Thunderbird in 2019

From the Thunderbird team we wish you a Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019, and in this blog post we’ll look at what we got accomplished in 2018 and look forward to what we’re going to be working on this year.

Looking Back on 2018

More Eggs in the Nest

Our team grew considerably in 2018, to eight staff working full-time on Thunderbird. At the beginning of this year we are going to be adding as many as six new members to our team. Most of these people with the exception of this author (Ryan Sipes, Community Manager) are engineers who will be focused on making Thunderbird more stable, faster, and easier to use (more on this below).

The primary reason we’ve been able to do this is an increase in donors to the project. We hope that anyone reading this will consider giving to Thunderbird as well. Donations from individual contributors are our primary source of funding, and we greatly appreciate all our supporters who made this year so successful!

Thunderbird 60

We released the latest ESR, Thunderbird 60 – which saw many improvements in security, stability, and the app’s interface. Beyond big upgrades to core Thunderbird, Thunderbird’s calendar saw many improvements as well.

For the team this was also a big learning opportunity. We heard from users who upgraded and loved the improvements, and we heard from users who encountered issues with legacy add-ons or other changes that they hurt their workflow.

We listened, and will continue to listen. We’re going to build upon what made Thunderbird 60 a success, and work to address the concerns of those users who experienced issues with the update. Hiring more staff (as mentioned above) will go a long way to having the manpower needed to build even better releases going forward.

A Growing Community

Early in the year, a couple of members of the Thunderbird team visited FOSDEM – from then on we worked hard to ensure our users and contributors that Thunderbird was spreading its wings and flying high again.

That work was rewarded when folks came to help us out. The folks at Ura Design worked on us on a few initiatives, including a style guide and user testing. They’ve also joined us in working on a new UX team, which we very much expect to grow with a dedicated UX designer/developer on staff in the new year. If you are interested in contributing or following along, you can join the UX team mailing list here.

We heard from many users who were excited at the new energy that’s been injected into Thunderbird. I received many Emails detailing what our userbase loved about Thunderbird 60 and what they’d like to see in future releases. Some even said they’d like to get involved, so we made a page with information on how to do that.

We still have some areas to improve on this year, with one of them being onboarding core contributors. Thunderbird is a big, complex project that isn’t easy to jump into. So, as we closed out the year I opened a bug where we can detail what documentation needs to be created or updated for new members of the community – to ensure they can dive into the project.

Plans for 2019

So here we are, in 2019. Looking into the future, this year looks bright for the Thunderbird project. As I pointed out earlier in this post, we start the new year with the hiring of some new staff to the Thunderbird team. Which will put us at as many as 14 full-time members on our staff. This opens up a world of possibilities for what we are able to accomplish, some of those goals I will detail now.

Making Thunderbird Fly Faster

Our hires are already addressing technical debt and doing a fair bit of plumbing when it comes to Thunderbird’s codebase. Our new hires will also be addressing UI-slowness and general performance issues across the application.

This is an area where I think we will see some of the best improvements in Thunderbird for 2019, as we look into methods for testing and measuring slowness – and then put our engineers on architecting solutions to these pain points. Beyond that, we will be looking into leveraging new, faster technologies in rewriting parts of Thunderbird as well as working toward a multi-process Thunderbird.

A More Beautiful (and Useable) Thunderbird

We have received considerable feedback asking for UX/UI improvements and, as teased above, we will work on this in 2019. With the addition of new developers we will see some focus on improving the experience for our users across the board in Thunderbird.

For instance, one area of useability that we are planning on addresssing in 2019 is integration improvements in various areas. One of those in better GMail support, as one of the biggest Email providers it makes sense to focus some resources on this area. We are looking at addressing GMail label support and ensuring that other features specific to the GMail experience translate well into Thunderbird.

We are looking at improving notifications in Thunderbird, by better integrating with each operating system’s built-in notification system. By working on this feature Thunderbird will feel more “native” on each desktop and will make managing notifications from the app easier.

The UX/UI around encryption and settings will get an overhaul in the coming year, whether or not all this work makes it into the next release is an open question – but as we grow our team this will be a focus. It is our hope to make encrypting Email and ensuring your private communication easier in upcoming releases, we’ve even hired an engineer who will be focused primarily on security and privacy. Beyond that, Thunderbird can do a lot so we’ll be looking into improving the experience around settings so that it is easier to find and manage what you’re looking for.

So Much More

There are a still a few things to work out for a 2019 roadmap. But if you’d like to see a technical overview of our plans, take a look at this post on the Thunderbird mailing list.

Support Thunderbird

If you are excited about the direction that Thunderbird is headed and would like to support the project, please consider becoming a donor to the project. We even have a newsletter that donors receive with news and updates about the project (and awesome Thunderbird art). You can even make a recurring monthly gift to Thunderbird, which is much appreciated. It’s the folks that have given of their time or donated that have made 2018 a success, and it’s your support that makes the future look bright for Thunderbird.

 

116 responses

  1. Pierrick wrote on :

    Hello Ryan,

    I’m so glad to read good news about the phenix back from the ashes.

    Thunderbird definitely has a place on the desktop, maybe even on smartphones one day as well.

    Keep up the good work at Mozilla!

