Mozilla Messaging: My own two bits

Robert Kaiser’s comments on SeaMonkey and Mozilla Messaging bring to mind my own thoughts. I’m not sure how well this will be received, particularly as MoMe (sorry, David, I couldn’t resist) is just getting started, and what I have in mind might be ambitious.

One thing I remember very clearly about the compose-message part of SeaMonkey, and probably Mozilla Thunderbird hasn’t changed this, is its use of a hypertext editor in composing e-mails – in fact, the same basic editor technology that SeaMonkey’s Composer, and NVu (I’d bet) also use. It’s a <xul:editor/> tag.

This XUL editor element probably hasn’t gotten nearly as much love as the rest of the Mozilla code base over the years. Netscape had a good team going on that. MoCo, not so much. Just finding current peers for editor reviews can be difficult, and they have other things to do. (So do I, sadly.) I’m not aware of a great deal of work that’s gone on in the editor space over the last few years.

Perhaps MoMe can adopt the editor modules and bring some people aboard to work on them. I’ve long held an interest in improving the editor, just no time to work on it (I’m busy and need help, too!). A dedicated team of three to five people on the editor code alone would probably go a very long way.

Just my own two bits. Congratulations, guys!

6 thoughts on “Mozilla Messaging: My own two bits”

  1. I remember that NVu was supposed to be included in seamonkey’s codebase (mozilla suite at that time). Why has seamonkey been abandoned with the old Composer code, if NVu is finished and ready to replace that?
    (From Alex: Last I heard – and Daniel Glazman is surely welcome to correct me on this – NVu was based on Mozilla 1.7 code. Absolutely unacceptable for the current code base.)

  2. Agreed, from everything I hear, the composer widget needs some love. I had a good chat last year with Fabien Cazenave, the maintainer of KompoZer, and I’m hopeful we can work together to improve the state of authoring…

  3. That’s right, I confirm that Nvu is based on gecko 1.7 (I’m working with glazou). And most of patches are deprecated for the trunk. I worked on it few days to try to port this patches on the trunk, and there are too many difference between 1.7 and 1.9 (at least in the layout). So it is not easy and need some works.
    About working on the editor: I know the editor code but unfortunately, I didn’t have many time to enhance it, although I have some ideas to improve the editor, to rewrite some part of the code etc.
    However, perhaps I will have time after the next release of my wysiwyg xml editor (this year). And perhaps Glazou will have time too to work on it this year 😉

  4. I will not try to enumerate here, all the problems trying to compose complex html compositions with the current editor.
    Imagine trying to insert javascript where all instances of greater than or ampersand are escaped when the message is saved or sent. Or re-inserting image source links, every time you edit any portion of the html. Although I have tried to exclusively use the tools provided in thunderbird to compose rich newsgroup posts, I find many of the problems also exist in NVU and composer. ‘Advanced editor” for adding inline styles needs the most work IMO

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