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posted by n1 on Wednesday December 02 2015, @09:45AM   Printer-friendly
from the focused-user-experience dept.

In this Ars Technica article, Mozilla Corporation Chair Mitchell Baker discloses the desire to drop the Thunderbird email client altogether.

"Many inside of Mozilla, including an overwhelming majority of our leadership, feel the need to be laser-focused on activities like Firefox that can have an industry-wide impact." Baker writes. "With all due respect to Thunderbird and the Thunderbird community, we have been clear for years that we do not view Thunderbird as having this sort of potential."

Thunderbird has already been demoted to second-tier status, receiving only security updates since the summer of 2012. Baker's plan would turn Thunderbird over to a community product, similar to what happened with the Mozilla Suite a decade ago.

Is Mozilla's decision to laser-focus on improving Firefox going to stop their dwindling market share? Who else, besides the submitter, is still using Thunderbird? And where will you go once Thunderbird is no longer supported?


Original Submission

Related Stories

Mozilla to Cease Development of Firefox OS 26 comments

Mozilla announced earlier today that they will be cancelling the Firefox OS effort, and will cease creation of new smartphones.

From Techcrunch:

To differentiate from Android and iOS, Mozilla and its carrier partners focused on a web-first platform, with no native and only web apps. Sales, however, were always poor and the devices themselves failed to ignite a lot of consumer interest, and a number of OEMs cornered the market with a flood of cheap handsets. In a business that depends on economies of scale, it was a failure.

This comes a week after gauging interest in spinning off Thunderbird. Is Mozilla's new focus on becoming privacy-oritented enough to save the struggling company? What experience did SoylentNews users have with FirefoxOS? I'll admit, I was optimistic and even owned a ZTE Open for a few months back in 2013, but it was a step down from my feature phone at the time (Nokia Asha 311) and ZTE never delivered on the promise to provide updates to the OS.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @09:54AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @09:54AM (#270545)

    So Silla. And sad what success has done to them. All the money they have now, and they can't do the things they did when they had little. Disappointing and sad...

    I still use thunderbird. But mostly to check a bunch of web based throwaways I have created over the years. I use Fossamail for more important accounts. Just like I use firefox every so often, but primarily rely on Pale Moon.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:06AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:06AM (#270550)

      Unfortunately the Fossamail/Palemoon team choose to do not support Windows XP, and worse, require a processor with SSE2.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Celestial on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:41PM

        by Celestial (4891) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:41PM (#270600) Journal

        If you're still using Windows XP, you have bigger problems to worry about than an unsupported e-mail client.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:10PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:10PM (#270650)

          Some decade-old AMD machines don't support SSE2. I was able to recently upgrade. Chrome has dropped non-SSE2 support as well.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @04:33PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @04:33PM (#270772)

            Some decade-old AMD machines don't support SSE2. I was able to recently upgrade.

            I'm sure that chips lacking SSE2 were still available at the end of 2005, but all K8 and later AMD chips support SSE2 and even those were starting to be old hat by then.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @08:53PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @08:53PM (#270910)

              The AlthonXP+ family doesn't support SSE2. And there is a boatload of them still in use.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 07 2015, @08:11PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 07 2015, @08:11PM (#273044)

                Who is using them, and what for? Whatever they are being used for, I doubt the people using them care about running Palemoon or Fossamail on them.

                You'd find many working computers with better processors down the dump.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:11PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:11PM (#271006)

        if I understand right they have combined the WinXP and Atom versions into one now?
        http://www.palemoon.org/palemoon-atom.shtml [palemoon.org]
        it do requires SSE2 though, where can I find a list of processors it excludes by doing that?

        Palemoon begun its life as an a web browser for high end processors before it also had to take over the firefox users because the crap Mozilla do, so it is understandable in a historical perspective, but still it can't be too hard compile up a winXP version that don't nees SSE2. Wouldn't it be possible for a third party to compile this version?

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:36PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:36PM (#271024)

          Yes there are!
          go to http://www.palemoon.org/contributed-builds.shtml [palemoon.org]
          and click "SSE build (x86) by Mercury." ftp://ftp.palemoon.org/SSE/ [palemoon.org]

          and download the palemoon-25.8.1.SSE.WinXP.installer.exe or palemoon-25.8.1.SSE.WinXP.zip (2015-11-29) there.
          perfect!

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by linuxrocks123 on Wednesday December 02 2015, @08:27PM

      by linuxrocks123 (2557) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @08:27PM (#270882) Journal

      Forgive the self-promotion, but I recently wrote an email client: https://github.com/linuxrocks123/MailTask [github.com]

      It's not "just an email client"; it integrates task management as well. And it's definitely not ready for non-technical users, and setting it up might require some back and forth with me so that you can learn how to operate it.

      The problem I was trying to solve is that often messages in my inbox correspond to things I need to do, but it's not 1-1 and I'd like to be able to check off a task without deleting the a message. What I ended up with was an IMAP client that serves as a server to both one or more UI clients and a utility client that just exists to process incoming messages and add necessary items to the task list, based on the sender, headers, and contents of the messages.

      You should consider it late alpha at the moment. But I am using it, and I think it's really cool :) Maybe you will, too, if you have the patience for running an alpha and aren't afraid to ask me for help. You can put issues on the issue tracker to do so.

      If you do want to use it, though, you may want to wait a little bit for the next push to github. The version available right now is a little out of date from what I'm running. I should be pushing the bugfixes on my local copy sometime in the next 2-3 weeks.

  • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:00AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:00AM (#270547)

    May this be is good for Thunderbird. So that Mozilla can keep its focus just on crapping all over Firefox with more and more unwanted bloat.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:03AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:03AM (#270548)

      May this be is good for Thunderbird. So that Mozilla can keep its focus just on crapping all over Firefox with more and more unwanted bloat.

      And social justice. Never forget social justice.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:09AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:09AM (#270551)

      Thunderbird being on security updates only is good. I don't want them to mess with the interface as they did with Firefox.

      Thunderbird being abandoned completely is bad. It would mean that there won't be further security updates.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:59AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:59AM (#270581)

        There are still bad, open bugs for thunderbird. Those need to be fixed.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by PiMuNu on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:35AM

      by PiMuNu (3823) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:35AM (#270555)

      I don't understand why thunderbird is not seen as a place where they can have "industry-wide" impact. At the moment I think they are the number 2 email client I think after outlook? Everyone uses email, it is as ubiquitous as the intrawebs. I spend probably as much time on email as I do on a browser at work (I do some actual work as well, promise). I don't think I am alone in this? It is an area that has been lost and is crying out for improvements.

      I like thunderbird, it has a nice search functionality and it is nice to cache locally for the days when the network is down or I am on a train. Webmail is generally crappy and slow (outlook webmail at least, I don't really use gmail for much). Webmail doesn't aggregate well from several accounts (again I don't know much about gmail here).

      For example:

      * A better calendar would be nice - e.g. better compatibility with google, mac, outlook calendar formats. At the moment I have to use gmail for calendar. This would be a "killer app" that would put them ahead of outlook. At my workplace, everyone has a different calendar app and none of them are compatible.

      * A better security model would be nice - e.g. if thunderbird took over number 1 spot from outlook and then started implementing gpg or whatever it is nowadays by default. Maybe have a chat with gmail et al about this (gmail still get to scan emails for the marketers before they are sent, so google might still be happy, and they get to look like they are supporting privacy vs nsa/whoever).

      • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:45AM

        by Nerdfest (80) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:45AM (#270578)

        It also has great encryption support through EnigMail, and at a time when people really should be using it. I've actually switched over to KMail though as Thunderbird has this weird bug where it seems to lose its will to check for new mail after running for about a week. (KMail also has good encryption support and even better profile support, but Thunderbird's search is much better).

        • (Score: 2) by stormreaver on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:12PM

          by stormreaver (5101) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:12PM (#270585)

          I've actually switched over to KMail though as Thunderbird has this weird bug....

          As a KMail user since KDE 1.44, my advice is to stay as far away from it as possible. While it used to be a great email program, its current incarnation is best described as a steaming pile of useless crap. It is horribly unstable; frequently corrupts its mailboxes; frequently fails to run due to the Akonadi/MySQL brain damaged, idiotic approach to email; and now refuses to acknowledge that I have any email at all in my 16-year email archives.

          I use Thunderbird at work (where I formerly used KMail), and am in the process of migrating over to Thunderbird from KMail at home as well. Whatever bugs Thunderbird has, it is still heads and shoulders above KMail.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by zafiro17 on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:55PM

            by zafiro17 (234) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:55PM (#270606) Homepage

            That's sadly my opinion too - I've been using Kmail for about as long as you have, and though I try every new release thinking "this is the one!" it is getting worse, not better. Akonadi needs to die in a fire - great concept, piss-poor execution and rather than admit it sucks, they just keep digging in their heels.

            Kmail has so much potential. But it sucks harder than your mom.

            I need Thunderbird to work and work well. I'm generally happy with it. EMClient on Windows is better, but since they don't have anything available for Linux, Thunderbird is kind of the winner. (I also like Claws/Sylpheed but Thunderbird has better search). I feel like, email is such a basic part of the internet (feels like a right, actually), we desperately need at least one app that works.

            There's Trujio (or something like that), an IMAP-only client. I wrote some documentation for it a couple of years ago. Not sure what happened to it - it wasn't as full featured as kmail, but it worked pretty damned well, and it was fast.

            Mozilla is a sinking ship these days.

            --
            Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis - Jack Handey
            • (Score: 2) by stormreaver on Wednesday December 02 2015, @08:35PM

              by stormreaver (5101) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @08:35PM (#270888)

              I found a wonderful Python script that successfully transferred all of my KMail mail to Thunderbird. There are a few variations of this script, and I'm not 100% certain that this is *the one* I used, but the code and comments at the end look the same at first glance.

              https://gist.github.com/scrinzi/3274493 [github.com]

              It took just a few seconds to transfer all 16 years of email out of KMail and into Thunderbird.

              As for losing Thunderbird, there are several forks to consider, including the one that seems the most appealing to me: FossaMail (http://www.fossamail.org/).

          • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:45PM

            by Nerdfest (80) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:45PM (#270677)

            I ran into the instability for a while but it seems to have been completely stable for the last month or so. It was quite annoying for a while there (yes, corrupted database problems). Thunderbird's problem where it quietly stop retrieving mail is more serious for me unfortunately, as it quiet ... and it stops retrieving mail. I should probably dig a little more into it and see if I can find some more information for the developers, but of course there aren't any now.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @05:50PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @05:50PM (#270812)

            pine FTW.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by art guerrilla on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:18PM

        by art guerrilla (3082) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:18PM (#270590)

        noooooooo... don't fuck up the last email client i can barely stand ! !!

        hate, Hate, HATE how many/most email clients put ALL your email into little piles IT THINKS they should go in, instead of simply giving me a chronological listing of my email as it comes in...
        is that too much to ask ? ? ?
        i don't want you to combine all my emails from this or that person/company into their own blobs of unreadable piles of junk...
        JUST.
        DELIVER.
        THE.
        EMAIL.
        AND.
        GO.
        AWAY.

      • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Wednesday December 02 2015, @01:35PM

        by cubancigar11 (330) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @01:35PM (#270628) Homepage Journal

        Because Mozilla is "moztly" funded by Google (pun intended). And Google wants you on their platform.

        • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:22PM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <bassbeast1968NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:22PM (#270657) Journal

          Uhh you must have missed it because Mozilla is Mozilla is funded by Yahoo [techcrunch.com] and has been for nearly a year. And before somebody chimes in with "Because Yahoo uses Bing that means they are funded by MSFT!" nope, sorry, the CEO of Yahoo has already announced the second the current MSFT search deal is done which IIRC is next year? They are going back to their own search engine which is why they wanted Firefox search to default to yahoo, it gives them a preinstalled userbase for their new search.

          of course this is assuming that Moz doesn't commit suicide before then and with all the dumbshit they have pulled lately, from shitting on the UI to announcing they are killing XUL (and thus making extensions, the reason anybody uses FF anymore, as weak and gimped as they are on Chrome) to TFA? that is a pretty damned big if. They have gone from nearly half the browser share to less than 10% and are falling fast and stupid shit like this? Is just gonna alienate more formerly loyal users.

            I'd personally advise folks to switch to either PaleMoon or IceDragon, both are damned nice and support Firefox extensions.

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by TheRaven on Wednesday December 02 2015, @03:01PM

        by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @03:01PM (#270693) Journal

        Everyone uses email, it is as ubiquitous as the intrawebs

        What percentage of people who use email use webmail? I was recently surprised to talk to people who had never even considered the idea that you might use a stand-alone application for email, rather than a web browser. I think that's part of Mozilla's problem with Thunderbird. The main place where a fat client for email is still a big win is on mobile devices (does anyone know of an Android mail client that sucks less than K9? I found a lot that were even worse, but none that were actually good), and Thunderbird doesn't run on mobile devices.

        --
        sudo mod me up
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Refugee from beyond on Wednesday December 02 2015, @04:33PM

        by Refugee from beyond (2699) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @04:33PM (#270773)

        Maybe have a chat with gmail et al about this (gmail still get to scan emails for the marketers before they are sent, so google might still be happy, and they get to look like they are supporting privacy vs nsa/whoever).

        There is no point then. Effectively you do not have encryption.

        --
        Instantly better soylentnews: replace background on article and comment titles with #973131.
        • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Friday December 04 2015, @09:42AM

          by PiMuNu (3823) on Friday December 04 2015, @09:42AM (#271745)

          I think you miss the point - you need to have encryption and decryption for the thing to work. So you need to get a majority of folks using encryption/decryption. So you want to get a few of the major email providers (gmail is the biggest nowadays I think) to make encryption the default.

          Obviously, this means that google et al can read your email; but when encryption becomes standardised, everyone then implements encryption as standard, and all email is encrypted. So then, when you are sending email to not gmail et al, the email is encrypted. I am making a path for standardisation of email encryption, so that users can choose to use gmail and let google read their emails, or choose to use some other email provider (or set up their own mail server), and encryption is a standard.

      • (Score: 2) by Nollij on Thursday December 03 2015, @03:23AM

        by Nollij (4559) on Thursday December 03 2015, @03:23AM (#271159)

        At the moment I think they are the number 2 email client I think after outlook?

        I'd put money on there being more GMail users alone than Thunderbird users.
        Webmail is certainly the popular approach to mail these days. Local clients are a thing of the past.
        Look at how rarely you see anyone advertise their mail client, or how few you can even name. Most of them have ceased to be, or at least stagnated just like Thunderbird.
        I found This article [labnol.org] from July 2012. Not a reliable source, but it does show how popular the webmails are.

        • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Friday December 04 2015, @09:44AM

          by PiMuNu (3823) on Friday December 04 2015, @09:44AM (#271746)

          It is an interesting feature. When the rest of the universe is moving away from in-browser things to "Apps", why is email moving to webmail? Is it lack of local storage on mobile platforms? Is it just that there is no decent email client out there?

          • (Score: 2) by Nollij on Friday December 04 2015, @10:40PM

            by Nollij (4559) on Friday December 04 2015, @10:40PM (#271978)

            The big draw is that webmail is easy to setup (no server settings for users to worry about, almost never firewall blocks, etc), and it replicates all e-mail (and everything related) to all devices, effectively in real-time.

            As for mobile apps, most of the ones that can be done as a website aren't much more than a customized browser UI. This includes most shopping apps.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by coolgopher on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:05AM

    by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:05AM (#270549)

    Improving Firefox? That's not exactly what I'd call the recent years' worth of changes in many (most?) of its areas... It's almost as bland and yuck as the other browsers now (Chrome, Safari, Edge). The only thing that's keeping it ahead are things like NoScript, ABP and Firebug, imnsho.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by inertnet on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:51AM

      by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:51AM (#270562) Journal

      I moved to Pale Moon when they "improved" the Firefox UI and never went back. All those add-ons like NoScript work fine in Pale Moon and I still get the original UI that didn't need fixing.

      Looks like it's about time to migrate from Thunderbird to FossaMail as well.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @09:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @09:22PM (#270937)

        Good thing you have excellent health and don't need any accessibility features. The sole Pale Moon developer considered those features too much of a burden to keep and cut them out.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:24PM (#270661)

      They are improving Firefox by ripping out all of what made Firefox, Firefox and replacing it will Chrome innards. I think the goal is one day have Firefox be a skin for Chrome. That way everyone can sit on their asses and collect a check. Thunderbird is something that they can't rip off from anyone else, so naturally, it must die.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday December 02 2015, @09:15PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @09:15PM (#270928)

      And they're even talking about replacing the extension system now.

      Goodbye last feature that makes Firefox useful

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by PiMuNu on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:38AM

    by PiMuNu (3823) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:38AM (#270556)

    I think what this means is that there is no income model for thunderbird. Firefox gets income from google revenue. Thunderbird does not make money, and folks have to eat.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by WizardFusion on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:41AM

    by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:41AM (#270557) Journal

    I only use TB so that I have a local backup of my online mails. No other reason.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Moru on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:42AM

    by Moru (1248) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:42AM (#270558)

    I will continue to use the mail platform until it is completely broken. I still have mails from 1999 in the archive folder on my oldest accounts. That is around the time when I switched from Atari to Windows and had to do a fresh start on a new email program.