    1. fl0rent wrote on :

      Exactly!
      A redesign and a improvement of Thunderbird is great, but an thunderbird app for iOS and Android should be awesome !

  2. Daiquiri wrote on :

    Thank you so much. really love thunderbird and i see a lot of people using it at the university. too bad it looks like mozila doesn’t appreciate this project enough.

    Thank you to everyone in the team.

  3. John wrote on :

    Very pleased to see the project moving again, just when I was thinking I needed to choose a new email platform!

    Hooray!

  4. Sandy Bird wrote on :

    Thanks a lot for the update.

    As a big fan of E-Mail clients I sometimes think Thunderbird’s development should remove support for unrelated services that are handled better by other clients. For instance, the above linked mailing list post mentions a 5y-old wish to add OTR to chat (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=954310) Isn’t OTR considered outdated by now? At least when on it, support for OMEMO should be considered likewise, though.

    IMHO Thunderbird’s most important features are E-Mail, Address Book (incl. CardDAV), Calendar (incl. CalDAV), OpenPGP-Encryption, and maybe Usenet-News (being similar to E-Mail).

    Regarding chat and feeds there are a lot of other, better, clients. As I do not see a strong connection to E-Mail I’m curious to hear other users’ opinions on removing support for chat and RSS in Thunderbird.

    Best Wishes

    1. Barry wrote on :

      I find that Thunderbird has some advantages over other RSS clients that I’m familiar with, although there are disadvantages, as well. Which clients do you think do RSS really well?

      1. Sandy Bird wrote on :

        Re: Feed Reader alternatives: Being on Linux I favour Liferea but also enjoy QuiteRSS and Newsboat. Others: RSSOwl (Java) is cross-platform, e.g. Selfoss (PHP) can be hosted on a web space and thus accessed from any web browser.

    2. rgloor wrote on :

      Hi Sandy Bird

      While I don’t know about OMEMO, and therefor can’t comment on that, I fully agree to rest of your post.

      I use Thunderbird on several platforms (Linux as my main system on notebook and desktop, but also on windows system) and use it mainly in conjunction with IMAP. So I have my eMails all synched across the different systems in use.

      Very important is as you mentioned sync of addressbook and calendar (CardDAV and CalDAV).

      I wished for a better integration of AB and CAL into TB.
      It could still be “modules” installed as required. But for ages me and many others are bothered by this localization issue on many Linux Distros. That should be taken care of.
      Why not having a base system with the base language, like english, and then having some localization files. Either in multi-language packages (like: Thunderbird-translations-common and Thunderbird-translation-others) or single language packages (like: tb-l10n-de, tb-l10n-en, etc.).

      That would also avoid to create all those individual packages. So one could pick the software package and the required/desired languages / language pack(s).

    3. Jazzi wrote on :

      I’m with @Sandy Bird. Sometimes I will get confused why Thunderbird is so big, I just want to do email, not RSS or others. To me Thunderbird is not easy + beautiful enough, that’s why I gave up. Please make it small, light, fast, easy, nice.

  5. Artem S. Tashkinov wrote on :

    Hopefully you’ll implement minimize to system tray which is sought after by a large number of your users. There’s an add-on for that but it uses native code which is not exactly safe and also you might disable native code support in the future, so having this in the core is a lot more preferable.

    Thank you.

  6. Sam wrote on :

    Really glad to see the renewed energy around Thunderbird, which I absolutely depend on all day every day.

    However, since all of the old extensions were jettisoned, I’m really suffering for the lack of a good minimize/close to system tray functionality with unread messages notification. This functionality seems to be so integral to the purpose of an email client that I really think it should be integrated into the main product, not as an extension.

    1. Min T. Tray wrote on :

      https://github.com/Ximi1970/FireTray/releases

  7. Izaim Osmani wrote on :

    The world is fully moving to 64-bit. I don’t see a plan here. I have no other 32-bit app on my PC except Thunderbird!

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      64-bit Windows version (already had the others), available here: https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/all/ – just choose your desired language and you are good!

  8. Andrew DeFaria wrote on :

    Would like to see IM integration renewed

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      Me too. Or at least see chat improved. Stay tuned… 🙂

  9. piotr wrote on :

    So great news that Thunderbird is not dead! I tested many different options on Win/Mac/Lin (also some paid) and there’s no real competition in terms of usability, and performance on large mailboxes. I was never a fan of online services like gmail, and the whole internet appear to move in that direction for years, so this news is really nice!

  10. Ban wrote on :

    Really great work.

    For 2019, an android application, would be so great. android store and f droid store has a lack of choice in this kind of app and open source with privacy matterds. k9 mail begins to be a little out of the date and doesn’t support oath 2 for example

    1. MT Pass wrote on :

      Agreed, we need a trusted email app for Android, and Thunderbird will be the best choice if you can create one!

  11. Alex Cabal wrote on :

    Great to hear TB is alive and well. I’ve been using it every single day for a decade and it’s a fantastic project. You guys are doing a great job.

    I also wanted to add my voice to those asking for a minimize-to-tray feature. Firetray no longer works, and being able to close TB and have it sit in the tray and light up with new mail and send a system alert notification is a critical feature for me.

    Thanks for all your hard work!

