CardBook postulates to become a Thunderbird featured addon.

R Kent James kent at
Tue Apr 11 00:42:55 UTC 2017

On 4/8/2017 2:10 AM, Philippe VIGNEAU wrote:
> hi folks
> The development of CardBook goes on, and I think that it is now 
> eligible to become a Thunderbird featured addon

Yes, that would be great, it is an excellent addon.

The current issue is that nobody is managing featured addons for 
Thunderbird. We were contacted about that, I believe a couple of years 
ago, but did not get anyone willing to take it on. So that feature is 
dormant. It would be great if someone would agree to take on the task of 
reviewing and selecting featured addons for Thunderbird.

> About the future of Thunderbird, whatever would be the path to the new 
> Thunderbird, I'm ready and open to work to make CardBook the new 
> Thunderbird addressbook.

Perhaps you are asking if, prior to the switchover to Thunderbird++, 
Thunderbird should switch to Cardbook for a year or two.
Cardbook is not a demo of Thunderbird++ technologies, but a proposal for 
an alternate address book with the current version of Thunderbird. Let's 
make sure we keep those issues separate.

I hope everyone understands that Thunderbird++ is a rewrite without 
XPCOM and XUL. Cardbook, in spite of being an excellent addon, is not at 
all focused on the issue of migrating away from Gecko. So while it could 
be a candidate for replacing or supplementing the existing address book, 
it would need to be rewritten (as does the rest of Thunderbird) to a 
future technology without XUL or XPCOM. BenB is proposing that we do NOT 
rewrite existing XUL/XPCOM code to port to a new approach, but rather 
start from scratch. That is up for debate still, but Cardbook uses the 
old technologies and would need to be rewritten (along with the rest of 
Thunderbird) for Thunderbird++.

As a coincidence, in my Monroe class today we installed a local 
Sabre/dav carddav server and your addon (Cardbook) as one of various 
demos of address book UIs and backends.

However, I had to give them a cautionary speech about the licensing 
issues. Any product released by Thunderbird would likely be MPL 
licensed. Anything released through the Caspia project would likely be 
Apache or MIT licensed. There are serious license compatibility issues, 
as we have discussed earlier, between your GPL code and future code. 
"ready and open to work (together)" can only start when Cardbook is 
relicensed as MPL or weaker. You've said you are willing to do that, and 
I would encourage you to urgently pursue relicensing away from GPL if 
you hope for your addon to be available for use (either in part or in 
whole) as part of the Thunderbird core.

That being said, we (Caspia) would love to figure out a way to work with 
you. But also as I said to you earlier, the goals of your project and 
ours are very, very different and may not be compatible. What we are 
attempting is closer to Mark Banner's "define an experiment which is 
limited in scope and goals" initially, trying to model a possible larger 
Thunderbird rewrite using contact management as a base. We will be 
looking at small experiments initially, seeing how we would port those 
to Electon/NodeJS, or Myk Melzez's qbrt, or as a "pure" web app possibly 
with a process or server to implement needed features missing from the 
web (like non-http tcp/ip access). We're looking several years ahead, 
while you are trying to fix the present. Both are needed. Let's keep 


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