In the last article I was very positive toward the Kontact suit. However, Contacts is the exception to this. The interface is way too cluttered and wastes too much space. From the main interface to the Contact editor, everything seems like it could be fairly better.

On the other hand, If I recall correctly, a new Contact application is being developed (and makes use of Akonadi), the interface of this new one seems a lot better (a lot like the Mac OS X Contacts application, which isn't bad in this particular case). It's called KContactManager.

Critics aside, let's have a look at KAdressBook:

By default it shows the "Address Books" resources, which is absolutely no-sense for 90% of the usage scenarios, so I got rid of it (fortunately, it's 2 clicks away):

Also, for some reason, while using any Distribution list instead of "All contacts" the information is presented differently. The first one (When all contacts is selected) shows more information, but on an awful white background, while in the second one, you get much less information (just the email actually) but the info in now presented using the theme background itself. Check it out youself:

All Contacts:

Distribution Lists:

The distribution list editor, looks simple, it works kinda weird, but it's easy to understand (you start writing a name, and it autocompletes, once you're done with it, it makes another space, for another contact), however, it gets extremely cluttered without doing much:

The contact editor will probably scare new people, which just wanted a space for putting a name, a phone number, an email and an address (and it looks waaay more cluttered if you use Oxygen instead of Bespin). But, even if it's a little scaring, it is extremely complete:

On the other hand, the simple editor is too... well... too simple XD.

One thing I find to be great is the "integration" with google maps. Once you click and address it will launch Konqueror and get you to google maps while searching for the direction you just click in. It's cool, but I wonder if they shouldn't be using marble instead:

And, at last, the configuration dialogs, which are more or less simple and easy to follow:

It has LDAP support too:

As you can see, KAdressBook has a decent interface, but if you checked out the link I gave to the commit diggest, you can clearly see that the new approach is better :-)

Yet, my biggest complain is against the wasted space and the overall interface, not to the features of the application (because it's a very rich feature package).

As always, I hope you like it :-)

Next Issue: Kontact: Calendar.


Unknown said...

I am using Kadressbook for years and actually I am mostly happen even though your points about the interface mostly right.
My main issues are:
- For copying some contents of a contact (an adress, email, phone no, name) you have to open an contact). Marking part of the contact and pressing Strg-C gives you a VCF-file, something you hardly ever need. Unfortunately a bug report was put on WONTFIX. I never understand why.
- When you add more phone entries and want to delete one it is problematic to determine which one will be deleted.
- Handling of IM-contacts is problematic, not synchronised.
- Im/Export has some serios flaws. n times of social networks it would be really good to implement functionality to interact with them to find friends, download contact updates, store links to social-network profiles.
- Also nice would be if it had a plugin system for the easier integration of other services (skype, sms, different maps services)

Anonymous said...

Good list...

Wondering about Kontact, if it can sync with IMAP server (like Thunderbird Add-on "Sync Kolab" can do with Thunderbird where a Kolab server is not needed, or like another Thunderbird Add-on "Zindus" can Sync with Google)?

Question - why don't you join up with Sync Kolab, and/or "Zindus" and be able to offer a calendar and contact sycn with IMAP to GOOGLE or to any other IMAP server (such as the one we get for free from our hosting company).

We don't use the Google GMAIL at all as we have access to this IMAP server and our mail is then to our domain name with that.

I find that both Sync Kolab and Zindus really don't have "intelligent" sync (fields with date/time to use newest) as a feature, is this something that is being worked on, or does Thunderbird need to do this?

Is this possible? If not, then maybe a working relationship between KDE and Kontact with Sync Kolab and "Zindus" might be worth while in order to build something that would be a killer application for Kontact, this would be something to do, where it could be built-into Kontact as a feature?