Re: Thunderbird support

Hi Johann,

On 4/14/07, Johann Petrak <johann petrak chello at> wrote:
So -- why not use a Thunderbird plugin instead?

A plugin is definitely a possibility, and is probably an easier path
to get at least something going.  (Although, we have the original
author of the Thunderbird backend doing a Summer of Code project to
reimplement it.)  I definitely encourage someone to write one.

There are a couple of downsides to doing a Thunderbird plugin though,
which is why I think they haven't been done so far:

(1) It would only work while Thunderbird was running.  Ideally you'd
like to have your emails indexed even if you're not running the mail

(2) Scheduling how you index the mails would be tricky from inside TB.
One option is to only index emails when you view them (similar to how
the Firefox extension works).  This sucks because you only index a
mail when you view it in TB, and personally I have thousands of
messages -- some of which I never even read -- which I might want to
search later.  The other option is to gradually walk the list of mails
and send them to Beagle for indexing.  You'd want to code this in TB
so that it didn't (a) use all CPU and (b) save tons of temporary data
to disk, and that's tricky.

(3) Keeping state is tricky.  Especially if you go with the
crawling/scheduling path in (2).  You'll have to save some state about
what messages have been indexed, which have changed, etc.

So it's a tough problem; (1) is insurmountable with a plugin, (2) and
(3) are doable, though.  Whether (2) and (3) are harder than writing a
sane Mork parser, that's definitely up in the air. ;)

Finally, if the plugin is installed it could also become more easy
to show an email from a beagle search result list.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this.  Can you give a
little more detail?


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