Nightingale - Nascent Contacts project under Thunderbird

Robert Kaiser kairo at
Mon Dec 5 16:57:50 UTC 2016

neandr schrieb:
> That 'vContacts' project is based on the request from the NZ Victoria 
> University to have a group of students working with Thunderbird. The 
> good point was their decision to go for a more modern technology, not 
> only using indexedDB but also React for designing the UI and a more 
> structured approach for a new addressbook. The current status is far 
> away from the functionality of the current 'mature' mork 
> implementation or Philippe's cardBook. James plans to go further with 
> the 'Nightingale' approach (maybe the name could be better selected, 
> but not that important here) but it shouldn't go with XUL -- afaiu.

I fully agree that it's a good idea to go with an HTML-based 
implementation. That said, even people deeply encouraging React and 
Electron and all that fancy new stuff have some good input on where that 
is problematic for application development that uis not web page 
development, see e.g.

I'm also always a bit weary of what those general libraries like React 
make us put up with just for compatiblity with different web rendering 
engines and old browsers (which is a reality on the web) when what we 
write is to run in a single, current rendering engine in our 
applications. That's why I generally like things better that do not pull 
in those general-porpose libraries and frameworks. Unfortunately, the 
other option is to probably create our own framework of sorts - which we 
have done with XUL and XPCOM in the past and which probably wasn't the 
best way for the long haul either - even though it has served us very 
well for almost two decades now.

We definitely need to experiment with what's good approaches and digging 
into this technology is a good idea for this project. We just need to be 
very careful what we learn and how far we make ourselves dependent on 
those gerneal-purpose external libraries and frameworks.

That said, Firefox devtools and potentially other parts of the project 
seem to also experiment with React, so it's definitely not something 
that is completely abstruse. ;-)


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