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Format Phone numbers

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:52 pm
by Carter
I am totally satisfied with this great tool. But after changing the phone, one wish arouses:

the new phone is very strict as far as the format of phone numbers is concerned. In Thunderbird (and on the phone) they are stored like (0123) 123 45 67 or 0123-1234567. The network tells the phone +491231234567 is calling, so the phone shows "unknown caller" wich is dumb.

As I have around 2000 vcards, some containing none, some containing up to 3 phone numbers, fixing this manually is not an option.

Is there a chance, BirdieSync could do that? delete all spaces an other chars and replace the leading 0 with a +?

TIA, Carter

Re: Format Phone numbers

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:43 am
by Birdy
Hello Carter,

I understand your problem but I don't know if it will be easy to find a solution which will work with all countries (and all users). You proposed to replace the leading 0 with a +. But in your example (which seems correct), it seems necessary to add the country code. So how could we guess it if it is missing or already present ? If it is missing, how can we guess this country ? And do all the countries have 0 at the beginning of their numbers when called locally ? I'm not sure it's easy to find a solution that will work in most situations.

Re: Format Phone numbers

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:28 am
by Carter
Hey Birdy,

thanks for your answer. Seems I didn't quite think it through :)

One way could be telling BirdieSync manually the country, in which one is. The program could then check if there is the correspondent country code (for example "+49") and if not replace the leading 0 with the country code. If there is neither a country code nor a leading 0 it means (at least for Germany) that the area code is missing.

For the country-profiles, BirdieSync would have to know "all" country codes and if there is a certain predefined char at the beginning of the number to look for and replace.

To research and implement all this would be heck of a work for only one person with that problem... so you may consider my wish as withdrawn ;)

But, as you certainly are more into the "Thunderbird-add-on-developer-scene" - you don't know by any chance a tool that does exactly all that?


Re: Format Phone numbers

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:29 pm
by Birdy
Actually I don't know such an add-on which doesn't mean that it doesn't already exist. :-)
Another possibility would be to export your contacts in a csv file for instance and then to use a tool with regular expressions to transform all your phone numbers, knowing that mastering replacements with "regular expression" is not especially easy... Then you would have to reimport your new contacts in a new address book and synchronize again.