Is there a library to parse Mozilla "mork" documents?

John Reese jtr at
Fri Jan 21 22:52:59 CET 2005

On Thu, 20 Jan 2005 23:48:34 -0800, Tim Roberts <timr at> wrote:
> John Reese <jtr at> wrote:
>>Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird, and so forth use this awful format
>>called MORK to store all kinds of things: which messages you've read
>>in a newsgroup, headers and indexes into the mbox file of messages in
>>a mail folder, and address books.
> Yes.  What a crock that is.  The MORK format is a great way to compress
> tabular information, IF the information consists of the same pieces of data
> over and over.  E-mail boxes do not fit into that class, so I have no doubt
> that the typical Thunderbird MORK file is singificantly LARGER than the
> same file would be in, say, INI format.
> I wrote a Python script to parse it, but it isn't terribly robust.  I was
> able to produce a dictionary, but I didn't do anything with the results.
> You're welcome to take a look:

Thanks, I'll work with this.  I have to say that this has all been
worth it just to read about Jamie Zawinski railing against this file
format.  I think your comment at the top sums it up well:

# Why am I doing this?

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