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First look: inside Mozilla's Raindrop messaging platform

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Mozilla Messaging, the organization behind the Thunderbird e-mail program, has introduced a new open source messaging aggregation platform: Raindrop. The project is at an extremely early stage of development but the code has been made available through Mozilla Labs with the hope of encouraging third-party developers to participate in the effort. Ars put an early build through its paces and looked at aspects of the project that are relevant to developers.

What's in a raindrop?

Raindrop is a Web service designed to collate, filter, and present content from disparate messaging services. It currently comes with support for Twitter, GMail, IMAP e-mail, and Skype. One of the key goals is to use smarter filtering methodology to increase the visibility of important messages and reduce the amount of noise that tends to bog down Internet communication. Raindrop is built with a strong emphasis on extensibility, making it trivially easy to customize and enhance with new capabilities.

It's important to understand that Raindrop is not a conventional desktop client application like Thunderbird. It's a Web application in the sense that you run it as a background service and access it entirely through a browser.

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