Re: Thunderbird Backend


On Tue, 2006-04-11 at 23:47 +0200, Pierre �tlund wrote:
> I've spent some time lately working on a Thunderbird backend for beagle. 
> Most of the basic stuff works, but it needs hard testing and some more 
> work until it's ready for mainstream. So, that's why I've decided to 
> release the source code to get some input.

Dude, this is totally awesome!

> As you all know by now, Thunderbird's using Mork as it's file format to 
> store some basic information about mails in your different mailboxes. 
> This information is very limited and you won't get very far with it. In 
> order to perform a "full index" you'll have to download all mails to 
> your harddrive. This is default behavior when using POP3. IMAP on the 
> other hand, does not. You will have to enable the option: "Make the 
> messages in my Inbox available when I am working offline" in order to 
> get a "full index". If you don't do this, only some basic information 
> stored in the Mork database-file can be indexed (subject, sender, date 
> and some other things). You can enable this option at: Edit->Account 
> Settings...->Offline & Disk Space->Offline. If a mail for some reason 
> can't be fully indexed, partial index (information in the mork-file) 
> will be used as fallback. No need to worry.

This is also how the Evolution IMAP backend works.  Any time a message
is viewed (or downloaded for offline mode) a locally cached copy is
saved.  Beagle tries to index those if they're available, otherwise it
just indexes the summary data.

In short, I think this is absolutely the right approach.

> What's not supported (or not working correctly):
> * New mails downloaded _after_ index is done, are not indexed until 
> beagle is restarted

This should be fairly straightforward with inotify.

> * Attachments are indexed, but you can't open them

This is also the case for Evolution.  For these, I think it's sufficient
to just open the mailer to the email that contains the attachment.  (And
although it's an extra step to extract it, it's beneficial because it
gives the context the attachment was sent in)

> I guess that's the information needed for now. The patch is available in 
> the bugzilla ( It 
> works fine with HEAD and version 0.2.4. Comments? Should I continue my work?

I haven't looked at the code yet, but I think you're on the right track.
I'll check out the code tomorrow.


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