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Bug: Unable to add contact with name similar to existing one

asked 2014-02-09 15:50:55 +0300

jonathanarcher gravatar image

updated 2014-02-09 15:54:55 +0300

Hi everyone, I'm experiencing quite an annoying bug in the contacts app: I've got two contacts with very similar names, say e.g. Martin Obermann and Martina Obermann. When I first imprted these contacts from a vcf, all data of both (i.e. both phone numbers, addresses, etc.) were joined into "Martina Obermann". When I manually delete both and try to add them one after the other, the second one will never appear in the list of contacts after saving. Trying to narrow it down, it seems that it always fails to add a contact whenever the last name is identical and the first is a substring of the second contact: I already have "Martina Obermann" in the list. Adding of "Martin Obermann", "Mart Obermann", or "Mar Obermann" fails, whereas "Martinus Obermann" works.

Tried searching this forum but didn't find a similar report. Am I the only one or is this a general bug?

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Yes, I had a "somewhat similar" bug!

See my comments to @MattVogt's answer to "names of imported fb contacts don't have particles".

At the moment, due to the Google Sync bug, I've sent a vCard-file (.vcf) of the contacts I want in People, and have added links on my own. So far, so good, but I don't think these things should occur when we're out of beta (I'd prefer to "have to" manually link any double instances from the same source - that is:
don't link the two contacts A...e B and A... B from Google, but
do link the one contact A... B from Google with the one contact A... B from Facebook
(but of course not the contact A...e B from Google with the contact A... B from Facebook);
if I have two A...e B in Google, and two A...e B in Facebook (exact matches), don't link any of them).
(To use a Facebook phrase: "It's complicated." ... )

phle ( 2014-02-10 09:27:49 +0300 )edit

Based on Larswad's answer, it's not only a case where "first is a substring of the second contact", but it goes both ways. i.e. doesn't matter if you have martina or martin (same surname) first. Martinus just works because Martina is not a substring of it.

I think this is not very rare bug since at least finland has many very popular surnames and also very much first names which are different sex and substrings of one or other (makes this a common bug when adding couples). Voting up.

matrixx ( 2014-04-02 16:40:22 +0300 )edit

Good analysis matrixx. There's one little additional thing I noticed: One of my contacts it constantly links to itself (it seems as though it thinks it is a google or "internet" contact or something because it has a globe symbol on it). If I go in there it has several instances of itself linked. If I try to unlink them, they will sooner or later reappar. One thing about the remourse control there: If I click several instances at the same time it will stop the other when the first times out.

Larswad ( 2014-04-04 15:26:33 +0300 )edit

1 Answer

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answered 2014-02-10 02:09:13 +0300

MattVogt gravatar image

Yes, these contacts are being detected as equivalent duing import and automatically linked together. You can manually unlink them, by going to the contact card for the contact that is visible and selecting 'Links' from the pulley menu. From the resulting list, click on the one you wish to detach from the other. It will then appear as a contact in its own right.

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Means it is a feature? Would rather see this as a bug. I don't like if SW corrects me without asking for confirmation. These are clearly two different contacts.

Stefanix ( 2014-02-10 02:40:01 +0300 )edit

Many thanks for the tip MattVogt. That did the trick. Kind of embarrassing I didn't check out the "link" pulley option. However I agree with Stefanix. I'm not sure how this feature would be helpful after all. If I had the choice I'd disable/remove it.

jonathanarcher ( 2014-02-10 08:33:44 +0300 )edit

Yes, this is very annoying. I have several contacts with the same name in my N9 and when transferring them to Jolla, they got merged automatically. This should be an option, not a default behaviour.

adiz0r ( 2014-02-20 17:45:20 +0300 )edit

I deleted my own very long answer because it was written mostly in a rage and not very constructive.

This is still very puzzling though. I do understand that the linkage concept is needed since all the contact information is spread over several account types. They cannot be easily or magically synchronized, therefore I realize linking is needed.

However, I feel that the biggest problem is the automatic linking for similar names. It becomes confusing and even if contacts are unlinked manually at some time they seems to be linked back again automatically when things synchronize again.

I have no idea if jolla has acknowledged this as a problem or is working on some solution but I do feel something should be done because new phone-owners (myself and my wife for instance) get very confused and have no idea what the problem is. It is not very intuitive and it takes a lot of effort to get out of.

Larswad ( 2014-09-02 13:35:42 +0300 )edit

@MattVogt - please I do not use Sailfish, because I want to have a Windowz or Apple experience. I do not want the phone to do things for me, that I do not want. I want the phone to do things exactly I want.

This is a stupid answer, because it does not solve the problem. Instead it is trying to relativize the problem. The problem itself is as stupid as the answer.

I can imagine that it is because someone was lazy to merge contacts. But hey, the stuff was working great in N9 - and as far as I know a lot of things from N9 were adopted.

deloptes ( 2018-10-12 10:12:59 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-02-09 15:50:55 +0300

Seen: 736 times

Last updated: Apr 03 '14