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Palm Sync?

Discussion of features in Mozilla Thunderbird
Ricky
 
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Post Posted April 3rd, 2003, 12:15 am

Not really relevant to me personally, but I have a friend who uses Mozilla mail, and can't get it to sync mail w/ his palm pilot. It'd be nice if minotaur/thunderbird could do this, as I'm sure he's not the only one. 8-)

David James

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Post Posted April 4th, 2003, 10:08 am

It's a nice idea but don't expect that to be incorporated into MailNews for a few reasons:
(1) It's an example of "feature bloat"
(2) There are cross-platform issues with palm syncing

However, this is the type of thing that might one day be turned into an extension (or extensions), so I'm guardedly optimistic.
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mscott

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Post Posted April 4th, 2003, 3:27 pm

I'm not sure why your friend can't do Palm Sync with mozilla builds. Palm sync functionality is in the tree under mozilla\mailnews\extensions\palmsync. Maybe mozilla builds choose not to build with that extension.

On that note, David is exactly right. We won't put it in minotaur by default because it really is feature bloat. However, once we have extensions up and running we can take the palm sync code that already exists for Mozilla mail and wrap it up as an extension you could add to Minotaur.

David James

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Post Posted April 5th, 2003, 9:31 am

Hmm, I wasn't aware that palm syncing even existed -- it's certainly no where obvious or even semi-obvious in my Debianized Mozilla installation. I've never tried, but I could probably export the address book and then import that to jpilot and then sync with my palm pilot, but a direct Mozilla-to-pilot palmsync isn't at all obvious.

In an ironic twist, I can only use my USB ports in Linux; Windows 98 just refuses to detect anything that is plugged in to them. Not quite true - if there's a USB mouse plugged in it will actually lock up the system in Windows 98, so I have the ironic set up of a USB scroll mouse for Linux and a two-button serial mouse for Windows!
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coffeemonk
 
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Post Posted April 14th, 2003, 9:40 am

as far as i'm aware, the Palm Sync feature that was in development as part of mail/news was a) only for syncronizing Address Books between MozAB and PalmAB, and b) only available on builds for Windows based machines. I wasn't a contributor, but i did a bit of testing for them awhile back.

I'd have to agree that *mail* synchro would be definite feature bloat, but i think that Address Book synchro is less "bloat" and more *feature.*

Since you typically have to *pay for* additional software to enable synchro (at least on Windows machines) between Palm & other addressbook/mailers, it would be a big boon for Minotaur/Thunderbird's AB to have this feature built in. especially if we could get it working x-platform and much more stably than the current Moz incarnation.
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coffeemonk
 
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Post Posted April 22nd, 2003, 6:53 am

I've been wondering, since posting my last comment, about the possibility of implementing the existing Mozilla Mail/News PalmSync components as Thunderbird extensions. I'm assuming that this shouldn't be too terribly difficult to do, we just need to indicate to the owners of the PalmSync components that this is needed.

But another thought that i was pondering was the possibility of breaking out the Address Book as yet another standalone application, that could be plugged in as an extension for Thunderbird. This would also open up the possibility of developing it as a replacement (on, for example, Windows machines) for a general contact manager app (like Windows' Address Book). I personally would love to see this happen--development of a standalone contact manager with strong interoperability with Thunderbird/Mozilla that can also be used in place of standard OS components.

I think this could really be a way to go, as it will tap into this "smaller, better, faster" ideology we seem to be working towards with the move from Moz to Phoenix/Thunderbird.
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TychoQuad
 
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Post Posted April 23rd, 2003, 2:55 am

Well, regardless, I can't use Thunderbird until i can sync my palm with it...

coffeemonk
 
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Post Posted May 21st, 2003, 7:42 am

I am itching to finally complete the switch from the Mozilla App. Suite to Mozilla Browser and Thunderbird both at home and at work, but i have to have at least one of them set up to sync with my Palm (i have scripts that synchronize my bookmarks & .mab files between work & home).

