New Account Types and data equivalency (was post TB 3.1 mailnews backend plans)

Andrew Sutherland asutherland at
Mon Jul 19 19:12:42 UTC 2010

  On 07/18/2010 06:45 AM, Robert Kaiser wrote:
> Do you mean that gloda is about to be changed from a pure index to 
> something that actually holds important data and is necessary for the 
> app to function properly?

(responding to list, as I think this question is likely interesting to 
others and it's not clear it was intended for this to be directed only 
at me)

It depends on your definition of "important data" ;).  Specifically, I 
would expect the first new account types to be things like twitter, 
facebook, mailing list archives, etc.  In these cases, we could probably 
claim that the authoritative store is twitter, facebook, the site that 
holds the archives, etc.  At some point I would eventually expect for 
someone to create a new account type/message source whose authoritative 
store (or a replicated but equally authoritative store) resides within 

I am planning to add explicit support for marking the importance of data 
so that a single mechanism can be on the hook for ensuring reliable 
storage so that account types/message sources do not have to roll that 

In terms of being required for the app to function properly, I think it 
depends what "app" you are talking about.  None of my changes will touch 
the mailnews core (pretend gloda does not live under mailnews/).  
SeaMonkey's current MailNews consumer will be unaffected.  Likewise, the 
current Thunderbird 3-pane view will not be affected.

However, all new UI I will be working on will be building on top of the 
gloda layer.  Given our add-on driven development style, these will 
happen as extensions, but for the purposes of discussion you could 
consider them an "app".  I think this is roughly what rkent is referring 
to with what he has dubbed gigabird.  I'm not on board with that name 
(mainly because it too easily plays into quips about Thunderbird's 
memory usage :) and have been referring to the effort as "thunderbird 
prime" because it captures the general concept, sounds cool, and does 
not require as much explanation as a completely different name would.  
However, that's not a remotely official thing.

Obviously, any existing app that wants to leverage the new work is going 
to need to operate in the same domain as the new work.  The good news is 
that my UI efforts are very focused on extensibility so if seamonkey 
wanted to transition from operating at a mailnews level to a gloda level 
it should be easier to implement a different set of UX decisions without 
having to reimplement all the functionality.


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