Future of Inastant Messaging: Make instant messaging separate from Thunderbird

Ryan Sipes ryan at thunderbird.net
Fri Apr 12 18:17:28 UTC 2019

Hey Amir,

There is a lot here - but I will try to add my thoughts.

Firstly, I use IRC within Thunderbird and find it nice to be able to 
search my email and chat all in one place. But I know I'm likely the 
exception here and not the rule. However, I have heard a few folks in 
enterprise set their employees up with Thunderbird and use it for email 
and XMPP (for internal chat).

But I do have ideas for how chat in Thunderbird might look going 
forward. I've spoken to some of the devs about this to gauge feasibility 
- but never really shared my thoughts publicly with the community. So 
here goes:

I think that we should create a feature called *Thunderbird Teams* that 
uses the Matrix protocol and our current chat paradigm that you see with 
IRC - but makes it easy to spin up channels and invite others to join 
your channel using Thunderbird. I'd even like to work out a deal with 
Modular.im where you could spin up your own private instance and invite 
others to join too (for those who want to own the server). And I'd like 
to have this all be possible to set up from within Thunderbird.

Why do I think this is a good way forward?

 1. *Slack-like paradigm using open protocols in Thunderbird* - people
    are so accustomed to persistent chat but many people are using
    closed, proprietary applications to collaborate with their teams. We
    could offer an alternative.
 2. *Integration with calendar and email *- Thunderbird Teams could be
    well-integrated with built-in email and calendar. For instance,
    imagine sharing an event invite or an email within the chat
    seamlessly with a couple of clicks.
 3. *Versatility *- Matrix supports one-on-one chat as well as channels
    and allows for sharing media easily. This seems like a natural next
    step for chat in Thunderbird and will cover many use cases.

Finally, we almost have a working implementation from a couple years 
ago. With some work we could have an up-to-date Matrix implementation 
and then build a nice, straightforward experience on top of that.

To sum all this up, I disagree - I don't think we should be running away 
from instant messaging in Thunderbird. I think we should be focusing on 
an implementation that best serves our users and improves Thunderbird in 
a meaningful way.


Ryan Sipes
Community Manager

On 4/12/2019 12:36 AM, Amir Farsi wrote:
> Hello.
> Currently InstantBird is Integrated with Thunderbird. It's becauase 
> some times Companies and Communication sorftware builders Including 
> Google, Mozilla,... thinked it's better to have an integrated 
> communication suite. Mozilla merged Instant Bird and Thunderbird, 
> Google Merged Google Talk(Hangouts) and Gmail,....
> But It seems ordinary users don't want to chat when they're using 
> email. Users prerfer to have instant messaging app as a separate app 
> but on All of platforms(Like: Web, Desktop, Mobile, Even Tablets). If 
> you look at most popular instant messaging Apps, those are sepereate 
> from email clients. You can look at Telegram, Pidgin, Singal Private 
> Messaging App,...
> I think future version of Thunderird and It's Instant Messaging 
> Subsystem should be separate. However you can publish Insrtant Bird as 
> a Thunderbird Add-On, Thunderbird should focus on email and have Web 
> App, Desktop, and Mobile App. If you want to keep instahnt messaging 
> as sub system of thunderbird, how you will make this sub system in 
> Thundrebhird Mobile App? You can't do it. It's not common. I think we 
> should have two things:
> Thunderbird: Web, Deasktop, Mobile, Tablet
> Thunderbird Competitors: Outlook, Opera Mail,...
> Instant Bird: Web. Desktop, Mobile, Tablet, Addon for email 
> clients(Like Thunderbird, Gmail,)
> Instant Bird Competitors: KiwiIRC.com, Pidgin, CloudIRC.com, Telegram, 
> ChatZilla,..
> Even i think next instant bird should not be only a chat application. 
> It should support VOIP like SIP
> In addition, you can add Telegram support to Insrtant Bird too. I mean 
> Instrant Bird can be like Plus Messenger and otther third party 
> Telegram Clients if user selected Telegram in instant bird. Telegram 
> supporting make a third party apps via it's API.
> Note: I don't say Instant Bird Should be only a Telegram Cleint. 
> Instant Bird would support Next Generation of IRC(IRC v3, Telegram, 
> XMPP, SIP,...)
> Best wishs for you.
> Amir
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> tb-planning at mozilla.org
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