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Old 1 Sep 2017, 09:14 PM   #1
Walter Eagle
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 8
"Online" entries in Address Book

When I enter an email address or a web address for a contact in the Address Book (oh, and by the way, why does the FastMail interface call it 'Address Book' and the actual browser window title call it 'Contacts' - come on, FastMail developer guys, some consistency please!) the email and the URL are subsequently shown as clickable links. Excellent. Perfect. Just as I'd want it and expect it.

But when I enter a Twitter or Facebook address in the "Online" information fields they just appear subsequently as plain text. Not excellent. Not what I expected.

If FastMail can see its way to adding a 'Map' link automatically to any geographical address I enter for a contact, why can't it provide a link to the "Online" contacts it invites me to create?

Oh, grrrr! I'm having one of those days, and I feel better now just having written all that.
(But if anyone can offer an explanation or, better yet, a solution, so much the better.)

Thanks

Walter
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Old 3 Sep 2017, 07:16 AM   #2
n5bb
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Irving, Texas
Posts: 8,241
The Address Book page contains Contacts, just as a Dictionary contains Words. My guess is that the Windows browser tab is labelled Contacts | Fastmail (rather than Address Book | Fastmail) to keep the tab label shorter. I will ask some Fastmail staff members I know why this is so. It doesn't bother me, but it obviously causes you some grief.

In the Online contents for a Fastmail contact there are five types of entries you can choose:
  • Website
  • Chat
  • Twitter
  • Skype
  • Other
Twitter: If I enter a Twitter handle and specify that it's of type Twitter, I get a link that works correctly. You must enter only the handle, not the leading @.

Facebook: To get a link which works, you need to specify a Website type, then enter:
facebook.com/(facebook address)

Map link: Fastmail concatenates the address you enter to the following URL so that Google Maps locates the address:
https://maps.google.com/?q=

You complain about the lack of a link to the "Online" contacts it invites me to create. Sorry, but I don't understand that last question.
  • Are you asking about some other map link? You can create this ourself by adding the address to the end of the Google string I gave above. Use a + character to separate items.
  • Or are you asking for a link to the actual Fastmail Address Book page for a particular contact?
    • You can generate a link by right-clicking any Address Book contact in the list, but you should not share that link with others for security reasons. I don't believe it will open on a different PC unless you are logged into the same Fastmail account anyway.
    • You can export a vCard version of the contents of any contact by clicking the vCard link in the lower right of any contact. See more about vCard here:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VCard
Bill
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Old 3 Sep 2017, 08:33 PM   #3
Walter Eagle
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 8
Bill

Thank you for attention to my post on, as I suggested, a bad day I was having!

The window title vs. FastMail label wasn't exactly causing me "some grief" - it just struck me as odd and unusual that the discrepancy existed at all. I'd have expected naming conventions to be agreed within and between development teams as a first priority - 'what are we going to call this bit ...?' Would I like the name to be consistent? Sure. Will I ever mention it again if not? No way.

Next, Twitter. Well, guess what I was doing? I was specifying the entry type 'Twitter', but I was including the '@' prefix in the handle. It didn't occur to me to drop the '@'. Thank you for this advice. Just tried it, and it works as you've advised.

Next, Facebook. Here my mistake was to select type 'Other'. Now, if I select type 'Website' as you suggested, it works.

I've also tried setting up a LinkedIn entry using the same principle and it works too. Of course it does!

I honestly looked in the online help for guidance on this general issue and didn't find it. I was surprised that the list of available entry types in FastMail was so short. And I had assumed (bad move by me) that if I had an entry that wasn't one of the specific types, it would go under 'Other'. I think I expected FastMail to parse an http link in 'Other'. It doesn't. (Just out of interest, can you give me an example of an online address that you would enter under 'Other' that will get interpreted as a link to an online resource? I'm not sure what I'd use 'Other' for now.) Currently I have 3 'Websites' listed for one contact, but only one of these is their website - the other two are websites owned and operated by Facebook and LinkedIn. Why not label them as such? Again, much like the first item I discussed this is not a life or death issue. Now that I know this little quirk I'll make use of it.

Finally, the reference to maps was me trying to show how well FastMail operates in interpreting some implicit user requirements. I don't have to set up a specific URL for a map link, it just appears, as if by magic. Who in FastMail thought about that and programmed it in? Well done - that's real added value for users. On the other hand, I was having the problems with the other Online links that FastMail invited me to enter. Although, thanks to you, I now know the answers, they are not obvious and unambiguous, and they don't show the same finesse that the map link does. That was the only connection I was trying to make.

Thank you again, Bill. I really appreciate the assistance on these issues.

Walter
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Old 4 Sep 2017, 01:42 PM   #4
n5bb
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Irving, Texas
Posts: 8,241
Walter, your complaint about the Address Book / Contacts naming confusion was very appropriate. I have been told by a Fastmail staff member that they plan to change all references to "Contacts", since that is the name which seems to be most popular with email services and smart phones these days.

The other category for Online Contact information seems to not create any links. But you can search and find a contact based on information in that field, and of course copy anything from that field.

I agree that Fastmail should add a few more categories and add some documentation for that page.

Bill
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Old 4 Sep 2017, 09:47 PM   #5
Walter Eagle
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 8
Great result all round - I appreciate your assistance.

Just to put everything in perspective, I haven't found an email service/client that does 100% of things I want in the way I want them. I never will. It's like every other product or service. You accept minor compromises in some features in order to achieve the bigger gains elsewhere.

So far, FastMail has more of what I want than anything else I've encountered. I'm really pleased with what I've got. In the last couple of weeks I paid for a 3-year Standard upgrade from a previous legacy plan. But that makes me all the more eager to find out how I can maximise the features that do exist. Little things like these issues we've discussed here help me to find the existing limits in the system or how to overcome them.

Hopefully, I will learn enough of the FastMail options and methods that I can stop asking dumb questions, and start answering a few!

Walter
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