Thunderbird Home Tab
jonathan.protzenko at gmail.com
Sun Apr 17 16:26:25 UTC 2011
I've been thinking about the web tabs and the rss dashboard experiments.
I think a very nice project could be a Thunderbird home tab, just like
the Firefox home tab. It could unify web tabs, rss dashboard, and
possibly other information, into a single page that's your entry point
into Thunderbird, and that also gives you an overview of everything that
happens in your Thunderbird. Plus, it could provide a consistent
experience between Firefox and Thunderbird.
Alex Faaborg has been talking recently about the Firefox home tab
he envisions for Firefox 6. He wants it to store various pieces of
information: people, websites, history, bookmarks, tabs and tabs
groups... I'm stricken by how useful that could be for Thunderbird as
well. Think about the various types of actions you do with Thunderbird:
- check new mail,
- check rss feeds,
- tweak account settings,
- email people,
- open web apps into Thunderbird tabs,
- etc. etc.
All these actions match what Alex describes in his blog post, and I
think we could display each one of these items into a Thunderbird home
tab that's your entry point for Thunderbird. It would allow you to:
- have a widget that displays most recent emails,
- have a widget that displays most recent RSS feeds,
- have an area that allows you to customize settings for each one of
- have an area with your favorite contacts,
- have an area that allows you to open web apps such as Facebook and
Twitter as Thunderbird tabs,
- etc. etc.
(Each one of the bullet points above is supposed to match the
corresponding bullet point from the first list). It would look like a
Firefox app tab, glow when something new happens, etc. etc. Alex's home
tab is constantly open and appears leftmost in the Firefox tab bar. I
think that's something that could prove relevant for Thunderbird as
well. Various UI items are not discoverable easily (think account
settings vs. general settings), and I think it could provide a great
starting point for all your Thunderbird-related actions.
As a proof of concept, and just for RSS Feeds, I've uploaded my RSS
Dashboard experiment to AMO
braindead simple, and works minimally, but I just wanted to show that we
could build cool stuff with just a few lines of JS in Thunderbird. If
that were ever to happen, we could reuse the code from the RSS
Dashboard, and from Webtabs, to create a great experiment.
If anyone stands interested, I'd love to implement this and devote some
time to this, as I believe it's highly valuable. However, the catch is
I'm *pretty bad at design and UX*. Therefore, I don't know who's the
right person to ping for this. With Mozilla Messaging now being
reintegrated into Mozilla,
- can we expect Firefox UX people to be interested in contributing to this?
- can we expect Bryan and Andy to be interested in this, or are they
going to be more focused on F1-related stuff, and not available for
I'd love to hear your thoughts about this! Do you think it is a good
direction? Do you think I would be wasting my time?
Have a nice Sunday all,
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