Thunderbird mailing-list / NNTP decision rationale
asutherland at asutherland.org
Thu Aug 12 04:53:50 UTC 2010
On 08/09/2010 08:05 PM, JoeS wrote:
> On 8/9/2010 10:00 PM, Andrew Sutherland wrote:
>> If something happened where our options were between sinking a
>> non-trivial amount of MoMo man-hours into NNTP or removing the
>> current C++ implementation, I believe we would remove it.
> Well, that "something" hasn't happened, and NTTP being a long
> established protocol, that hasn't changed in years, that event is very
> to happen. So why mention it as if it is a drain on resources.
Indeed, none of the changes we have made so far have affected the
back-end or front-end in such a way that major refactoring work would
have been required to the NNTP implementation to keep it working.
But that is not to say it has not slowed us down. I know I spent a
serious amount of time trying to get additional arguments for the NNTP
message streaming process through the convoluted URI/service mechanism
so that gloda could index newsgroup messages. I did manage to get the
information through, but I also apparently managed to regress handling
of newsgroup attachments. This was not an obvious thing because of the
lack of test coverage. I believe I've also spent numerous hours
investigating crashers and pathological behavior that required
consideration of the news codebase. I have observed other developers
spending time on issues specific to the NNTP implementation, as well.
The reason such things are worth mentioning is because we are now
beginning to make back-end changes and front-end changes that could
force the issue and because there seemed to be the impression that many
of the Thunderbird developers have a problem with NNTP itself. Because
the mailnews database bits are reasonably abstracted from the protocol
bits, I'm not expecting bienvenu's back-end changes to be that event,
but the option needs to be on the table. Likewise, the current 3-pane
UI implementation will probably outlive us all, but a lot of the new UI
experiments are gloda-centric and so the current news implementation
will be invisible to them. (And making the current news implementation
visible to gloda is not a small undertaking; most of the work in gloda
was in dealing with all the complexities of the POP and IMAP
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