So, until Palm sync is available for Thunderbird, or until the Application suite is totally replaced by the twins, I'll have to continue using the App. Suite.

bummer.
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TychoQuad
 
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Post Posted May 22nd, 2003, 12:51 am

Don't worry, your not the only one itching... I'll be testing the new Thunderbird build tonight with the Firebird toolkit, but it won't be my mail client until that nice shiny Sync plugin comes out :) till then, it's app suite for mail, and Firebird for everything else :D

conall

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Post Posted August 4th, 2003, 5:20 pm

coffeemonk wrote:I'd have to agree that *mail* synchro would be definite feature bloat


And completely unnecessary if you use IMAP. Palm's Versamail can connect directly with an IMAP server when it syncs. Just make sure the IMAP server is fairly local...


I've been attempting to help create a Thunderbird extention, initially by dropping 3 easily identifiable files from the 1.5 trunk into Thunderbird and copying all the ldap palm sync lines in users.js in an attempt to port it over to Thunderbird. See <a href="http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=214407">Bug 214407</a> for details.


Unfortunately, it hasn't worked yet. I suspect there is another file missing. Perhaps someone knows more about the files required by Mozilla Mail's Palm sync...
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tigemac

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Post Posted August 5th, 2003, 10:22 am

I agree completely. I need a Palm extension for Thunderbird to make it my exclusive home and business mail client. I look at this as more of a necessary feature than a software bloat...

tigemac

jhirshon

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Post Posted August 5th, 2003, 10:54 am

tigemac wrote:I agree completely. I need a Palm extension for Thunderbird to make it my exclusive home and business mail client. I look at this as more of a necessary feature than a software bloat...

tigemac


Agreed here as well - also, being able to sync Palm contacts is one less excuse not to use Tbird in an enterprise setting! :)

cheers, JH

coffeemonk
 
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Post Posted August 5th, 2003, 11:06 am

Address Book sync is a necessity, email sync not so much -- IMHO.

Still, that doesn't mean that mail synchro can't be added to the extension once it's up and working (and has someone committed to working on it.) The most important task at the moment, as conall is attempting, is to get the *existing* palm sync component moved over in a working condition from the Mozilla suite.

If i could program my way out of a paper bag, i'd be all over it, but unfortunately i've only had one C class (not even C++) in my life, and i dropped that one when i dropped out of college the first time. ;)

hopefully, Rajiv or Cavin will resurface and do some more work on this component. especially once the movement of Firebird/Thunderbird towards being Mozilla proper begins in earnest, i would hope that all the existing suite-side components will get more activity. Plus, perhaps Thunderbird as a whole will pick up more developers, some of whom can be directed toward the PalmSync component at least part-time.

In the meantime, i'm still on my knees begging anyone to *please* work on this extension. I'm looking towards the future while stuck in the past...
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conall

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Post Posted August 5th, 2003, 6:56 pm

coffeemonk wrote:The most important task at the moment, as conall is attempting, is to get the *existing* palm sync component moved over in a working condition from the Mozilla suite.


In theory, it should work. Thunderbird still uses the Mozilla Trunk, so it should be portable. The Bugzilla Bug I got involved with was created by mscott, and when he has the time, hopefully he'll be able to give me a few more pointers about working with Mozilla and Thuinderbird.


Personally, I'd like this plugin to be written so that it's cross platform. Thunderbird on Linux would benefit from this feature an awful lot. However, there are numerous factors to consider for that to be possible, including preferred implementation of Palm conduits (I've found references to writing Palm Conduits in Java, C++ and XML so far) and technical issues regarding the differneces in various O/Ss. :-/
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coffeemonk
 
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Post Posted August 5th, 2003, 9:59 pm

well, from my psuedo layman's status as a programmer, i'd imagine that Java would be the *most* cross-platform compatible method of doing it, though i'm sure some people would object to the idea. i'd imagine that C++, if written in a very careful manner could be easily cross compiled, especially if one were able to tap into pre-existing API's or libraries, of which, surely some must exist for the major platforms.

best of luck, of course. i'll be on the front lines for testing this thing as soon as it's in a testable state.
m@

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