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Mozilla Messaging Unveils Raindrop 92

Posted by timothy
from the but-these-are-friendly-buzzwords dept.
mhammond writes "Mozilla Messaging has just unveiled a Mozilla Labs project, Raindrop, an experiment with Open Messaging on the Open Web. Raindrop uses couchdb as a storage engine and to serve the HTML/CSS/Javascript application itself, while the back-end is primarily written in Python. Although it is early days yet, the concept that you own your data may be what sets this apart from Google Wave."
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Mozilla Messaging Unveils Raindrop

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  • Google Wave (Score:5, Informative)

    by matt4077 (581118) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @06:29PM (#29840983) Homepage
    Wave is a protocol. It's just the first implementation that is google's. Build your own server and you own everything.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, as stated on the Google Wave video (the first one) it's a platform, a protocol and a product /pedant

      XD

    • Re:Google Wave (Score:4, Informative)

      by Eil (82413) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @07:15PM (#29841363) Homepage Journal

      After watching the video linked to in TFA, I can't see how this is anything at all like Google Wave. All they apparently share in common is that they both have something to do with communication and the web.

      I have yet to actually try it out, but to me, Raindrop looks like what would happen if you wrote an ordinary web email client and added support for twitter and facebook. I don't see why you couldn't achieve the same thing on the desktop with a few Thunderbird extensions.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not to get too "640k is all anyone needs" here, but having used Wave now for about a week or two, the current client doesn't seem to be much more than a multi-user version of Omni Outliner [omnigroup.com] (with less functionality).

      Yeah, you could write new clients that make it work like twitter or IM or email. But those things already exist and work just fine. I don't see it as a very useful way to real-time collaborate on a document (compared with other, better ways- whether google docs or wikis...) So I guess I'm not

      • Yeah, you could write new clients that make it work like twitter or IM or email. But those things already exist and work just fine.

        Well, and you can extend it. And while IM and email exist, they aren't particularly integrated, nor are either of them at all integrated with a wiki...

        So I guess I'm not sure what the hype is about exactly.

        Well, let me put it this way...

        It could turn out to be like XML, which was incredibly generic, everyone was blown away by the possibilities, and then we came back down to earth and realized that it doesn't really revolutionize anything. It's useful for what it is, but it was completely overhyped, and most places it's used, there's something better (JSON, YAML

  • by pembo13 (770295) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @06:39PM (#29841065) Homepage

    As in a desktop client written specifically to utilize this.

    • by sp332 (781207)
      What's the difference? I already use it for RSS feeds, twitter, and email. The trouble is, I have to navigate to a different web app with different sets of features for each of those. Wouldn't it be better if my web browser had a nice, built-in way for me to manage that, instead of switching between apps every time I want to click a link in an email?
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:06PM (#29841749)

        If it's more convenient to shoehorn every activity into a single monolithic application than "switch between applications," then your desktop environment is built wrong.

        • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @10:15PM (#29842263)

          If it's more convenient to shoehorn every activity into a single monolithic application than "switch between applications," then your desktop environment is built wrong.

          That stops being true if there is a lot of overlap between those apps.

        • by lennier (44736)

          "If it's more convenient to shoehorn every activity into a single monolithic application than "switch between applications," then your desktop environment is built wrong."

          And yes, it is.

          The problem is that we have an emphasis on "applications" instead of on data. This assumes that data divides cleanly into task silos, doesn't ever share between tasks, and is only ever accessed with a rigidly defined set of operations.

          And that's increasingly not true. What we need is a desktop environment that understands th

      • Many wrongdoings don't make another wrongdoing right.

        The wrongdoing here is, that it's another inner platform [thedailywtf.com]. Which is a failure in software design. (Notice especially the "poor" in "poor replica", and the pointless slowness of yet another layer. As opposed to good abstraction.)

        In the Haskell community, we nowadays even go in the opposite direction. Allowing to automatically transform a multi-layer functionality into one single efficient function (aka. "fusion").

        Basically, the browser is more like a virtua

    • I don't know what that would look like, except maybe a browser with no plugin capability. Wave is designed to integrate so many web-centric technologies ... what you're asking for seems a lot like asking for an email client that didn't require written language to send messages.

      Which would be cool, come to think of it. Maybe Google will give us that next?

