Adding instant messaging features to Thunderbird
kent at caspia.com
Mon Sep 26 19:03:43 UTC 2011
I did an experiment in December of last year to add a new account type
to Thunderbird, using Twitter as an example. There is a js addon
TweeQuilla that demonstrates this, and a binary addon New Account Types
that in theory could be used by others to do the same thing.
From my perspective, there is not much point in adding new protocols to
Thunderbird unless those protocols allow users to leverage all of the
existing features of Thunderbird into a unified presentation of
information. These include features such as tagging, filtering, virtual
search folders combining information from multiple accounts, archiving
of messages, unified address book, global search, etc. That is possible
using New Account Types. Right now, the status of that experiment is
that it works, but it would need to have more testing and interest
before it was incorporated into the core TB product (and we really need
to land pluggable storage first).
I would be interested myself in seeing experiments in trying to
implement instant messaging as a Thunderbird account type, to see where
synergies might exist. I would suspect that for the most common uses of
instant messaging, people would not get that much value out of combining
the two. But I would still like to try it, as the synergies are not
always immediately apparent. I can see that archiving of IM
conversations (and I am thinking here of IRC conversations on
irc.mozilla.org) could have some value. Plus I think that Thunderbird
really, really needs to understand how they will remain relevant in the
world of Twitter and Facebook, and that would require some experiments
in UI design and account unification.
If I had a working moz-compatible XMPP library, I could probably
implement something with the (limited) sophistication of TweeQuilla in
about 5 days. But I would much rather that someone else attempted that,
as I cannot be the only proponent of this approach.
On 9/21/2011 8:38 AM, Florian Quèze wrote:
> I'm currently investigating the possibilities of adding instant
> messaging features to Thunderbird.
> At this point, I'm trying to identify how instant messaging features
> could bring additional value for Thunderbird users.
> The questions I've been asking myself and others during the last few
> days and a summary of the points to answer them that I've already
> collected during discussions are visible on this wiki page:
> (Note: the "Functional specification" section is currently a draft of
> a possible way forward, it doesn't reflect a decision or commitment to
> implement something in any way).
> I would appreciate any feedback/comments/ideas on this topic.
> Especially if you see a way in which adding IM features to Thunderbird
> could make it more useful *for you*, I would like to know about it
> :-). If you disagree with something written on this page, also feel
> free to let me know! :-)
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