[jitsi-users] Trouble with contact list


#1

Hello,

I'm having trouble with contacts. First and foremost I should probably tell you that I copied contactlist.xml from ubuntu 16.04 to debian 8 because the sound devices (or usb ports, not sure yet) on my ubuntu machine died. Unfortunately, jitsi was unable to read the file; or at least nothing shows up in jitsi so I'm making that assumption. ubuntu jitsi v 2.10.5550, debian jitsi 2.11.5558

I then went back to ubuntu to get the contact I needed at which point I noticed the list was gone. As I keep a backup I copied it back over the nearly empty contactlist.xml and... no luck, jitsi still won't read it. Note that I did copy the same backup file to debian mentioned above. A brief look at the file shows it to be what appears to be an xml formatted file without any obvious garbage characters in it. i.e. to someone that doesn't really know xml it looked fine and my contacts are there; jitsi just won't acknowledge them.

Permissions for contactlist.xml on ubuntu are:

-rw-rw-r-- 1 apb apb 11355 Mar 8 16:31 contactlist.xml

and debian:

-rw-r--r-- 1 apb apb 11176 Mar 4 16:30 contactlist.xml

They're different sizes as I've changed them since doing the copying.

Also, I'm unable to set jitsi to use the local address book. Each time I do it resets itself back to either thunderbird or ldap as soon as I click on any of the other menu items on the left (keybindings for example). Maybe it's related to the issue above.

Thank you in advance

- A


#2

I'm having trouble with contacts. First and foremost I should probably
tell you that I copied contactlist.xml from ubuntu 16.04 to debian 8
because the sound devices (or usb ports, not sure yet) on my ubuntu
machine died. Unfortunately, jitsi was unable to read the file; or at
least nothing shows up in jitsi so I'm making that assumption. ubuntu
jitsi v 2.10.5550, debian jitsi 2.11.5558

The contact list file is independent from the OS you're using.

I then went back to ubuntu to get the contact I needed at which point I
noticed the list was gone. As I keep a backup I copied it back over the
nearly empty contactlist.xml and... no luck, jitsi still won't read it.
Note that I did copy the same backup file to debian mentioned above. A
brief look at the file shows it to be what appears to be an xml
formatted file without any obvious garbage characters in it. i.e. to
someone that doesn't really know xml it looked fine and my contacts are
there; jitsi just won't acknowledge them.

Did you recreate your accounts? The contacts in the file are bound to an account. If I remember things correctly, the contacts which cannot be mapped to an account are removed while reading the file.

Permissions for contactlist.xml on ubuntu are:

-rw-rw-r-- 1 apb apb 11355 Mar 8 16:31 contactlist.xml

and debian:

-rw-r--r-- 1 apb apb 11176 Mar 4 16:30 contactlist.xml

The permissions could as well be -rw-------. But this doesn't make a difference to Jitsi.

They're different sizes as I've changed them since doing the copying.

Also, I'm unable to set jitsi to use the local address book. Each time I
do it resets itself back to either thunderbird or ldap as soon as I
click on any of the other menu items on the left (keybindings for
example). Maybe it's related to the issue above.

What do you mean by local address book? The contact list file? You don't need to configure anything for this.
What you're describing with the external contact sources and the dropdown is just a UI glitch, or rather not so good UI design. The dropdown doesn't select an address book type, it merely changes the lower part of this dialog to configure the Thunderbird or LDAP plugin (or Google Contacts if you're using a build from jitsi.org). Think of this dialog as a tab panel.

Thank you in advance

- A

Ingo


#3

Did you recreate your accounts? The contacts in the file are bound to an account. If I remember things correctly, the contacts which cannot be mapped to an account are removed while reading the file.

This is probably the issue as I think I recreated the account using a different hostname/IP that is the same machine by another name. i.e. local IP vs FQDN This behavior of mapping contacts to accounts has bitten me multiple times, as jitsi doesn't have a mechanism to recognize the same account by a different name. i.e. an alias or alternate mapping.

May I suggest an alternate behavior from the current one? *Don't delete my contacts please*. For any reason. Unless I specifically delete them. If you can't map it, ASK ME what to do with it! The default should probably be to remap it to another account selected by the user. Further, this is at least one likely source of the "missing contacts" bug. If jitsi feels it simply has to delete my contacts, at the very least please make a versioned backup so I can retrieve my data if I need to. Maintaining the users data should be of paramount importance. Perhaps making a local working copy without touching my original file might be another method to use.

Also, I'm unable to set jitsi to use the local address book. Each time I
do it resets itself back to either thunderbird or ldap as soon as I
click on any of the other menu items on the left (keybindings for
example). Maybe it's related to the issue above.

What do you mean by local address book?

I don't know. "address book" is the terminology jitsi uses. It's been a mild source of confusion for me. Granted I added the word "local" but that was simply to distinguish from the other clearly remote address books, LDAP & google, though thunderbird I suppose might go either way possibly.

The contact list file?

I'm assuming so, but you have to tell me what jitsi thinks. What I think is irrelevant.

You don't need to configure anything for this.

OK, I'll take that at face value, however it's very unclear to me what is meant to be put in the text box ("Specific phone number prefix") or the purpose it serves. It states a prefix of "00" as an example. I'm not sure about other countries but in the USA we dial a number such as 1 234 456 7890. As I'm sure you know, the 1 is the country code. 234 is the area code and 456 is what we call the prefix. Some areas do not need to dial the 1 and still others don't need the 234 either, depending on the phone company and how they have their switch configured. So any of 7, 10 or 11 digits can be acceptable here. A literal 00 is never an option, however when dialing internationally we have to dial 011 and then the remaining digits including country code. So again, I have no idea what's supposed to go in that box or the purpose it's meant to serve. My wild guess is it's meant to be either a country code based on the two digit example or possibly an area code based on assuming the word "prefix" is a misnomer. But even if I guess right... still have no idea what behavior it's supposed to invoke. Last but not least, whatever I put in the text box doesn't stick anyway.

