tried it, it works really well, thanks a lot !

However, would it be possible for it to migrate somehow the contacts from the old facebook jabber account to the nokia-provided one ?

Hi barisione!
Well, when you _could_ have some spare time how about implementing a fulltext search, that not only finds names but also e-mail-adresses, notes, numbers…

Examples:
- Someone called on my landline and my phone shows me the caller’s number when I get home. I then want to be able to search for that number in my N900.
- I met someone an a special occasion and write his/her number down and put some extra info in the note. Some weeks later I can’t remember her/his name but I remember the occasion. So I’d like to be able to search the notes aswell.
- …

A fulltext search plugin for contacts would be really nice. Maybe you could also implement to search only specific fields as “note” or “skype” or anything (but “all” should be the default).

How about that?

Thanks in advance! I’d really love to see that happen.

Hi barisione!

Well, when you _could_ have some spare time how about implementing a fulltext search, that not only finds names but also e-mail-adresses, notes, numbers…

Examples:
- Someone called on my landline and my phone shows me the caller’s number when I get home. I then want to be able to search for that number in my N900.
- I met someone an a special occasion and write his/her number down and put some extra info in the note. Some weeks later I can’t remember her/his name but I remember the occasion. So I’d like to be able to search the notes aswell.
- …

A fulltext search plugin for contacts would be really nice. Maybe you could also implement to search only specific fields as “note” or “skype” or anything (but “all” should be the default).

How about that?

Thanks in advance! I’d really love to see that happe.

If you ask this kinda open proposal for apps i guess wishlist will go on & on…:-)
there are few thing whihc i want in contact manager..
– the contact manager does not have potrait mode support where as when you select contact list from phone funtion it does.. is it possible to fix this?
– the portrait mode has nice abc, def, ghi… kinda quick navigation function which is again not available in landscape oriented address book. (Why all goodies always have smoe sort of restriction…)

– you can also develop something similar to HyperUI demo. whihc gives nice alphabetic quick navigation with awesome interface.. i simply loved it…

Show contacts by groups. to this day I haven’t realized why didn’t nokia add the group funtion into N900.

It’s built into Vcard, so what’s the problem

I appreciate your work on Maemo, keep working!

I love the app…however there is a bug I noticed. I am in the US and have contacts that have different names and the last seven numbers of their phone number are the same (the actual number) but the first 3 are different (area code). For example, there are a few people with a number like 555-1212 but their area codes are different (213, 505, 760, etc). So a person with a number of 760-555-1212 is shown as a possible match for someone with a number of 408-555-1212 even though their names and numbers are different.

Thanx for the great application. If spares a lot of time for many of us corting and editing the contacts.

If you plan a new address book app I would really appreciate a possibility to group contacts for giving them a special behaviour in a profile (e.g. group family countacts). This is a standard phone feature wich is really missing on the N900.

I think that being able to upload your contacts to some service would be top priority and of great help to a lot of people.

In other words, being able to sync your contacts would be great and perhaps it would be nice to be able to do so from the Address book directly.

There’s still demand for this, because Erminig doesn’t work for everyone, and to be honest the UI isn’t too intuitive. There’s just no way of understanding what you’re supposed to do. Integrate this into the Addressbook, however and you’ve got yourself a winner.

My vote would be on Google’s services, as they’re maybe the easiest to sync?

How about syncing the contacts with some central database ? E.g. a webdav server as used by Evolution would be perfect.

[...] Informationen dazu können im Entwicklerblog gefunden werden. Der Download befindet sich im Katalog [...]

@Michael Banck:
That’s by design, to match the contact that is called just “Dad” and the contact that has his full name.
Of course this can lead to false positives, but this is why you have to manually choose which contacts to merge.

@Erik, Jack Tanner, Slender, Chris, Xav:
Sync is not easy at all, I’m not sure I will have time to do anything about it.

@Slender:
Showing IM groups would be possible with plugins/extra apps, but I’m not sure if it would be useful enough to write it as it could be more complex than expected if you want it properly integrated in the address book.

@Juho Salokangas:
Do you mean IM groups? Or what?

@Daniel Brodie, Joe:
Yes, full-text search is something I want too and I already planned to write at some point.

@Zaheer Merali:
How would it know which prefix is the right one?

@Hrw:
We already do it for Skype, but not for Jabber as the version of the Jabber component on the N900 is too old. This is due to the Jabber specification on how to have those extra info being really bad compared to how the similar feature in Skype works.

@Sami:
If I remember correctly duplicate information should not be displayed in PR1.2, or am I wrong?

@Frederik Niedernolte:
Yes, but I have no idea how the translation process works for Maemo apps. I will try to discover it.

@Xav:
I thought about that, but it’s somewhat tricky due to various corner cases.

@Iav:
Portrait mode in the merger is not that useful (it’s an application that you will probably use just once after all) and would not give me enough horizontal space for 2 full names.
Full portrait mode in the address book is possible, but not without touching the closed source components and it’s not as easy as you could expect: too many corner cases and small details like truncated strings.

@Lloyd:
It’s not a bug, but it’s how number matching works. I should blog about this probably.

