Please remove LDAP from addressbook and turn it into a extension

NEW
Unassigned

Status

MailNews Core
Address Book
--
enhancement
14 years ago
4 years ago

People

(Reporter: Hadmut Danisch, Unassigned)

Tracking

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

14 years ago
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

Comment 1

14 years ago
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. :)

Comment 2

14 years ago
(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
(Reporter)

Comment 3

14 years ago
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

Comment 4

13 years ago
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
(Assignee)

Updated

10 years ago
Product: Core → MailNews Core
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