    1. Peter Lairo wrote on :

      Several people have requested minimize-to-tray. I see very little need for that because at least in Windows (the most used OS by a large margin) the program takes up only a little space in the Task Bar (even only one icon wide when “combine” is chosen), especially in today’s world with wide-screen monitors. So, I’m curious, what is the importance of having minimize-to-tray for Thunderbird?

  12. Luke wrote on :

    Great news for the new year indeed! *-<:-)

    Will laptop battery life be a focus? I imagine this would already be tightly related to the long UI delays, but maybe making that a separate metric to monitor (or some proxy of it, like CPU cycles) would also be useful to optimise for.

    I love Thunderbird as my go-to place for accessing multiple email providers (covering 15+ years of history) but I'm forced to close it when undocking my laptop because it's far and away the biggest drain on battery life.

  13. Alan wrote on :

    I am excited for Thunderbird, I use it and love it. I also use the Calendar (Lighting) and would love to see better Google Calendar integration and syncing (I do it now just want “more”). Also hope you give the Address book some love and syncing to Google contacts.

    thanks, good luck and excited for new stuff!!

  14. Exitcode0 wrote on :

    You guys are doing an invaluable service – I love 60 and all of the new calendar improvements!

    “beyond that, we will be looking into leveraging new, faster technologies in rewriting parts of Thunderbird as well as working toward a multi-process Thunderbird.”

    Super exciting! But please for the love of god I hope this doesn’t mean switching to “Electron” PLEASE PLEASE NO.

  15. tapper wrote on :

    pleas pleas minimize/close to system tray. Rip out all the chat and social stuff RSS and Twitter to. Thanks. O PS Pleas don’t break a11y.

    1. no wrote on :

      Hell no, rss belongs to TB.
      Firefox lost it already so we need it in TB.
      Support for tgis is essential when you want a decebtralized web where notifications about news shift to Twitter and Facebook already

  16. Alejandro Sastre wrote on :

    Happy new year! Very happy to see new people involve in improving the best email client.
    A feature I have missed a lot is to improve the email editor, I know email is all about text, but comparing with outlook or Gmail I think there is some improvements that could be made in that area to be able to send pretty emails with decent format.

    Btw lost the ability to have the contact list in a separated tab with the last update, any news if that is coming back? It was very useful

  17. ginko wrote on :

    Good news for us

  18. Xte wrote on :

    IMO a very welcomed goal can be integrate notmuch so jump from a ’90s-era UI to a modern era that easily surpass webmails in speed, comfort, usability AND controls (if you integrate a proper sync solution to have all messages in a local maildr).

    That’s will be a real new revolution that may bring email again in casual users workflow and make TB shine again.

  19. Erkin Alp Güney wrote on :

    Please make Thunderbird a WebExtension for Firefox. It will make our lives easier.

  20. Jan Vlug wrote on :

    Thanks for all the work on Thunderbird.
    I really would like Thunderbird to work well on scaled HiDPI displays on Linux with Wayland. At the moment Thunderbird UI is way too big on such configuration.

  21. Stephen Wingfield wrote on :

    Pleased to hear so. Is there a bug report with fix time for the Encryption that Stopped working in TB 60. ?
    And if there would be a feature to die for that Outlook has, the ability to ‘dismiss’ an item in the Inbox for a period of time that it then reappears.

    Happy New Year – still in love with Thunderbird.

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      Could you elaborate on how encryption stopped working in Thunderbird? I’d like to be able to better answer your question.

  22. Shane wrote on :

    I recently updated Thunderbird in corporate setting (we use it exclusively here and love it). The upgrade broke the lightning calendar. I had to downgrade it.

    IMO, I don’t care about making it prettier. I care about a good alternative to Outlook so we can always avoid it. That means an email client, with a working calendar. The ability to tie calendar and contacts into a backend server cal using Horde or whatever and to have shared contacts. Encryption is also nice. As to chats and all the other bloat I agree that there are better pieces of software already written. There are tons of chat clients for IRC like Pidgin already. It would be really nice to see the Thunderbird team focus on making the calendar always work well. In fact integrating the calendar so it is no longer an add-on but part of the application would be great IMO.

    I am grateful to you guys for making TBIRD available so that I do have an alternative to Microsloth Outlook/Exchange.

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      It is likely that the calendar will be rolled into Thunderbird proper.

      Question? What platform were you on that Lightning broke? Was it a mixed environment? Or were the machines all the same OS?

  23. Benjamin Tyger wrote on :

    I’ve talked about this time and again. ( https://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=8417651&cid=51035773 ) Just being an e-mail client isn’t enough for a desktop app. Thunderbird needs to be a whole PIM. If you are going to open a desktop app, you probably need contacts, calendaring, and e-mail together. We need calendering and contacts to be first-class support. Not relegated to plugins the seems to need some type of maintenance after every few releases.

    If we just wanted e-mail, most web interfaces are good enough.

    The only other opensource PIM I’ve seen is Evolution. I know back in the day, it was horrible and buggy. Not sure if it has gotten better since then, but it soured my taste for it.

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      We’re working on it. Redesigned address book incoming, and better support for CardDAV/CalDAV incoming.

      1. Arnaud wrote on :

        Excellent news! Reliable address book and calendar, with CardDAV and CalDAV sync are very much needed!
        I will make a donation!

      2. Gerhard wrote on :

        Great! Outlook do good stuff here in basic with supporting multiple addresses and being able to react to ics event files by sending It to the application.

