Please make Thunderbird use Apples Address Book on the Mac.

Discussion of features in Mozilla Thunderbird
Paul Reading
Posts: 20
Joined: January 3rd, 2003, 2:43 am

Post Posted June 2nd, 2005, 3:17 am

Here is the way I work. I have two Macs and a Palm Pilot. Both Macs (One at the office and one at home) are connected using iSync, this means any changes to any contacts on any device, either Mac or the Palm is propergated to the other machines.

Thunderbird is a brilliant email client but it does not use Apples Address Book, to move to Thunderbird means I would have to maintain two differing address books on each machine and give up with the Palm. Frankly it is not an option I take up. If you could provide an option to use Thunderbirds address book OR Apples address book the take up of Thunderbird would be huge on the Mac.

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Joined: July 31st, 2004, 8:17 pm

Post Posted July 29th, 2005, 9:31 pm

This sort of releates to an <a href="">earlier post</a> of mine where I suggested the address book be separated from the mailer program. In a sense somebody could want to use an address book that never uses email for example. Or somebody may wish to integrate with a different address book using some extension and they don't want the default one around. For the same reason Mozilla Suite has been separated from a combined Web Browser and Mail Client to individual apps that, while integrated to a degree, can also be used separately.

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Joined: February 24th, 2006, 3:25 am

Post Posted February 24th, 2006, 3:59 am

May I strongly second this thought. If TB cannot use the Mac Address book, the exact same way that Missing Sync from Mark Space does, it will NEVER find any success with Mac users. The fact that Missing Sync can sync my Palm address book with my Mac Address Book seemlessly is proof of concept. If they can do it, then someone who writes code for TB can do it too. This topic has apparently been kicking around these forums for many years, with nothing really happening to address the issue.

You might as well fold up Mac development and make TB a WinDoze only product if you keep the address book the way it is today. TB in it's present form is a brilliant e-mail program that is totally crippled by its lack of integration with the Mac Address Book.

Using the Mac Address book is simply a must. I cannot and will not change to TB without full Mac Address Book integration.

Paul Reading
Posts: 20
Joined: January 3rd, 2003, 2:43 am

Post Posted February 24th, 2006, 4:38 am

I agree, this is a really nice Mail applicatin wioth a a good antispam filter, but it is hopless without having the OPTION to use Apple Address Book. I use iSync to keep two computers and a Palm device in sync. I am not interestyed in maintaining a different address book just for TB.

Don Bastiano

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Posts: 82
Joined: August 25th, 2004, 2:42 am
Location: Switzerland

Post Posted February 24th, 2006, 5:41 am

Hi Folks,

for us Mac users it is somewhat like "Another day, another address book on Mac thread" ;-)
You will find loads of those threads in this forum (if you use the search ;-) ) as well as ways to cope with this nuisance until it is fixed.

And you might have found this bug #203927, where you can see that the Devs are already on their way to develop the desired integration.
So keep calm and remember one of the OSS - Credos: if you cannot wait for a feature, do it yourself ;-)
So, as I myself have absolutely no idea of programming, I ressort to waiting :-)

Still, I absolutely concur, I really hope that the integration comes soon. Having to maintain two address books by import/export with all its error is horrible.


P.S.: Don't take everything too seriously in this post ;-)

Steve from NL
Posts: 15
Joined: November 27th, 2006, 5:06 am
Location: curently The Netherlands

Post Posted January 18th, 2007, 8:35 am

Hi Duke,

your last message is from the 24th of feb 2006. Almost one year ago. Any improvement since then?



Don Bastiano

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Joined: August 25th, 2004, 2:42 am
Location: Switzerland

Post Posted January 18th, 2007, 11:02 am

Steve from NL wrote:Any improvement since then?

Actually I haven't checked since then.
But a quick search showed this:
  1. In the comments to Bug 203927 there is clearly stated that there is a patch, which just hasn't made into the trunk.
  2. But on, you will find some unofficial builds that already include the patch. Last one is from December and those builds still need some 3 lines added in the prefs.js
Maybe one of those nightly builders for Mac could include the patch, but otherwise ...

