Martin Kotulla (SoftMaker)
martin-k at softmaker.de
Tue Mar 17 18:34:28 UTC 2015
I planned to post here yesterday, but we were too busy yesterday pushing
out the press release, answering questions from the press, sending out
the information to our customer base... and then drowning in replies
from customers congratulating us on our decision to participate in the
Thunderbird project. :-)
Here is the story:
SoftMaker develops and markets an office suite called SoftMaker Office
which is available for Windows, Linux, Android, Windows CE, and Windows
Mobile (all sharing most of the same source code):
In SoftMaker Office 2012 we added the eM Client solution for e-mail and
calendaring from the company of the same name. We were not really
satisfied with the way the partnership went, so about one year ago we
made the decision to dump eM Client and replace it with Thunderbird.
Thunderbird is in fact the e-mail client that most people here at
SoftMaker have been using for many years.
During the last 12 months, we have written code that integrates
Thunderbird better with SoftMaker Office visually, adds filing and
navigation features, and undoes some design changes made over the years
by the Thunderbird developers – our version does have a regular menu bar
and a regular title bar for the application window.
Plus, we have written an import filter that converts eM Client databases
(serialized .NET objects inside SQlite, ugh...) to Thunderbird e-mails
and contacts, and Lightning calendars and tasks.
Early on during the development, mainly due to Kent's input, we made the
decision to not fork Thunderbird, but to add functionality through
extensions. This was a good decision because our users can continue
updating Thunderbird through the official mechanism and because they can
decide on their own if they want our added functionality and changed
visuals or not.
The developer who wrote the SoftMaker extensions is now nearly done with
his initial set of tasks and has gained valuable experience in writing
extensions and in some of the internals of Thunderbird. Since we want to
see Thunderbird grow and prosper, I have made the decision that he
should start to work full-time on the Thunderbird project, under Kent's
direction. CardDav integration is the first tasks he's going to grind
his teeth on. He'll post here soon, but right now he has caught the
You can find more about our effort at
The international press release is here:
Press and blogger reactions (mainly in German-speaking countries) have
been favorable so far. An excerpt:
But the story is now starting to be picked up internationally as well:
Feel free to ask me any questions.
SoftMaker Software GmbH
More information about the tb-planning