  24. Caesar wrote on :

    Fantastic news, I’ve always loved thunderbird and it’s great to hear that it is finally getting back on its feet.
    There is much to catch on but also a lot of potential: email is still the most used communication medium in the workplace after all. Today the professional email space is still dominated by Outlook, and as much as I dislike Microsoft, I have to admit that Outlook 2016 when properly used is light years ahead every other client, even GMail.
    It would be awesome if Thunderbird could become an Outlook and GMail competitor in the coming years, like Firefox with Edge and Chrome.

    Cheers guys, to the first of many productive years.

  25. Nuno G. wrote on :

    Please give us Minimize to Windows Tray natively!!! I’m using an add-on on v60 but it might break on future versions!!!
    Give us the ability to auto copy text from email bodies!!! To finish give us the Carddav and Caldav native support!!!

  26. Robert Lu/robberphex.com wrote on :

    I really want Thunderbird support Exchange, I mean, Exchange Web Services (EWS).

    Many companies are using Exchange to manage their emails, their calendar, and contacts. I really want my colleague to use Thunderbird, but they wouldn’t, because can’t synchronize contacts and calendar.

    We are going to support Gmail, which is proprietary service. So, I think EWS can be an option.
    (At least, I think we should open a donate channel to let donator specify that they want the donation to be used on EWS supporting development.)

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      It looks like Owl is now addressing this: https://www.beonex.com/owl/

      Perhaps you could give that a try and see if that works for you?

  27. Thunderbird Donor wrote on :

    Please support MS Exchange server natively. This is the biggest addition you could ever do to making Thunderbird a viable application in corporate environments. Many companies have disabled IMAP support due to “security concerns”. In those places, the current Thunderbird client is of no use.

    – A Thunderbird Donor

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      Hey there. We’d like to and it is something we continue to look at. There are a few add-ons that address Exchange support, like Owl. You should search the add-ons and see if one works for you.

    2. Óvári wrote on :

      ExQuilla for Microsoft Exchange
      https://addons.thunderbird.net/addon/exquilla-exchange-web-services/

  28. Nigel wrote on :

    Nice to hear. I just wish that it has “to:” and “cc:” fields similar to Outlook, and can support drag-and-drop multiple contacts between “to:” and “cc:” fields. This is the main reason I use Outlook on my Windows machines.

  29. Muhammad Faizal Bin Abdul Rahman wrote on :

    It will not support Exchange right?

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      This is something we’d like to work on. For now there are add-ons that address Exchange support like Owl.

    2. Óvári wrote on :

      ExQuilla for Microsoft Exchange
      https://addons.thunderbird.net/addon/exquilla-exchange-web-services/

  30. rgloor wrote on :

    Hi Ryan

    Thanks for your update. (BTW, will also donate in this year.)

    One thing (beside some other comments, as response to Sandy Birds post):

    If you touch the UI, PLEASE don’t force this (********) ribbon list on us.
    Please give us the OPTION to select, how we want the icon bar to look like.

    Working with a ribbon list / ribbon bar, for me it is VERY INEFFICIENT.
    (Because often requiring to change ribbons and/or open pull downs to finally be able to access the required command.)

    Since many people use tools like Thunderbird in a slightly different manner, optimized to their needs an workflow, people use different commands/actions more or less.
    So I prefer to setup the icon bar to my needs, so the most often used commands/actions are accessed with a single mouse click (or key stroke).

    If you feel the need to have a ribbon list / ribbon bar, just add it as an option, together with the conventional icon bar.
    AND continue to offer the customization for the bars. Preferable with all available commands to use. Like it is done in LibreOffice, where one can have all the hundreds of commands and actions and pull-downs available to include in the icon bar. Even with the option to change / customize the icon / graphics of the command.

    Thanks in advance to make / keep this tool efficient.

    Best regards from Switzerland,
    Rolf Gloor

  31. rgloor wrote on :

    @ Ryan

    Another wish:

    Please avoid improving it towards “look nice but be impractical”.

    On many recent developement for other apps I realized, that often the UI looks as it is now made for HDPI tablets and people with huge fingers: So lots of space is wasted and on the display is only a reduced amount of information. So in the daily use, one has to scroll more often and looses the oversight of things.

    So please keep those heavy users in mind, which do actually WORK with it.

    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards,
    Rolf

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      Hey there! I probably should have elaborated on UX/UI changes. We will bear in mind existing workflows and our power users in any changes. Thanks for being a Thunderbird user!

  32. Claus wrote on :

    Great News 🙂
    I would really appreciate TB to become multi threaded, faster and more responsive. This is indeed one of the biggest problems for me personally with the current TB. But the most important thing is that Thunderbird Project is alive and growing. All the best from Austria 🙂
    Thanks to the whole Team 🙂

  33. Tammy G. Daniels wrote on :

    Are there plans for native PGP integration similar to S/MIME?

    Enigmail has a lot of UX issues and unnecessary complexity (explained in detail on https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18808615 ).

