Thunderbird — Features Discussion

July 27th, 2007

Many of the comments to the Thunderbird / mail post include suggestions about features for Thunderbird. These range from topics like adding visualization to adding calendaring functionality.

I encourage people to take these topic to the Thunderbird development and discussion areas. I would say the same thing if the topic was Firefox. Feature and product planning happens within the project group. For example, there are many comments about calendar functionality, and there is an active calendar project underway. The Thunderbird discussion areas are the right place to ask about the roadmap for integrating Lightning into Thunderbird, to note the degree of need and to look for a timeframe. Better yet, that’s the place to get involved in making things happen. Mozilla is successful when we are rooted in active, distributed involvement and contribution.

If it turns out that there is some barrier to getting involved, or if there is some other problem for contributors, then we’re in a different place and I definitely want to know about that.

I suspect most of us agree there is a lot of exciting potential improvements for Thunderbird and for mail in general. The point is how best to get sustained, focused attention and real movement to addressing these.

10 comments for “Thunderbird — Features Discussion”

  1. 1

    Eddy Nigg said on July 27th, 2007 at 2:22 pm:

    Hi Mitchell…get us a mailing list for that please. Thanks!

    (You don’t have to post that in the comments)

  2. 2

    David Bienvenu said on July 27th, 2007 at 4:14 pm:

    The newsgroup on and its mailing list twin are where Thunderbird developers discuss Thunderbird developer issues.

  3. 3

    Michael Lefevre said on July 27th, 2007 at 4:16 pm:

    Eddy: There is actually a mailing list –

    The difficulty is that the lead developers (at least mscott, who does most of the front-end work) tend to participate more in the web forum.

  4. 4

    Dan Veditz said on July 27th, 2007 at 4:45 pm:

    mailing list for which? the newsgroups news:// and news:// are both available as mailing lists

  5. 5

    Scott MacGregor said on July 27th, 2007 at 5:32 pm:

    Here’s the newsgroup:


  6. 6

    David King said on July 27th, 2007 at 7:00 pm:

    Maybe it should be given to the Open people to use as an Outlook replacement…

  7. 7

    Michael Smith said on July 28th, 2007 at 2:42 am:

    sunbirds lightning calendar is already there. The idea was to add Instant Messaging, and serverless Retroshare Email and Messenger.
    Think it is more important to hear, what you not say , than what you say about Thunderbird.
    Google wants Firefox as G-Browser, nothing is done to disturb Google Mail by enhancing Thunderbirds features. This is the reality. -> Google Foundation !

  8. 8

    Eddy Nigg said on July 28th, 2007 at 2:53 am:

    LOL … I know there is that mailing list. I wanted to know which one to use. Anyway, subscribed and getting engaged! See you there.

  9. 9

    Iang (there is only one mode…) said on July 28th, 2007 at 4:49 am:

    To echo CableGuy’s comments (original post) there are a couple of big things to look at in Thunderbird. Firstly, email is “so 1990s” … the world has moved on … chat is now the way much comms is done, and younger generations are not adopting to email necessarily. Simple solution: add chat to Tbird, alongside email and move it in the direction of a “communicator”.

    Secondly, the security model employed in Tbird is out of date. People generally send emails to people they already know, and there are simpler methods of securing p2p comms than the current design. The trick is to eliminate any modes that are unnecessary.

    If searching for a value statement and a direction, look at Skype. Of course, it would be crazy to add VoIP to Tbird … but it isn’t unreasonable to add chat and p2p security.

  10. 10

    Alex Hudson said on July 28th, 2007 at 6:55 am:

    I have to say, I don’t think you can divorce the focus of the project (& therefore what features it should provide) from how the project should be set up.

    Simply changing from Moz Foundation to Tbird Inc. isn’t going to significantly alter the success of the project as far as I can see.

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