Mobile UI (was: Proposal to start a new implementation of Thunderbird based on web technologies)

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at
Wed Apr 5 08:20:59 UTC 2017

R Kent James wrote on 4/5/17 7:35 AM:
> 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.
> 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.

I completely agree, and I explicitly state that in my proposal.

I wrote, directly after: "The technology also gives us the option to run 
it as mobile app." and
In addition to replicating the current Thunderbird UI, we should also 
experiment with new forms of UI, in parallel. For example, we should 
create a UI that's suitable for the new generation of users that never 
used a desktop email client before. These people do not feel at home 
with Thunderbird today, and we should create something for them.

A lot of the new userbase is on mobile platforms and on tablets. That 
new UI should be "responsive" (automatically adapting to different 
screen sized) so that it runs well on tablets and smart phones as well. 
With Cordova and similar toolkits, we have a technological basis to 
quickly make a mobile app out it so that it installs like any other app. 
It would be a replacement for the system "email" app.

The goal for the new UI are 1 billion users.

Please read more than the summary. ;-)

I agree with you. Android is where most users are today. Personally, I 
would really like to see a mobile client based on that new 
implementation. I will probably develop one on the side. If the code 
design is right, it would not be a lot of work.

However, to focus the development effort, we should concentrate the main 
development stream on the most important goal: a replacement for current 
Thunderbird, and a desktop client that the masses can not only use, but 
enjoy using.


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