  34. Sanders wrote on :

    IMHO the UX shouldn’t be the priority, most of us think these are more important:

    * Fixes to the HTML editor (It has been a mess since the beginning, can not paste data from Libreoffice and maintain format, specially from CALC)
    * Fixes to the font handling in messages, it is broken, plain and simple.
    * Performance enhancements to the message filtering, it is dead slow if you have lots of filters and one of the filters marks the email as read.
    * Desktop notifications are a mess, they need to be sorted out ASAP. <<< (This one looks like is going to be looked at)
    * Native support for tray icon on Linux to indicate the number of messages/new email, currently it depends on plugins that have been abandoned because of internal Mozilla's internal changes to the plugin API. THIS IS A MUST MIND BLOWING THAT THE LINUX VERSION DOESN'T HAVE IT!
    * Native support for Groupware, specifically Exchange mannerisms like meeting invitations, sadly Exchangeisms are the de-facto standard, not Gmail, I know of no one who uses or understands the Gmail Labels., if you're not going to support the industry standard, please at least avoid making the life of the people who try to more difficult (https://github.com/ExchangeCalendar/exchangecalendar/issues)
    * Improvements to the archiving process, it is incredibly slow if one tries to archive more than 200 messages in one operation, and there are no progress indicators. Sometimes one has to close/reopen Thunderbird to get it out of brain freeze.
    * The activity manager needs to better reflect what is going on internally, IE: you delete 1000 messages and thunderbird will remain unresponsive for minutes with no indication of what is happening, why is not the activity manager reflecting what's going on?
    * The ability to see what is happening with server connections in the background for troubleshooting (some kind of log window where one can see if the server is returning some kind of error)

    Don't take any of this as harsh criticism, Long, long time user here, I absolutely love Thunderbird and would love to see it improving, but UI/UX cosmetic stuff is the last thing you should be worrying about.

    Thank you.

    1. indeed wrote on :

      Absolutely agree here,
      focus on performance, feature parity with outlook and rewriting the adressbook.
      The look and design of the program is the lowest possible priority.
      People that do not like the current design are not as important as the points mentioned by Sanders.

  35. Mike Schinagl wrote on :

    Happy to see thunderbird fly again!

    For professional use I consider integration of calendar and address handling, including Sync with nextcloud etc the most urgent fields. Many small companies rely on that and would be happy to know thunderbird became a reliable project.

    Best Mike

  36. Zach S wrote on :

    While Thunderbird was always a very reliable email platform , Mozilla really needs to address issues that make Thunderbird not so reliable anymore like not responding messages that are popping up more frequently as well as Thunderbird crashing on occasion.

  37. Paulo Ferreira wrote on :

    Really happy to read this post. I have been using Thunderbird for years and was considering switch to a more modern app but now I’ll be waiting for the updates.
    Thanks a lot.

  38. Au Quang Hien wrote on :

    Thunderbirds Are Go! Love you guys! Hien@Saigon

  39. Daniel wrote on :

    I am very happy to hear about the improvements that are planed and really have an alternative of Outlook especially for the Linux platform.

    I you need some beta testers, I would be at your disposable if needed.

    Thanks a lot !

  40. Santiago wrote on :

    Good for the return.

    I would like to see as many an application for android. And also why not, an email service from mozilla (@ mozilla.com or @ thunderbird.com) with web client thunderbird.

  41. H Adams wrote on :

    I hate, hate the ‘tabs’ in Thunderbird. It is such an inconsistent and backwards notion. Why do you try to make your client look like a broken webpage without a URL bar?

    I would love for Mozilla to ‘copy’ from Outlook here and have the Mail, calendar, contacts and tasks as permanent icons on the bottom left that switch to that function when selected. Break out your open messages in to separate windows please!

    When I have moved people to Thunderbird as a free alternative to Outlook this has been a a comment leveled at the project. It is confusing and needs to be changed.

    Although only available on Linux, Evolution is a PIM I would recommend. Much closer to outlook if you are looking for this type of client.

    If you only want basic e-mail support then often the website is enough, if you want more then you want a fuller featured client like Outlook. Come on mozilla step up and copy from the best here. But integrate Gmail, Yahoo etc and make it the best you possibly can do.

  42. Andreas wrote on :

    Thanks for the update to your development goals!

    I really like Thunderbird but notifications on Windows 10 and the addressbook without CardDAV support look out-of-date. Good to hear that they will finally be improved.

  43. Markus wrote on :

    PLEASE!!! Don’t priorise changing the GUI! It is not “modern” but it works good and that is what the users love. Much better than all these modern “fat finger” black and white designs out there. Nobody needs that except on mobile devices. On Desktops these “modern” designs prevent efficient working.
    “Design follows function” I thought.?

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      I think the idea is to make many small improvements without breaking existing workflows. For instance, having more contextual options that appear when there is an action you can take that you might have had to dig through menus in the past to find.

      We won’t break Thunderbird for you, we just want to highlight the great features we have in intuitive ways.

  44. dave wrote on :

    PLEASE add a setting that lets us minimize thunderbird to the tray icon. This is the reason why i switched to Mailbird as Thunderbird 60 got rid of addon support for “minimizetotray” addon.

  45. Mahendra wrote on :

    The only reason that I don’t like Thunderbird is due to its crapy looking UI. Everything else is very good.

  46. jp wrote on :

    So very happy to hear this! As a longtime user on all 3 supported OSes I appreciate all the work you all do to keep this project going. Thank you!

