Get Thunderbird Donate
featured post title image

Thunderbird Monthly Development Digest: May 2024

Hello Thunderbird Community!

We’re tossing May behind our shoulders, which means we’re in the final sprint before the next ESR (Extended Support Release). During the next couple of weeks you can expect some official communication on all the things that are going in the next major release of Thunderbird. Until then, here are some appetizers on our most recent efforts.

Rust-enabled builds

Our build and release team is working hard to ship Rust enabled builds by default. The first beta version of 128 will ship with Rust enabled by default, which will allow all of you to test experimental features without needing to compile the code locally.

Microsoft Exchange support

We’re very very very close!

So far we have the main flow completed, and we’re able to set up an account, fetch folders, fetch messages, and display messages. We’re finalizing the outgoing flow in order to send messages, and after that we will start an audit to ensure that all the usual features you expect from interacting with your email are working.

Expect some future call to actions to test things and invites to switch the experimental pref ON.

Native Linux system tray support

Enabling Rust builds in Thunderbird also gives us the ability to implement some long awaited features much faster. We’re still testing and cleaning things up, but if you’re adventurous you can check out our GitHub repositories for Linux System Tray and DBus hooks and run them locally.

Folder multi-selection

Folder pane multi-selection is almost completed and it should land soon. There are still some rough edges we need to tackle, mostly due to some C++ code not liking multiple folders copy/move and undo actions, but we’re confident that we will have this done before the end of June.

You can check the code and follow the progress here.

Account color customization

Another requested feature we’re aiming to ship in 128 is the customization of account colors. This is the first patch of an upcoming stack that will add some nice visual cues in the message list and the compose window for users with multiple accounts.

Folder compaction

We shared this in our Daily mailing list, but in case you missed it, we rebuilt the Folder Compaction code from scratch. This should potentially solve all the issues of profiles bubbling up in size, or compact operations silently failing and piling up on each other.

These changes should be uplifted to Beta soon. Please test it as much as possible and report any bugs as soon as you encounter them.

Native Windows notifications

Another important achievement was the ability to completely support native Windows 10/11 notifications and make them fully functional.

You can already consume this feature on Daily, and moving forward Thunderbird will be using native OS notifications by default.

We plan to add some nice quick actions and improve the usefulness of native notifications in the future, so stay tuned!

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.

16 responses

Jare wrote on

News about IOS version ?? pls ?

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

Still in very, very early stages! Hoping to have alpha code available by the end of the year.

Keanu wrote on

Exchange Support should go well with Group Policy Support so we can calm Administrators and convince them to switch.
Hopefully you can extend the range of protocols even further because MS has quite a zoo by now for various versions of exchange.

The native Linux systray support sounds great. I missed it a lot when switching from Windows.

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

Anything that helps people and organizations make the switch to Thunderbird is a good thing, and we hope this helps some make the change. And in the Rust and Exchange blog post, you can read about our thinking on future MS protocols.

And seriously, as a Linux user, the system tray support is going to be *sweet*!

Franck wrote on

Awesome news!!!
Especially the Exchange support we’ve been waiting for for years, if not decades
Thanks a lot!!

Monica Ayhens-Madon wrote on

Thanks for the comments and your enthusiasm! Native Exchange support is almost here!!

Alex wrote on

Thank you for your work! I’m guessing there’s not much to say about it since you would have mentioned it otherwise, but I have to ask: how are things on the Sync front? As far as I know there haven’t been any updates on it since April, so I’m curious (and also really looking forward to it).

Jason Evangelho wrote on

Hey Alex, it’s progressing nicely! The work on the client is basically completed. Now we’re waiting on some Mozilla Corp changes (a delay we can’t control) and some server-side implementations. We hope to enable this for 128.1 or 128.2 once all the pieces are in place. Not much longer now.

mltx wrote on

Any updates Global Message Database, I believe that this is needed to implement conversation threads (which I’m really looking forward too). I seem to recall from some ofice hout that in order for the new Global Message Database to be included in the next major release, it had to be ready by the end of May. Given that it’s now June, I was wondering if it appears to be on track or not.

David Ross wrote on

Any possibility of getting Thunderbird to delete emails quicker? This is about the only thing I don’t like about Thunderbird. It shouldn’t take several minutes to delete 100 or more emails or empty the trash of several hundred emails

I always use the latest version.

Jason Evangelho wrote on

This doesn’t seem like expected performance for deleting emails. Have you tried looking around in our Thunderbird support site? If you can’t find a solution there, it may be worth posting your issue and seeing how the community can help solve it.

Jason Silver wrote on

Any update on the Android version?

Rolf Hogland wrote on

Some email providers use IMAP rather than POP 3 as standard and set a limit as to how many GB or MB they allow on their server – IMAP means that what you see in your computer mirrors whats on your webmail account with the service provider. – and one has to delete email or move them to other folders to free space. It would be a benefit if Thunderbird (or any other email software provider) would make an in-basket and a sent folder as standard folders to which all email are moved permanently, thus emptying the folders at the webmail account. Anybody else for this?

Ralph Barker wrote on

I’m another long-time TB user, anxious for an IOS version.

Andrew Vallee wrote on

Would love to see a feature that makes Thunderbird future proof added in.

It would be beneficial to have Thunderbird’s email data, such as emails, contacts, and settings, stored on a third partition that is accessible by both Linux and Windows versions of the application. This would eliminate the need to maintain duplicate copies of the data on each operating system’s partition. Instead, users could have a single, shared storage location for their email data, making it easier to manage and access across multiple operating systems.

For example, a user could have a dual-boot setup with Linux and Windows, and store their Thunderbird email data on a third partition that is accessible by both operating systems. This way, when they boot into Linux or Windows, Thunderbird can automatically retrieve and sync their email data from the shared partition, without having to duplicate it on each operating system’s partition.

This approach would be particularly useful for users who switch between operating systems frequently, such as those who use Linux during the day and Windows at night. By having a single, centralized storage location for their email data, they can avoid the hassle of maintaining separate copies of their data on each operating system.

Even better for the future add in a install feature that would offer the installer the option to have Thunderbird create a dedicated Partition of say 10Gig and have data stored in that location. And allow all ops to access that location for the data in the future. Heck, it opens up a path to easier backup also along with better Local AI future proofing for email creation as AI would have a full single location set of DATA to learn from to create email message for users in the future.

Comments are closed.