Function to batch export to delimited text files needed

RESOLVED EXPIRED

Status

MailNews Core
Backend
--
enhancement
RESOLVED EXPIRED
14 years ago
9 years ago

People

(Reporter: sctechlaw, Assigned: (not reading, please use seth@sspitzer.org instead))

Tracking

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

14 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040113
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040113

Although its clearly not desirable to maintain an "export to other mail
application" function such as requested in bug number 191544, Mozilla should
have the ability to batch-export messages to delimited text files. The headers,
from, to, send date, recipient, subject, has attachment(s) property,
attachment(s) names property, and message body should be exportable and also
accessible from other apps. A plus would be the batch-export of attachments to
individual files in a user-selectable location.

Currently, one can save individual messages as text files, but not as delimited
files.

Reproducible: Always
Steps to Reproduce:
1. [Single message] File --> Save As --> File: saves plain text file
2. [Selecting more than one message] File --> Save As: the rest is disabled

Actual Results:  
1. Can save single message as text, not delimited.
2. Nothing

Expected Results:  
Give an option to save either single or multiple messages as a delimited text
file. Include option to export attachments to a named location.

Comment 1

14 years ago
Reporter, can you explain what you mean with a 'delimited' file ? Can you give
us an example of an application that would be able to read them ?

Note that when you currently save a message, it will be stored in an *.eml file,
which uses the message/rfc822 MIME-type. Can you explain what your 'delimited'
file would provide more than this standard format ?

Note that the internal format that Mozilla uses for its mailfolder, is the old
'mbox' (standard UNIX mailbox) format, which can easily be read by many
mailclients. 'Exporting' an entire mailfolder is easy this way.
I'm pretty sure this is a WONTFIX.

We already do, it's called mbox, and it's how we save messages.  Read up on the
format.  

I don't see support for any ohter format coming.
OS: Windows 98 → All
Hardware: PC → All
(Reporter)

Comment 3

14 years ago
(In reply to comment #1)
> Reporter, can you explain what you mean with a 'delimited' file ? ....

A delimited text file is a plain-text data file with a specific 
pre-established arrangement or organization of data, where the 
data values are separated by commas, tabs, or other characters.

A delimited text file is a well-established format for transferring 
data from one application to another, because most all email apps 
and databases are able to import and export delimited text files.

Data pulled from an email app or database and represented in 
a comma-delimited format looks about like this:

<example>

MsgID,InfoStore,Folder,Sender,Recipient,Subject,DateSent,AttYN,AttNum,MsgBody	
00000000C0243E105F42D21A5AA44455354000084132100,ComSec,ISN,isn@C4I.ORG,ISN@SECURITYFOCUS.COM
[SMTP:ISN@SECURITYFOCUS.COM],Service-based security,6/14/2000 10:50:11 am,No,0,
(body of message)

</example>

In the above example, each column value is separated by a 
comma from the next column's value and each row starts a new 
line. When represented in comma-delimited format we call it 
comma-separated values, abbreviated CSV. When using tabs as 
the delimiters, we call the data file tab-delimited and use 
a TXT extension.

Making Mozilla MailNews data fields exportable as delimited 
data would enable almost all other email apps and databases 
under Windows and 'nix to access that data.  Probably a 
tab-delimited format would work best, though having the 
delimiter be user-selectable would be optimal.

There is a descripting of MBOX conversion at:
http://lists.debian.org/debian-wnpp/2004/debian-wnpp-200402/msg00056.html






(Reporter)

Comment 4

14 years ago
(In reply to comment #3)
> (In reply to comment #1)
 
> There is a descripting of MBOX conversion at:
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-wnpp/2004/debian-wnpp-200402/msg00056.html

Uh, big typo.  See:
  http://mbox2mysql.sourceforge.net/ and 
  http://www.hypermail.org/
for projects that rely on MBOX conversion.

What I'm suggesting is not something that would require any 
active conversion as in the above examples, but that would 
simply make Moz Mail's data passively available in a more 
usable way to other apps in a cross-platform, app-independent 
format. 

The biggest difference between MBOX and delimited text is that 
MBOX presents data in rows, while delimted text presents data 
in column-rows.  All that's really required is to parse the 
data into delimited rows.  MBOX has to read the data fields 
anyway for normal functioning.

Comment 5

14 years ago
(In reply to comment #3)
> Making Mozilla MailNews data fields exportable as delimited 
> data would enable almost all other email apps and databases 
> under Windows and 'nix to access that data.  Probably a 
> tab-delimited format would work best, though having the 
> delimiter be user-selectable would be optimal.

And what email app might that be ? None of my mail-apps (I'm on Mac) can read a
CSV-file. Or write them. But all of them can read MBOX-files.

I'm not claiming that a CSV-file doesn't work, though.
Product: MailNews → Core
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Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 12 years ago
Resolution: --- → EXPIRED
Product: Core → MailNews Core
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