  47. Stephan wrote on :

    Thunderbird rocks and I hope it continues to do so! Thanks to all developers involved! I use it on different Linux desktops and Windows 7.

    Regarding UI: I hope we won’t get not another UI-revamp like we’ve seen with so many other programs which just hid features, wasted tons of display space, changed workflows every few month, broke compatibiliy with certain things and made everything look flat because it’s considered cool and pushed by Microsoft.
    I’d like to see proper official skins/themes for the most important desktop environments so that it looks in tune with desktops like KDE Plasma by default.

    Regarding chat features: if you keep the XMPP/Jabber functionality it needs to work well and needs to fully support OMEMO and the latest XEPs, otherwise it’s just bloat that can be removed. Don’t get me wrong I love XMPP and in my circles we all use it on PC and our mobiles as our main instant messenging system, but in the current state of Thunderbird’s XMPP the amount of people that will it via Thunderbird must be ultra small.
    Then there is the project DeltaChat which aims to do instant messaging via e-mail and allow multi device usage at that including traditional e-mail clients like Thunderbird. So Thunderbird should make sure that DeltaChat instant messaging is considered in terms of UI and mail handling so that they harmonize with each other.

    Encryption:There is the “new” encryption helper called Autocrypt, which DeltaChat also uses. Thunderbird needs to make sure to support Autocrypt as best as it can to finally enable the masses to encrypt their e-mail traffic.

    Gmail: yes I get that supporting Gmail very well may draw more people to use Thunderbird, but as it’s a proprietary Google-exclusive solution I’d not like to see it draw away development power from other more important things.

  48. Lorenzo Antonio wrote on :

    Fantastic work! Can’t wait to see the refresh!

  49. Franck wrote on :

    Great news !!!

    Thank you so much !!!

    Happy new year to the whole team !

  50. Caspy7 wrote on :

    I saw mentions of moving C++ code to JS. Would there be a good perf benefit to using wasm?

  51. Guzi wrote on :

    I like Thunderbird as the e-mail client for my Kopano groupwork system. So I can gain also from the CalDAV/CardDAV support.
    Only the configuration is a weak point, I need to setup all services separately. An better integration of this two open source products (like Exchange and Outlook) that needs just the server address, username and password would be a great enhancement.

    Thanks for your great work.

  52. Alf wrote on :

    Yes !
    I’m so happy.
    I’ve just a little requirement :
    I’d like that thunderbird synchronise my address book with my mail server (google or zimbra) !
    That is the only thing I blame to the solution of mail client.
    Long life to thunderbird !
    Alf

  53. Frank S wrote on :

    Is there any news on this https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=213945

  54. Alakazarm Megopian wrote on :

    Acquire Postbox?

  55. Fabian Rodriguez wrote on :

    Ryan, thanks a lot for sharing all these good news, it helps a lot when trying to understand what is going on and renews confidence in supporting Thunderbird for business use.
    I have to agree with the detailed list Sanders posted above, to me performance and efficiency are at the top of the list of needed improvements.
    I support some desktops with 4K displays and really powerful multi-core/multi-thread CPUs, I wish TB would taka advantage of that when detected, both for the UI and performance of messages filtering and SEARCH.

    Please improve search, it’s one of the few areas where I have users going back to their webmail just to have functional search without all the hassles of subscribing/downloading IMAP folders, understanding the dual search/quick-search dialogs and their scope, etc.

    I wish you all the best, thank you for your hard work and dedication.

  56. Chuck Keely wrote on :

    Hello,

    Honored to report we are contributors, and thanks for continued product evolution. I’d like to share one request which i would love to see resurrected, adopted and supported. Maybe it’s out of step with IMAP world, but there is a piece of software which i have used many times and regulary use to make back-ups of T-Bird email, and Firefox too. I’ve used it to migrate email from PC to PC, and now have interest in PC to Mac migration. I know there are posts on migrating or backing-up profiles but it’s kinda awkward. MozBackup makes it very slick and I sure do love having email back-ups, which in my case lives on a NAS, also backed up.

    http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/download.php

    I think this backup capability is excellent and under-adressed by many other email programs. We’re sticking with T-Bird thanks to its open souce approach. and further development.

    We also use Birdiesync for our iPhones, FYI. http://www.birdiesync.com/birdiesync-3-0

    Thanks very much!

  57. Ralf Quint wrote on :

    Not sure what you improved in T-Birds calendar, but still haven’t reenabled handling more than one calendar (associated with more than one GMail account already as an email account in the setup).
    When that was dropped a while ago, it threw a major wrench in the way I work and prevented me from switching away several people from using Outlook…

  58. Carl B. wrote on :

    Donating again! I have been using it daily for about as long as it’s been around. GB’s of emails
    Keep up the good work!

    I would 2nd what Sanders @ 12:22 wrote above

    >>>> * Fixes to the font handling in messages, it is broken, plain and simple.

    >>>> * Native support for Groupware, specifically Exchange mannerisms like meeting invitations, sadly >>>> Exchangeisms are the de-facto standard, not Gmail, I know of no one who uses or understands >>>> the Gmail Labels., if you’re not going to support the industry standard, please at least avoid
    >>>> making the life of the people who try to more difficult
    >>>> (https://github.com/ExchangeCalendar/exchangecalendar/issues)

    Also from rgloor

    >>> If you touch the UI, PLEASE don’t force this (********) ribbon list on us.
    >>> Please give us the OPTION to select, how we want the icon bar to look like

  59. Abir Hossain wrote on :

    Could you please look into the translate add on and do something.

