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Thunderbird Monthly Development Digest: April 2024

Hello Thunderbird Community, and welcome back to the monthly Thunderbird development digest. April just ended and we’re running at full speed into May. We’re only a couple of months away from the next ESR, so things are landing faster and we’re seeing the finalization of a lot of parallel efforts.

20-Year-Old bugs

Something that has been requested for almost 20 years finally landed on Daily. The ability to control the display of recipients in the message list and better distinguish unknown addresses from those saved in the Address Book was finally implemented in Bug 243258 – Show email address in message list.

This is one of the many examples of features that in the past were very complicated and tricky to implement, but that we were finally able to address thanks to the improvements of our architecture and being able to work with a more flexible and modular code.

We’re aiming at going through those very very old requests and slowly addressing them when possible.

Exchange alpha

More Exchange support improvements and features are landing on Daily almost…daily (pun intended). If you want to test things with a local build, you can follow this overview from Ikey.

We will soon look at the possibility of enabling Rust builds by default, making sure that all users will be able to consume our Rust code from next beta, and only needing to switch a pref in order to test Exchange.

Folder compaction

If you’ve been tracking our most recent struggles, you’re probably aware of one of the lingering annoying issues which sees the bubbling up of the size of the user profile caused by local folder corruption.

Ben dive bombed into the code and found a spaghetti mess that was hard to untangle. You can read more about his exploration and discoveries in his recent post on TB-Planning.

We’re aiming to land this code hopefully before the end of the week and start calling for some testing and feedback from the community to ensure that all the various issues have been addressed correctly.

You can follow the progress in Bug 1890448 – Rewrite folder compaction.

Cards View

If you’re running Beta or Daily, you might have noticed some very fancy new UI for the Cards View. This has been a culmination of many weeks of UX analysis to ensure a flexible and consistent hover, selection, and focus state.

Micah and Sol identified a total of 27 different interaction states on that list, and implementing visual consistency while guaranteeing optimal accessibility levels for all operating systems and potential custom themes was not easy.

We’re very curious to hear your feedback.

Context menu

A more refined and updated context menu for the message list also landed on Daily.

A very detailed UX exploration and overview of the implementation was shared on the UX Mailing list a while ago.

This update is only the first step of many more to come, so we apologize in advance if some things are not super polished or things seem temporarily off.

ESR Preview

If you’re curious about what the next ESR will look like or checking new features, please consider downloading and installing Beta (preferably in another directory to not override your current profile.) Help us test this new upcoming release and find bugs early.

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 month.

Alessandro Castellani (he, him)
Director, Desktop and Mobile Apps

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

Franck wrote on

Awesome news! Thanks a lot!

usbee wrote on

I just noticed that there is a stable version of Thunderbird 125 (available from ftp and with direct link) but I can’t find any announcement or article related to it. Does it mean Thunderbird will go back to releasing both ESR and standard versions?

Igy wrote on

Since you have implemented the option in the messages “Allow remote content from…” I need the option “Block remote content from…”. For me, it’s a showstopper for now. Thanks for all the effort you’re putting into this project, all the best.

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

We have some suggestions in Mozilla Connect re: Remote Content, and we definitely would welcome yours if you’d like to share it there as well!

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