Hidden Mozilla Feature

To be honest, occasionally I do despair at the slightly chaotic nature of Open Source development – particularly when I come across an amazingly useful feature which no-one knows about, either because the last 5% of the work to implement a UI for it wasn’t done, or just because it’s been forgotten.

For example, did you know that Mozilla has the ability to show the Outlook Address Book and/or the Windows Address Book (used by Outlook Express) as one of its address books? This was done in 2001 by some guys from Sun Ireland, but the UI patch is still waiting for review three years later…

To turn it on, follow the instructions on http://abzilla.mozdev.org/. I have no idea whether it works in Thunderbird.

6 thoughts on “Hidden Mozilla Feature

  1. After reading your blog entry, I contacted David Bienvenu via AIM and asked whether he could review/super-review the patch. He agreed to super-review it and he will ask Neil Rashbrook (Mozilla UI Owner) to review the front-end code.

    David also posted some review comments on the bug. So hopefully nearly two and a half years after the first patch this will be checked in and we have a nice new feature to report in our release notes :-)

  2. I first fell upon this in a Mozilla or Netscape Usenet post a couple of years ago (and it was deemed old then), and while implementing it was a little daunting, since then I’ve found it to be quite useful.

    The nice thing is that I use Outlook as my PIM (so it contains all my Contacts) and OE as my primary emailer (and seamonkey & Thunderbird as my Usenet client and secondary emailer.) Anyway, its nice to know that when I make a change to my Outlook Contacts, those changes are automatically reflected into the Mozilla Addressbook.

    My thoughts are that it should be intrinsic to the mailnews since its an important migration aide but even a supported extension would be worthwhile.

  3. We also have backend code to resume HTTP/FTP downloads (across sessions, too), which I wrote a while back. Theres just no front end code for it…

  4. Oops, forgot: it’s been bumped to 1.0beta. Same difference to me; I stick with the nightlies somewhat regularly, so I’ll see it soon anyways.