I am still waiting for the patch to make it into the trunk.


Posts: 15
Joined: November 20th, 2003, 9:17 pm

Post Posted January 20th, 2007, 1:32 am

Just want to chime in and say: As a Mac user, I use Thunderbird because Mac Mail does not accept nicknames. I really dislike the "take a wild guess and autocomplete" then pick from a list of names functionality. All my addresses are identified by three or four characters, ie. "mom" for "Josephine Williamson".

Mac Address book does have a field for nicknames (if enabled), but Mail still does not recognize nicknames entered there. If Thunderbird is modified to work with the Mac Address book, PLEASE maintain the nickname functionality in Thunderbird!


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Joined: February 7th, 2007, 10:27 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY, usa

Post Posted February 7th, 2007, 10:56 am

I am a fan of Firefox and wanted to get my family's Macs (OX 10.x) set up with both Firefox and Thunderbird.

After some research on the web, I have sadly reached the conclusion that Thunderbird is not right for us. Since we don't require a particular feature unique to Thunderbird, the complications of having to manually sync Apple's regularly are problematic. Further, it looks like there's no automated way to migrate mailboxes and messages into Thunderbird.

The initial set up seems feasible with a bit of patience and tinkering. However, my parents would most-likely not be able to troubleshoot or maintain their own iMac, making it easier to stick with Apple's apps.

Not being a computer engineer, I will wait for the day when Thunderbird is easier to integrate into the Mac OS work environment (or we upgrade to dual platform Macs and run Thunderbird in the Windows environment).

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Joined: June 8th, 2006, 9:41 pm
Location: San Diego

Post Posted February 7th, 2007, 6:04 pm

I would like to add one more voice to support the thesis here (just in case someone who can do something about it is 'listening in'). Facilitating the import of material from Eudora and Communicator, but not doing so for Mac Mail and the Mac Address Book doesn't seem to make a lot of sense -- although I fully acknowledge that I have no understanding of whatever technical challenges may be involved. There are many features of TB that I really like, but the failure-to-import problem discussed here may be a kiss of death for TB in the Mac community. Too bad!

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Joined: February 16th, 2004, 10:53 pm

Post Posted February 12th, 2007, 12:51 pm

I would like to see this too, but not just on the mac. Vista has the same type of feature with contacts. I think having one address book that all the applications use is a good idea.

Lost User 190628
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 5:00 pm

Post Posted February 18th, 2007, 3:12 pm

Now this is a really sad story in Thunderbird development...
Reading the tracking bug shows that the fix almost done, and even working builds have been made. But the last comments doesn't seem too optimistic. The voluenteer working on it seemes to give up, and now the bug isn't assigned to anyone... (?)

I'm aware of lack of resources etc. in the thunderbird development team. BUT I really don't get the part about listening to the user needs.. Fixing this bug with only address book read ability must be the most GENIOUS and simplest way of improving thunderbird drastically. Concidering the amount of code/programming needed, this must be the bug that will recruit most new thunderbird users!!

Sorry for complaining, I'm really not in position to do that - we are talking about a great peace of free software.. - But this is so annyoing and bad project management (talking general, not critizising individuals here). What part am I missing here? Can someone with a little knowledgde fill me in?

I'm not even using a mac(!) still this is the only bug I care about in the Thunderbird development.


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Joined: October 31st, 2004, 7:30 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post Posted March 12th, 2007, 9:26 pm

wow, I just downloaded Thunderbird for my MacBook. I had previously used it on my PC, and since I've gotten my Mac I've used Entourage.

After fiddling with TB for a while, I sadly realized that TB won't tap into my Mac Address Book. And this post just saddens me further :(

Don't make me go back to Entourage :(

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Joined: June 8th, 2006, 9:41 pm
Location: San Diego

Post Posted March 12th, 2007, 10:08 pm

Welcome to the "I-would-use-TB-on-my-Mac-if-it-weren't-for-the-stinkin'-address-book-problem" club, Atom.

Posts: 1
Joined: March 13th, 2007, 5:05 am

Post Posted March 13th, 2007, 5:07 am

I join the club.
please let me know when this problem is fixed.

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