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Poco Forums • View topic - Address book export doesn't work

Address book export doesn't work

Help and advice on using PocoMail

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Address book export doesn't work

Postby jtara2 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:21 pm

I am trying to export my address book to Thunderbird, and so far have had no luck with any file format.

My address.ini is 15K. The export to .ldif is only 3K and is incomplete. Thunderbird imports the folder structure, but nothing else. If I open the ldif file with a text editor, it is obviously incomplete. Names are missing, addresses are missing, etc.

The CSV file is no better. At least it seems more complete - it's 15K.

But it has no header line, and doesn't have newlines. (Actually, there are a total of 10, for over 100 records...) I viewed it in a hex editor and still can't make head or tails of it. There are no newlines between records. The folder name appears as a field in SOME of the records, but it's totally inconsistent.

There's no way anything is going to be able to parse this as a CSV file.

In other words, address book export is totally broken.

This is true both for version 4.8 (which I just installed) and the previous version (4.4?). I updated hoping it might fix this.

BTW, I have an ldif file laying around from 3 years ago, which looks perfectly good. Something broke quite some time ago, and nobody has bothered to fix it.

Of course, that problem (nobody bothers to fix it) is the reason I want to migrate from this program. Used to be great, but time to move on. Guess I will have to type-in all my addresses by hand.
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Postby jbuk » Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:41 pm

I use Thunderbird as a backup imap server. It does not fulfill my needs as an email application. PM is much more fully featured.

I have just deleted all my addresses in Thunderbird and re exported the LDIF from Poco build 4400. It is not broken and works as it should for me.

Maybe your address.ini is corrupted in some way. Do you have a backup or two from earlier that you could try ? It does work, trust me.
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Postby jtara2 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:01 am

Actually, IMAP was my reason for moving to Thunderbird from Poco. That, and that I'd like to use email software that will work on Windows, OSX and Linux. I am really trying to eliminate Windows from my life, and PocoMail is one of the few reasons I still use Windows.

When I switched to IMAP, Pocomail really went crazy. I don't like the way it keeps both a set of local folders and the online IMAP folders. It started downloading multiple copies of each IMAP file into the local directories. Every time it would contact the server, another copy! So, I had to quickly stop it from retrieving mail, and had to make the decision to switch to Thunderbird. I agree, Poco is better for some things, but I'm frustrated with the lack of progress, and I think Thunderbird will grow over time, especially because of plugins.

I was pleased, at least, that I was able to upload my email to the IMAP server using PocoMail with no trouble.

I think you are right that PocoMail's address book is somehow internally corrupted - but in a very strange way such that PocoMail is able to deal with it perfectly for it's own purposes, but can't export it. I will go through backups to see if I can come up with a usable mail.ini file. It's hard to tell by looking if the .ini is good, since I don't know what it is supposed to look like. It looks like a CSV file to me, again without newlines. In fact, it appears that the CSV file I exported is identical to the .ini file.

LOL, it is. There's no difference between the two files. When I export to CSV, it's just writing out a copy of the address.ini without making any change at all! That's not going to work!
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Postby jtara2 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:16 am

The more I look at it, the more I get the idea that the address.ini IS a CSV file, simply with a different extension!

When Poco "exports", it simply copies the address.ini, and changes the extension.

My address.ini is corrupted, such that there are no newline characters in it. Somehow, though, Poco is able to deal with this as if it were not corrupted. I'm guessing that each entry always has exactly the same number of fields, so whether or not there are newlines doesn't matter to the main Pocomail code (but DOES to the export code!)

Thunderbird, alas, does not have the magical power to read a corrupted file.

I do have an uncorrupted address book (unfortunately, not my main one - it's one from an old company and I have no need for it...) that I was able to export as LDIF and import perfectly into Thunderbird.

Now, if there were some way to fix my address.ini, that would solve my problem. My guess is that there was some problem at some time, and Poco patched the problem by making Pocomail somehow ignore the corruption, but export function isn't as smart.

Maybe I can make a new address book, and drag the entries from the old one to the new, and that will fix it?

Well, I tried dragging an address book folder to a new address book, and it is still corrupted. Maybe I need to drag entries one-by-one. Nope, that doesn't work either! If I drag them one by one, they still don't have newlines. And there is no "copy" address book entry function in PocoMail.

One last desperate attempt - copy and paste. However, copy and paste is not supported for Contacts. So, no luck there either.
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Postby Eric » Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:47 pm

jtara2 wrote:Maybe I can make a new address book, and drag the entries from the old one to the new, and that will fix it?
Open your address.ini in Excel.
BTW You're right, it's a CSV-file.

Verify your Contacts in Excel and afterwards save it again as an ini-file.

Hope it will work. :wink:
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Postby Tomas » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:02 am

jtara2 wrote:My address.ini is corrupted, such that there are no newline characters in it.


One possibility is that you have the addresses in a group.
There is one line for all the group records, on matter how many of them. It might help to move the messages to the root of the address book.

jtara2 wrote:one-by-one. Nope, that doesn't work either! If I drag them one by one, they still don't have newlines. And there is no "copy" address book entry function in PocoMail.

I tried there (moving from group to the root), restarted Pocomail, and they were there in the root (ie. for each address I moved to the root, one new line appeared in the csv)
Copy address is available in the address book sidepane, in the right-click menu.
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