What you're describing with the external contact sources and the dropdown is just a UI glitch, or rather not so good UI design. The dropdown doesn't select an address book type, it merely changes the lower part of this dialog to configure the Thunderbird or LDAP plugin (or Google Contacts if you're using a build from jitsi.org). Think of this dialog as a tab panel.

OK, we can chalk it up to not so good UI design. It took a moment to get the picture but thinking of the dialog as a tab panel helps me to understand better and I'd definitely suggest reworking it to use that tabbed format. However, that leads me to wonder... if I'm not selecting which address book then how does jitsi know where to put new contacts? If it's always and only going to put it in the contactlist.xml file then in my opinion jitsi is really best treated by the user as "read-only" for contacts and managing contacts through another source like LDAP, google or thunderbird; and that's tedious. Otherwise if you don't then you have multiple (at least 2) disjoint contact lists. Or am I missing something?

Thank you again

  - A

···

On 03/08/2017 09:41 PM, Ingo Bauersachs wrote:


#4

Could you please reply in plain text? HTML makes quoting a nightmare.

Did you recreate your accounts? The contacts in the file are bound to
an account. If I remember things correctly, the contacts which cannot be
mapped to an account are removed while reading the file.

This is probably the issue as I think I recreated the account using a
different hostname/IP that is the same machine by another name. i.e. local
IP vs FQDN This behavior of mapping contacts to accounts has bitten me
multiple times, as jitsi doesn't have a mechanism to recognize the same
account by a different name. i.e. an alias or alternate mapping.

May I suggest an alternate behavior from the current one?

The contactlist is one of the oldest and messiest parts of Jitsi. As much as I would like to change a lot there, I don't have the resources for it.

Don't delete my
contacts please. For any reason. Unless I specifically delete them. If you
can't map it, ASK ME what to do with it! The default should probably be to
remap it to another account selected by the user. Further, this is at least
one likely source of the "missing contacts" bug. If jitsi feels it simply
has to delete my contacts, at the very least please make a versioned backup
so I can retrieve my data if I need to. Maintaining the users data should be
of paramount importance. Perhaps making a local working copy without
touching my original file might be another method to use.

Also, I'm unable to set jitsi to use the local address book. Each time
I do it resets itself back to either thunderbird or ldap as soon as I
click on any of the other menu items on the left (keybindings for
example). Maybe it's related to the issue above.

What do you mean by local address book?

I don't know. "address book" is the terminology jitsi uses. It's been a mild
source of confusion for me. Granted I added the word "local" but that was
simply to distinguish from the other clearly remote address books, LDAP &
google, though thunderbird I suppose might go either way possibly.

The "Address book" tab refers to Outlook on Windows builds and to the default Contacts application on Mac (not sure how it's named there). The simple "Address book" entry shouldn't be present on Linux.

The contact list file?

I'm assuming so, but you have to tell me what jitsi thinks. What I
think is irrelevant.

You don't need to configure anything for this.

OK, I'll take that at face value,

That was meant with regards to the contactlist file.

however it's very unclear to me what is
meant to be put in the text box ("Specific phone number prefix") or the
purpose it serves. It states a prefix of "00" as an example. I'm not sure
about other countries but in the USA we dial a number such as 1 234 456 7890.
As I'm sure you know, the 1 is the country code. 234 is the area code and
456 is what we call the prefix. Some areas do not need to dial the 1 and
still others don't need the 234 either, depending on the phone company and
how they have their switch configured. So any of 7, 10 or 11 digits can be
acceptable here. A literal 00 is never an option, however when dialing
internationally we have to dial 011 and then the remaining digits including
country code. So again, I have no idea what's supposed to go in that box or
the purpose it's meant to serve. My wild guess is it's meant to be either a
country code based on the two digit example or possibly an area code based on
assuming the word "prefix" is a misnomer. But even if I guess right... still
have no idea what behavior it's supposed to invoke. Last but not least,
whatever I put in the text box doesn't stick anyway.

In Europe, 00 is the replacement for the leading + sign to dial internationally, just like you use 011 in North America.

What you're describing with the external contact sources and the
dropdown is just a UI glitch, or rather not so good UI design. The dropdown
doesn't select an address book type, it merely changes the lower part of this
dialog to configure the Thunderbird or LDAP plugin (or Google Contacts if
you're using a build from jitsi.org). Think of this dialog as a tab panel.

OK, we can chalk it up to not so good UI design. It took a moment to get the
picture but thinking of the dialog as a tab panel helps me to understand
better and I'd definitely suggest reworking it to use that tabbed format.
However, that leads me to wonder... if I'm not selecting which address book
then how does jitsi know where to put new contacts? If it's always and only
going to put it in the contactlist.xml file then in my opinion jitsi is
really best treated by the user as "read-only" for contacts and managing
contacts through another source like LDAP, google or thunderbird; and that's
tedious. Otherwise if you don't then you have multiple (at least 2) disjoint
contact lists. Or am I missing something?

All external contact sources are read only. The contactlist however is:
- For XMPP, Google Talk, etc., the roster manager
- For SIP (at least for me) a favorites bar

Thank you again

- A

Ingo

···

On 03/08/2017 09:41 PM, Ingo Bauersachs wrote: