back to article Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over

A little over a year ago, Mozilla started pondering the future of Thunderbird. And this week, it's decided the troubled open-source email client must sleep in the spare room. Once upon a time, a unified code base for Mozilla's Firefox and Thunderbird sounded great, but interest in the idea waned, and working on an email client …

  1. Doc Ock

    Mozilla, people actually use Thunderbird rather than the ill fated (we told you so) Firefox OS that wasted an enormous amount of time and money.

    1. wolfetone
      Pint

      This, this is what gets me.

      They say that developer resources were being drained by Thunderbird yet they poured God knows how many man hours and money in to bullshit vanity projects like Firefox OS and the other bits and pieces that no one used.

      Yet they still don't want to deliver a great email client to a world that, quite frankly, is devoid of any brilliant mail client.

      Have a pint from me for saying what everyone else is thinking, except for Mozilla.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Yet they still don't want to deliver a great email client to a world that, quite frankly, is devoid of any brilliant mail client."

        Because most of the world has gone to webmail, especially Gmail. You don't need an e-mail client then. Fewer programs to maintain, fewer potential exploit avenues and/or points of failure.

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Because most of the world has gone to webmail, especially Gmail. You don't need an e-mail client then. Fewer programs to maintain, fewer potential exploit avenues and/or points of failure.

          I reckon there are still a lot of people who haven't/won't go down the Gmail route. A significant number of people would rather have the overhead of maintaining and securing an email client, as opposed to letting a 3rd party scan all their email and run roughshod over their privacy.

          1. rtb61

            Email Server Required

            Thunderbird should make the jump to peer to peer email serving as a target for the future. A real threat to GMail, just straight end to end digital mailing with public email address servers, just the address, with email going direct client to client. Thunderbird needs to create a complete M$ outlook alternative, client and sever and calender. All compact enough for an expanded home router, with email services.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Email Server Required

              Thunderbird just works. In an age in which it seems as if the suits have a firm belief that any software which works well has to have all the useful functions removed and new, but unneeded, ones put in their place, that's very welcome.

              TB does need a bit of work - just nothing too radical. Folder management is just rather strange. And it needs an add-on to get automatic message filtering. Things that Outlook does rather well.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Email Server Required

                TB does need a bit of work - just nothing too radical. Folder management is just rather strange. And it needs an add-on to get automatic message filtering. Things that Outlook does rather well.

                I dumped TB because of the changes to its message editor (and limits on styles), but people I know still use it. In the last week or so TB/Lightning's writers finally seem to have fixed an issue with the Lightning calendar addon which meant it would remind you of appointments. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over. And it would need several hits on the "dismiss all" and a choice of "ignore my changes and reload" or "submit my changes and reload" (neither made any difference). At least that behaviour seems to have stopped!

                As to "automatic message filtering", not sure what you're referring to there but then much of my filtering is done at the server level (spam etc), other stuff is done based on the filters I create. And TB did it fine last I knew, and has done probably since before Outlook even knew what "filters" were. I'm quite sure last time I had to set up filters on Outlook it was not as simple as with TB, but it has been a while since i have had to deal with that thing (many thanks to God!)

                1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                  Re: Email Server Required

                  The email filtering works much better with the quickfilter add-on to speed up making new rules and merging more complex rules or rules that catch a lot of related messages, otherwise it's rather unwieldy, but that's just my opinion. It's a while now since I used OL too. But I was able to set up some pretty complex rules in that, which TB can't manage as well. In that sense, it's too simple.

                  I guess, from that point of view, filtering is either too simple or not simple enough. Which to be fair might be a good compromise.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "fewer potential exploit avenues"

          Just a few big exploit avenues: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, your ISP etc.

          "and/or points of failure."

          The same.

          One point about ISP-hosted email: people just assume it's there and always will be. I read of one person who changed ISP and then discovered, too late, that his emails were on someone else's computer because he hadn't downloaded them and because he wasn't a customer his email account was closed so all his old emails were lost.

          1. Doctor_Wibble
            Boffin

            > Just a few big exploit avenues: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo,

            Plus of course the means of accessing said webmails, your browser that is under constant attack from craply-written ad scripts (and compromised ad services) that may or may not get around the ad blocker that you have to trust is 'clean'...

            > your ISP etc.

            That too - my ISP's email service isn't 'theirs' any more but I maintain a couple of mailboxes for continuity and as an actual paying customer have at least a sliver of permission to attempt to demand service.

            Also, don't ever tell an email provider the account holder is deceased unless you are absolutely sure that you have arrangements in place or don't mind losing the mailbox right there and then. I hope I don't get done for fraud when I do eventually tell them...

            1. fuzzie

              This is one item most people tend to miss using free/open services... the T&Cs are extremely one-sided. When you pay for your ISP/mail server, doesn't matter how much, you get a contractual obligation and all sorts of legal avenues and customer protection laws come to play.

              Free/open services only really have bad PR as leverage against them... which doesn't help the lone individual who's had his account unilaterally closed without recourse.

            2. Hans 1 Silver badge

              Yeah, you have webmail open in one tab, then 15 others and ooops, somebody somewhere f'd up and your email account is 0wned ....

            3. AdamWill

              "your browser that is under constant attack from craply-written ad scripts"

              This is true, but remember the reason Firefox and Thunderbird shared code in the first place: HTML mail. You need a full rendering engine to show HTML mail, basically, and Thunderbird is using the Firefox one.

              It follows that mail clients are usually vulnerable to nearly as many potential exploits as web browsers, only they often don't update their rendering engines as aggressively. Evolution, for instance, was stuck on an ancient Webkit version that was vulnerable to all sorts of stuff for years.

              So your email client is subject to similar attacks. Yes, you can just turn HTML mail off, but you need to be really sure it *is* completely turned off (i.e. your client isn't making any attempt to interpret it, rather than just not displaying the HTML version by default).

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            just yesterday

            A member of the Great British Public came into the (community/voluntary/council cut) library where I do a shift. She wanted to use the computer there. She clicked on the icon for "email" and was deeply shocked to discover that her emails didn't just appear there. Like magic.

            AC for obvious reason, But Why is there no despair icon? If not AC I'd have used one. The D'oh might have done.

        3. DropBear Silver badge

          Sorry, WTF does using Gmail have to do with using an email client?!? I do both. If Google would disappear into a black hole tomorrow I'd be annoyed, but I'd still have all emails I've ever sent or received in the last two decades or so through any mail accounts I've had over the years, archived, with backups, accessible whether or not my net is up.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Yup. I used to use Outlook. Moved to TB a year or so back.(Not reliant on OL calendaring anymore, - always the big problem in the past). All my OL emails are still available if there are any I missed transferring- on my HDD, and in the backups too.

        4. King Jack
          Holmes

          Re: Because most of the world has gone to webmail

          You do know that Thunderbird can access webmail? If you have several accounts, it is just one program running in the background, all your email in one place.

          1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: Because most of the world has gone to webmail

            You do know that Thunderbird can access webmail? If you have several accounts, it is just one program running in the background, all your email in one place.

            Any so-called "webmail" services I have accounts on (GMail, Hotmail/live.com, AOL/AIM, etc) have IMAP (or at least POP3) access, so I use TBird to access all of them at once. Never do I use a browser to access them unless I really *must* access my mail from someone's house (and never on a public machine).

        5. N2 Silver badge

          Because most of the world has gone to webmail...

          And loves sharing their inbox & sending spam now and again, let alone the prospect of it all vanishing.

        6. nijam

          > ...fewer potential exploit avenues and/or points of failure.

          I think not. Webmail is an abomination anyway, and a browser isn't a "point of failure", it's a whole 3-dimensional space of failure.

        7. Dominic Shields

          But all browser-based mail is awful to use

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Oh? If that were true, why is Gmail STILL so popular?

            1. VinceH

              "> But all browser-based mail is awful to use

              Oh? If that were true, why is Gmail STILL so popular?"

              Because an awful lot of people don't know any better - until they discover they want something better, and start wondering how to do it. (First half or so of this.)

            2. fobobob

              Among other reasons, it does support POP(probably?)/IMAP/SMTP. You're not forced to use their webmail client. If it did not, I would not have any use for it.

            3. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Oh? If that were true, why is Gmail STILL so popular?

              Possibly because tha yoof of today don't really use email any more, just maintaining an address for those services that require you to have one? A simple free service is all they think they need. They "communicate" (for wont of a better word) by snap-twit-whats-agramming, hopping from trend to trend like the eponymous frog trying to cross the river and road in that game we all played in the 1980s.

              When they get to work, work provides an address.

              M.

        8. Gerhard Mack

          yeah, right

          "Because most of the world has gone to webmail, especially Gmail. You don't need an e-mail client then. Fewer programs to maintain, fewer potential exploit avenues and/or points of failure."

          Yeah, works great until you are somewhere without cell service service and need to consult your email. I had this happen when I was underground on the metro (subway/tube for you Americans/brits) and needed to find the email that told me what stop I needed to get off of.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: yeah, right

            "Yeah, works great until you are somewhere without cell service service and need to consult your email. I had this happen when I was underground on the metro (subway/tube for you Americans/brits) and needed to find the email that told me what stop I needed to get off of."

            IMAP has the same problem. And if you never downloaded the e-mail onto your device BEFORE going into a not-zone, you're screwed no matter what. Otherwise, what happened to SAVING the e-mail before heading out?

            1. Gerhard Mack

              Re: yeah, right

              "IMAP has the same problem. And if you never downloaded the e-mail onto your device BEFORE going into a not-zone, you're screwed no matter what. Otherwise, what happened to SAVING the e-mail before heading out?"

              Most IMAP clients solved that problem over a decade ago by downloading the email and only deleting it if the server said the email is gone on the next synch. These days, I use K-9 and have it synch all of the mail to my phone so I can read it regardless if I have a data connection or not.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: yeah, right

            Yeah, works great until you are somewhere without cell service service and need to consult your email. I had this happen when I was underground on the metro (subway/tube for you Americans/brits) and needed to find the email that told me what stop I needed to get off of.

            Are you a member of the goldfish tribe (a.k.a. the new generation)? You know, those with the attention span of less than 5 seconds? How on Earth you boarded the tube without knowing where you'd get off?

            1. Gerhard Mack

              Re: yeah, right

              "Are you a member of the goldfish tribe (a.k.a. the new generation)? You know, those with the attention span of less than 5 seconds? How on Earth you boarded the tube without knowing where you'd get off?"

              Get on transfer, transfer again, forget where I was going to get off, easier to forget when Spanish names are harder for me to remember.

          3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: yeah, right

            I had this happen when I was underground on the metro (subway/tube for you Americans/brits) and needed to find the email that told me what stop I needed to get off of.

            I don't need to worry about that, people are always telling me where to get off. And they often tell me where to go too...

        9. EBG

          well...

          I use TB, IMAP synchro'ed to work and personal gmails. With a selection of add-ons. Dunno what I would do without it.

        10. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Idiots use Webmail

          Because most of the world has gone to webmail, especially Gmail. You don't need an e-mail client then. Fewer programs to maintain, fewer potential exploit avenues and/or points of failure.

          I know the people involved in this episode. From the "evidence" the government initially presented, it's clear it all came about because the University had, like many organizations, adopted Gmail as their university email system. And the US government read everything, misinterpreted it, and arrested the guy.

          https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/updates/xicharges.cfm

          Remember that when you use an email service you don't control.

        11. fobobob

          Being able to access your entire repository of e-mail at any time, regardless of the availability of internet connectivity, is a critical feature. Webmail as a concept is largely unrelated to this topic.

        12. art guerrilla

          not sure why the harsh downvoting, what poster spoke was truth, whether welcome or not...

          .

          many/most casual users i know don't know the diff betw *their* (sic) email acct, the web site they use to access it, nor what an alternative email client is... for another good portion, outlook *is* email...

          for me, MUCH sadness if this is impending doom for thunderbird... can not stand web-based email, for the most part; and simply can not abide the oh-so-moderne practice of putting all email (or is it?) in one *blob* that i can't tell who said what/when, not to mention constantly 'losing' one word/one line replies that are lost in the forest of text...

          fook that poop: i send an email, you send a reply, and never the twain shall meet, keep them neat and discrete... sorted by most current, thank you very much, MY computer/program...

          and i have had email get missed because the current 'blob' of email to/from someone was uppermost in the queue (and all that i thought was going on), but meanwhile, they had sent some other 'new' emails from another account that i didn't see because there was no 'current' blob near the top of the queue...

          fookin blobs...

        13. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Webmail vs Thunderbird......an Anal-Retentive Type makes a Comment

          "...Because most of the world has gone to webmail, especially Gmail...."

          *

          Anal-retentive types (like me) have an email archive on a machine which I control going back to the year 2000. So I can retrieve what I received and sent over the last seventeen years. Note that this archive comprises email managed by multiple providers.

          *

          Anal-retentive types (like me) don't want Google (or anyone else) having this capability. And even if Google or others do have this capability, it would lock me in to using their service, something else I would wish to avoid.

          *

          Pity about GCHQ and the NSA, but then there's absolutely nothing I can do about them!!

          *

          PS I quite like Thunderbird.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Yeah, but idiotic projects like "Firefox OS" produce valley buzzzzz. Something that works and serves customers does not.

      All you need to know about this debacle is contained in this line: "Mailing Address. Mozilla Foundation 1981 Landings Drive Building K Mountain View, CA 94043-0801. USA."

      This is called CALIFORNICATION.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Firefox OS actually makes sense on a TV - usable, fast, looks good. Of course it was something they could make money from too if they really wanted to do that so that they stopped developing it.

  2. Adrian 4 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Pointless interface changes ?

    "The next stage will be to modernize Thunderbird, if it can find the cash and engineers, of course."

    Oh noes. Another good thing gone bad. Why can't they leave it alone ? Will they imitate gmail, or outlook ?

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Modernize

      A much misused term.

      If they mean like current Win10 or Firefox GUI style, then absolutely no.

      Someone told me Win10 was good because it was a modern style.

      "Modern" just means "current fashion" and most of the time it's crap.

      1. nijam

        Re: Modernize

        “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” - Oscar Wilde

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The long term plan is to migrate our code to web technologies"

      Ehm, it's exactly people who don't like "web technologies" who are using a native mail client. Otherwise, just use a web mail...

      1. gv

        Re: "The long term plan is to migrate our code to web technologies"

        It's clear that Gecko has no long term future, so they'll need to use something still being actively developed.

      2. Len

        Re: "The long term plan is to migrate our code to web technologies"

        Web technologies in this case doesn't mean things are moving onto the web. It means more use of technologies that are also found on the web.

        Specifically, Firefox has always used a lot of XUL (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XUL) but is gradually phasing it out because they are running into its limitations. Thunderbird is also a heavy user of XUL and because they use a lot of Firefox code will need to find an alternative too. In this case we'll probably see XUL replaced with "web technologies" such as HTML5, CSS3 and JS. That doesn't mean they will run in the cloud, they can just as easily be used locally.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "The long term plan is to migrate our code to web technologies"

          Well, if they deliver a "native" mail client using HTML/CSS/JS, it will be just a clumsy product with a lot of UI limitations. As long as your main competitor is Outlook, you need to do far better.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: "The long term plan is to migrate our code to web technologies"

            Well, if they deliver a "native" mail client using HTML/CSS/JS, it will be just a clumsy product with a lot of UI limitations.

            Not really. This was an approach first mooted by Opera over 10 years ago but put on hold because of performance problems. Since then web components and JS runtime have improved beyond all recognition, which is why they're so prevalent on our phones. And if you're programming for a known runtime then you can avoid a lot of the compromises. This is the approach that the Vivaldi team (lots of ex-Opera people) have adopted and I'm looking forward to the promised mail client if it ever arrives.

            As for e-mail itself: if only people would stick with text/plain then the world would be a simpler and safer place.

          2. nijam

            Re: "The long term plan is to migrate our code to web technologies"

            > As long as your main competitor is Outlook, you need to do far better.

            Outlook is scarcely a benchmark as a competent email client. Of course, there are many other things it does badly, besides email.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Pointless interface changes ?

      The outcome I'd like to see is one that was discussed back when this was first raised: Thunderbird (and Lightning) joins the Document Foundation (i.e. LibreOffice) and preferably takes the other orphan child, Seamonkey, with it. LO would be able to add a mail client and PIM and, if Seamonkey is included, a browser. The interface could then go back to the old style which would better fit in with LO and maybe there'd be money to add in its own CalDav connector instead of relying on SOGO.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Pointless interface changes ?

        A decent CalDAV/CardDAV client integrated into Thunderbird (preferably with some sort of WebDAV memo/note support, that PalmOS then Symbian HAD A DECADE AGO* THEN IT JUST "WENT AWAY" YOU BASTERDS *shakes fist at Powers That Be*) is the stuff dreams are made of. Then I wake up and just cry a little into my blankie...

        * via SyncML, but it was working perfectly. Android doesn't even seem to know what I'm talking about...

        1. 404 Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Pointless interface changes ?

          It's 'BASTARDS', not 'BASTERDS'.

          Although 'BASTURDS' would be a better descriptor for today's version of 'innovators': Unplanned, unwanted, fecalware technology that nobody wants filling their pants storage space.

          1. PNGuinn
            Go

            Re: Pointless interface changes ? @404

            Basturds. Fecalware.

            Brilliant. I shall steal both of those terms ASAP.

            Upvoted

          2. DropBear Silver badge

            Re: Pointless interface changes ?

            "It's 'BASTARDS', not 'BASTERDS'"

            Oh, I'm fully aware - it just felt appropriate to channel Tarantino for some accent...

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Pointless interface changes ?

          "Android doesn't even seem to know what I'm talking about."

          It only seems not to know what you're talking about. But that's another issue.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pointless interface changes ?

        I think you can jaz up a URL and use CalDav directly now insread of SOGO.

        I always advise people and buissness to actualy pay for a email service like https://www.verygoodemail.com.

        It does not cost much and it helps makes you make better decitions about email address's (like getting your own domain). When I see bobscleaing@outlook.com or janeshair45@gmail.com I just know these small buisnneses will leak customer data and I dont use them.

      3. David1

        Re: Pointless interface changes ?

        LO's predecessor Star Office/OpenOffice did include an email client until about the turn of the century.

        Seamonkey also has an email client (as well as a WYSIWYG web page writer) and IMO is preferable to FF+TB. Shame about the silly name Seamonkey.

      4. ROC
        Thumb Up

        Re: Pointless interface changes ?

        That would be one helluva combo suite, but would be a logical evolution of what I use now, so I would definitely try to use it if would migrate my 18+ years of emails from what was originally the Netscape 3 brower/email/composer suite (originally from OS/2 if I correctly recall all my past platform phases...). Have there been any corresponding declarations about the future of SeaMonkey? I would hate to lose that suite as it stands now.

    4. Steve Evans

      Re: Pointless interface changes ?

      There's only one thing they need to do to thunderbird... Get the filtering to work properly, it's insane... At least on my machine it is.

      It worked a few months ago, and then after an update it stopped.

      Telling Thunderbird to manually filter a folder works fine, it just won't do it when it collects emails anymore (which it used to do perfectly).

      I haven't changed any filters in years either.

      Who knows.

      It's annoying, but hell, it's still the best email client I've got... Must have a dozen accounts configured.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pointless interface changes ?

      Well they tried to turn FF into chrome so....

      Agree if it aint broke dont fix it, but some just like to fix and fix some more ...until it is broken <sigh>

    6. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Pointless interface changes ?

      "The next stage will be to modernize Thunderbird, if it can find the cash and engineers, of course."

      Oh noes. Another good thing gone bad. Why can't they leave it alone ? Will they imitate gmail, or outlook ?

      I have seen some of the discussions on this, they're looking more at removing dependencies on code/APIs that the Mozilla/Firefox folks are abandoning. Not because they want to change them, but because they HAVE to.

  3. Mage Silver badge

    Gah

    When you thing of all the projects and acquisitions they have wasted time and money on.

    But OTOH, look how badly they have managed Firefox.

    Maybe Thunderbird and embryonic calendar needs to be adopted by LibreOffice?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Libre

    Why aren't they transfer to OfficeLibre ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Libre

      Upvoted, because - like it or not - the dominate corporate email client is Outlook. And as far as I can remember (or care to remember) Outlook has been a key component of the office suite.

      I'm not saying Outlook is necessarily any better or worse than any other email client. But it's relation to enterprise software has always been clear.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: dominate corporate email client is Outlook.

        Because of corporate meeting scheduling and Exchange server. They feel they can't change.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: dominate corporate email client is Outlook.

          Again, upvoted for noting the close connection between email and calendar.

          However, in a poke to Microsoft - and a(nother) heading in my ongoing war against crap software, it beggars belief that after 15 years, there is still no option in Outlook to say "set my out of office to automatically follow my status".

          Yup, if you have a meeting booked, and your status is set to "out of office" in your calendar, you STILL have to remember to manually set it in the email client.

          Why, it's almost like they aren't connected.

          1. John Riddoch

            Re: dominate corporate email client is Outlook.

            Recent versions of Outlook at least give you the option to set OOO in advance so you don't forget about it, but I can see the attraction in an automated link between them. There are, of course, issues with automating that:

            1. I tend to customise the OOO message to say when I'll be back and who to contact in my absence; hard to automate that.

            2. Away from office might mean working from home, or at an all day meeting where setting out of office might not be appropriate or required

            Certainly seems like it would be worth exploring, even if it's not the default option to have it enabled.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: dominate corporate email client is Outlook.

              Automatic replies are a different thing than "out of office" status for a meeting/travelling/working at different site, especially now you may access your inbox/calendar/etc. from your mobe.

              Usually I set automatic replies only when I'm on vacation or the like, and I'm not going nor to read emails nor to answer them for a while. Nor I may want people sending me emails knowing every time I'm not at my office.

              Although it could be useful to be able to activate them when scheduling or accepting a meeting, and it would also useful to have more replies to choose from.

        2. gerdesj Silver badge

          Re: dominate corporate email client is Outlook.

          Evolution has a perfectly functional EWS connector I've been using it for years on Linux. It would not be too much of a stretch to port it to Tbird, et voila: choice!

          1. Allonymous Coward

            Re: dominate corporate email client is Outlook.

            I use DavMail Gateway daily with Thunderbird. Works pretty well with our corporate Exchange via EWS.

        3. fobobob

          Re: dominate corporate email client is Outlook.

          I was told that this broke with TB 52, which is unfortunate. Sticking with the previous version for now, hopefully someone will get on the ball about getting this back up to date. It's a TB addon that adds an EWS provider, enabling calendars and what-not. I've been using it for about a year, with basically no issues. https://github.com/Ericsson/exchangecalendar/releases

      2. PNGuinn
        Coat

        - the dominate corporate email client is Outlook

        So - what's the safe word?

        1. GrapeBunch Silver badge

          Re: - the dominate corporate email client is Outlook

          The safe word is flagellum. The safe word is ... flagellum. Thank you.

        2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Re: - the dominate corporate email client is Outlook

          With Microsoft there is never a safe word. "Safe, sane and consensual" - nah, not even one out of three.

    2. Len

      Re: Libre

      There have been serious discussions in The Document Foundation to take Thunderbird on board as the LibreOffice suite lacks a mail/calendar/contacts solution.

      Why that is not happening, I don't know.

      1. BitDr

        Re: Libre

        Now THAT is an excellent idea. Would love to be in on those meetings just to see what snags they are running into.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    What are the alternatives?

    in a non corporate environment that:-

    1) Is nothing to do with an Ad slinger like Google

    2) works on Windows, Linux and MacOS

    3) is not Lookout (because that is from MS)

    I've been using it for... well, a very long time and to me it works day in, day out.

    I can understand that the codebase may well need modernising but please don't mess with the GUI like Firefox seems to do every other release.

    As for the rest, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    1. Brian Griffiths

      Re: What are the alternatives?

      A year or so ago I switched to the TB derivative Fossamail, thinking Thunderbird was dead in the water, Now Fossamail is dead and I'm back on TB

      1. GrapeBunch Silver badge

        Re: What are the alternatives?

        Until not that long ago, I used YARN, and it worked fine (if you remembered when upgrading to Windows 2000 that you needed to use a DOS executable rather than the Windows executable that worked with Win 98), until my ISP stopped supporting the protocols it used. Very flexible roll-your-own filtering, and of course no problem with HTML mails, it just shows you the code!

        Is there anything wrong with Pegasus? I've never used it, but I've been noticing its availability for ages.

        Opera Mail worked OK-ish (it had some strange limitations, such as limiting the names and numbers of folders), but I believed was shut down by the Opera people. However, just now I dl'd Opera-Mail-1.0-1044.i386.exe from opera.com so it must still be alive. I did use Opera Mail.

        I do like the idea of a mail client for LibreOffice. When I hear about a browser-friendly mail client wanting to use JS, I'm wanting to figure out how to install NoScript over it.

    2. BitDr

      Thunderbird is fine...

      The only thing troubling the email client is the Mozilla organisation. I've been using it since 2005, prior to that I was using the client as it was integrated in the browser (before it split as a separate product). It works a treat, has never failed me, is as reliable as the sun. Mozilla needs to get their head out of their arse.

  6. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    I use Thunderbird and I want to support it

    ... so, where do I send the money for the Thunderbird Council to use for the future development of this project? I mean, future independent from Firefox?

    1. diodesign Silver badge

      Re: I use Thunderbird and I want to support it

      Here:

      https://donate.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/

      Mozilla is handling donations for Thunderbird.

      C.

    2. Jonathan Richards 1
      Go

      Re: I use Thunderbird and I want to support it

      > where do I send the money ...?

      See the first comment (by the author) on the announcement of the split [mozilla.org]. The short answer to the question is to head for https://donate.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/, which is a Stripe or Paypal payments page.

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)
        Trollface

        Re: I use Thunderbird and I want to support it

        Please give generously:

        http://gawker.com/375910/mitchell-baker-earns-her-500000-a-year-salary

        The CEO needs another Porsche.

  7. Buttons

    Don't make it shit, please don't make it shit.

    I've got a Nextcloud calendar linked through my NAS updating three LAN based devices, PC, tablet and phone, Thunderbird calendar on the PC works really well. As an email client its a brilliant alternative to Outlook for my purposes.

    Hopefully the project will continue successfully, I'm planning to move my domains completely away from a web based email client and thunderbird seems to be the only contender so far. Really dislike web interfaces and I'm not so sure about web technology and how that would be used as an mail client interface. Would security be an issue?

    Support the idea of bringing it into Open or Libre Office, I think mail client integration would be a useful facility.

  8. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Apart from security fixes - why change Thunderbird ?

    It works - and its default of blocking remote content is useful for dealing with junk emails.

    What useful enhancements can you think of for Thunderbird ?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Apart from security fixes - why change Thunderbird ?

      Card/CalDAV. Completed maildir support. Calendar improvements.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Apart from security fixes - why change Thunderbird ?

        "Calendar improvements."

        Make Lightbird a component instead of an add-on.

        1. Criminny Rickets

          Re: Apart from security fixes - why change Thunderbird ?

          @ Doctor Syntax

          "Make Lightbird a component instead of an add-on."

          I prefer to use the Google Calendar Tab extension. Whenever I open TB, Google Calendar also opens in a separate tab, so I always have access to it. Anything I add into it is synced to Google Calendar on my phone.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Apart from security fixes - why change Thunderbird ?

            "Google Calendar also opens in a separate tab"

            I think I can see the problem there.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Apart from security fixes - why change Thunderbird ?

      What useful enhancements can you think of for Thunderbird ?

      Integration with systemd!

  9. DropBear Silver badge

    So, considering I seem to recall that at some point there were precisely zero programmers working on TB, what is the current ratio of "Thunderbird Council" Member to Thunderbird Programmer? Still Infinity...?

  10. Ogi

    Perhaps a Good thing?

    Seeing as how Mozilla have been ruining Firefox in a misguided attempt to make it into a (poor) clone of Chrome, I think having Thunderbird detached from them is a good thing.

    Quite frankly, I have been moving away from Firefox due to their messing with it (if I wanted a browser like Chrome I would just use Chrome, FFS) and Thunderbird is still my go-to email client (even for webmail systems like gmail).

    All I would ask, is for some decent native CalDAV implementation. The Calendar plugins always seem a bit "tacked on" and not fully integrated, and sometimes will cock up.

    Also, make the "smart search" work. It is completely useless, finding either no emails, or hundreds of emails, none of them related to my search terms. The "email filter" search that was the original method is far more intuitive and works better, but you have to enable it specifically, and it only works on a "per folder" basis.

    Apart from that, Thunderbird is a solid piece of software, doing what it was designed to do, and doing it well. Please don't chase stupid "UI Fashion" and other buzzword crap like Mozilla has done with Firefox, just concentrate on bugfixes and the odd feature request, and you will do well.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps a Good thing?

      "All I would ask, is for some decent native CalDAV implementation. The Calendar plugins always seem a bit "tacked on" and not fully integrated, and sometimes will cock up."

      From https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/using-lightning-calendar-add-on

      Starting with Thunderbird 38, Lightning is bundled with Thunderbird. This means you don't need to install it separately, but simply confirm to use it once you create a new profile or upgrade from a previous version of Thunderbird.

      What's not, AFAIK, built in is Lightbird, an add-on to Lightning which provides a the calendar in its own window with a somewhat different and, to my mind, better interface. Native CalDav would also be useful.

    2. anoco

      Re: Perhaps a Good thing?

      Only after it gets the divorce on paper. For right now Mozilla still has the right to fsck Thunderbird even more.

      Mozilla is like the Titanic full steam ahead and tethering Thunderbird to it can destroy Thunderbird as well.

      It's time to "Reclaim your Inbox" and cut the Mozilla cord.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can someone give me an idea of what sort of money is involved?

    The fun part is that Thunderbird has FAR better potential to make a difference than Firefox. The future of Firefox is, well, meh. More small bugs fixed and maybe a recovery of the stability and low level of memory hogging it did pre release 52, a bit of WebRTC support and that's really about it.

    TB, however, needs but 3 things adding that would allow it to make a rather massive impact:

    1 - direct support for Exchange

    2 - built-in support for calendaring

    3 - better HTML/rtf rendering

    (optional: 4 - better built in support for crypto such as GPG/PGP and S/MIME)

    The reason for that ought to be obvious: it is the only FOSS client that has the potential to beat Outlook at its own game of locking users into MS Office and, consequently, Windows (no, I don't seriously consider KDE's Kontact a viable replacement - I think that's really beyond rescue if you want something that runs on all the major OS such Windows, Linux, MacOS and -why not- *BSD).

    The problem I see is the issue of funding, but that starts with getting some idea how much is actually needed for an open project as there are various routes (some of which involve disconnecting from Mozilla completely to avoid any more grandfathering). Does anyone have an idea how much the TB project presently draws from Mozilla? I've never looked into this before, but it may be worth pursuing. I can ditch FF any day for Opera, Vivaldi and a few lesser well known browsers (nope, don't like Chrome), but TB is about the only cross platform email client.

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Can someone give me an idea of what sort of money is involved?

      I'm not sure it's even worth trying for full Exchange support these days.

      Most companies that still have their own in-house Exchange server will probably have plenty of licenses for Outlook, if they don't, Outlook Web Access has pretty much all of the same features now, and finally Microsoft are pushing all their customers towards paying them (MS) to host Exchange.

      On top of that, I wouldn't be surprised if more customers are dropping Exchange completely now (if having Microsoft host your email is an option on the table, why not move to Gmail or some other webmail provider?).

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Can someone give me an idea of what sort of money is involved?

      Pale Moon

    3. Bucky 2
      Mushroom

      Re: Can someone give me an idea of what sort of money is involved?

      TB, however, needs but 3 things adding that would allow it to make a rather massive impact:

      If there are Thunderbird developers still in existence (and I frankly doubt it), they have rejected each and every one of your ideas every hour of every day for years upon years.

      What about Sieve support? Nope, screw you. You can write a plugin; we can't be bothered.

      What about refreshing the calendar UI to something a little more this decade? Nope, screw you. You can write a plugin; we can't be bothered.

      Thunderbird has been intensely hostile to any feature recommendations. I wouldn't be inclined to give someone money who's been giving the rest of us the finger for this long.

      1. John Crisp

        Re: Can someone give me an idea of what sort of money is involved?

        Couldn't agree more. Spent some long while on the dev list and in the end gave up. They were right and everyone else was wrong.

        They spent ages fecking about with shite gui updates and ignored broken features going back years. Idjuts. Bunch of small minded committee types.

        The whole mess needs ripping out of Mozzies sweaty paws and giving to people who listen and care. Should have been done a long time ago.

        There are a still a lot of users out there who hate webmail as much as I do, and they will be around for a long time to come.

        LibreOffice may well be a good home.

        Easier/more flexible contact sync would be the best improvement IMHO as Lightning serves well for calendaring.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can someone give me an idea of what sort of money is involved?

        Thunderbird has been intensely hostile to any feature recommendations. I wouldn't be inclined to give someone money who's been giving the rest of us the finger for this long.

        That's easy to solve. If you want the money, here is the feature list you'll work on. If you don't want the money, fine, fork you.

        Maybe at the end of the year I'll go and do just that (I'm a bit busy right now). I'm fed up with prima donna f*ckwits who think their ability to write code gives them the right to ignore the actual needs of their users. I work with people who have taken off their blinders and realised that ultimately their code has to work for normal human beings, and their work has become so much better as a consequence. Guess who I'd use to roll that project?

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Can someone give me an idea of what sort of money is involved?

        "If there are Thunderbird developers still in existence (and I frankly doubt it), they have rejected each and every one of your ideas every hour of every day for years upon years."

        Good try at trolling. As they incorporated Lightning (see my previous post) that's at least one of his suggestions that they haven't rejected. What's more their not rejecting it pre-dates his posting it.

        On the whole I have some sympathy in their trying to ignore HTML and the like. It's an abomination in email.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can someone give me an idea of what sort of money is involved?

          As they incorporated Lightning (see my previous post) that's at least one of his suggestions that they haven't rejected.

          Well, OK-ish. Lightning is not exactly spectacular as a calendar client (you could say it matches the rest of TB, but that would be unfair to TB which does work rather well). It only handles URL subscriptions, not accounts, which means that you have to add a subscription for every separate calendar you have set up in the caldav account which is seriously inflexible. I can set up a new calendar on my Mac or server and my iPhone will pick it up on the next poll, whereas I will have to get the URL and import that into Lighting before it can access it. That is several levels below useful for us as we create calendars per project.

  12. sisk Silver badge

    Thunderbird users?

    I'm curious, genuinely curious, how may people in this age of webmail and smart phones are still using Thunderbird. Or, for that matter, any other desktop email client not chosen for them by an employer. I mean I know the things aren't dead and I'm not implying that they are or should be, but certainly their usage has to have fallen off rather dramatically in recent years, right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thunderbird users?

      Well, lets see....

      I use TB and have done for yonks.

      I'm retired so I don't have a company email system but even when I was employed, I still used TB.

      One of my accounts dates back to circa 1999 when I setup my own business. I still own the domain and use the email addy.

      Another account is in the name of the alias I use as an author.

      I don't use email on my phone. This is out of choice not because I can't be half arsed to set it up.

      I can use TB on Linux or MaxOS and take the email files with me on a USB stick. With portable TB on the stick, I can even use it on friends windows machines.

      It does everything I need from an email system.

      I can still access all my accounts with a browser if needed but that TBH is rare.

      That good enough for you?

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: Thunderbird users?

      "I'm curious, genuinely curious, how may people in this age of webmail and smart phones are still using Thunderbird."

      I use SeaMonkey, which has Thunderbird built in.

      That, and the fact SeaMonkey is maintained by a crew that supports bug-fixes as a higher priority than 'OOO, SHINY!' useless 'enhancements' makes it an obvious choice for me.

      Oh, and being a full internet suite that's one third smaller than a barebones FireFox install doesn't hurt either. ☺

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thunderbird users?

      I'm curious, genuinely curious, how may people in this age of webmail and smart phones are still using Thunderbird

      I do, as it creates a consistent experience across all the operating systems I work with (although I have pretty much abandoned Windows by now). The issue with webmail is threefold:

      1 - tracking. Webmail means browser means the usual game of blocking tracking attempts and other crap. I don't like having to keep a browser open at the best of times.

      2 - online only. I travel a lot, and you don't have an offline capability with webmail.

      3 - security. Webmail means yet another gateway into my mailbox. I already have the usual TLS protected SMTP and IMAP going, I don't want to add another route to it via a mechanism that adds quite a lot of code and complexity that I have to keep secure. Besides, SMTP and IMAP is enough to keep things in sync across all my devices, no need to make it more complicated.

      I know webmail works for some people, but I was using email long before the Internet was set up, and I still prefer offline use.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Thunderbird users?

        "I was using email long before the Internet was set up"

        Now that's really going to blow the OP's mind. Email not only without the web but also without the internet. Bang on!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thunderbird users?

          JANET maybe?

      2. sisk Silver badge

        Re: Thunderbird users?

        I know webmail works for some people, but I was using email long before the Internet was set up, and I still prefer offline use.

        I'm going to assume that you didn't mean that the way it came out. I'm going to assume you meant the web, not the Internet.

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: Thunderbird users?

          "I know webmail works for some people, but I was using email long before the Internet was set up, and I still prefer offline use."

          "I'm going to assume that you didn't mean that the way it came out. I'm going to assume you meant the web, not the Internet."

          Actually, colleges were sending electronic (The 'e') mails across campus networks since the early sixties. The Internet (ARPA) wasn't in use until the seventies.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thunderbird users?

          I'm going to assume that you didn't mean that the way it came out. I'm going to assume you meant the web, not the Internet.

          No, I genuinely meant before the Internet. As a pedantic aside, the "web" tends to refer to the HTML mechanism, and the Internet came first. I'm old enough to remember gopher, archie, a usenet that was not flooded with spam by f*ckwits and the ability to set up a talk session with another terminal user because that was our instant messaging (yes, that too is not exactly new :) ).

          Long before the Internet was even designed, computer amateurs were communicating via all sorts of means which were more costly, hence the offline use as transport was mainly via compressed archives. Look up, for instance, FidoNet and Binkleyterm and later things like CompuServe at work (didn't use it for forums, we used it as a carrier when abroad because it had Points of Presence everywhere)..

          I must admit that I'd love some people to be forced to use such limited resources for a year. The use of DKIM headers (look at the mail headers of any Microsoft handled email) would have gotten you banned pretty quickly by BBS in those days, and there were also some ethics in play that made attachments and quoting a bit more intelligent and effective, attitudes that still work today.

          I think I was probably the first officially registered user of PKARC in Europe which must have been 1987 or so because they got sued for the name and had to change it to PKZIP. Yes, that's 3 decades ago..

          1. GrapeBunch Silver badge

            Re: Thunderbird users?

            I remember the ARC - PKARC - PKZIP kerfuffle. At the time, I preferred ARJ, perhaps because the author was mildly idiosyncratic. No, it was because the product better met my needs. Aaaah, the good old pre-corporate days.

        3. mbiggs

          Re: Thunderbird users?

          In the early Nineties, corporate email systems existed on internal networks, and users were using, for example, cc:Mail over Novell Netware.

          *

          I'm continually amazed that there are people who think that it was the stone age before the Internet became pervasive....not so!

    4. Stork Silver badge

      Re: Thunderbird users?

      Count me in.

      We run a tourism rental business and use TB for rental communication, OS X Mail for the rest.

      Not perfect, but good enough. And I don't like webmail either.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thunderbird users?

        We run a tourism rental business and use TB for rental communication, OS X Mail for the rest.

        .. which implies you're also not running Windows which means you don't have to worry too much provided you stick to LibreOffice instead of MS Office.

        I do have to ask, though, how do you rent tourism, and why would you?

        :)

  13. myhandler

    Search is abysmal - if they improve that I will be happy - right now I get thousands of results for a simple word - you cannot turn off the stupid whatever it's called auto sense.

    Example: if you search for 'Weds' hoping for days of the week, it will also return anything with the word 'wedding'

  14. Florida1920
    Terminator

    FossaMail

    Has been thrown overboard too. We're being pushed to all-browser all-the-time because a large percentage of the user base would rather click a URL than learn to configure an email client. Clickety-click, and Putin owns your life. People in general are lazy and underinformed. The best and worst thing that ever happened to the Internet is that it got popular.

  15. R Soles

    It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

    To put my contentious hat on:

    Work

    everyone uses MS Outlook and has done for the last 20 years. It's what the boss tells them to use, so that's what they do

    Personal

    It's the 21st Century: People use Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp &c. Noone has the slightest interest in archiving years of invitations to go to the pub or links to cat videos. It's not even a youth thing: I'm 58 years old and never email anyone, outside of work.

    Independent of whether Thunderbird is good at what it does, it is a product noone needs, addressing a shrinking/dying market.

    This is also the reason the UI in Gmail and other webmail is so awful: there's simply no return in spending money making it better.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

      @R Soles I would say that FB and Twitter etc. have a strong vested interest in creating an image in which their messaging services are seen as more fashionable than email. Because they make money from users that way. Systems like Email ( and FAX for that matter) just work. They do a good job, functional, efficient, effective. But no one can exploit them to sell on to advertisers.

    2. AdamWill

      Re: It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

      No it's not. Don't be a tit.

    3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

      A good chunk of Silicon Valley will have nothing to do with Microsoft. The licensing, audits, and management software isn't something you want to touch if you're a startup. These companies mature and find that they're not really missing anything. They don't have MS Outlook.

      E-mail clients suck because they've reached the point where people expect them to be free or bundled with the hardware. Lack of sales does not mean lack of use.

    4. Florida1920

      Re: It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

      "People use Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp &c."

      "I'm 58 years old and never email anyone, outside of work."

      Sorry to hear that. I don't use Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp &c. Period. It's not a "youth thing," it's simple common sense. No one needs Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp. They're only over-hyped commercial solutions in search of a problem.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

        While FB etc is good for palsy chatter, and Wattsapp makes a better texting system than using contract limited, pay to add a picture SMS messaging it's email that serves the purpose best for proper, and particularly business-like communication. I don't just mean for the work/job/office. I mean communicating with the retailers, services and organisations or family members (especially overseas) that we would once have sent a letter to. It's email all the way if you have to explain something properly, or add a few pictures or a quick sketch. It's like sending a letter except that there's no stamp, no walk to the red box and usually no delay or "lost in the post". (And from that point of view, even better than FAX).

