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Thunderbird Monthly Development Digest: March 2024

Hello Thunderbird Community! March is over, which means it’s time for another Development Digest to share the current progress and product direction of Thunderbird development.

Is this your first time reading the Development Digest? Find them all using the Dev Digest tag!

Rust and Exchange

It seems that this section is part of every Development Digest! But that’s the reality of these large efforts, spanning across multiple months with slow but steady progress.

This month we completed initial Exchange Autodiscovery and compatibility with OAuth in our account setup flow, as well as fetching and rendering of all folders. Some areas still need polish and clean up. But work continues towards having things behind a pref in the next beta release. You can follow the progress in this bug.

Meanwhile, here are some goodies to try if you need to parse the Microsoft Exchange Web Services data set and the current crates for serializing and deserializing XML don’t serve you well. https://github.com/thunderbird/xml_struct

List management

Shout out to Magnus for implementing the first step towards a more manageable mailing list subscription flow. An initial implementation of the List Management feature just landed on daily and beta, and it was recently announced in the tb-beta mailing list with a screenshot to show it in action.

It’s currently accessible via a context menu on the List ID. But we’re planning to do some UX and UI explorations to find the best way to expose it without making it annoying.

You can follow the work from this bug.

Esmification completed!

Another big shout out to Magnus for finishing the ESMification effort! As users, you won’t see or notice any difference, but for developers this substantial architectural change saw the removal of all .jsm files in favor of standard JavaScript modules. 

A huge win for a more standardized code base! This allows us to leverage all the nice features of modern JavaScript in Thunderbird development. 

Tiny changes and improvements in Thunderbird development

A lot of nice quality of life improvements tend to happen in small chunks that are not easy to see or spot right away.

Here’s a list of the projects we’re actively working on and will be focusing on for the next month:

Stay tuned and make sure to sign up to our mailing lists to get detailed updates on all the items in this list, and a lot more.

As usual, if you want to see things as they land you can always check the pushlog and try running daily, which would be immensely helpful for catching bugs early.

See ya next time in our April Development Digest.

Alessandro Castellani (he, him)
Director of Product Engineering

If you’re interested in joining the technical discussion around Thunderbird development, consider joining one or several of our mailing list groups here.

4 responses

Wolkenfarmer wrote on

Nice to see you making progress on the Exchange front!
What’s the current status at the Thunderbird Sync front? In the last digest it didn’t yet seem feasible for a normal user to really leverage that feature.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

We should have our Mozilla account Sync server in place this week, after which we’ll test internally, then introduce it into Thunderbird Daily for wider testing. No specific timeline beyond that, but things are looking good.

Franck wrote on

Fantastic news!!!
Exchange support is the number one feature Thunderbird has been missing.
Thank you so much!!!

Wolkenfarmer wrote on

Very cool, thank you 😀

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