import should warn nested AB list is not supported



14 years ago
10 years ago


(Reporter:, Unassigned)


(Blocks: 1 bug)

Windows XP

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)




14 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; rv:1.7.3) Gecko/20040913 Firefox/0.10.1
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; rv:1.7.3) Gecko/20040913 Firefox/0.10.1

In short I see 2 problems:
  1. Thunderbird should ask which folder to import new addresses to.
  2. Thunderbird can't import nested distribution lists.

Problem number one is simple:
In Outlook the address book is called "Contacts". In Thunderbird it is called
"Personal address book". When importing your contacts from Outlook you are not
asked where to put the imported addresses. Instead a new address book called
"Contacts" is created. This should of cause be one option, but the user should
also get the opportunity to say if he or she would like the addresses to be
imported into an existing address book.

The second issue however is a bit more complicated:
In my Outlook 2003 address book (or contacts as it’s called in Outlook) I have -
besides my addresses a couple of mailing lists (or distribution lists). In
Outlook a distribution list can contain other (nested) distribution lists as
well as contacts. This does Thunderbird not recognize.

In my example I have 3 distribution lists:
 Heste (Andre)
 Heste (Alle)

"Heste" and "Heste (Andre)" contains a lot of contacts. "Heste (Alle)" does not
contain any contacts but only the two other distribution lists ("Heste" and
"Heste (Andre)"). In the finished import in Thunderbird I get all 3 distribution
lists, but "Heste (Alle)" contain two e-mail addresses instead of the intended
two distribution lists. And the two e-mail addresses are not even the correct
ones. They are both called "Heste (Andre)". I would expect them to be named
"Heste" and "Heste (Andre)" – even though of cause they should be mailing lists


Reproducible: Didn't try
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Create 3 distribution lists in Outlook where two contain addresses and the
3rd contain the two others.
2. Import all addresses from Outlook into Thunderbird.
3. Look inside the 3rd distribution list now created in Thunderbird.

Actual Results:  
I saw that there was a new address book created called "Contacts" (a Microsoft
Outlook term). And that the two nested distribution lists where interpretated as
e-mail addresses - not distribution lists (and that the names of them were
messed up as well)

Expected Results:  
There are several possible ways this could be done. One is keeping the tree-like
structure on the left as it is today but only show the two nested mailing lists
as any e-mail address would be shown - only with some indication of that this is
a mailing list of cause.

Another way (maybe even in combination with the above solution) would be to
display them in a ghosted form in the structure (even though they where already
shown there next to the parent mailing list):

 |- Heste
 |- Heste (Alle)
 |   |- /Heste/
 |   |- /Heste (Andre)/
 |- Heste (Andre)

Remember that one mailing list can be nested inside more than one parent mailing
list. So only displaying it inside one of the parent mailing lists would not be

Comment 1

14 years ago
afaik, Mozilla doesn't support nested e-mail lists at all which makes it
difficult to import them :-(

Comment 2

14 years ago
Ok then... But at least a warning should be given then. But I think that it
would be nice with the nested solution though.

While I've slept on it I've come to realize that the second solution (showing
them in the tree-structure to the left as ghosted) is not very good. But I think
that it would be nice to have the possibility and then just showing a reference
to them next to any e-mails that might be in the mailing list.

Comment 3

14 years ago
Not a TB auto-migration bug -> Core:MailNews:Import
Assignee: mscott → nobody
Component: Migration → MailNews: Import
Product: Thunderbird → Core
Version: unspecified → Trunk
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Comment 5

13 years ago
This is still an issue :)

I think it is important to warn the user that nested distribution lists are not
supported if he tries to import them.

Ideally though I hope that this feature will be supported at some point - I know
many people / companies that has nested distribution lists.


10 years ago
QA Contact: import


10 years ago
Product: Core → MailNews Core

Comment 6

10 years ago
Reporter, Can you confirm whether this problem is gone, or still exists on a current version of thunderbird?  

We are working to help old bugs move along, so your comment will be helpful.
Whiteboard: revisit 2008-12-18

Comment 7

10 years ago
bug 133459 asked for supporting nested lists.
so morphing this to warning message

item #1 is bug 259983
Blocks: 133459
Ever confirmed: true
Summary: Fails to import Outlook 2003 address book correctly → import should warn nested AB list is not supported
Whiteboard: revisit 2008-12-18
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