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

        "Sorry to hear that. I don't use Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp &c. Period. It's not a "youth thing," it's simple common sense."

        The trouble lies with your last two words. They're an oxymoron.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

      "Noone has the slightest interest in archiving years of invitations to go to the pub or links to cat videos."

      Personally I've no interest in any crap for which the main purpose is the dissemination of cat videos.

      "It's not even a youth thing: I'm 58 years old and never email anyone, outside of work."

      Maybe you're prematurely aged and live a very restricted life if you don't actually do anything online that requires email.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

      @R Soles, well, that's depressing..

      Work

      everyone uses MS Outlook and has done for the last 20 years. It's what the boss tells them to use, so that's what they do

      Not where I work. Outlook has been explicitly banned from most companies I work with because it's part of what Microsoft supplies. Most organisations I work with that feature risk into their cost calculations tend to stray away from Microsoft for 3 reasons: cost, overly complex (read: risky) approach to licensing and security risks.

      Another reason is a steady move towards fully Open Standards based backbones, and for all the "Linux love" that Microsoft alleges to have it is worth observing that Outlook STILL does not talk CalDAV (not sure about CardDAV). We use IMAP, SMTP, WebDAV, CALDAV, CardDAV and some other things because it makes us platform independent: designers can have their Macs, developers can hack away in Linux and the poor user experience testers can suffer the last remaining Windows machines - it all works together without any hassle (especially since the switch to LibreOffice), and it has seriously reduced IT overheads in terms of management and resolving interoperability conflicts.

      Those that use macos tend to use TB instead of Apple Mail because that has, even after so many years, STILL no decent way to ATTACH a file, it always ENCLOSES it which creates issues with especially images sent to a non macos platform. TB does it right as it knows the difference between the two.

      Personal:

      It's the 21st Century: People use Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp &c.

      Not anyone who has a private life that they don't want to share with people. The illusion of "private" of those platforms is fairly easy to puncture, and the people I work with are loath to supply personal details of the knowledge of who they communicate with to untrusted 3rd parties, especially if located in the lawless wild west US.

      Noone has the slightest interest in archiving years of invitations to go to the pub or links to cat videos.

      Well, no interest in cat videos definitely rules out FB and Twitter.

      It's not even a youth thing: I'm 58 years old and never email anyone, outside of work.

      I'm in that age range, and I've been using email for 30 or so years and still do. It's simple to set up, efficient and low on resources and it will probably continue to work long after I'm gone. Simple works, and keeps working. FB, Twitter et all are fads. Tomorrow some overpaid Silicon Vally idiot comes up with a new idea and will take over the FB and Twitter crowd. Email, though, will still be there, chugging away happily as it has done for decades.

      Independent of whether Thunderbird is good at what it does, it is a product noone needs, addressing a shrinking/dying market.

      Given the TB download volume it appears you best do not project your own needs as representative of others :)

      This is also the reason the UI in Gmail and other webmail is so awful: there's simply no return in spending money making it better.

      No, it's the fact that standards aren't. As long as companies add their own interpretation to what are in principle rather simple standards instead of pushing it through the standards mechanism designers will not have a stable canvas to draw on. This is also what makes email easier to shape although I'd be the first to admit that "design" seems to lacking from TB. It could do with a cleanup, but that should preserve existing functionality (a stable UI is one of the reasone we like LibreOffice so much :) ). The last thing TB needs is someone doing a Microsoft on it and destroy its functionality by, say, adding a ribbon" to it.

      And no, you will never be able to reach me on WhatsApp or FB messenger. Signal or Threema, maybe, but nothing else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

        "No, it's the fact that standards aren't. As long as companies add their own interpretation to what are in principle rather simple standards instead of pushing it through the standards mechanism designers will not have a stable canvas to draw on."

        Because companies want to OWN the canvas and be able to dictate terms. Only when the canvas is threadbare and starting to tear from overstretching (IOW, once the standard is so old there's no point controlling it anymore because there's no more growth) will people stop pulling on it. All anyone has to do is look at Google for a standard-usurping success story. History is written by the winners, and there can be only one, so no cooperation, really (because those that do will likely get stabbed in the back or steamrolled by a usurper).

    7. Stork Silver badge

      Re: It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

      Not quite. In our business, we sometimes have plenty of email exchanges before a booking. FB have given the grand total of two (2) non-converting enquiries.

  16. Geoffrey W Silver badge

    Has anyone used MailBird? Its described as a Freemium program and seems to have won some of the dubious awards that get passed around. What do you get in just the free part? Anyone?

  17. David Haig

    And now for something completely different....

    Pegasus anyone?

    1. Florida1920

      Re: And now for something completely different....

      Pegasus anyone?

      Really?

      Pegasus Mail for Windows, 32-bit version - system requirements

      Windows 98, NT, 2000, XP or Vista; we believe Windows 7 poses no problems, although we have not yet done extensive testing on that platform.

      1. David Haig

        Re: And now for something completely different....

        Sort of my point - unable to finance itself it has died ...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And now for something completely different....

          Yes, I used to use it in my Windows years. It was a good program, but I think that died because of Outlook, and it was Windows only.

  18. kain preacher Silver badge

    I know I'm going to get flack but personally I prefer Outlook over thunder bird. The Reason why I use thunderbird over out look Is because after outlook 2007 they did something crazy to the security settings. So if I want to use any version of outlook after 2007 with gmail i must lower the security settings in Gmail.

  19. Keith 12

    Never a better time...

    From recent Microsoft comments regarding the (bleak) future of Desktop Outlook, and MS Desktop office applications in general, combined with continued MS efforts to get everyone on Office365 webmail for a monthly fee I just can't fathom why anyone would not be investing more $ in TB - this is the very best opportunity to make TB a mainstream E-Mail client.....

  20. Adam Inistrator

    Rerouting my monthly Mozilla contribution

    Firefox get 10USD/month from me but I think I will reroute this to Thunderbird ASAP

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