@Kyros:
What do you mean with special behaviour? If you mean different ringtones than it’s not easy at all to implement for several reasons :(

@ barisione

I mean the group function Symbian phones have.
1) Sort by Company
2) Sort by job title (eg. job title: something versus empty job title)
3) Make new group (eg. My maemo community)
4) Send sms to the group you selected

Supposing you had some spare time: Would it be possible to write an application that assigns a certain ringtone to a certain person in the address book? There is an application that reads the caller’s name aloud, so it should be possible to assign a ringtone instead of the name but I don’t have the slightest idea of programming…

My contact list is a mess, I’m pretty sure some of my contacts are from an old facebook through Jabber account that is not present any more.

However, it’s almost impossible to see those fine details.

The solution would be to manually edit the vcards of the contacts… is that possible?

@ barisione:
The special behavior can made by assigning an existing profile to the contact group. Profiles can be made using other applications.

Having a way to filter for the absence of a field would be great. Imaging I want to add missing details to may contacts (birthday, address, ..). It’s hard to see what details a contact has without opening them one by one.

It would be interesting if you could write a small “number formating” application.

The contact manager doesn’t allow one to use dash -, parenthesis () and spaces while editing number fields. However, if contacts are imported, all spaces and dashes are preserved (I’m not sure about parenthesis).

So it would be very cool if you could run a formating application that could follow some rules for inserting spaces, dashes (and maybe parenthesis) to all chosen fields…

Example:
Before:
Phone: 8181234567
Sip: 558181234567
After application run:
Phone: 81 8123-4567
Sip: 55 81 8123-4567

What do you think?

@barisione: Hrm, I see your point. However, if there are two full names which differ in both first and last name, it might be safe to assume those are two different persons.

Also, it might be nice to have a way to reject merge suggestions in order to say “no, those are not the same, please don’t mention it the next time”, though maybe somebody suggested this already.

Michael

@Juho Salokangas:
That’s actually an interesting feature. I didn’t know about it.

@Achim:
I didn’t know of this app, what’s the name?
Having separate ringtones is possible in theory, but it can be tricky and have unwanted consequences: the N900 does some tricks to be sure that the ringtone is played quickly even if the phone is overloaded and swapping, replacing the default system could make you miss some calls.

@Felipe:
It’s possible through the API, but it’s probably not trivial (i.e. not a 1 hour hack).
It’s possible to modify directly the DB, but the risks of breaking everything are high :)

@Stefan Kost:
How useful would this be for normal people? And how would it be just a way for people like me to compulsively try to fill all the details? :)

@Luis:
Do you mean a utility that does that automatically for all the numbers? Or do it manually? Note that only North America has a standardised way to write phone numbers.
Also, how often do you look at phone numbers after inserting them? (just curiosity)

@Michael Banck:
Most people fill first names, last names and nicknames at random. Even worse if the contacts are imported from somewhere else.
Anything that assumes rationality in those fields is flawed ;)
I thought about rejecting merger suggestions, but IMO you don’t run the merger every day. Ideally you run it only once or maybe once after configuring a new IM account, so I’m not sure this feature is so important to implement.

@barisione

I actually would like to be able to edit them on the contacts application, but since it is not possible…

What I thought about was an external application that could change the formating off all fields, possibly run by some criteria (all records/list of records, fields to change and formating rules – example: XX space XX space XXXX-XXXX, right to left. Maybe a regex could do it). you could run this application once to place all fields in a good-looking format. Then, you could run it just after adding a new contact manually.

As for how often I look at them I would say very often. Whenever I’m near a land phone I just look up the number on the N900 and dial it manually on the land phone (it is way cheaper and avoids hitting my brain with some microwaves :-). There is also the mess that are (manily because of my country’s operators) handling the same number for SMS versus normal dialing versus SIP dialing. It gets worse still for roaming. Hence, there is a lot of manually reading and re-entering the numbers depending on the situation.

Good application but I am about to quit my N900 if nobody is working on the problem of using Contact Groups for SMS and MMS. These features have been standard in S60 3rd edditions for years – I cant live without and still use my N95 for the very same reason. Please help to fix this – I will be th first to pay a cash contribution – freely!

@barisione

Thank you, for great app.
What can you say about this bug:
https://bugs.maemo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=10436

It will be nice if you can solve this problem. Hope for you and good luck.

The app that can read the caller’s name is eSpeakerCaller (I haven’t tried it myself). Thanks for your reply – it’s interesting to see which effects small things like ringtones could have.

Hey Mario!

Thanks a lot for your effort – this application does exactly what I was dreaming of. Apart from merging back unmerged twitter contacts it actually found couple of contacts I didn’t think of merging.

Since you mentioned you’re going to write fulltext search feature – just want to suggest that it would be even greater if you would be able to alter default search behaviour with your plugin. It would be great if search results included nickname matches by default.

P.S. Sorry, misspelled your name. I meant Marco of course!

@little_beat:
A lot of people mispell it, don’t worry :)
Changing the default behaviour could be tricky, the live search is quite integrated in the application.
Atm I’m working on something else that is quite big, so I’m not sure if and when I will be able to work on the search.

@barisione
Yeah, I noticed that.

That was just a suggestion, I know that contacts is closed-source so there’s not much you can do with this if API won’t allow. Anyway, even a separate fulltext search feature would be very handy.

And for sure I’m not going to interrupt in your hard work.
Cheers!

Excellent App! It was a life saver for me! :D Thanks a bunch dude!