I use Mozilla’s thunderbird mail client. For all its faults, it is still the best cross platform email system around. Apple’s mail client is a bad joke and only runs on apple devices (go figure). Linux’s many offerings are open source, portable, and most don’t run well on my Mac laptop. I no longer use Windows apart from running in a VirtualBox environment. And I would never go back to OutLook anyway (used it once, 15 years ago or so … never again).
Since I am using Thunderbird, and our dayjob mail leverages Google’s gmail system, I like to keep contacts in sync.
This is where the hilarity begins. And so does the #fail.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, contact management was easy. You had simple records, a single mail client or two. Everything sorta just worked … because, standards.
Then walled gardens arose. Keep the customer using your product. Prevent information outflow, but use information inflow. Break things in subtle ways.
Thus arose contact managers/importers, and things were again good in the world.
Until those in walled gardens (apple, google) decided to break other things, as you know, they started to compete more.
Those contact importers for Thunderbird worked, but pretty soon the address bar slowed down. Type in an address and wait 10 seconds or so to autocomplete.
Mind you, this is on a 24 physical processor desktop system, with 48GB ram, high end NVidia graphics, two displays, SSD OS drive, and a 1GB/s 5TB local storage. This is not a slow machine. Its actually bloody fast. One of our old Pegasus units we no longer build. Easily the best desktop that ever graced a market, but failed as a product because people want cheap crap on their desktop, not good crap.
Damn it, I am grousing.
Ok, back to the story.
So there I am, wondering why its taking 10+ seconds to auto complete an address. Its a database lookup dammit, should be indexed and fast. Unless … unless … they are doing something INSANE like, I dunno, not using a database with indices. That would manifest as a long delay searching a large “database”. So let me look at my address book. Over 10+ years, I’ve curated about 3.5k addresses, I should see something not unlike that.
The two imported address groups from google in the address book have … lets see. 50k addresses between the two of them.
This is 50k of pure #fail.
I don’t know whom to blame.
Happily, Google’s gmail has a find/merge duplicates function.
Start using that.
20 iterations later (it stops at 2500 copies of the same entry … go figure), this address book is down to 700 addresses, with no duplicates.
Oh. Dear. Lord.
So much #fail. So little time.
Disabling the contact manager updating google’s contacts. This is an unsolved or poorly solved problem.
Walled gardens suck.