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Lost functionality of Kaddressbook

User avatar hcvv
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Lost functionality of Kaddressbook

Mon May 30, 2011 12:33 pm
We use Kaddressbook since quite a few years and are ATM using 4.3.5 (0.1.4). I am moving to openSUSE 11.4 and thus testing 4.6.0 (4.4.10). I am missing two features we use:

1) To organise our addresses into logical groups we use the Category feature. That means that when we e.g. want to find an address we can choose a category (Family, Neighbourhood, ...) from the button right upper and then scroll through that subset.

This Category is nowhere to be found by me on the new Kaddressbook window. What is worse, I edited an address and afterwards the Category line in the Vcard data was removed! (Thus my wife started complaining that she could not find the address).

In fact my intended question was: will this feature return and when? But the removal of the line in the Vcard signals to me that it somehow is seen as a not so important feature of the past. When that is true, can anyone tell me how to organize then your addresses into logical chunks (and preferable in a way that is not to be removed without further notice in the near future)?

2) The panel in the window where you have the list of addresses was extensively configurable in old Kaddressbook. You could e.g. choose to display the columns "First name", "Given names" and "Family name" and then sort them on "Family name". New Kaddressbook lets you only choose "Full name" which then is sorted on the First names. Not very usefull.
Is this feature likely to return in the future (well, such a near future that we can wait for it)?


Henk van Velden
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Categories are replaced by "Address Book Folders". You will probably have to do some editing to get this working to your satisfaction. Ideally you could pull up a group on a computer still running the old version and work from that.

Basically, if you add an Address Book Folder as a subdirectory of the main addressbook, you can pull the relevant addresses into that folder. They are all stored in the main addressbook, but are tagged similar to the Category tagging (I imagine the way it works is quite different, but the result is the same).

If you look at any record in the addressbook you will see the drop-down list called "Display Name". That gives the functionality of different sort orders. Beware, though, if you put several addresses into a recipient list - don't use reverse name with comma - the comma will confuse KMail, as it also separates records. Reverse without a comma is fine.


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User avatar hcvv
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Thanks for the prompt response. The following is to check if I understood your respons on #1 correctly.

I fact we have two adressbooks, but the categories used in them do not overlap, so I guess I can handle both separate (and even merge them later).
When I have an addesbook, this is a directory. When I create subdirectories in there that have names like Family, Neighbourhood, etc, I will be able to click down to the corrct group of addresses in the left panel of the window (where the addressbooks are). Sounds feasable. Some work to do (Hurray for the new level :( )

On #2. I saw that, but none of the formats there fits our need. That is only partly due to Kaddressbook. In the Netherlands we have a lot of family names that start with a short in between. Example my own family name is "van Velden". These names are sorted (e.g. in a telephone directory) on the main part "Velden", not on the "van". What I did to accomodate this in old Kaddressbook is puting the "in between" in the "given names" (or how it is called). Then I could have it in the list as:
Henk | van | Velden
and still sort on the third without damaging the overall look of the name.

Using the format "Familyname, First name" would make it
Velden, Henk
which is wrong, it should then be
Velden, Henk van
And while I could possibly get this format by editing all the addresses (nice: new level of an every day tool :( ), the comma will spoil this as you pointed to.

Hm, lot to think about. and I still do not understand why this is removed. Creating columns in a window from a list of all available ones is something I see in many applications.


Henk van Velden
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It isn't necessary to merge your two addressbooks but in the long-run it is probably easier to maintain. The easy way is probably to add one of the addressbooks in its old format - i.e. as an vcard file - after the other one is set up to be a vcard folder (the default after migration). Then you can simply drag and drop the contacts from the vcard file into the one with the vcard folder - or even better, into the addressbook folders created below the new account (family, friends, work, etc.). (I hope you understand - it's easier to show than to explain).

As you say, the workaround for the address sorting would be to edit the names placing the "middle name" into the first name, so that in the display you get

Velden
Henk van

I think that sometimes developers are not aware that some countries have different format needs. I'd definitely recommend filing a bug report against KAddressBook, marking it as a "Wish". It might be useful, too, to write to the developers mailing list ("KDEPIM developers" <kde-pim@kde.org>) explaining the problem and giving them the bug report number. I suspect that there will be a new collection place for bug reports relating to Kontact 2, but if you make them aware of it they will probably migrate it if necessary.


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User avatar hcvv
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Thanks again for the reply.

Yes, it is more difficult to describe what to click, drag, etc, then to show it, but we have to live with that.

I still have some leeway to experiment and use the current addressbooks by both types of systems. Both addressbooks are btw directories with individual Vcard files per address. I think that makes it easier to reorganise them (can be done with a script looking after the Category line). And as you say that this is also the default/preferred way to have addressbooks I do not have to change there.

Also thanks for pointing to the bug reporting and other contacts to the devs. I will try to walk that way as there is much to be desired in that address list (like the icons there that are of different width and thus make the whole a bit untidy)


Henk van Velden
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I now more thouroughly studied the Categories that go with each address. There are addresses which fall into more then one Category (think about a Family member living in the Neighbourhood). I do not think that fits into a solution where Categories are replaced by putting the addresses in different addressbooks. Sigh .....

Why all these regressions in the product?


Henk van Velden
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Not really a problem. Address Folders are a part of the Akonadi-controlled addressbook, and there's no problem with having the same entry in more than one folder. You simply drag a copy of the record into the additional folders.


