A rantbox

Wed 21 June 2006

Brain dump 326: Integrating various kinds of contacts into one

Posted by Michiel Scholten in posts   

So I'm carying a PalmOS pda and a cellphone with contacts. On my workstations I have Thunderbird with its address book, JPilot for synchronising my pda with, Gaim for IM'ing friends and the SIP based Ekiga for Voice over IP [I won't talk about Skype, as they seem to not care about any other platform than windows anyway]. That's quite some varying places to keep contact information, and this way I have to search for all my correspondence with a certain person [about a certain subject] in all kinds of places. OK, Beagle may be a help on my workstations, but it isn't nearly as exact as I'd want it to be.

What I really would like to have, is a program [a really souped-up Evolution? The current version still has a long way to go in my opinion] which incorporates all this. It should provide an overview of your contacts, with their physical addresses [multiple if possible, for work etc], their phone numbers[, fax numbers], e-mail addresses, IM addresses, VoIP addresses and be synchronisable with my pda, cellphone and preferably with another workstation too [CalDAV, LDAP directory? Ekiga and Evolution seem to be able to do so already]. It would provide filters for "see all of your conversations/conversation information with this contact" to give a list with email threads, IM correspondence, times of VoIP calls [recordings?] etc.

Evolution is quite a beast, but with some force behind stabilising and streamlining its code and some love for it's e-mail handling [I would like it if they took a look at how Thunderbird does things, for example with the Quick File extension, and the QuoteCollapse and Quote Colors extensions] and if it would support virtual folders, it would be a lot better already. Those virtual folders I use for grouping emails about a certain subject together, based on contacts, subject and such, looking in various of the real email folders.

Plus, if it's to be an Evolution-like program, it would be nice if you could couple events/meetings, todo's etc to contacts [like I already can on my Palm with Iambic's Agendus. Maybe I'd better start providing patches :P