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kill-mork and kill-RDF ideas

I've just read an interesting blog post about rewrites in MailNews, which would improve both Thunderbird and SeaMonkey by replacing very long-lived, historically grown, patched and hacked interfaces in the mail and news code by interfaces that cleanly apply to present architecture and are again open for relatively clean additions in the future. This doesn't mean the current code was that bad at the time it was created, it was made for the state of mailnews in those times, and those times being almost 10 years ago (early Mozilla code) or even before (code we inherited from Netscape) clearly explains why things like message tags or feed account types require some sort of hacks to apply cleanly to the old code. Also message meta info being stored at folder (newsgroup) level instead of account level means that it's e.g. hard to mark cross-posted message read in multiple newsgroups. A side effect of those reworks is also that old storage formats like Mork databases and RDF datasources can be replaced by more modern backends like the SQLite-backed mozStorage mechanism.

Joshua Cranmer, who wrote the blog post I cited above, is currently trying to get a picture of where we want to end up with such rewrites, how we can get rid of Mork ("kill-mork" work) and many RDF usages ("kill-RDF" work), and how to design interfaces in a way that they are fit for future enhancements.
When the picture gets clearer, he intends to work on kill-mork tasks in address book first, from what I read.

I am looking forward to seeing this work evolve, I think it could improve some of the code areas that many people are unwilling to touch because of their historically grown clumsiness - and in open source, it's always bad if people refrain to touch code because they don't fully understand it.

Entry written by KaiRo and posted on January 21st, 2008 16:54 | Tags: MailNews, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Thunderbird | 3 comments | TrackBack



Laurens Holst

from Netherlands

Re: kill-RDF
Well, I wouldn’t say that relational databases are ‘more modern’ than RDF. You could say that they are ‘more mature’ though, which is a direct effect of the long time that relational databases have been in use.

In essence, RDF is like a database without all the restrictions that relational databases have. :)

But I guess by saying ‘more modern backends’, you are talking about the actual implementations, so maybe my comment does not really apply to the post :). A shame no-one attempted to re-write the RDF backend.
2008-01-21 19:50


mork should definitely die. Some storage formats were never meant to exist.
2008-01-22 10:08

Peter Lowe

from Prague

die die die
I never liked that show. Mindy was a total cocktease.

PS: modern
adj 1: belonging to the modern era; since the Middle Ages; "modern
art"; "modern furniture"; "modern history"; "totem
poles are modern rather than prehistoric" [ant: nonmodern]

RDF might be more modern than prehistoric, but even totem poles went out of fashion eventually.

PPS: Personally I just like the idea of being able to manipulate my own data without too much effort involved, because it's being stored in a format popular enough for people to make nice tools I can use.

PPPPS: Finally, it would just be nice to see The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science breathing a sigh of relief once they got their acronym back. I mean, the irony!

Errata: I don't agree with the policy of Home of KaiRo, but I'm clicking it anyway. Am I now a criminal? The specific point was

"Only single, natural, real persons are allowed to register with the system. Only 1 (one) account is allowed per person and website (excluding administrative purposes)."

I find it unfair that you exclude people lucky enough to have found a partner with whom to share their life. Boo!
2008-05-02 20:06

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