Future Planning: Thunderbird as a Web App
emoore at fastmail.fm
Fri Sep 18 03:23:06 UTC 2015
> From: Kent James<kent at caspia.com>
> tl;dr Thunderbird over the next 3 years needs to convert to being a web
> (web app does not imply cloud-based, only that the underlying platform
> is js/html).
I understand the need for Thunderbird to become a web app. However, its
not clear to me why that web app needs to be restricted to just
cause a lot of problems with widgets. Think of the classic arguments why
somebody might prefer Thunderbird over a good webmail implementation
that supports accounts with multiple email providers. It seems to boil
down to more customization, expandability (via add-ons), better widgets
and being able to support a platform specific look and feel. I'm
concerned we'd lose most of that.
Mailpile uses Python, JS, HTML5 and will let you "Host your install of
mailpile on your laptop, desktop, Raspberry PI, server in the cloud, or
put it on a USB stick and carry it in your pocket." They plan on
eventually supporting apps for Android and iPhone/iPad. "The Plugin
architecture has being expanded to allow self-contained plugins which
this work is incomplete."
Please explain the tradeoffs between MailPile's definition of a web app
and one that only supports js/html. I'm not trying to argue that we
should mimic MailPile, they're just a convenient example of a different
One benefit of limiting Thunderbird to just js/html appears to be that
we could share "maintenance work of "low-level" protocol code with Gaia
email or other components". However, that is a two edged sword as in
practice it could also mean that we'd have to constantly adapt to
changes in the Mozilla platform.
Another would be that Thunderbird would be available on many more
platforms, including ones that we don't even know about. I agree that we
need Mobile support, but there are diminishing returns at some point in
trying to support everything.
How does supporting only js/HTML effect other possible long term goals
such as end-to-end encryption?
More information about the tb-planning