Thunderbird Home Tab

Jonathan Protzenko jonathan.protzenko at
Sun Apr 17 17:57:56 UTC 2011

(replying to the list).

I'm not sure if the Chrome UI is relevant in our case, since we have 
different kinds of information, but that sure would be a good starting 
point. I'd be happy to reuse any mockup the Firefox UX team has :-).

On Sun 17 Apr 2011 07:39:00 PM CEST, Rafael Ebron wrote:
> This is cool. Looks worthwhile to me. If we can get Twitter/Facebook as 
> an account type too than this with RSS feeds would be pretty neat. For 
> now, I would recommend mimicking the Chrome UI/UE for their apps/most 
> visited/home screen but I suspect Faaborg has some stuff too.
> -Rafael
> On 4/17/11 9:26 AM, Jonathan Protzenko wrote:
>>         TL;DR
>> 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.
>>         Rationale
>> Alex Faaborg has been talking recently about the Firefox home tab 
>> <> 
>> that 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 
>> your accounts,
>> - 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.
>>         Mockup
>> As a proof of concept, and just for RSS Feeds, I've uploaded my RSS 
>> Dashboard experiment to AMO 
>> <>. It's 
>> 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 
>> Thunderbird work?
>> 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,
>> jonathan
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