filter to folder specified in address/address book



17 years ago
11 years ago


(Reporter: chris.pickett, Unassigned)


(Depends on 1 bug)

Dependency tree / graph

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)


User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.1) Gecko/20020826
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.1) Gecko/20020826

Hi.  I would like some kind of system where there is a correlation between the
address book, mail filters, and local folders.  I mean, typically, I have one
contact per folder, and I would like to have a streamlined way to: 1) create new
folders for contacts that I select; 2) create filters for contacts based on
their email addresses; 3) be able to filter all messages from a given contact
into their folder based on the list of address in their contact properties
sheet; 4) generate filters to move sent messages to the same persons folder. 
Right now, it all involves a whole bunch of typing whereas foreseeably I could
do it with just a few clicks and no typing at all (the folder name would just be
the contact's name).  I think this would be a very useful system and save the
whole headache with filters in the first place ... many people decide not to
create them just because they're so awkward to set up and if you have 1000+
contacts it's no fun.

I'm submitting this as a database bug because basically I don't think there's
any tangible sort of relationship between addresses, contacts, folders, and
filters and that there should be.  Then again, how much do other people want
this?  Who knows.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
really, this is not a Mail DB problem - the mail db category is for the summary
db kept for each mail folder, not for a global db of information about address
books, mail filters, and local folders. I'll change the component to mail window
front end since you're really looking for a UI that allows you to add a folder
for a given user in your AB and set up a mail filter to move mail from that user
into the folder. There's no backend required for this; all the backend support
is there; we'd need a front end command to hook this all together. 
Assignee: bienvenu → nobody
Component: Mail Database → Mail Window Front End
Ever confirmed: true
Summary: correlation between address book, folders, and filters → RFE correlation between address book, folders, and filters
QA Contact: gayatri → laurel
I suppose I'll give a more concrete example of what I mean.  The most basic
functionality would let me do this:

1.  Create some contact with multiple email addresses (currently only 2 are
supported, we need a list just like Outlook Express, with a default address)

2.  Create folder for contact, or associate existing folder with a contact.  The
folder name can be anything, but I'm mainly thinking of cases where the folder
name and contact name are the same.  This means you also need some field for
each folder saying which contact it is associated with, and a field for each
contact saying which folder it is associated with.

3.  Create filters that move all messages from that contact (any email address)
and to me (any email address -- I should also be in the address book I suppose)
into the folder.  Additionally create filters that move all messages from me to
the contact into the folder.

This is the minimum that I'm looking for.  However, I think a lot more can be
done with this idea.

For example:

I have a folder called friends (which contains no messages), with the folders of
all my friends as subfolders.  I want to send a mail to all my friends, but I
don't feel like creating a mailing list.  I can simply select "friends" and the
context menu will give me an option to send a new mail to all subfolders, and
then go and pick the default address for each friend from the address book.  You
could even do something fancy like create a new filter that then moves this
message from "sent" to "friends".

You could also try to guess which message should go where by looking up the
contact in the address book, and if they exist, then trying to find a close
match to that person's name in the list of folders.  If it exists, ask the user
if they want to create filters for this person to go to that folder, else ask if
they want a new folder for that person.

In the future, you could even get everything integrated with an IM client, so
that conversations got saved as messages in a persons folder.

The correlation between contacts and folders would be optional, because surely
there exist cases where you don't want the above behaviour, but this would be
helpful for me in the majority of cases.

Does anybody actually *care* about this?  Is there somewhere else I should post
RFE's?  I think it's a REALLY useful enhancement that I haven't seen on other
mail  programs.  It seems that all RFE's that I've ever posted have been
ignored.  It makes me not want to post them anymore.  It's not like just because
one person comes up with an idea that nobody else has thought of means it's no
good -- in fact, in my experience, that tends to suggest it *is* a good idea. 
Whatever.  You can do what you want with it I suppose since I'm just a user and
you're the developers.
we have a lot of people with good ideas and way too few people to implement
them. So just because we don't implement your idea doesn't mean it's not a good
Okay, I can understand that.  I suppose it would just be nice if there was some
actively maintained database of just RFE's so that they didn't get all mixed up
with Bugzilla.  I mean, most open source projects have bug trackers as well as
feature trackers.