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User avatar hcvv
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Sorry I did not react earlier. That is due in the first place because the spam filter of my provider thought the mail from kde.org was spam :( . And I visited my spam mailbox just now.

And I did not visit this thread spontanious because I subscribed to that mail list and try to find out a bit how they work there before I plunge in.

Does this copying to another addressbook/directory also meaan that they stay syncronissed when I change one of them?

In any case this is not an option as long as the addressbooks are also used by old Kaddressbook users. (no gracefull up- and downwards compatability here as far as I can interprete).


Henk van Velden
stel
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yeah this is pretty bad. the category field was useful because you could have contacts in multiple categories and also create them on the fly. i'll end up with a number of folders which i think is more cumbersome.

on top of that while the category field is present in the contact edit view, the categories themselves are not present, just checkboxes next to blank entries so it will be a huge hassle to go through thousands of contacts to recatagorize them. maybe there's something wrong in my setup but then i don't see why the category field is even in there any more.
stel
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on top of that the "ad address book folder" option is grayed out. great.
stel
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address book properties doesn't work. it just seems broken to me and akonadi is a big hassle and confusing. looks like i lost my distribution lists too. i'm on version 4.4.10 btw.
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@stel: something is certainly broken in your setup. I'm on 4.4.11 and have never seen these problems, either in this version or the last one. Both the add addressbook folder and folder properties work as expected. I suggest that you go back to basics, checking systemsettings > Personal Information > KDE Resources and check that your addressbooks are set up correctly. If you can't figure it out, read http://userbase.kde.org/Akonadi_and_AddressBook and the linked pages, for help.


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stel
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yeah i followed that link after reading this forum topic and did succeed in getting lookups in kmail to work but i still cannot create address book folders nor get properties for an address book. so i just tried creating a new address book and selected "personal contacts" as the type and it created an empty address book called "personal contacts" (it gave me no option to name it). the other types seemed to all represent a data source and i wanted an empty one to mess with. so then i see that personal contacts has a different icon and allows me to create folders. i see that i can move "address book" into "personal contacts" but i don't know if this will make it a folder under it or import the data. without describing more of my snooping, i can see that i really don't understand akonadi even after reading a bunch and that alone sux. really it's confusing. for instance what the hell is this when i'm creating a new address book?

title akonadi resource
directoty (gives path to contacts folder)
select the directory whose contents should be represented by this resouce. if the directory does not exist, it will be created.

now does that mean that existing contents will be added as a data source or that a new empty source is created or either depending on what's there? really i have to try it out to see what it does. how about "create a new address book here" or something brain dead like that. how about "make this address book avialable to your applications" for existing. all the other data types seems to not let you create new address books but rather attach to existing ones. i didn't try them to find out but man, this stuff is just not clear without messing around to see how it works. not good. then there's still my categories not showing up in the popup list let alone that the filter is gone that others have complained about. eventually i'll figure it out and see if folders are indeed as good. i can't see how. no one answered how an entry being in multiple calendars can stay updated across all of them. too much broken to deal. i just don't have time for this.

i've got other complaints about the newer kde but this isn't the place to make them. \
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From your reply, I'd say that you are quite right - you still don't understand, so maybe a slower read of the linked pages on UserBase will help. Two quick hints, though. You need to understand the difference between two "types" of addressbook. Your old addressbook is a single file with all the records concatenated - this is the "File" type, "contacts stored in a single local file". You can add your old addressbook using this, but it is not the way to go in the long run. The advantage of adding it is that you will be able to simply copy all your entries into the new Akonadi addressbook.

Your Akonadi addressbook, called Personal Contacts should point to ~/.local/share/contacts. I suspect that this is where your problems are. Once you have got this far, drag and drop all your contacts, a section at a time if there are too many to do all at once into the new addressbook. Hopefully by that time you will see your menu options no longer greyed out - but you may have to re-start kontact.


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I do not know if it is usefull to popst again in this old thread (I am not sure it will draw anybody's attanetion, but I can try).

KDE battled on in the meantime and I now did a atest with 4.9.

1) On the Categories. To repeat in short, I was offered a solution in creating sub-directories of the an addressbook directory to put the Vcards in there. This was no real solution because Kontacts which fall into more then one Category should then be copied into several places and thus become unmaintanable.
Now there seems to be a place where you can add Categories to an address in the address editing window. An existing Category in an address is shown there. It also looks as if you can add Categories to the KAdressbook itself (IMHO to make it possible to add them simply to an address by clicking on them and to make it possible for Kaddressbook to show a list of Categories to filetr on as it did earlier). But there still is not button in the main window where you can choose from a menu which Category of addresses you want to filter on. So the functionality of the whole thing eludes me, but it is definitely not as before.

2) The part of the window with the list of addresses now gives you the possibility (right click in the heading) to add fields there. Thus I was able to add a column with First name and a column with Family name. This allows you to sort on the Family name column, which is most usefull.
But, strange enough, somebody decided that only some of the fields from a full name specification are allowed to be shown here. The two above are amongst them, but the colum with Other names (middle names, or what it is called) is not amongst them. I do not know who thinks to decide for others that "some fields are more equal then other fields".
Second strange thing is that once I have my columns as I like them, i do not need the default column with the Full name anymore. That one is also in the list (right click on the heading), and checked, but can not be unchecked and is greyed out?!?!?!?

Any comments?


Henk van Velden

 
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