[uf-discuss] Microformats + Thunderbird

Paul Bryson paul at msn.com
Tue Jan 31 09:33:02 PST 2006

"Chris Messina" wrote...
> Admittedly I'm underrepresenting the potential complexity of the
> problem, but since Address Book presumably works with the vcard
> standard, why don't I have a folder in ~/Documents called Address
> Book? Why don't I have a ton of HTML files in there for each person...
> instead of vcards, just HTML snippets?

Because having a bunch of tiny files can get really bad (particularly on 
Windows).  Just look at the Internet Explorer cache compared to Firefox's. 
Internet Explorer had the clever idea of just storing the files it 
downloaded as-is in subdirectories.  This allowed for a number of 
interesting possibilities for access, but ended up having one huge drawback. 
Most files are less than 10KB, which is much smaller than most cluster 
sizes, resulting in a twofold problem.

1. Lots of wasted space for each file.
2. File system overhead for searching and locating files ridiculously high.

Firefox (and other browsers) realized this and just used database files to 
store all of the downloaded files in a way that was most efficient for it's 
own access patterns.  This made the browser cache less accessible, but much 
faster in functionality.

The same would probably be true for an address book.  I think you would be 
much better off storing all of the hCards in a single HTML file with a root 
element indicating it is an addressbook.


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