    • (Score: 1) by CaTfiSh on Wednesday December 02 2015, @08:11PM

      by CaTfiSh (5221) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @08:11PM (#270879)

      I hear you, I've been using Eudora since the 90s and still have emails dating back to then. It still works, displays emails more correctly than Yahoo's web-interface and hasn't been updated in almost 10 years.

      Thing is, it was handed over to Mozilla by Qualcomm for open source development. In conjunction with Qualcomm, Mozilla tried to use the Thunderbird codebase while retaining the Eudora interface. The result was horrible and once Qualcomm stopped backing the project it was dropped. Eudora 7.0.1.0 was the last reliable version produced.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Covalent on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:57AM

    by Covalent (43) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:57AM (#270564) Journal

    I've been a gmail user since the early days, but for my wife's business she likes a dedicated email program. Thunderbird is easily the nicest one around imho. Even 3+ years out of date it's still terrific. It'd be a shame to see it go, so I hope they at least continue to support the security aspect of it.

    I think email has become what snail mail was a generation ago: that old dog, long in the tooth, that everyone is familiar with but whose bad habits are so engrained that he's kind of annoying. Oh and we all think he'll die any day but he's got years (which in this case will be decades...email years?) before he's gone.

    --
    You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by PiMuNu on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:22AM

      by PiMuNu (3823) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:22AM (#270570)

      > I think email has become what snail mail was a generation ago

      Why? SMS, facebook and twitter don't replace email. Email has excellent compatibility across many clients and servers. Email is private/targetted to recipients only, essential for almost any workplace. Email supports data attachments. What replaces that?

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:40PM

        by VLM (445) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:40PM (#270599)

        My guess might be the death of push due to hyperspam.

        There's just too much spam in the world to use a service where any jerk can push garbage at you.

        Outside work I use email for some legacy email lists and occasionally corporations send me valuable non-spam. Oh look Digikey shipped my order. I got a new electric bill. How nice. But all of that is realistically better done by pull.

        Even at work most "email" is better done with other tools. Ticketing systems always devolve at big corporations into metric generation systems and all the ticketing functions move off into email. The metrics are more important than actually doing the job so don't mess up the ticketing system by using it, use email instead, keep the ticketing system for manipulated metric generation. I've only seen that anti-pattern a couple dozen times across many employers. But in theory a decent ticketing system combined with management that doesn't suck would result in using the ticketing system as a ticketing system not using email as a bugtracker. The spam emails from HR about having diversity carrot cake in the lunch room at 11 that nobody really reads anyway belong on an internal blog or twitter-like feed. Idiots trying to send DVD ISO images via email show most morons are better off with file servers than trying to use email attachments. Plenty of business that used to be transacted in email is now text message and IRC-clones. I'm not really seeing email as business-critical anymore. Its nice, sure, but ... Its kind of like desk phones, which are nearly dead where I work. Everyone has a smart phone as their electronic leash / ankle bracelet so nobody uses desk phones. I believe mine is being taken away at the end of the year; I'm cool with that, I haven't used it in maybe 3 or 4 years. Email will be the same way.

        My guess is Apple will let Siri poll RSS feeds and then we'll be permitted (because we can't do things until Apple lets us) and I'll just have a dedicated customer RSS feed from digikey and from the local electric company and WTF else and I'll subscribe to those rss feeds (In newsblur not siri obviously) then bye bye email.

    • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:35AM

      by shrewdsheep (5215) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:35AM (#270573)

      I've been a gmail user since the early days, but for my wife's business she likes a dedicated email program. Thunderbird is easily the nicest one around imho. Even 3+ years out of date it's still terrific. It'd be a shame to see it go, so I hope they at least continue to support the security aspect of it.

      Your experience seems to be different from mine. I perceive Thunderbird as a terrible program. Slow, cumbersome UI (menus especially, but many other examples), bad mail format (mailbox). To me it is embarrassing that Linux does not have a decent email client. I do use Thunderbird but was always dissatisfied. Kmail used to be a total disaster in the 4.X days (X 10). I will probably give it another try. My solution for now is to have an IMAP server running locally (dovecot) and rely on the client only for fetching and displaying email.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:23PM

        by VLM (445) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:23PM (#270592)

        To me it is embarrassing that Linux does not have a decent email client.