  60. Bev Ashley wrote on :

    Still using TB38/linux. The only thing I need is a way to copy two of the addressbook fields to a CSV file. I can do this by a cumbersome method involving three separate programs, but a once-step operation would be lovely. I just can’t remember when I wanted to print my 700-name addressbook at roughly 7 per page including all the useless information that some people apparently find useful.

    Thanks for listening.

  61. elatllat wrote on :

    Until Mozilla makes a postfix plug-in or alternative that is effective against spam, the masses will continue to use Gmail instead of Thunderbird.

  62. Óvári wrote on :

    There is the ability to import emails from Outlook.

    Would you please add the ability to import contacts from Outlook too?

    What do you think?

    Thank you

  63. Adam Morris wrote on :

    I hope that TB continues to be one of a very few clients that hasn’t adopted the ribbon approach to menus.
    As someone who uses a screen reader since I am blind I hope TB stays accessible.

  64. Oli wrote on :

    If you add GMail labels, could you please also add better support for IMAP permanent flags first? The way it is implemented now seems like a weird hack and is not compatible (UX wise) to any other email client. Mapping labels to IMAP permanent flags one to one would be very nice :).

  65. Oli wrote on :

    If you add GMail labels, could you please also add better support for IMAP permanent flags first? The way it is implemented now seems like a weird hack and is not compatible (UX wise) to any other email client. Mapping labels to IMAP permanent flags one to one would be very nice :).

  66. ikev2 wrote on :

    Too much Javascript plans on the mailinglist.
    Go for more rust which is used more and more for security critical things out there like Sequoia-PGP , file parsers and Firefox.

  67. Makora wrote on :

    I’m glad it is still around. My favorite Thunderbird version was 2.0. I just want an email client. No inner browse, no chat, no calendar. Just an email client. It would be great if you gave us a choice to take out all that stuff. Nothing wrong with it if people want it, but some of us just want an email client. The way I see it if I wanted to Thunderbird to be like web mail I just use the webmail and would not bother with an email client. I would love to find one like the old Eudora. Being able to take out the unnecessary by ticking out or going to the config would be great. It is a bit frustrating not being able to do so. Besides all that stuff Thunderbird has everything that I need. Thanks for your hard work. : )

  68. PK wrote on :

    I would be very happy if the “vertical layout” was brought up to date and people who use other than 4:3 screens can be happy Thunderbird users again! That would be great.

  69. PK wrote on :

    It would be great if the “vertical layout” finally was addressed and Thunderbird starts looking great on other screens than the ones with 4:3 screen ratio’s.
    I would be very happy!

  70. Reini wrote on :

    Hello, first of all, happy new year.
    The 60s version of TB is great.
    I use TB successfully and satisfied for many years.
    Unfortunately, there is no adequate version for Android.
    I use K9, but there are still worlds to TB.
    Fortunately, I have TB on my Win10 desktop machine.
    I would immediately use a ported version of TB on Android.
    In anticipation of 2019 ….

  71. Nico wrote on :

    Goood news 🙂

    Idea : please implement TAGS LIKE GMAIL :
    – multiple tag can be added on mail.
    – And it can be automatic : with filters !
    – tagged mail rest in inbox !

    In need this to work on multiple project 🙂

    THANKS YOU

  72. S Muncy wrote on :

    Great to hear Gmail Label support is on the way. Once you use labels (multiple) it is difficult to go back to single folders. Thanks.

  73. Jackson wrote on :

    Great, great news! I’m so glad that TB is alive and kicking, I’ve been using it since forever and can’t imagine email without it. Is there any chance of built-in password protection?
    Anyhow, good luck and thanks to the whole TB team!

  74. Leo Levosky wrote on :

    In my view the thing that makes TB so brilliant is the add-ons and the customisation. The recent updates have been a real pain as ad blocking doesn’t work any more. This was the real big plus with TB. Getting emails and RSS feeds with loads of stupid things in them could be dealt with by adblock plus and element handling. Now that those don’t work it is a nightmare.

    There is a bug from 9 years ago that sitll has not been fixed and I think bug fixing should be a priority.

    It also seems sensible to go through the list of most popular add-ons and include them the TB code.

    Whereas I agree with many of the comments made, I do wonder who are the most common TB users. Should TB aim to compete with Outlook and Google? Personally I don’t think so. I suspect that most people who use Exchange use Outlook. If TB tries to be an Outlook clone and MS ports Outlook to Linux, what then?

    I have looked for a good RSS reader for ages and the beauty of TB has always been the adblocker. That is not to block adds so much as to get rid of the annoying flashing images etc that stop you reading the posts.

    The other really important thing for me is to get the maximum amount of information on the screen at one time, so I don’t want things like tabs that up room for things that I don’t want.

    I’d also love to see greater integration with FF. I never want to open a link in TB but I would love to be able to choose which FF window the link opens in. I’d love to be able structure FF windows by subject and name the FF windows. So, if I’m researching a topic I can have a FF window for that topic and if I get an email/RSS feed on that topic I’d like to be able to right-click and select the relevant FF window.

