Contacts in the Browser 0.4 released

Anant Narayanan

Contacts, Mozilla Labs’ project which makes your browser aware of your online contacts and friends list, has been updated to version 0.4. Download it here and read on for the numerous changes which went into this release.

Support for Groups

Contacts now supports the collection of contacts into named groups. Groups are displayed in the contact list. When a web page asks for access to your contacts, you may now restrict access to one, or some, of your groups. A contact can belong to any number of groups.

The groups that Contacts displays are imported from your contact sources; if you have groups set up in your Google contact list, or your native address book application, they will be imported. Firefox Contacts will also automatically create a group for each of your contact services.

If you use exactly the same name for a group on two or more services, the groups will be combined.

Support for OAuth

Where possible, Contacts now uses the industry-standard OAuth login mechanism to access websites. You will need to re-connect your browser to your services once to set it up.

In order to support this feature, the contacts 0.4 addon includes another addon called OAuthorizer; so do not be alarmed if you are prompted to install two addons!

Support for merge and split operations

The Contact manager now allows you to merge records from different services that represent the same person, or to split records that were automatically merged.

“Export” command

Contacts can export the unified list of contacts as a VCard file for use in other applications.

JavaScript API documentation

Documentation for the Contacts API is now posted on our site. Web developers are encouraged to experiment with it and provide feedback.

Experimental “services” API

An opt-in service integration API is included as an experiment. Developers can read about it and how to enable it for experimental hacking here.

Native address book integration on the Mac

This feature was introduced in an earlier release, however because of changes in the underlying Gecko architecture, we only support this feature on the latest beta versions of Firefox. If you are not using a Mac, or do not want to import contacts from your native address book, you may continue to use the add-on in Firefox 3.6.

As always, we look forward to your feedback. If you’re in the mood for some hacking, you can find the sources here. Enjoy!