A new address book: help wanted

Mike Conley mconley at mozilla.com
Sat Nov 23 19:06:21 UTC 2013

Hey tb-planning,

Over the past year or so, I've become known as "the address book guy". Anytime somebody asks what's happening with the address book, somebody points to me, and I tell them the same thing: "I'm working on it, but in my free time, which has been quite sparse as of late."

Well, it's become increasingly apparent that I don't have the cycles to drive this project to completion on my own. If we're serious about trying to ship a new address book (or the moorings for a new address book) in the next major release, I thinks somebody better take the helm from me - somebody who can actually spare some time on it.

Here is the state of things, just to give context:

1) The fragments of an add-on to replace the current address book exist here: https://github.com/mikeconley/thunderbird-ensemble. When I say fragments, I really mean it. It's gone through several design iterations, and I've backpedaled here and there, and it's really quite obvious that I've had a hard time moving past just creating the backend. I think the original decision of using Backbone.js for modeling and data binding may have been an error, but I could be wrong on that.

2) Jon Demelo, my GSoC student, worked on a connector for CardDAV. We've got tests and the rudimentary functions for receiving CardDAV records appears to work.

3) The platform change for bug 457296 landed, which gives us the ability to store remote content permissions in the Permission Manager rather than the address book. Thunderbird still needs to be modified to use this ability, and provide an interface for revoking those permissions.

4) I've filed a bug (Bug 841603) and created (now outdated) WIP patches for creating a generic contact service for other components to call into - this service can be overridden by an add-on so that a new address book could be swapped in.

That last patch will need rethinking now that mozContacts is using WebIDL bindings as opposed to XPCOM bindings.

It might also be worth investigating what Firefox Accounts is going to do with contact synchronization, since I heard at the Summit that this was a long term goal. It's likely long off though.

I don't want to give up on this project, and I do want to see it moved forward, which is why I think someone else should drive. I'm more than happy to give advice, review patches, and I might submit some code from time to time - but someone else has to take the helm from me.

Any volunteers?


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