    It would also be nice to see a website where people can make suggestions for TB/FF and let users vote on them. If this exists I don’t know about.

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      Hey Leo,

      Thanks for the great feedback. I think that simply opening up bugs and marking them for the proper component allows us to get closer to implementing the ideas you have: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=Thunderbird

      But there is another piece to this, which is that we can only do so much at once. Having more staff onboard will allow us to take on more – but as always, we welcome contributors who are interested in scratching their own itch: https://www.thunderbird.net/get-involved/

  75. idearius wrote on :

    Glad to read the good news, Ryan, yet there’s still no link to the Thunderbird project at http://www.mozilla.org, and former internal pages like http://www.mozilla.org/thunderbird/features/ all redirect to http://www.thunderbird.net.

    Far from what I would expect from a real commitment of Mozilla with the future of Thunderbird.

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      Hey idearius,

      Thunderbird lives under the Mozilla Foundation but is community run. Mozilla Corporation is not currently working on Thunderbird, so it makes sense that we wouldn’t be highlighted very much in their messaging. Maybe that will change as we continue to grow and succeed! Thanks for your concern and support!

  76. Jeff wrote on :

    Really happy to read that Thunderbird will soon be better than ever ! Thank you, and good work.

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      Thanks for your support Jeff!

  77. Chuck Maki wrote on :

    I am 80 years of age so set in my ways.
    I liked that I could touch the “send” button and the email was off
    Now with the newest version, 60, I have no ‘send’ button and I am now using Chrome
    I would like to return to my previous version but I do not know what # goes with it.
    Perhaps I shall get help here.
    thanks
    chuck

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      Hi Chuck,

      It sounds like your installation of Thunderbird may have gotten messed up, as the Send button should still be present.

      Perhaps try reinstalling: https://thunderbird.net/download

  78. Giulio wrote on :

    We are handling 30’000 thousand emails per year on IMAP servers and graphical aspects are really the last important things. Please fix all the IMAP and Gmail sync and memory bugs. Let it work, don’t add new features if there are so many important bugs to fix …. oh … and minimize to tray…. to hard to build it in

  79. Amnon M Cohen wrote on :

    While I am A MacUser, on my ASUS I use Thunderbird as an independent email application for my very private (None cloud) emails.
    I also use FireFox more then other browsers.
    I am looking forward to any improvements they can make in this already good product, and it will be sad to think of letting it die.
    As people use phones more then computers, I see a future for Thunderbird to enter this realm and gain a lot of good reputation, although BlueMail is already a good option for private emails.

  80. pd wrote on :

    You may find this a strange point. However, did you know there is no link to download Thunderbird on this post?

    What is the point is getting people’s attention about your product without actually allowing them to quickly and easily try it? Yes, I know it’s not hard to find a Thunderbird download … well actually, maybe it is. I’m a long-term Mozilla-oriented person, others may not be. Please pop a download link immediately under the title or thereabouts.

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      Good point. I’ll add it! I kind of thought of the post as a message to our existing users, but it makes sense that folks who weren’t using it would get excited and want to give Thunderbird a try! Thanks pointing this out!

  81. Nomis101 wrote on :

    Because you mentioned “improving the experience” and “better integrating with each operating system”, I hope you will consider fixing one or more of the dependent bugs from Bug 728438.
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=728438
    Currently, Thunderbird lacks a number of macOS features that other software has been supporting for years.

  82. Mark LaForest wrote on :

    Hi,

    The resent release of Thunderbird is very disappointing. Many of the great plugins are no long compatible. Mail and calendar go hand-in-hand in the business world. Without reliable outlook/EWS plugin, the current version is not very useful. I had to downgrade to 5x version. It was a poor decision to ignore customer needs. I’m currently testing other mail clients.

    1. Ryan Sipes wrote on :

      Hey Mark, sorry to hear that you had a poor experience. You should try the new add-on called OWL: https://www.beonex.com/owl/

  83. Lucio wrote on :

    How and in which format/extension next Thunderbirds version will let save and export the messages (complete of attachments) and the address book(s)?
    Thanks
    Lucio

  84. Rik Shaw wrote on :

    I hope that 2 key changes can be made available to the Thunderbird Messages Pane:

    1. Multiple rows per message so that when using the “vertical” view all the data (time/date, from, subject, etc) is not clipped. So have subject on second line, for example. This one is really key and something like Geary could be used as an example.

    2. More integrated “conversations” view (received and sent messages combined, able to follow the full “thread”). Again Geary could be used as an example, but in general a more integrated way of having “Thunderbird Conversations” more standard.

    Keep up the great work! Lots ahead but lots of potential!

  85. Mark Sanderson wrote on :

    I have been going back and forth with many email-clients and now have rested on Thunderbird and it looks as if I will stay, I actually like it better than my mac mail or Gmail. I definitely use it more and do like the UI and responsive feel. Please keep up the excellent work.

  86. car-nuts wrote on :

    This is a suggestion for an enhancement to Thunderbird.

    Proper etiquette for forwarding emails is to clean the email by deleting all prior addressee information before forwarding. SFAIK, that cleaning currently must be done manually.

    Instead of doing it manually, why not add a button to the “Reply, Reply to all, Forward, Archive, Junk, Delete, More” buttons…. “Clean & Forward”