Sample Thunderbird UI redesign

Axel Grude axel.grude at
Mon Dec 12 19:30:48 UTC 2016

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> *Subject:*Re: Sample Thunderbird UI redesign
> *From:*Disaster Master <disasterlistmanager at>
> *To:*Tb-planning
> *Sent: *Monday, 12/12/2016 15:05:09 15:05 GMT ST +0000 [Week 50]
> On 12/12/2016 9:33 AM, Wayne Mery <vseerror at> wrote:
>> On 12/12/2016 9:10 AM, Disaster Master wrote:
>>> On 11/21/2016 9:35 AM, Disaster Master<disasterlistmanager at>  
>>> wrote:
>>>> On 11/18/2016 8:42 PM, R Kent James<kent at>  wrote:
>>>>> I think you can see from the responses that there never seems to be any
>>>>> way to come to a common ground in user interface changes. I'll long
>>>>> since given up trying to propose changes, as inevitably what I propose
>>>>> gets shot down. I suspect that others have given up as well. I am also
>>>>> guilty of being the shooter in many cases, after all we all have opinions.
>>>>> The only answer that I think we have agreed with is to pick someone who
>>>>> has a clear vision of a unified design to be the user interface czar,
>>>>> and just do what they want.
>>>> The only answer? What may I ask is wrong with my proposal to simply
>>>> improve the underlying code to allow better access for Themes to be
>>>> able to change the UI?
>>>> In what way is this not a much better solution than a 'UI Czar' who,
>>>> as you clearly outlined, will inevitably upset a large number of people?
>>>> Better Theme support totally eliminates said controversy.
>>> I would really like an answer to this Kent...
>> It seems you are suggesting that themes can facilitate the rearranging
>> of UI, or changing the logic/interaction of UI.  That's not the purpose
>> of a theme. Themes are about skinning, which is changing the appearance
>> of *existing* UI.
> Fair enough, thanks Wayne. In all honesty, I was struggling to find a single word 
> that expressed the ability to customize the UI, so I settled on Theme. Guess that 
> wasn't the best choice.
> My primary concern is maintaining the ability to customize the UI, over and above 
> any changes to the default GUI presented on a fresh install.

Well, in my experience that is provided by XUL. Of course to make the GUI functional 
you also need to be able to inject code that does something useful (especially in the 
realm then you also need XPCOM which gives you access to the low level, scriptable 
parts of the email front end code; this also includes access to GLODA (the database 
behind the search engine in Thunderbird).

> So, a question for you.
> Is there any reason that a Theme Addon (Themes are still Addons, right?) couldn't do 
> the same things as, say, Classic Theme Restorer?
There are restrictions with Themes, normally they shouldn't contain executable codes, 
but some full themes circumvent this restriction by bundling an extension with the xpi.

> Also, is it possible to write an Addon that makes changes like, for example, 
> moves/places toolbar elements (buttons, location bar, search bar, etc) to a specific 
> toolbar, in a certain order, then hides certain other toolbars?
> Regardless, upon reflection, I can see value in Kent's suggestion for a GUI 'czar', 
> as long as the ability to customize the GUI provided as the default by said 'czar' 
> remains fully intact.
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