UI mock-up - Account Setup

Tanstaafl tanstaafl at libertytrek.org
Wed May 1 17:23:38 UTC 2019


On Tue Apr 30 2019 13:23:40 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time), Alessandro
Castellani <alessandro at thunderbird.net> wrote:
> I implemented that secondary button as Ryan told me there are
> potential partnerships happening with various email providers.
> Offering a "spotlight" placement in TB is pretty important in order to
> close profitable deals with email providers, opposed to something like
> "We're gonna put a link on one of our web pages". We need a stronger
> selling point.

Makes sense, and I certainly agree we need a stronger selling point, and
this looks like a great thread and opportunity to repost something I
sent over a year ago to this list (didn't  get a single response then,
maybe it will fare better this time around).

So, here we go (I tweaked it a little)... and remember, this was written
over a year ago...

Think of this as something offered on the Account Creation dialog/wizard
currently being discussed.


In my opinion revenue generation is probably the single most important
issue facing TB now, and I am very excited, surprised even, at Kent's
report of current donation levels (even more so now, remember, this was
originally written in February of last year), so I'll take this
opportunity to put forward an idea (again) I had some time ago when
these discussions first started (I sent it but it never made it to the
list, not sure why). This would (in my opinion) generate substantially
more revenue, because people would actually be getting something
meaningful in return, and it would also help promote the Thunderbird

Since Thunderbird will require its own infrastructure sooner or later,
why not develop and provide something I'll call, for lack of a better
term, a 'Thunderbird Hosted Communications Hub', providing a service
available only to those who choose to become financial contributors.
This would basically just consist of at least one thunderbird.net (or
whatever cool Thunderbird oriented domain is chosen) email address, and
hopefully/eventually some cool features showcasing Thunderbirds
capabilities (see below). I would suggest 2 or 3 different levels, e.g.:

  * One time smallish contributors get a 'Basic' account, one email
    address (@thunderbird.net, or whatever other coolish Thunderbird
    related domain you want), low storage (1GB?), no IMAP
  * Large one time contributors get much more storage (100GB total?),
    maybe additional multiple email addresses and IMAP access
  * Supporters who opt to provide a certain level of recurring donations
    get unlimited storage/email addresses and IMAP and Chat support

There is a lot of potential for new services to attract even more

  * To really make this more compelling, I think it should offer
    something unique, and I can't think of anything better than full
    JMAP support, especially considering it is intended to both replace
    IMAP, and by nature to be extensible. How about an extension out of
    the box that allows you to Sync everything (including your
    Profile/Settings) to a server that supports it (does anyone remember
    that something similar was actually possible using LDAP way back in
    t he Netscape days?)?
  * How about a partnership with Timo and the Dovecot guys to provide
    the IMAP/JMAP Server support? I know he is working on it
  * And how about a partnership with the SOGo team to provide Groupware
    (Contacts/Calendars) support?
  * Sync capability (see my comment below for details)
  * Opt-in offerings to help test new/beta features (like for the
    hopefully upcoming JMAP support, that Dovecot is currently working on)

There was more, but the only other part I would include in this email is
this, that was in response to the question 'Where do you see Thunderbird
in 10 years?':

Pluggable Protocol Support - It should be easy to add - via an
Addon/Extension and/or to the core code, support for:

  * New/next-generation protocols like JMAP (replacing IMAP+SMTP, and
    eventually Cal/CardDAV), and *eventually* (but not until existing
    functionality + maybe JMAP support, is fully replaced and rock
    solid) others like Text/Chat (Signal, WhatsApp, and/or even a native
    Mozilla/Thunderbird one the service for which is provided by the
    'Thunderbird Communications Platform' referred to above under my
    general comments)
  * Pure server-side indexes like those provided by dovecot eliminating
    the need for GLODA (for IMAP/JMAP users) and the heavy (for some,
    unworkable) requirements - ie, must maintain a fully local copy of
    all emails, making it less than useless for heavy IMAP users with
    large mail stores
  * Full support for Server-Side filters (Sieve)
  * Support for managing Dovecot's Server Side Virtual Folders (Virtual
    Folders everywhere, as opposed to Thunderbird's local-only Virtual
    Folders (an excellent, but limited concept when you use many
    different computers/systems to access your email)
  * Native Sync capability(JSON?) for Contacts/Calendars for use with
    the 'Thunderbird Communications Hub', or even your own server
    (SFTP/WebDAV?) for security/privacy
  * Modular HTML composer/renderer support
      o instead of reinventing the wheel, just provide hooks to some of
        the more popular existing HTML composers (TinyMCE, Quill, etc)
        and web engines (Quantum, Blink, EdgeHTML(/Trident?), Webkit),
        and make it easy to switch between them should the need ever
        arise - or to even strip support for it (HTML rendering for
        emails) out completely if desired, reducing everything to plain
        text automatically (I know some people who prefer Claws Mail for
        that one reason)
  * I personally don't use newsgroups, but once the heavy lifting of
    making things modular is done, support could be properly implemented
    by anyone willing to do the work.

Anyway, that's it. I hope you see something here of value. If not, no
worries, I thank you for your time, and for everything you are doing for


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