User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; de-DE; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20050110 Firefox/1.0 (Debian package 1.0+dfsg.1-2) Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; de-DE; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20050110 Firefox/1.0 (Debian package 1.0+dfsg.1-2) Hi, after years of problems and shortcomings with the LDAP part of the mozilla/thunderbird addressbook (some years ago Netscape Navigator was able to display a portrait, thunderbird isn't), problems with the existing LDAP schemes, and the delay to issue an official Mozilla LDAP scheme (see bug #116692) I'd like to propose the following: Please completely remove LDAP code from the addressbook. Instead, define a general API for database fetching plugins. E.g. if you search for an address, the plugin might simply compose a html page with things to display. If the mail composer asks, the plugin might return a list of email addresses. When modifying an address or entering a new one, the plugin could give a web form and parse the arguments. This way everyone can use the address database and address structure he wants by simply using/writing a plugin meeting his personal taste or requirements. Then give a default plugin which basically deals with currently defined LDAP servers and schemes. Would be greate if Plugins could be written in Perl/Ruby/... for Linux or the usual languages (VisualBasic/C#) for Windows. regards Hadmut Reproducible: Always
Yes I believe this is probably the best way to address remote addressbooks as it does not restrict people to using LDAP but other portions of the plugin could be added so that different types of db's could be used (mysql, flatfile, whatever) and it would restrict the developement on the plugin devs instead of recompiling the mozilla tree. Ok, well lets start a plugin. :)
(is this a bug against core?) confirming, but this may be marked WONTFIX as I don't see that it's reasonable for LDAP to be removed. To access external data you can investigate providing your own ldap server that accesses your external data (mysql, etc). There are plenty of tools out there.
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true
There are plenty of reasons why the LDAP interface is by far too limited. - There is currently no publicy adopted LDAP scheme for more than just a home and a business address. No chance to have more home, more business and more other addresses. - LDAP is inappropriate and not tailored for personal databases, like reading from files (e.g. to use PGP key rings as address lists). - Even after several years Mozilla/Firefox does not yet have an official LDAP scheme. I can remember that early versions of Netscape Navigator were definitely more powerful (put user prefs and bookmarks on LDAP, display user portraits). - An LDAP interface is too complicated to provide. If you want to write your own interface to any database, how do you easily provide an LDAP interface? Common script languages have libraries for LDAP clients, but not for LDAP servers. - Mozilla is not yet able to write entries in LDAP, and I don't believe that it will be in near future. But if you provide an interface similar to a cgi script, you can easily write an interface in any script language. If you allow the script to generate a HTML page as a search result, you can display anything you want and anything needed in your company structure. The Mozilla LDAP functions are far from being able to do this. If you allow the script to display a HTML form and to evaluate the values entered, you can easily modify any database with any address structure. In contrast, the Mozilla LDAP functions are extremely limited to a fixed address structure. I don't know of any company where this limited address structure is used and sufficient. Everyone uses company or OS specific extensions or an address structure more suitable to the country's address types. Just compare the address programs available for Linux (e.g. Mozilla, KDE, Gnome, Evolution,...), everyone has a different entry structure. With the LDAP interface, Mozilla will not be able to use and display these entries properly, and it will not be able to access them. Same with Windows: I do not see how I can access my personal address entries on an Exchange Server with Mozilla. I need Evolution to do that. Would be nice to configure address books with arbitrary interface scripts or libraries. And by the way, don't get me wrong, but the Mozilla/Thunderbird LDAP functions still have several bugs, and the bugs exist for years. Leaving it as it is might not be advisable. regards Hadmut
So I think this really is a combination of two separate issues: addressbooks need to be made fully pluggable, and then the LDAP addressbook should be made into such a plugin and moved into mailnews/extensions. Addressbooks are already mostly pluggable thanks to the re-factoring work that Sun did a number of years ago that lead to the existance of the Mozilla LDAP addressbook in the first place. Another example of this sort of architecture can be found over in mozilla/calendar, which has a concept of calendar "providers" of exactly this sort. More infrastructure for autodiscovery of these providers is in progress in bugs 297721 and 282223.
OS: Linux → All
Hardware: PC → All
Moving to core as this will affect SeaMonkey as well.
Assignee: mscott → nobody
Component: Address Book → MailNews: Address Book
Product: Thunderbird → Core
QA Contact: addressbook
Version: unspecified → Trunk
(In reply to comment #4) > So I think this really is a combination of two separate issues: addressbooks > need to be made fully pluggable, and then the LDAP addressbook should be made > into such a plugin and moved into mailnews/extensions. Addressbooks are already > mostly pluggable thanks to the re-factoring work that Sun did a number of years > ago that lead to the existance of the Mozilla LDAP addressbook in the first place. Although that is true, we still need more work to make this happen. For instance preferences are still quite intercombined between the mork & ldap address books. Bug 331557 should help that a bit, but there is more that needs to be done to really make this happen.
Depends on: 331557
If we did do this, then it would be an extension and not a plugin (changing title)
Summary: Please remove LDAP from addressbook and turn it into a plugin → Please remove LDAP from addressbook and turn it into a extension
Product: Core → MailNews Core
You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.