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AlanMintaka

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Post Posted February 25th, 2008, 9:51 pm

Hi Everyone,
I looked through the KB and these forums and didn't see anything obvious on this topic, so here goes:

Is it possible to add a mailing list to another mailing, i.e. can mailing lists be nested?

I'm trying to do this with addresses that are all in one folder in the address book. I want to add an address list along with some individual addresses to another address list. I can add the individual addresses by dragging them from the contacts pane to the address list in the folder pane. But when I try to do this with the address list I'd like to add, it can't be dragged.

I can open the destination list's properties window and start to type the name of the address list to be added; auto complete fills in the rest of the address list's name and I can then save the destination list.

However instead of nesting one address list inside another, a new individual address entry with the same name as the nested list is created. Opening the properties window for the one with the duplicate name shows that it's not a list but is instead an individual address. This properties window has to be closed via the cancel button. If "Ok" is clicked, an error message appears saying that the "primary email address must be of the form 'name@domain'", or something like that.

I read somewhere else in the forum that address lists contain pointers to the member addresses. If the lists themselves also have pointers (IF), it should be possible to nest one list inside the other. Is there a way to do this, or maybe an add-on that supports this?

Thanks for your time,
Big Al Mintaka
Thunderboid 2.0.0.9 (20071031)

Daifne
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Post Posted February 25th, 2008, 9:55 pm

No. Mailing lists cannot be nested.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted February 26th, 2008, 5:02 am

And the reason for that is that mailing lists do not exist as distinct records in the database. They are simply virtual subsets of the data in the parent address book. When you enter the name of a mailing list into a mailing list, Thunderbird (just as you have observed) believes that to be the name of a contact and tries to add a new card to the address book. Since there is no domain name in the list name, it errors out.

Rod Whiteley

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Post Posted February 26th, 2008, 5:10 am

I sent a message to a list containing other lists and individual addresses, and it worked OK. The address book user interface has bugs.
Rod

DanRaisch
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Post Posted February 26th, 2008, 5:33 am

Hmph. It must not like me as I've never had any success doing that. How did you get around the lack of a proper format (domain name) in the inserted lists name?

Rod Whiteley

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Post Posted February 26th, 2008, 6:30 am

I did exactly what AlanMintaka did—opening the properties of the outer list and typing the name of the inner list.
Rod

DanRaisch
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Post Posted February 26th, 2008, 6:46 am

Could have sworn that I had tried that. Well, maybe better luck next time....

AlanMintaka

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Post Posted February 28th, 2008, 9:59 pm

Rod Whiteley wrote:I did exactly what AlanMintaka did—opening the properties of the outer list and typing the name of the inner list.


Hey, that DOES work. I had typed the name of a list in the properties window of another list before, as reported in my first post. It wound up creating a new single contact with the same name as the nested list.

However, I didn't test the outer list to see what would happen. So I wrote a new message to the outer list and clicked on "Send Later".

I have Thunderbird set up to copy new messages to an "Unsent" folder when I click on "Send Later". They stay in that folder until I click on "Send Unsent" up on the toolbar. In this way I can view "sent" messages without really sending them.

Here's what I found:

1. Rod was right. Even though Thunderbird creates a new single contact with the name of the nested list, it uses the actual nested list - not the new contact with the same name - when it expands the recipient contacts' email addresses. Thus contact lists CAN be nested; you just have to put up with extra "dummy" contacts with the same names as nested lists each time you nest one.

(NOTE: if you delete one of those dummy contacts, the nested list reference will disappear from the outer list. You can tell the difference between a list and a dummy contact with the same name by looking in the "email" column of the address book display. The real contacts list will have no email address. The dummy contact will have the actual list's "Description" field as an email address).

2. Changes/additions/deletions to individual contacts in a list are also updated wherever that list is nested inside another list. That's the way real nesting should work!

Judging by the appearance of those dummy contacts whenever lists are nested, this does seem as though it's some kind of bug in Thunderbird. Here's hoping that it's a bug in the UI display only, and that if it's "fixed" we can still nest contact lists.

I would advise caution if you can only test this function by actually sending messages to recipients. I got my "Send Later" and "Send Unsent" via an add-on, but I can't remember which one! Sorry. If I figure it out, I'll post it here.

Hope this helps,
Big Al Mintaka

Rod Whiteley

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Post Posted February 29th, 2008, 1:57 am

The menu choice File – Send Later does not require any extension.

Developers are improving the address book for Thunderbird 3, but I am not sure whether these bugs in nested lists have ever been reported. You could search Bugzilla, and create a new bug report there if you find nothing relevant.
Rod

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Post Posted April 8th, 2008, 10:11 am

See bug 40301 which has been in place since mid 2000 and please add your vote.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=40301

AlanMintaka

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Post Posted April 10th, 2008, 2:25 pm

Milesch wrote:See bug 40301 which has been in place since mid 2000 and please add your vote.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=40301


Hi,
Thanks for that heads-up. For some reason I didn't vote when I posted those messages a month ago.

Have a good one,
Big Al Mintaka

joelanier
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Post Posted September 21st, 2011, 8:29 am

Well, It used to work. With the new Thunderbird 6.02, the nesting feature quit working.

jl

LIMPET235
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Post Posted September 21st, 2011, 8:33 am

Hi,
Try making a new thread, coz this one died years ago.
Thanks.
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