      • by smallfries (601545) on Friday October 23, 2009 @03:49AM (#29843491) Homepage

        Sounds cool. I'm seeing some kind of voice interface to get around the lack of writing. To be honest it would be most useful as some sort of mobile platform, rather than desktop software. Then I could easily carry this voice communication around, and hope that it became pervasive enough that all of my friends did too. Although the email paradigm of bouncing messages off of each other works well it would be really good to have a real-time interface for voice between these mobile devices.

        Perhaps a speaker, microphone and some buttons to select who I want to talk to. You know this could be really huge.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by value_added (719364)

      The vast majority of people with a computer tend to live in their browser's window. And they like it!

      By contrast, in the presentation videos for Google's Wave, the ncurses interface (or what seemed like one) garnered the loudest applause. A narrow audience or limited subset of users? Perhaps, but I expect there's enough of us who find using a web browser for anything other than browsing the web inefficient, if not abhorent.

      Still, the march to develop new "messaging technologies" is interesting, especia

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Maybe similar to this persona editor project [youtube.com]. Libraries that are able to tap into proprietary websites (social networks, etc.) to escape from vendor lock-in would be great.

  • I heard you liked Mozilla Lab Projects so I tweeted about this, so you can read about Raindrop while using Raindrop.

  • Written in hipster technologies. If I were a betting man, I'd wager this will never see the light of day.
    • Never underestimate the hipsters ability to drain the parents wallet.

      Where do you think they get the money to buy those ridiculous bikes?

      • by omeomi (675045)

        Never underestimate the hipsters ability to drain the parents wallet.

        Where do you think they get the money to buy those ridiculous bikes?

        Delivering stuff on them?

        • Never underestimate the hipsters ability to drain the parents wallet.

          Where do you think they get the money to buy those ridiculous bikes?

          Delivering stuff on them?

          Yeah sure maybe the first couple thousand of them. The other hundred thousand or so? Not so much.

        • Look maw, not only do I have to pedal FURIOUSLY to keep a reasonable speed up, but I HAVE NO BRAKES!

  • by mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @06:50PM (#29841165)
    Am I the only one who wishes they would hurry up and finish TB 3, and integrate that will all the Web 2 goodness, instead of these random projects?
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They still make dedicated email clients?

    • You're assuming that the same people who work on Thunderbird also work on these projects?

      (They might well be... I don't know!)

      • by Zarel (900479) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @07:35PM (#29841547)

        From TFA:

        Today we’re introducing Raindrop, an exploration in messaging innovation being led by the team responsible for Thunderbird

        So he'd be right to assume so. ;)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Orion Blastar (457579)

        Well I can't wait for TB 3 to be finished soon enough. So far TB 3 doesn't work with the Lightning Calendar add-in so I am stuck with TB 2.X for that.

        I switched from Outlook to Thunderbird and I want to have email and calendar options in the same program. Maybe Raindrop can do that, but until it does finish TB 3 for those of us without Wave servers before you finish Raindrop.

        In order to update my Timex Data Link watch I have to copy data from Thunderbird to Outlook and then sync up with Outlook using the Ti

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Use KOrganizer (Kalendar+KMail). It's great.

          More frontends (and editors) for remind would be nice too ... [google.com]

          • Sounds good for Linux but I use Gnome on my Fedora 11 install not KDE.

            The Windows port doesn't seem to be working properly for KOragnizer. Too buggy. Maybe once it matures I'll try it again later.

        • > So far TB 3 doesn't work with the Lightning Calendar add-in so I am stuck with TB 2.X for that.

          Eh? The reason I am using Thunderbird 3 beta is because that allows me to use Lightning Calendar 1.0pre.

          You should give it a try.

          • I get a message that the plug-in is not supported by TB 3.0 and I tried the latest plug-in. Should I hack the file or something to get TB 3.0 to accept it?

        • by ran93r (671906)
          Seconded, running beta 4 with 1.0pre and the nightly to pull in google calendar.
    • by ChaosDiscord (4913) * on Thursday October 22, 2009 @07:29PM (#29841497) Homepage Journal

      I'm with you! How dare these people that I don't pay, who give away their creations, source included, not focus on the specific tasks I care about? What is with these layout volunteers working on whatever happens to tickle their fancy? Why aren't the paid employees all focusing on one particular project, adding manpower to a slow software project is guaranteed to make it faster! [wikipedia.org] The internets are serious business, and I don't have time for this!

