Gearing up

There’s a bunch to report in Thundebird-land:

* Shredder 3.0a2 was released! In fact, it was released a week or so ago, but for a variety of reasons I was late in announcing it. Excitingly, it’s our first release available in multiple languages, which taught the new folks in Thunderbird a lot about the process. Expect more languages in the next release.

* The so-called Firefox summit was a great event for Thunderbird, Calendar and Seamonkey folks as well. If anyone felt before the summit that Thunderbird was being abandoned, I think that no one did by the end. Not only were there lots of great sessions on Thunderbird and related topics, but Thunderbird and messaging came up repeatedly in other areas, whether in the discussions around data, the mobile effort, user experience, weave, and more. We are very much central to the Mozilla endeavor as a whole, and that felt really good.

* I’m highly biased, but to me it feels as though there’s a palpable sense of energy in the larger Thunderbird team which wasn’t there a few weeks ago. We’ve gotten a couple of alphas out, we’re starting to get more ambitious about what we can do individually or as a group. It’s really hard to tell exactly what will land when at this stage, but it feels like we’re picking up some good momentum.

* We’re just barely starting to scale in a few places. We have had some new contributors join the bug triage effort, some people take leadership roles in well defined UX discussions, some contributors commit to working on blocking features, some people simply stepping up and saying “I want to do X, is that ok?” That, more than anything else, feels right.

* In addition to feeling like there’s more cohesion among the folks who’ve decided to join the party, it also feels like we’re starting to be more user-facing, tackling work that will have significant benefit for end-users, from the mundane (a birthday field in the address book, simpler account setup) to some powerful, platform-style features.


  1. David,

    I am so happy to see that Thunderbird development has gained momentum again. IMHO Tb already is the overall best email client and it can become even better. So keep up the good work!

    Concerning UI I’d really appreciate Fx and Tb to have the same look and feel. With the new Fx3 on the one hand and Lightning to be included on the other hand, the two applications visually seem to be going different ways, which I feel is a pity. So I suggest to get faaborg involved when it comes to UI design as well. Just a suggestion…



  2. Wow! That is totally great! I really look forward to TB3 final =)

    In somewhat related news, I am (was) working on

    which is the wiki for

    It is abour clearing up the Preferences menu and adding a Global Account Settings menu.

    The project is now stalled because the bugzilla user Tyler constantly breaks and undo/redo the wiki, even though we say he should do it.

    So if anyone knows how to solve such a problem, please tell me.

    You can read Tyler’s comments in the bug, and look at his edits in the wiki history and wiki discussion.


  3. How about adding a web client, like ThunderBrowse, that activates with a middle click on a hyperlink in a email. It might then open into a new tab up where the other tabs are, not on the message preview like Thunderbrowse.


  4. There’s one word which you haven’t mentioned, which in conscience you MUST mention – and that word is EUDORA.

    Because the hopes and fears of so many people following the Thunderbird story are riding on it

    Since the October 11 2006 announcement by the Qualcomm and Mozilla foundations that future Eudoras would be based on the Thunderbird code and that in turn, Thunderbird would become more and more Eudora-like, many Eudora users have waited for a revived version of their much-loved browser. If that project was canceled, it was never announced.

    Yet Thunderbird’s development now seems to be heading in an entirely different direction. But why the mystery? Why no mention of Eudora? Why not say to the Eudora fans, sorry, you’re not going to get what you hoped for? Having raised expectations, it seems only fair to be upfront about what is planned, and what the status of the Eudora model is in the new plans. If Eudora is being ditched, we want to know about it.


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