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strange addressbook behavior

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TobiasBaskin
 
Posts: 8
Joined: April 18th, 2014, 1:29 pm

Post Posted March 11th, 2020, 8:19 am

Hello Thunderbird Community,
I use T'bird at home and at work and I sink the profile folder so that both machines use it. This works fine for all my mail folders, sent mail, etc. But not for address books. For some reason the work machine has no idea about my address books on the home computer, and vice versa. I thought address book info was stored in profiles along with everything else. But why doesn't it sync properly? This sync failure is true not only for the new books I created for certain types of address but also for the default ones (Collected Addresses and Personal Address book). Are these address book files stored in some location other than profiles? Is there some reason why they don't sync? I am running Mac OS 10.14.6 (Mojave) and latest T'Bird but the problem has been with me for several years. Thanks !! Tobias

tanstaafl
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Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted March 11th, 2020, 9:58 am

Address books are stored as *.mab files in the profile. You may be running into a file locking problem if two machines are using the same profile on a file share.

Are all of your accounts IMAP accounts? If they are then you might be better off having two independent profiles that each sync their local address books to a common remote address book using the CardDAV protocol. You could do that using either the CardBook or gContactSync add-on with Google Contacts for example.

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/ho ... -cardbook/

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... =1&vwsrc=0 describes some other alternatives

TobiasBaskin
 
Posts: 8
Joined: April 18th, 2014, 1:29 pm

Post Posted March 11th, 2020, 2:20 pm

Thank you very much. One is IMAP the other is POP. The sync happens thru dropbox. There is no problem with mail folders. There are a few .mab files in the profile but their date of last modification is a few years ago, but I have saved many many addresses since then. Also none of the .mab files has a name that matches the few additional address books I create. That's why I am wondering if the address books could be stored in some "other" profile folder? Thanks ! for any continued suggestions. Tobias

tanstaafl
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Post Posted March 12th, 2020, 4:23 am

A profile only knows about the personal and collected addresses address books by default, so you can't just copy some random *.mab file into a profile and expect Thunderbird to use it. There used to be a add-on to let you import a *.mab file "as is", with it updating your prefs.js file to tell it about it. But that add-on doesn't support version 68. So you either export a address book as a .csv or .ldif file (from the tools menu in the address book window) and then import it, or you figure out how to mimic one of the existing settings in prefs.js to tell Thunderbird about a address book and modify it for the new *.mab file.

For example user_pref("mail.addr_book.view.startupURI", "moz-abmdbdirectory://abook.mab"); appears to register the abook.mab file used by the personal address book.

I suggest you think about merging your multiple address books into the personal address book. You can drag and drop contacts from one address book to another (if they don't already exists at the destination). The main reason to keep multiple address books seems to be if you have message filters that search for a match in a specific address book (you create multiple "white lists") or you need to group your contacts into different address books for some reason when composing a message. The latter is less useful nowadays as many add-ons that leveraged that don't support version 68.

https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/th ... src=search

TobiasBaskin
 
Posts: 8
Joined: April 18th, 2014, 1:29 pm

Post Posted March 13th, 2020, 11:41 am

Hi, Thank you. I guess I am not explaining myself very well. I created the additional address books in Thunderbird by using File...New Address book command. I like to keep my work and personal addresses separate. In the profile folder, I don't see the corresponding .mab files for those new address books, but perhaps they are contained inside the original .mab file. But leaving aside the new address books I made, the default "personal address book" and "collected addresses" do not sync. They are different on each machine. Would my having created a couple of address books (which are the same on each machine btw) block syncing??? Thanks again for your help. Tobias

tanstaafl
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Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted March 13th, 2020, 6:06 pm

How do you sync the two profiles? The simplest explanation would be that you do not sync the prefs.js file (which defines all of the settings, including what address books Thunderbird knows about).

TobiasBaskin
 
Posts: 8
Joined: April 18th, 2014, 1:29 pm

Post Posted March 19th, 2020, 10:19 am

Thank you. Sorry to reply belatedly, I have been distracted. I sinc as follows. I use Dropbox. The profiles folder is accessible to both machines. I use local syncing so this folder is physically present on both machines but when a file is changed on one, it gets changed on the other. In the Profiles folder, there is a folder called lfb1opa5.default and in there I see the prefs.js and it appears to be synced. It is true that once in a while (once a week? sometimes more often) a mailbox gets saved as a 'conflicted file'. Some interaction between Dropbox and Thunderbird doesn't go exactly right. I clean these up manually as soon as I see them. Anyway the address books are apparently never synced. I can create a new address book or a new list on one computer and the other one never sees it. Curious behavior. Thanks for any suggestions. Tobias

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