      I saw we get together and refuse to pay another dollar for any Mozilla products until they comply with our demands!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        You do realize that Mozilla Messaging was created specifically as a steward for Thunderbird because it wasn't getting the love it deserved from the Mozilla Foundation right?
    • by jonadab (583620)
      > Am I the only one who wishes they would hurry up and finish TB 3

      Why?

      There are approximately six hundred bajillion email clients out there. Half a dozen of them are actually any good, and another thirty are mediocre but still at least as good as Thunderbird. Half a dozen more are not as good as Thunderbird but nonetheless more popular. Heck, there are at least three web-based ones that are so much more popular, more Firefox users use them than use Thunderbird.

      Mozilla (and Netscape before it) has alwa
      • I think Thunderbird 3 has some pretty compelling features like account auto-setup, full-text search including integration with local search services (Windows Search/Spotlight) and some other guis. Sure, the world is moving to webmail, but Thunderbird 3 has some really nifty stuff that they do on a local client using some of the cool technologies in Firefox. It sure beats the crap out of Live Mail which is the only other "easy" option I've heard of for windows.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          the world is moving to webmail

          Some of the world may be moving to web based email but not everybody. I'm certainly not - I want my email on my machine where I can control it, especially since much of it is confidential in nature. If I want off-site access I'll tunnel.

        • I agree with the sentiment of finish Thunderbird first. To do that forget the tabs and other attempts at flashiness, the attempts to make messaging more sophisticated etc. and address basic functionality first. Get calendaring, tasks and scheduling fully integrated and working well; make it able to read Outlook calendars and address books; have supported and good syncing to/with phones... if all that happened that would make Thunderbird a major winner in my eyes.
      • by jeffstar (134407)

        what mail client do you use?

      • Because Thunderbird is one of the few good IMAP clients?

        (I've looked..)
    • I'm using the beta, and haven't had a problem yet. If you're so anxious, maybe you could give it a try? And maybe if you do have problems you could submit some feedback and let the developers know.

      The only thing I dislike about v3 is the tabs. What's the point? I read my email in a preview pane, and if I want to do anything other than that, then it's because I want it in another window. I would just say, "to each his own", but they won't let you get rid of the tabs. Even Firefox lets you not-use tabs

    • Someone ranted to me about how great Thunderbird was, so I downloaded it and gave it a shot.

      Worked great, right up until I wanted to write an email to someone and cc'd to three other people. Someone needs to be drug out into the street and shot for the user interface around composing/viewing/editing to/cc/bcc headers. *Points to Apple Mail as an example*.

      For example, creating an email to one person and with three people cc'd means an endless amount of fucking around with the mouse creating new "fields" an

      • I think you are doing something wrong. I just downloaded beta 4 and was able to do what you described without moving my mouse once. shift+/tab moves left to right, top to bottom on the to: and address fields and the to/cc fields can be switched with up/down arrows.
      • by Chelloveck (14643)

        Worked great, right up until I wanted to write an email to someone and cc'd to three other people. Someone needs to be drug out into the street and shot for the user interface around composing/viewing/editing to/cc/bcc headers. *Points to Apple Mail as an example*.

        Wait, are you seriously suggesting that Apple Mail has the superior interface here? You gotta be kidding me. The auto-complete is nothing short of pathological. I use both TBird and Mail.app on a daily basis, and neither one is particularly good a

      • by defaria (741527)

        Just because you don't know what the fuck you are doing (and can't be bothered to read/research any documentation) does not mean that TB is bad. Just because you resort to the mouse because you don't have the foggiest notion of already built in and standard to most modern GUIs keyboard translations like tab to get to the next input box means that you're an idiot - not the program. You can easily type in your to, cc or bcc recipients without the use of a mouse - type a frigging comma will ya! Geeze. Setting

    • by sherriw (794536)

      You aren't the only one. I've been using TB2 for so long now, it's gone beyond stale. I hope TB3 comes with support for organizing emails into 'conversations' like gmail does.

