Proposal to start a new implementation of Thunderbird based on web technologies

R Kent James kent at
Wed Apr 5 05:35:30 UTC 2017

On 3/24/2017 10:04 AM, Ben Bucksch wrote:
> The goal of the rewrite is to be close to the existing Thunderbird, in 
> UI and features, as a drop-in replacement for end users, without 
> baffling them. They should immediately recognize the replacement as 
> the Thunderbird they love. It will install and run as normal desktop 
> application, like Thunderbird does today. It keeps user data local and 
> private.

It seems like you are specifically ruling out the role of other 
platforms, including a pure website, and mobile. I don't think it 
accurately reflects the current set of expectations and actual work 
practices of our users.

Given the extreme challenge in funding even the desktop version of this, 
it might not be practical to consider the other use cases initially in a 
fully functional release, but from a conceptual perspective the design 
needs to plan for the eventual mobile and website versions. If this is 
not explicitly planned, and probably partially prototyped, then the end 
result will be a desktop-only product that will never meet user 
expectations of access using multiple platforms.

For the Contacts experiment we will be running, an explicit goal is to 
investigate whether it is reasonable to use the same basic core 
components to provide a seamless user experience over multiple 
platforms, including mobile, website, and desktop. That is expectation 
of users today, and certainly represents my typical use.


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