Why we need Gecko updates

Joshua Cranmer 🐧 pidgeot18 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 11 16:08:08 UTC 2015

On 12/10/2015 2:44 PM, R Kent James wrote:
> On 12/10/2015 12:09 PM, Jim wrote:
>> I'd argue that at least a couple could be moved to Thunderbird. 2-3 
>> full-time developers on Thunderbird could make a huge difference, and 
>> combining our efforts with the Firefox OS productivity team would 
>> help both parties out.
> As far as I am concerned, it was a huge strategic error of Mozilla to 
> keep these teams separate in the first place. At Toronto a couple of 
> months ago we heard some anecdotes about how firm the resolve was of 
> Mozilla to prevent Thunderbird from infecting the Gaia email team.

I have talked to asuth a fair amount over the past few years about the 
interaction of Gaia email and Thunderbird; unfortunately the relevant 
IRC channels aren't logged, so I can't point you at those records.

The basic summary, though, that we can both agree on is that there is 
very little that Thunderbird had to offer Gaia email when it was started 
up. The state of JS libraries was extremely poor back then (and is still 
somewhat shoddy), so trying to contribute shared JS code from Gaia to 
Thunderbird is difficult, particularly because Thunderbird is extremely 
feature rich, and I don't think any part of the relevant JS libraries is 
at feature-parity with our code yet (!). For example, SMTP, the simplest 
of the core protocols, needs to support GSSAPI, CRAM-MD5, NTLM SASL 
auth, non-UTF-8 8-bit-messages (thanks, Japan), proxies, and message 
delivery notifications, none of which Gaia's library (emailjs.org's 
smtpclient) supports.

Having talked with both the Gaia email and the emailjs.org people, I've 
more or less gotten people to agree on some of the changes to be made, 
but I've lacked any time to actually develop those changes. If people 
can spare some time, fleshing out the email-socket library and hooking 
up smtpclient and email-sasl to that would open the doors to being able 
to share some more code between various email projects.

Joshua Cranmer
Thunderbird and DXR developer
Source code archæologist

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