Data export, delivered | InfoWorld | Column | 2006-12-06 | By JoFrom time to time I get recruited to help someone export mail and contacts from one e-mail program and import the data into another. The fact that a civilian must recruit a geek to accomplish this seemingly mundane task speaks volumes about our industry’s sad history of data lock-in. Even for a geek, the solution can easily become a slide down a slippery slope. Back in 2002, I discovered that Mozilla’s mail program, now known as Thunderbird, could import mail and contacts from an Outlook PST file and then export the data as Mbox for mail and LDIF or CSV for contacts. It came in handy again this week when a friend wanted to switch from Outlook Express to Gmail. Uh-oh. With half the battle won, how to inject those LDIF files into Gmail? The solution I cobbled together speaks volumes about the fundamental openness of Web applications. The next step was to replay that transaction outside of the browser. It was only a partial solution, of course.