Help! BirdieSync has broken PDA search!

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Robert
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Help! BirdieSync has broken PDA search!

Post by Robert » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:47 pm

I'm a former Palm user who is just setting up Birdie to work with a new Windows Mobile 5.0 device (an O2 XDA) and Thunderbird + Sunbird on Win XP.

The only things that I have put onto the handheld are BirdieSync 1.5.4.5 and the contacts database from Thunderbird. Yet now, the "Search" function on the handheld always gets an error and aborts!

The "Contacts" application still works properly: it shows all the contacts, and its own search/filter feature works correctly over the whole contacts database. But the general device-wide "Search" will only find things in "Contacts" down as far as "Hopgood". And it won't find anything anywhere else: neither in contacts further down the alphabet, nor in any other file or application. Which means, for instance, that I can no longer search "Help" on the handheld.

This suggests to me that there is (or was) something in or just after the "Hopgood" contact record that is causing the Search mechanism to fall over. All the records look OK, both in Thurderbird and on the PDA but Search doesn't seem to think so!

The record after "Hopgood" was originally created on a Psion, and was quite complex/unusual: for instance, it had a "Notes" field, and "[Belgium]" appended to the phone numbers. But I have now deleted that record entirely (and synced with the PC), and the problem has not gone away.

Has anyone seen this before? Can anyone say what sort of thing might be causing it? Are there character strings that need to be escaped or anything?

Is there a way to look at the raw contacts data on the PDA? Or, indeed, the XP machine?

Is there a way, short of re-initialising the entire PDA, that I can "zap" all the contacts on the PDA, so that they will all get created afresh?

Any suggestions at all gratefully received!

Robert.
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Robert Inder
Edinburgh

Birdy
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Post by Birdy » Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:39 pm

Hello,

This is the first time I hear about such a problem. I tried the "search" feature and it seemed to work OK.

To remove all the "visible" contacts, you could move all your contacts under Thunderbird in another address book then synchronize. That should delete all the contacts on the mobile. Then you can move again your cards to the original address book.
Birdy

Robert
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Post by Robert » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:07 am

Hi, Birdy!

The "search" feature used to work for me, too:( It is only since I put my contacts on the machine that it has started giving problems.

If moving all the contacts to another Thunderbird address book will delete them on the PDA, then that sounds like a way forward.

If nothing else, I can "trickle" them back in again, which should let me find the one(s) which are causing problems!
--
Robert Inder
Edinburgh

Robert
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh

That worked, but...

Post by Robert » Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:21 am

...only after resets!

I tried the trick of moving all the addresses to a different Thunderbird address book, then doing a sync. Contacts on the PDA emptied...

But Search still didn't work!! It didn't find anything for anything.

So I did a reset on the PDA. And searching started working again.

So I moved the addresses on THunderbird back and did a sync. Contacts on PDA re-appeared. And seaching still worked.

EXCEPT... it didn't find any "contacts". Even when "Contacts" was the only thing it was supposed to search. No error, just no matches, either.

So I tried another reset. And now, normal behaviour is restored.

Lessons:

Something in the address book data as originally imported, caused serious havoc in the PDA's "Search". I just don't know what:-)

Once this happened, it "stuck" until the PDA was reset.

Importing the addresses wasn't enough to get search to work. I had to do another reset to actually search the contacts.

Anyway, thanks for your help.
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Robert Inder
Edinburgh

Birdy
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Post by Birdy » Thu Jul 05, 2007 10:33 am

Well, it's weird. I made some other tests adding a contact in Thunderbird and synchronizing it. The search could find it without problem (I was just wondering if synchronized contacts could not be found with the search). So for the moment I don't succeed in reproducing the problem.

When you talk about "reset", do you mean a "soft reset" ?
If you synchronize a new contact created under Thunderbird, does it properly work now ?

If you ever succeed to isolate the problem so I can reproduce it, let me know it...
Birdy

Robert
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Problem more subtle now

Post by Robert » Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:23 pm

Well, I thought I had everything working. But no. I've just noticed that searching is still behaving strangely on the PDA.

When I search for "south" I get eight matches, all "Contacts".

The first match (Duncan) is someone who lives in "Southgate Road", so that's fine. But the next two matches (both name of "Dunnet") are the next two contacts alphabetically... and they don't have "south" in them at all. Similarly, the fourth match has "South" in its street name, but the next two matches are the next two entries alphabetically, and don't contain South. Matches 7 and 8 both have "south". Something similar happens for "Place": some matches contain the word place, some come just after an entry that contains the word!

And until two minutes ago, I had two (slightly different) entries for "Cox". I deleted one, and search results started returning all kindsof rubbish. I did a reset, and now search returns only the one record for "Cox"... followed by the next eight contact records!!

There must be something funny with the data that has been imported. Any idea what it might be? Do you know anything about how the "Contacts" application structures its data? Any kind of end-of-record markers that might have had to have been escaped?


Robert.
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Robert Inder
Edinburgh

Robert
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Weirder and Weirder

Post by Robert » Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:32 pm

In fact, I have just discovered misbehaviour within the contacts application. When I try to do a search for "Call", the contacts application displays a list of matching records, with the matching parts highlighted. Things like "Callum" Trick is, one of the records that matches is "Edinburgh Central Library". And the part that matches is the "225 5". That's right, when I search for "Call", "225 5" matches. But the device-wide "search" works properly!

ALso, when I look at the record for this contact, it has some kind of an image filling the top right-hand corner of the display, with orange-and-deep-orange concentric circles. I have no idea where that came from.

However, I do notice something funny about the record that I originally imported. I had some information in one of the "custom" fields that has not actually appeared in Thunderbird. It looks to me like this has somehow been synced across to the PDA in some weird place/form, and is causing havoc...

Sigh.

I only had a few hundred addresses. I think by now I could have copy typed them all!!

Robert.
--
Robert Inder
Edinburgh

Birdy
Site Admin
Posts: 3022
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:43 am
Contact:

Post by Birdy » Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:06 am

When you talk about "imported contacts", I suppose you mean "synchronized from Thunderbird" ?

Maybe the best way would be to send your address book to support (at) birdiesync.com so I can make some tests. Of course, I would understand if you prefer not for privacy reasons.

Could you send me a snapshot of your contact with the image "orange-and-deep-orange concentric circles" ?
You could use this screen capture tool to do it. Its saves captures in "My documents" on the mobile. The most difficult is to find the capture key...

Thanks.
Birdy

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