Vision for Thunderbird
ben.bucksch at beonex.com
Wed Jan 31 21:42:34 UTC 2018
Here's my personal vision for Thunderbird:
1. What specific qualities do you like about Thunderbird?
o No single entity should control the communication, or even be
able to stop or watch it.
o I want to run my own servers and use only them.
o Compare Privacy above
o Human communication needs to stay free. Free from control of any
o Everybody must be able to use their own software or hardware as
o Allows innovation
o Allows to adapt to uncommon needs
o E.g. IMAP, POP3, SMTP, MIME
* Open-source - for all its qualities of free software:
o allowing anybody to improve it, or alter it to their needs
o allowing me to inspect the code that I'm running, for security
o being the owner of it, I can change it, and I can keep it forever.
o I do not want my personal data communication in the hands of
anybody else, including companies like Google. I want them on my
computer, only, with the computer physically next to me.
o My software and services must not collect information about it.
I am a human, not a cow that can be tagged and tracked.
o I.e. absence of security holes. A security hole means the
attacker can access all files on my computer, even those outside
of emails - that must not happen.
o All my files and data are on my computer. Nobody - absolutely
nobody - has the right to access it without my permission.
o See open-source
o Email is - apart from the browser - my primary work tool and
organizes my day. I spend many hours every day in my email client.
o I need to be able to configure and use the email client as I wish.
o I need features like filters and multiple identities to handle
all the email.
o I get hundreds of emails per day. I need to quickly open, read,
close, delete or move them.
o I want mouse usage, drag&drop, keyboard shortcuts
o I have folders with 20000 emails (and some with 300000 emails),
they need to open and scroll fast.
o I want the UI to be efficient, not waste screen space
o UI should be lean, get out of the way, but still have the
commonly used features available quickly.
o Too little means I need extra work to do what I need. Too much
means I have mental overload and can't find anything. Needs the
* Works on Linux (and Windows)
2. Where do you see Thunderbird in 10 years?
* Code revamp
o Based on web technologies (but *not* a website, but a desktop app)
o Clear, minimal, stable APIs, using observers
o Easier to adapt, e.g. phone integration
o UI is a very slim layer, allows to be replaced with alternative
UIs without much effort, and maintainable.
* Version for smartphones (Android. If possible also iPhone.) with a
different UI that's adapted to the screen size and touchscreen.
Slightly different UI (e.g. with folder list, or more msg list
columns) for tablets.
* Address book synchronizes between desktop Thunderbird and Android
system address book. I can add a contact in TB address book on
desktop, and see the contact on my phone's dialer, and vise versa.
* Virtual folders, e.g. combined inbox, or filtered for tags, or
several criteria at the same time. Unlike current implementation,
but in real-time (instant updates in all cases) and light-weight (in
* Automatic filters
* Picture sharing
o Interact with file sharing servers of major email providers,
without any manual setup
o up/download with TB UI
o Gallery UI
o Share with others
* WhatsApp protocol support
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