FOSDEM 2009 slides

Just so I don’t forget, here are my slides from FOSDEM. I’m hoping to find some time to write my thoughts about the conference, but that’s not going to happen today.

I had some really good conversations after the talk, so it seemed to at least be interesting to people, which was the main goal.



  1. Could you add a link (fallback content?) to the slideshare page for those of us without Flash, so we can at least easily get to a place where we can (re)read the plain text?

    Anyway, didn’t get a chance to say so at fosdem itself, but wanted to thank you for that talk; even more than from your weblog posts here, it _really_ filled me with the confidence that MailNews is heading in the right direction; that there’s the right vision about what matters in the long term, and that we’ll keep email – and online communication in the broadest sense – open.

  2. Nice presentation, i’m really excited about the new version.
    Just see a typo error, on slide 15 conversations and not conversTations. And please say welcome to Ludovic from yoyo :)

  3. My earlier comment about OpenChange seems to have disappeared so I’ll try again. Last April you were encouraging students to get involved in OpenChange through their participation in Google’s Summer of Code and because of their interest in supporting work on a MAPI extension for Thunderbird. So my questions: How important is it to Mozilla to provide native support for Exchange Server communication in Thunderbird? And, without support for MAPI, how do you “aim for the largest market possible” given the widespread use of Exchange server?

  4. Al, just a comment regarding Exchange Server support… I think that’s a difficult question. It is true that there are countless companies out there using Exchange, but if they invested in Exchange, why would they bother with Thunderbird as a client? Yes, there are some people (like myself) who use TB although their employer has implemented Exchange, but we are certainly the exception, and there is really no rationale to what we are doing, no matter whether TB has Exchange support or not.

    There just doesn’t seem to be much point in trying to build a product which is already there (I mean Outlook), let’s try to do something different – and hopefully better.

  5. “There just doesn’t seem to be much point in trying to build a product which is already there”.

    So why build Firefox, Open Office, Linux, etc.? It seems like you’ve bought right into Microsoft lock-in. Microsoft is part of the ecosystem, like it or not, and if your product doesn’t work with their stuff it’s a big problem for end users. You can’t move to real open standards if you can’t get your data out. This is why the work done getting the EC to force them to open up their protocols is so important.

  6. I am looking for an understanding of Thunderbird and communication with a Exchange Server. I am in contact with a user who wants to duplicate a feature that Outlook performs. Apparently, the user can decrypt a body of an email, paste the decrypted body into the Outlook email (retaining the original headers), and push the decrypted email back to the Exchange server. Thus he doesn’t have to decrypt the email again, and the decrypted email can be used for \evidenciary\ proof in a court of law.

    In trying to remain true to the non-modification of incoming email (at any point) I am suggesting a slight modification to their request to duplicate \exactly\ what is done in outlook. Using a standard TB/enigmail set-up, I am suggesting that I write an add-in which creates an email body which contains —
    1) original headers,
    2) the inserted decryption body (with comments about the keys used to encrypt the email, and the keys used to decrypt the email),
    3) the original encrypted body,
    4) any original attachments.

    I will run this idea by John Moore of the enigmail team via an email.
    I think the bulk of the information that I will need will be about Exchange Server communication, with a focus on how TB handles Exchange Server communication. I will also download TB source and enigmail source to study. I will also study TB documentation about writing TB add-ins, creating a button.

    Thank you for any other resources that you point me to. I want to do this correctly, and professionally.

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