MailNews:Address Book RoadMap

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The purpose of this page is to provide a guide to where various aspects of Thunderbird/SeaMonkey may proceed to improve the address book and the various advantages of each step.

This is not an agreed roadmap, nor is it a statement of what Thunderbird/SeaMonkey will definitely do.

Short-term Planning


Note: Priority is current priority, not overall priority for TB 3.

Ref Item Priority Bug Who Target Milestone
1 Examine making Local autocomplete use directory search, rather than get all cards and manually work it out. P3 bug 450134 jcranmer? 3.0RC1
2 Create an empty nsIAbCollection, inheriting from nsIAbItem and inherit nsIAbDirectory from it. MailNews:Address_Book_Interface_Redesign#nsIAbCollection nsIAbCollection design P3 bug 450917 jcranmer 3.0b1
3 Create a new mailing list implementation class derived from nsIAbCollection. - - - -
3a Part 1: separate out mailing list specific functions into js class from nsIAbCard/nsAbCardProperty. P4  ? jcranmer? 3.0b1?
3b Part 2: separate out mailing list specific functions from nsAbDirProperty into the new class created in step 1. P4  ?  ? 3.0b1?
4 Move cardFromProperty from nsIAddrDatabase to nsIAbCollection. P2 bug 450149 jcranmer 3.0b1
4a Fix Address Collection to use it (i.e. check all local directories for existing cards/addresses) P2 bug 58769 Standard8 3.0b1
4b Do the same for the junk whitelist. P3  ?  ? 3.0b1
5 Try to disentangle nsAbCardProperty from Palm Sync, so that the extension just uses the idl interfaces. P4  ?  ?  ?
9 Implement js tree for address book list pane instead of rdf one P3 bug 422845 jminta? 3.0b1
10 MailNews:Address_Book_New_Card_Inline [[1]] P1 bug 450724 Standard8 3.0b1
11 Revised Mailing List UI P3  ?  ? 3.0b2
12 Tag implementation (needs design) P2  ?  ? 3.0b2
- New/Edit Card Dialog - - - -
13 Name restructure P3  ?  ? 3.0b2
14 Address restructure P3  ?  ? 3.0b2
15 Multi-valued fields (needs design) P3 bug 118665  ? 3.0b2
16 Birthday Fields P1 bug 13595 pi 3.0b1
- Other - - - -
17 Complete Writeable LDAP P4  ?  ?  ?
18 Async interfaces for remote directories P2  ?  ? 3.0b2
- Other items as listed below - - -
19 Address book rename-a-thon P2  ? jcranmer 3.0b1


Ref Item Bug Milestone
8 Implement xbl driven Address Book menus instead of rdf ones bug 449260 3.0b1
6 Move cardForEmailAddress from nsIAbMDBDirectory to nsIAbDirectory bug 449618 3.0b1
7 Fix Search/Filters for OS X Address Book (dependent on SP6) bug 437908 3.0b1

Back-end Interface Re-organisation

Design: MailNews:Address Book Interface Redesign

Main bug is bug 413260. An up-to-date tree, containing patches awaiting review or check-in, can be found at [2].

Current Steps (based partially on jcranmer's patch queue):

  1. Make the nsIAbCard interface more flexible for new properties and different types
  2. Move cardForEmail from Mork specific code to generic code bug 449618.
  3. Start refactoring nsIAbDirectory into nsIAbCollection (Partial Ref SP2).
  4. Implement the propertiesChrome function for opening AB property dialogs
  5. Separate mailing lists from directories and cards into their own object (Ref SP3).
  6. Move nsIAddrDatabase-specific functions to nsIAbCollection or nsIAbDirectory
  7. Decide on interfaces for address book interactions and compatibility with async/sync address books.
  8. Implement new interfaces from previous item.


  • New interfaces will make it much easier to interact with the address book.
  • Interfaces are designed to make interfaces generic across different address book types. They should hide the fact that you're talking to a LDAP book, or an OS X directory.
  • Prepares for moving to SQLite.

Current Status:

  • Patches in progress.
  • Directory-related refactorings are still not fully defined.
  • Standard8 needs to find time to discuss async/sync interfaces with dmose in more detail.

Writable LDAP

Very much wanted by lots of people.

bug 86405 is the main tracking bug.

Current Steps:

  1. Once AB Interface redesign has completed the async/sync interfaces, implement appropriate hooks for LDAP (if not already there).
  2. Implement any required UI tweaks/improvements.


  • Provides a good solution for users (mainly corporate/small networks?) to share address books.

Current State:

  • Writable LDAP source code is in cvs, enabled by compilation switch.
  • UI is no where near usable by end-users or advanced users (i.e. don't even think about it to be enabled by default).

Remove RDF from the Address Book

Being able to do this partially depends on the interface back-end redesign, but will also help that.

Current Steps:

  1. bug 422845 Replace RDF-driven address book tree with js one (waiting on jminta, busy until June).
  2. bug 449260 Replace RDF-driven menus with xbl based one.
  3. bug 408613 Re-use the new tree for other address book menus (including address book and LDAP preferences).
  4. Replace any other RDF instances (none?) or uses.
  5. Remove RDF from the address book, at the same time, replace the current preferences system with a new one (based more on flexibility of address book types). New system to be based in nsAbManager.


  • Removes "obsolete" RDF interfaces from address book
  • Tidies up a lot of code and removes some old items
  • Different address book types could be fully implemented in extensions in javascript bug 424218 (TB 3 blocker).

Switch Mork to SQLite

See bug 382876

Current Steps:

  1. Modify code to use generic directory accesses where not already doing so (part of the interface reorg and bug 413260 as well, see above)
  2. Create an SQL backend for addressbook
  3. Write a conversion to translate mork to SQL using a new morkreader bug 424446
  4. Remove the old mork code


  • SQLite is much more widely supported by other tools than mork
  • SQLite allows us to use mozStorage, which could increase our future flexibility
  • Any proposed schema will be simpler than the current mork addressbook schema

Current status:

  • The new morkreader is pending review.
  • Initial work blocking on nsIAbCollection creation; full work blocking on mailing list sanity.
  • The schema is not yet finalized, and probably will not be finalized until after the interface reorg.

Implement providers for different address book card translations


  1. Once step 1 of redesign (nsIAbCard) is complete, implement code to change providers.


  • This would allow different card translations e.g. nsIAbCard to vCard/hCard etc.
  • Extensions could add to the formats available.

Current Status:

  • Blocked by nsIAbCard refactoring.
  • Standard8 knows what he wants to do to put this together.

UI updates