Thunderbird experiments

Bryan Clark clarkbw at
Fri Jul 16 19:22:13 UTC 2010

  Hi -

I was going to use the subject "Thunderbird add-ons" but I want to make 
sure it's understood that many of these extensions will not go beyond 
the first or second release if they get that far.  Many of the 
extensions are just experiments to learn and gather interest; we learn 
(the most) from failures so we must plan to fail if we plan to learn.

And so here's the list of add-on ideas and experiments that are in 
various stages of design.

*Mailing List Manager*

    Help you manage and organize your mailing lists.  Tools to create
    filters, unsubscribe, and find archives for mailing lists.
    | initial release |

*Notifications Wrangler*

    Similar to the Mailing List manager but centered around
    advertisements and newsletters.  How can we help people organize and
    control the messages from facebook, twitter, amazon, etc.
    | in design phase |

*Thunderbird Sync*

    The add-on formally known as Weave Sync working inside Thunderbird. 
    We have an initial working version that can support sync of address
    book contacts, passwords, and preferences.
    | early developer add-on available |


    The Contacts add-on built by labs has been adapted to work inside
    Thunderbird.  This is an excellent experiment in building a better
    contacts manager by using alternate sources of contacts.
    | early developer add-on available | (in oauth branch)

*Data Miners*

    A framework for experimenting with data mining email messages for
    interesting objects.  i.e. finding parcel tracking numbers, phone
    numbers, addresses, etc.  to help the user do useful things with
    those items.  The extension itself is built as a playground for
    creating new data mining attributes using the Gloda message framework.
    | early development add-on available |

*Thunderbird Air *(aka Thunderbird for Netbooks)

    An alternate look at what an email client could be when screen size
    (especially height) is severely limited.  This add-on reuses all of
    the Thunderbird technology while leaving behind most of the UI.  It
    heavily uses tabs in a new way which creates a different kind of
    folder pane and email experience.
    | early development add-on available |

*Attachments Tab

    Browse and search for attachments in a new tab.  Offers several ways
    to search and refine for the type of attachment displaying them as
    | early development add-on available |

*Web Tabs*

    Bookmarked web sites which open up in Thunderbird tabs instead of
    the browser.  Especially designed for often used web applications
    like twitter, bugzilla and others where it could be faster and
    easier to just open a Thunderbird tab instead of the browser.
    | early development add-on available |

*Quick* (Inline) *Reply*

    Creating a space at the bottom of messages for a quick and inline
    reply to the message you're viewing without opening the composition
    | in design phase |

*Keyboard Navigation* (from the Future!)

    A fresh look at keyboard navigation inside Thunderbird.  Using a
    mapping system for the key binding so users from other systems
    (outlook) can continue to use their old key bindings.  Also looking
    at a new way of offering keybindings which is more visual (think
    quick silver / ubiquity), teaching (teaches you new / different
    keybindings), and smarter (uses frecency for menu items).
    | in design phase |

Thanks for checking these all out.  This list is not exhaustive or 
definitive, additions and deletions will happen.  I've tried to make 
sure the source is available for most of these in case people want to 
run with something.

If you think somethings a great idea and want to get involved just go 
fork the code and work on it.  If you think something is a terrible idea 
that's fine too.  If you feel like something needs to be in Thunderbird 
by default or should not be in Thunderbird by default you're much too 
early for that conversation. :-)

We're trying to get into a pace of releasing add-ons on the labs site 
somewhat frequently.  I'll also try to send mail to this list as we 
release new ones so we can discuss and people are made aware.  Or you 
could add this: to your 
Thunderbird RSS.

Mozilla Messaging Labs:

~ Bryan
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