    • They're not too worried. Evolution is the big competitor (it's shipped on Ubuntu in the same way IE is shipped on Windows), and of course when I open Evolution I wait 10-15 minutes for a window to appear, just so I can edit my calendar. I made the mistake of leaving it open once, and eventually it filled my RAM and my OOM killer failed, the machine locked up hard and I had to reset it after 20 minutes of waiting for the screen to unfreeze. I had just run top to see wtf was eating all the memory (thanks t

  • TFS is ludicrous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @07:00PM (#29841245)

    Although it is early days yet, the concept that you own your data may be what sets this apart from Google Wave.

    The centerpiece of Wave is a server-to-server federation protocol that lets anyone control their own data that can be made accessible through Wave. So, with all the things that might set Mozilla's product apart from Wave, "the concept that you own your data" is not one of them.

    • by ei4anb (625481)
      yeah, sure. We're all going to host our own Wave servers or use a provider other than Google ?
      It might happen in large companies and a few geek basements but the majority are going to just use Google's Wave servers. How many people set up their own sendmail/postfix/qmail server compared to how many people use gmail/hotmail/yahoo. OK, I know /. is the wrong place to ask that question, I run a sendmail server myself, but you get my point.
  • I read TFA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grimnir512 (1449641) *
    I read TFA over a few times and I'm not so sure what this is or how it works. It seems to be some sort of email/twitter/facebook aggregator. Have I understood this correctly?
  • Meta (Score:5, Funny)

    by lastomega7 (1060398) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @09:31PM (#29842077)
    Looks like with the current trend of new 'universal aggregators' we'll soon need an aggregator aggregator. I think they planned for this though, with possible titles such as 'mozilla monsoon' and 'google tsunami.'
    • by Jugalator (259273)

      Feedalizr already does that. :-p It aggregates from FriendFeed, among others, which itself is an aggregator.

    • That will work just fine until the proliferation of aggregator aggregators, at which point we'll need an aggregator aggregator aggregator. Which is why they need to just make an aggregator than can aggregate itself. They can name it Aggregator(Aggregator).
  • Now, this looks very interesting. It's got nothing do to with wave -- except -- it might be nice to implement wave support for Raindrop ? Before looking at the raindrop source, it's hard to tell -- but from the videos it appears Raindrop handles i/o along several protocol streams, along with a seperate ui.

    Stands to reason it should be feasable to implement a wave-backend -- the question then would be if the best way to handle that was encourage widespread wave-server-federation (every couchdb/raindrop-insta

  • Raindrop, an experiment with Open Messaging on the Open Web.

    Shouldn't that be "OpenSoft Open Raindrop, an open experiment with open Open Messaging on the open Open Web of openness."?

    P.S.: Not a critique against openness.

  • It's CouchDB. It's that thing that tries to suck all the contacts and personal information off your computer if you're running Ubuntu, and store it with Canonical. It must be evil; at least Google doesn't up and install Google Desktop on my computer when I upgrade Firefox, without loudly asking (hey here's checkboxes. We want to install Google Desktop, since you're updating Google Earth.), and then immediately start transferring copies of my non-gmail e-mail conversations and my address book and Firefox
    • by jsight (8987)

      It's CouchDB. It's that thing that tries to suck all the contacts and personal information off your computer if you're running Ubuntu, and store it with Canonical.

      I think you have misunderstood exactly what CouchDB [wikipedia.org] is. Its just a document db.

      • That's not important in the real world. It's like diesel. Toyota and Volkswagen have awesome diesel, but it's slow to catch on in the US because 30 years ago GM made really shitty cars that had a diesel engine, therefor we know diesel engines mean horrible cars with no power and lots of noise and smog and horrible fuel mileage. Well Ubuntu has used CouchDB to migrate all user data to Teh Clouedz, so CouchDB obviously means spyware.
  • Although it is early days yet, the concept that you own your data may be what sets this apart from Google Wave.

    Whoever wrote that part is either dumber than a bag of hammers or is purposely attempting to confuse and mislead people with misinformation. Wave is a protocol, not an application. One of the purposes of Wave is to provide a reference implementation (what everyone has been testing) such that others are free to either run the reference implementation, some variation thereof, or create their own server (via publicly available documentation) such that they can run their own servers and maintain ALL DATA INTERN

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