Thunderbird++ for each of the four major components

Matt Harris at
Tue Apr 18 10:11:32 UTC 2017

On 18-Apr-17 5:39 PM, Gervase Markham wrote:
> On 18/04/17 05:53, R Kent James wrote:
>> Here's my personal understanding/guess of where we are likely heading
>> with each of the 4 major pieces of Thunderbird. What's new here is
>> mostly discussing the "other" pieces beyond email, as most of the
>> Thunderbird++ discussion so far has implicitly focused on email. Note in
>> all cases, it may be possible to incorporate portions of the new work in
>> the existing Thunderbird, but that is not a primary goal. Retaining
>> existing users IS a primary goal.
> Do we have data on what proportion of existing users use Calendar? Or Chat?
> Thunderbird lasted for many years without either capability. I would
> strongly suggest that neither is part of a minimum viable product for
> TB++.
I strongly suggest that anyone thinking a mail client without a calendar 
will fly should listen the the users a little more.  Even the cheapest 
phone has a calendar. The windows 10 mail app has a calendar.  If you 
are not delivering more features that the windows 10 mail app which is 
almost universally denigrated as next to useless  then you are not 
delivering something useful.  Even folk like doctors and dentists are 
now emailing events to notify their patients of appointments.

What is the proposed selling point of Thunderbird++ on Windows anyway?  
What is the killer feature that will grow our user base?

As for data,  really I think we have little or no idea what our users 
use,  or what features they despise or want.  (there is a wealth of 
telemetry data,  but accessing it is beyond me.)  WE do apparently have 
data indicating Lighting has some 5.5 million current installs.  Even 
before it was bundled it was the most popular add-on by a very big margin.

  * I can tell you is that I see a lot of screen shots in support, and
    most have a menu bar.  But I have no idea if that is turned on
    because they are having issues or the average user likes having a
    menu bar. I know I do because it is faster that the half crippled
  * I do know that the app menu is far from intuitive (what is this with
    hover menu's  or a menu that differs if you click the > or the text.)
  * I do know that for most of the last decade users have asked for a
    migration process that migrates their profile from old to new
    devices.  They expect an export and import option to do that with. 
    Will Thunderbird ++ ship with that as a minimum? perhaps as a
    selling point.
  * I do see a small but continuous stream of issues in Support with
    chat and News (NNTP).  Mostly looking for long standing bug fixes,
    given Mozilla ignored that module as much as they could get away
    with. Are there 10 or 10 million users of NNTP.  I have no idea.
  * I do think that a very significant proportion of our users fall in
    the small business group.  The single user with a web site looking
    for automated responses to web site emails (usable templates anyone)
    and people organizing community events like club meets etc. (Mailing
    lists that self audit for bad addresses) and mail merge



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