Invitation for technical discussion on next-generation Thunderbird

Phillip Hallam-Baker phill at
Mon Apr 24 17:24:12 UTC 2017

On Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 1:04 PM, Mihovil Stanić <mihovil at> wrote:

> Not sure how many emails do others have in their mailboxes, but my private
> email inbox contains 15000+ email, and work email has about 20000 emails
> per year, but I usually keep archives for every year separate.
> 50.000 messages inbox would probably cover 99,99% users.
> Mihovil
> -------- Izvorna poruka --------
> Šalje: Gervase Markham <gerv at>
> Datum: 24.04.2017. 16:54 (GMT+01:00)
> To: Ben Bucksch <ben.bucksch at>, tb-planning at
> Naslov: Re: Invitation for technical discussion on next-generation
> Thunderbird
> On 24/04/17 14:27, Ben Bucksch wrote:
> > That's one way to look at it, but there are other criteria. I can accept
> > a small delay when opening a folder, but I cannot accept any delay
> > whatsoever during scrolling. My tolerance for scrolling delays is what I
> > eyes won't notice anymore, somewhere in the area of 20ms.
> If you are unwilling to tolerate any delays at all when scrolling
> through a million message mailbox, where do you want to put the
> asynchronicity?
> I guess it might be possible to have all the metadata in memory to
> populate the tree, but not the message bodies? So whenever you load a
> message, that's when the async DB hit happens?
> > I think 1 million emails in a folder are an edge case. We should not
> > redesign everything for edge cases, as that will have costs in design
> > and implementation time, and might cause other disadvantages.
> What size of folder do you think we should have performance targets for?

​I am coming up to the GMail limit on my personal mail. I have 26,813
unread messages in my inbox right now and around ​500,000 total.

But most of those are actually mailing list mails. Those are all mixed in
with my regular mail because the boundary between mailing lists and mail is
fuzzy. But it need not be. And making a distinction behind the scenes would
probably lead to a lot of advantages.

So for example, I have 30 folders for different IETF mailing lists. For
each list I have had to manually set up a filtering rule on the server and
when I search through my email for something, my client has no idea that
the mailing list mail is different from my regular mail.

I don't want to have to go to a separate application. But I do want my
application to recognize that the mailing list mail is in a different
category and manage it accordingly.

These days pretty much all mailing list software adds and supports the
mailing list headers but almost no clients leverage them at all. This is in
part because IMAP doesn't do anything intelligent either. But there is the
new work on JMAP protocol which may mean a difference emerges.
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