If I want to learn how to implement this particular RFE on my own, where can I
start?  It doesn't seem like that much work to me and it might be interesting. 
I can handle the programming, I just don't know where to start (I've never
looked at the Mozilla code base and I would really just like to know which
specific parts I would need to change).  I would also like to know if I did
something like this, would you accept it?  So can you help me?
To see the list of open RFE's, you just need to query open bugs with Severity

I personally think this would be a neat feature set - there are people who
arrange their mail this way and this would facilitate that.  It's not completely
up to me to accept this feature or not; it's up to me and the other module
owners to decide if the code is done well enough to accept, and it's up to our
UI person (Jennifer Glick) to decide if the UI is acceptable. To me, the main
challenges here are UI challenges - we need to make this reasonably accessible
without making our already somewhat complicated UI more complicated. I believe
there has been some talk of having a contact manager, but I haven't been
involved in those discussions.

I think the best way to start is probably small, get your feet wet with the code
base before diving deep into the feature area.  The ideas you described in your
first comment are mostly implementable in js, w/o extending the backend code
much if at all. Some of the more expansive ideas would involve more backend
changes (like adding a list of e-mail addresses instead of just two email
addresses per contact). Or associating a folder with a contact. So I'd pick
something like adding a menu item to create a filter and folder for a particular
contact from a user name/e-mail address and work on that. Note that this is
similar to the existing feature of creating a filter from a message, with the
added idea of offering to create a new folder for messages from that user. has instructions for pulling and building the code. Once you
have that working, you'd need to look through the mailnews code, which is in
mozilla/mailnews. There are subdirectories for various components, e.g.,
addressbook, news, imap, etc. base/search contains the filter stuff.  base/src
contains the core backend code. base/resources/content contains a lot of the
front end js and xul code.

Let me know when you have questions.
I can't work on this yet (too busy! just like you!) so I'm not assigning it to
myself.  I'm marking this dependency because I need real boolean logic in
filters to get it working in the best way.

For example, for a given contact, I want to associate that contact to a folder
and then have a set of filters.  The most minimal set for contactA would be:

if (((sender == contactA) && (to == me)) || ((sender == me) && (to == contactA)))
then move_to_folder();

Because otherwise (as is the case with my current filters), some mail (typically
non-ML mail that is sent to a bunch of people) gets directed into the wrong
folder.  I don't know if there's a bug for this, but I'm sure Bug 59821 would
take care of the problems . . .

There's another filter meta bug I noticed (Bug 66425) ... should this be added
to that?
Depends on: 59821
Please see my comments here...

Bug 166842 - [RFE] Ability to import and export message filters
Summary: RFE correlation between address book, folders, and filters → correlation between address book, folders, and filters
*** Bug 242359 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
As noted at the dupe:
Automatically file reply with original message (item 4 in the original report) 
is bug 177040.

I think the better implementation of this would not require an explicit filter; 
instead, it would require an entry in the address book for "folder" (similar to 
bug 65135).  There would be a built-in filter (perhaps visible/disable-able in 
the filters list) for "If Sender in address book AND address book specifies 
folder, THEN move message to that folder".

But that *would* require new back-end work in the address book and filter 
Product: Browser → Seamonkey
Bug 285929 is specifically about adding a 'Folder' field to the Address Book entry.  The rest of this is specific to filtering.
Component: MailNews: Main Mail Window → MailNews: Filters
Depends on: 285929
OS: Windows 2000 → All
Product: Mozilla Application Suite → Core
QA Contact: laurel → filters
Hardware: PC → All
*** Bug 363579 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I look back and feel I should apologize for whinyness in my initial comments on this bug.  So I do.  That is all.
possible to do as an extension?
Summary: correlation between address book, folders, and filters → filter to folder specified in address/address book
Product: Core → MailNews Core
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