Quick Compose (or, I had some time to kill yesterday night)

Jonathan Protzenko jonathan.protzenko at gmail.com
Sun Feb 19 11:19:58 UTC 2012


I've written a hack that allows Thunderbird Conversation's quick reply 
feature to operate in "standalone" mode, effectively providing a 
replacement compose window. See 
http://jonathan.protzenko.free.fr/shutter/Write..._026.png for a pretty 
picture. It can also be opened in a new tab, of course.

is compatible with Thunderbird 11+ and has the feature baked in. The 
next release (2.3, which will be out a week before Thunderbird 11 is), 
will also have the feature.

The usual limitations apply (no html support, etc.), and I don't even 
plan on advertising this. Therefore, it can only be opened with the 
Ctrl-Shift-N keyboard shortcut. This is mainly for me because I like 
very much having gloda autocomplete for my contacts.

The reason why I'm writing about this anyway is that the Summer of Code 
is approaching, and we've been wanting to rewrite the compose window 
forever. If a student were to be motivated, they could fork the 
codebase, and investigate various points:
- integrating an external editor (http://aloha-editor.org/ seems very, 
very promising and impressive),
- designing a good UI for the many options the composition window has 
to offer,
- designing a good facebook-style autocomplete widget,
- thinking about how we could design the code in such a way that addons 
can easily interact with us.

Many of the most difficult points are handled already:
- attachments, including drag&drop,
- sending the message with the right composition parameters and the 
right listeners,
- hooking this up to the gloda contact autocompleter.

Thus, I believe this might make for a good subject.

Have a nice Sunday all,


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