The use of contacts in M2 is one its best features. Their usefulness, however, could be improved with a few modifications. As they are now, their application is essentially in mail composing. I think they have a lot of potential, which could be used in a few more functions.
Contacts in multiple folders
One of the major drawbacks I encounter in the contacts is that I can’t have a contact belonging to more than one group, without creating a duplicate entry. There’s a turnaround using the contact’s properties (see Neeraj’s blog), but it doesn’t seem like a real solution...
I think dragging a contact between folders should move it, like it does now, but ctrl+drag could allow the contact to be in both groups. This is not the same as having two copies of the same contact, as any change in one of them should be automatically reflected in the other. Another problem with many copies is that the contact would appear multiple times when its name is typed in the mail “To” field.
To help this even more, each contact could have a “groups” tab in the properties where one could define to which groups it would belong (through checkboxes). This last part is not that important to me though, and I’m not sure if it would be usable…
Folder properties / defaults
If we enter a folder’s properties window, we have the exact same fields as in a contact. Naturally, most of them are not used, and only name, nickname and notes are stored, even if we fill everything.
I think the window should be different when editing folders.
The contact fields could be removed or, perhaps even better, work as a default. Let’s say I have a folder with my colleagues in a specific company. The postal address, for example, might be the same for everyone. What I’d like to be able to do is storing that address in the folder’s properties. When I add a contact, I can define its address. If I don’t specify one, it "inherits" the folder’s default.
Apart from that, some folder specific properties could be useful, such as a description and an icon (a bit more specific than the contact’s one, as it’s not supposed to be a picture).
Better drag-and-drop support
We have support for some drag-and-drop operations involving contacts now. I’d like to have a few more options, both for dragging contacts into somewhere else and the other way around. In some, when releasing the contact, the user should be given a set of choices, through a yes/no dialog or through a popup menu.
Here are a few proposals of drag-and-drop actions:
Drag contacts to ...:
- mail header field (To / CC / BCC) - add mail (already done)
- mail text / textbox / textarea – paste some contact information, selected by the user, through a popup menu (postal address / email / homepage / ...)
- another contact – merge contacts (user must confirm)
- address field – paste contact homepage (or paste-and-go)
- links / tabs / bookmarks – ask the user: send page by mail or add as homepage
- images – ask the user: send image by mail or add as contact picture
- text / notes – ask the user: send text by mail, add as postal address, add as note, ...
- email address – ask the user: send address by mail or add/replace contact email
- email message / newsfeed - forward mail to that user
Direct access to contacts’ attributes
We have access to a few functions involving contacts, like “View mail” or “Visit homepage”. This means, of course, Opera opens a new mail message or a new page and then passes it the email or homepage attribute (let’s call it contact.email and contact.homepage).
It would be interesting to have direct access to those variables. That way, the user would be able to create his own function. Some I can think of (the first two are the ones I would immediately create):
- Skype contact (go to the address callto://contact.phonenumber or callto://contact.skype)
- Phone contact (go to the address )
- Fax contact
- Copy (some field) to clipboard
- Paste contents of the clipboard to (some field)
- Add birthday to calendar ( this involves three wishes )
Old mail addresses
The first time I saw this was in a Scipio’s thread. The basic idea is to keep old mails for contacts, that were not visible in the mail fields’ searches. I fully agree with him
Better photo handling
As it is now, attributing a photo to a contact is a truly weird thing… I think it should be much easier to define that. The user could type an image’s URL or look for a file in a local disk (through a file selection dialog). Dragging an image to the contact (as mentioned before) would also do the trick.
More data fields
The current fields in the contacts are enough for the basic needs, but a few more could be very helpful. The vCard standard fields seem quite reasonable.
The title says it all. I’d like to be able to import from / export to this format. Deeply connected with the previous wish.
Not totally related to contacts, but I really need to access that phone book...
If an easier/better contact importing process is implemented, the ability to merge contacts might become important. I’d also like to be able to say what would happen to each field (the default should be probably be adding everything that is not the same in both contacts).
More fields in the contact window
In the expanded contacts window, we can view and order the contacts by name, email address and phone number. I’d like to be able to create some more columns with other attributes. This would be even more important if the vCard format were implemented.
Grouping by attribute
Linked to the previous wish. It would be nice, not only to order contacts, but also, in some cases, to group them. I’d like to be able to group contacts by company, or by region, or by category…
Fields directly editable in the contacts window
Still in the same window. WildEnte’s idea (how did I miss that thread so far?)
On second thought, you can add all his ideas
Double-click opening properties’ window
C’mon, this would be useful…