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18 March 2010, 10:50

Mozilla to web enable address books with Contacts

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Mozilla Labs Logo A new Mozilla Labs project, Contacts, has been announced which brings your address book contacts into your browser. Users often have a number of address books which can be disjointed or inconsistent, but pulling them together on a web service brings up issues of privacy. Contacts approaches the problem by working locally from within the user's browser. Contacts currently consists four components.

Zoom The Contacts addon access permissions screen.
Source: Mozilla Labs
At the core is a browser based database which can synchronise with GMail, Twitter and the Mac OS X Address book. This database can also be populated by generic importer for bringing in contacts from other desktop or web-based sources of contact information.

In the browser, an email address autocompleter is available, allowing for smart completion of email addresses on any web site form, performed locally on the browser without sharing the contact data with the site. The final component is a JavaScript API allows controlled and filtered access by websites to the Contacts information. This would allow, for example, a social network site to be given access to email addresses or URLs of friends, but on a contact by contact basis.

Contacts is, like all Mozilla Labs projects, released as open source. The current release is described as "experimental, pre-alpha" and is available to download (direct download) as an add-on to Firefox. The supported synchronisation is described by the developers as "far from final" and were selected as examples of "three interesting classes of address book data".


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