Closed Bug 119165 Opened 23 years ago Closed 1 year ago

Link phone numbers in cards (tel: scheme)


(Thunderbird :: Address Book, enhancement, P3)



(thunderbird_esr102 wontfix, thunderbird113 wontfix)

114 Branch
Tracking Status
thunderbird_esr102 --- wontfix
thunderbird113 --- wontfix


(Reporter: BenB, Assigned: mkmelin)





(1 file)

There is an URL scheme for phone and fax numbers (RFC 2806). Some users might
have handlers for it (triggering a phone call).

When showing the card, check, if the tel: or fax: scheme is registered. IIRC,
you can do that by feeding a valid URL to New_URI and checking, if it returns
with an error or not. The function *should* consider both Mozilla-internal URIs
and those registered globally in the OS. If the URL schemes are known on the
system, wrap the numbers with <a href="">s with the phone number.

This would allow a user to open a card, click on and and have his phone call the

Unfortunately, not many people have their phones integrated with the computer
yet, so this is probably low-priority.
I didn't know about RFC 2806.  that's cool that there is a tel: and fax: 

this should be easy to fix, but low priority.

I wonder if Net2Phone or eFax already register themselves as handlers for those 
url types with the OS?
mass re-assign.
Assignee: racham → sspitzer
Product: Browser → Seamonkey
Assignee: sspitzer → mail
Assignee: mail → nobody
Component: Address Book → MailNews: Address Book
Product: Mozilla Application Suite → Core
QA Contact: nbaca → addressbook

Maybe choosing the URL scheme should be left over to users and would improve Thunderbird extensibility and simplify implementation.

Through the use of external protocol handlers like in Firefox, it would be up to users to link once for all, phone numbers to appropriate external programs.

For example, in Kontact software AddressBook configuration tab, you've got a field like:
twinkle --call %N

(In this case, clicking on a phone number launch Twinkle softphone)

From my point of view, thereafter values (using Kontact's way of presenting values) should be made available to external telephony programs:
%N:  callee phone number
%F:  callee full name (as telephony program could willing to save callee names in log files for billing or security purpose)
%C:  callee company (for billing or security)
%U:  caller username  (as telephony program needs user privileges, and several users could using the same PC at the same time)

Maybe, different external programs could launch depending on the way a field is clicked over :
simple click:  program1
Maj+click:     program2
Ctrl+click:    program3

This way, contact's email or IM could be also used to launch softphone instead of email composing windows.


Before launching external program, it's important that Thunderbird displays a confirmation windows which asks how callee shall be called :
- with or without caller's number,
- with or without caller's name.

According answer to this confirmation windows, previous (N, F, C, U) and thereafter values shall be set accordingly.
%R:   relationship (anonymous, private, standard, ...)

Product: Core → MailNews Core
Summary: Link phone/fax numbers in cards → Link phone/fax numbers in cards (tel:/fax: schemes)
Skype registeres callto: urls - while not "standard" that would be quite useful as well.
Severity: normal → S3

Good ideas never die - thanks for filing this, Ben!

22 years later, this now ranks #8 among the 20 most popular ideas on Mozilla Connect according to Wayne's list on tb-planning. Now that we have the new address book since 102 (current release version), this looks like a relatively low hanging fruit / easy win.

Imo, for a start, a simple implementation without too much overhead of checking too many things and offering too many options may suffice. Just make all phone numbers a link and allow the system's default browser to do whatever it can with that. Perhaps we some protocol choice or variation. Perhaps we could just check for the label on the phone number, and if that's "Skype", then use callto:, if we find "Fax", use fax:, and if it's anything else, use tel:. That still sounds pretty straight forward. Of course, the devil may be in the detail.

Priority: -- → P3
Product: MailNews Core → Thunderbird

Skype can register as tel: handler, AIUI. tel: is the standard prefix

Assignee: nobody → mkmelin+mozilla
Duplicate of this bug: 1777911
Attachment #9326868 - Attachment description: Bug 119165 - Link phone numbers in cards (tel: scheme). r=#thunderbird-reviewers → Bug 119165 - Link phone numbers in cards (tel: scheme). r=elizabeth
Summary: Link phone/fax numbers in cards (tel:/fax: schemes) → Link phone numbers in cards (tel: scheme)
Target Milestone: --- → 114 Branch

Pushed by
Link phone numbers in cards (tel: scheme). r=aleca

Closed: 1 year ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
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