A Roadmap for the Tinymail python bindings.

Roadmap for the Tinymail python bindings

There has been a lot of work done already in creating the initial python
bindings for Tinymail. The source tree auto generates the bindings using
the PyGObject / PyGtk tools and using this method the majority of the
API has been wrapped in Python calls. 

The PyGtk tools give an estimated coverage of the C API and shows that
the following numbers of functions or methods are yet to be wrapped:

Unwrapped methods(30)
Unwrapped functions(3)
Unknown arguments(24)

tinymailui-gtk -
Unwrapped functions(2)
Unknown arguments(1)

tinymail-camel -
Unwrapped methods(6)
Unwrapped functions(2)
Unknown arguments(6)

The Tinymail library was roughly 90% covered by the automated bindings

Initial work
The goal of any initial work on the bindings it to make robust bindings
for the core of the Tinymail API, suitable for creating a mail client in
Python. The python demo code needs to be enhanced so that it can be
considered a minimal but complete mail client. The work required to do
this is detailed below. 

-Complete coverage of the Tinymail core API

The the majority of methods that are Incomplete relate to TnyAccount and
TnyFolder, both of these are essential to building a mail client and
need to be wrapped in Python methods.

-Allow use of the Camel implementation of the core API

Again the majority of unfinished methods relate to TnyCamelAccount and
TnyCamelFolder. These method calls need to be completed in Python. 

-Allow interface implementation of parts of the Tinymail API

The current python bindings do not allow any interface implementation in
python. The python demo code, as such, does not do very much work
outside of 'C'. It uses a default platform-factory, and default
implementations of all the API's. To properly build a mail client we
need to enable some of the interfaces to be implemented. 

Initial work will implement in python: TnyAccountStore,
TnyPlatformFactoy, and TnyDevice.

TnyDevice - The python implementation of this interface will use
dbus-python to access the network manager for updates on the
connectivity status. 

TnyPlatformFactory - Will return a TnyCamelStoreAccount, TnyCamelMsg,
TnyCamelMimePart, TnyGtkPasswordDialog, TnyGtkMsgView. It will return
the implemented TnyDevice and TnyAccountStore.

TnyAccountStore - Will implement the loading and saving of account data
in Python. Will use the TnyCamelIMAPStoreAccount and the

-Extend the Python demo to a more fully featured mail client

The first mail client will mix the tinymailui-gtk implementation, with
some of the interface implemented in python.

It will support:

        Sending and receiving mail via IMAP and SMTP. 
        Browsing folders of the IMAP account. 
        Entering account details to IMAP and SMTP.
        Browsing summaries of message headers.
        Composing and reading text e-mails.

It should make full use of:
TnyAccount, TnyMsg, TnyMimePart, TnyStoreAccount, TnyTransportAccount,
TnyFolderStore, TnyFolder.

-Moving the python bindings to other supported platforms

The python bindings will be enhanced so that it is possible to implement
all of the TinymailUI API within python. Python bindings libraries
will be built for the OLPC / XO platform.

An implementation of a mail client will be built for the XO platform.
This will also the Gtk implementation of the UI interface to create the
client. From this base the UI could be reimplemented, to provide a Sugar
UI feel. The implementations for TnyDevice, TnyAccountStore and
TnyPlatformFactory should be portable to the XO, although will be
modified to allow more options for TnyAccounts. Later they may be
modified to use the different UI elements.

Doc Strings

The most necessary extension to the work is to allow the python doc
strings to be generated, preferably using some auto-generation of the
Tinymail docs, along with some hand modification. 

Complete a production client for the OLPC platform.

Re implement the UI to provide a sugar look and feel as well as
extending the functionality of the Python mail client to use all
Transport types and Mime Types.  Provide python bindings for the Mozilla
Embedded MsgView and MimePart interfaces to display HTML messages. 

Allow all Tinymail interfaces to be implemented in Python.

This would allow reimplementation of the core Tinymail API. This could,
for example, use the OLPC Tubes to implement a TnyTransportAccount for
sending e-mails. 

Implement python protocols for Tinymail types.

This is making python programmers feel more at home using the Tinymail
module. For example, the TnyFolder type has a method to get all headers.
Should python programmers be able to call "for header in folder:" to
iterate over headers in a folder. Are there any classes in the Tinymail
framework that need to be compared by value rather than
reference. How should the TnyIterator object be represented in python,
which has its own iterators. This is a large body of work that would be
beneficial to the bindings, but not break the python API.

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