Future Planning: Thunderbird as a Web App

Joshua Cranmer 🐧 pidgeot18 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 18 16:29:11 UTC 2015

On 9/17/2015 10:23 PM, Eric Moore wrote:
> One benefit of limiting Thunderbird to just js/html appears to be that 
> we could share "maintenance work of "low-level" protocol code with 
> Gaia email or other components". However, that is a two edged sword as 
> in practice it could also mean that we'd have to constantly adapt to 
> changes in the Mozilla platform.

In the time since I started working on JSMime in 2011, I have had to 
make exactly one change to JSMime to adapt for something Mozilla did, 
and that wasn't even a core aspect of the code (it was my use of XHR 
sync for use in non-TB test environments). There's a few things I'd like 
to change (namely using typed arrays instead of binary strings, since 
typed arrays didn't exist when I started), but not because I have to. In 
contrast, there have been dozens of small changes and fixes that we need 
to handle using the XPCOM infrastructure. Moving to a more pure JS/web 
tech-based approach would actually reduce that level of minor change 
adaptation, since there is far more conservatism about breaking 
web-exposed APIs than add-on-exposed/internal APIs.

Joshua Cranmer
Thunderbird and DXR developer
Source code archæologist

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