        There's no lack of email reading on Linux... Going back to the early 90s I used elm, pine, mutt for well over a decade, then gmail. Those are just the popular and reasonably usable UI clients. Emacs has (or had) a couple ways to read email, none very good. There was a phase, just before the explosion of "every noob writes a mp3 player" where "every noob writes an email client" almost all of which sucked.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:38PM (#270672)

        Slow, cumbersome UI (menus especially, but many other examples)

        What's wrong with menus?

        bad mail format (mailbox)

        Care to elaborate?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @01:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @01:04PM (#270610)

      Gmail is not just the webmail you know. Gmail can be used with thunderbird also.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:06PM (#270644)

      Even 3+ years out of date it's still terrific.

      Just because it hasn't needed to do anything more than it already can doesn't mean that it is "out of date".

    • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Wednesday December 02 2015, @06:46PM

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @06:46PM (#270833)

      Even 3+ years out of date it's still terrific.

      That's because it did what an e-mail client needs to do at that point. Thank god Mozilla hasn't been crapifying, er, I mean developing it further like they have with Firefox. Too bad they did not stop even sooner.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by inertnet on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:04AM

    by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:04AM (#270567) Journal

    I'm not affiliated and I haven't tried it myself yet: http://www.fossamail.org/ [fossamail.org]

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:14PM (#270586)

      I have been using Fossamail since I dumped Firefox and Thunderbird. If you swapped out Thunderbird for Fossamail, and used their profile move tool, you wouldn't even notice the change. Except the application icons are different. The only drawback is that it does not update automatically, and you have to check for new versions once in a while.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @04:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @04:09PM (#270758)

        The only drawback is that it does not update automatically

        That is not a "drawback". It is a feature. I always disable any auto-updating BS on my system. But software makers continue to push that nonsense at me and make me black-list their auto-update websites and disable their dedicated updating program (which continues to consume my resources).

        No one is automatically installing their spyware on my machine.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:10PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:10PM (#270964)

          It would be nice if you received the Toast pop-up saying that there is a new version available, even if you don't want to install it. A fixed number of notifications that there is an update would be great. Fossamail could add a setting to control the number of reminders, making 0 an option.

  • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:42AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:42AM (#270577)

    They make all the revenue they need to assign a handful of devs to it forever.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by PizzaRollPlinkett on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:56AM

    by PizzaRollPlinkett (4512) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @11:56AM (#270580)

    I hope Mozilla drops Firefox next. That would be the best thing for the formerly useful browser.

    --
    (E-mail me if you want a pizza roll!)
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:43PM (#270602)

      Agreed, the only thing they've really proven to handle anything well in the last several years is social justice. They should really focus on that as a product and get out of software development altogether.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by iamjacksusername on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:17PM

    by iamjacksusername (1479) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @12:17PM (#270589)

    Of course they do because an email client is not nearly as interesting as re-writing the JS engine for the 3rd time or the URL bar or moving menus around.

    Mozilla has annual revenues around $300M. How about instead of re-writing the UI for the 3rd time, instead writing their own update system instead of using the built-in package managers, and instead of writing a whole PDF reader , they focus on solving bugs and adding features that people have been asking about for 10 years. What bugs you ask?

    1) A working MSI. The original bug was opened in 2004. Seriously, since that bug has been opened, they have re-written the JS engine multiple, gutted the UI and re-wrote the plugin interface. Oh, and rolled their own cross-platform update mechanism. But packaging an MSI is just too complicated. I would settle for them paying the guys at FrontMotion and giving their MSI the official blessing. At least that has native GP support built-in.

    2) A normal way to distribute plugins to locked-down users. Yes, I know how to do it but there was previously a way to automate the installation in a normal, supported way. It was removed with a promise of it being replaced with something better which, of course, never materialized.

    3) Support for basic Windows security features like process integrity levels and DEP in JS engine.

    4) Native GP support on Windows. Seriously, just do it. We have been dealing with plugins for years. The guys at FrontMotion worked it out. Most FF users are Windows. Just do it.

    How about this idea? Instead of writing support for whatever whizbang tech of the moment is they put a 6-month moratorium on new features and focus exclusively on closing bugs older than, hmm let's say, 10 years. Because there over 200 bugs that are still open that are over 10 years old

    But they won't. Because it's not nearly as flashy as writing a phone OS. Or removing buttons from the browser bar. Or re-arranging options.

    Ok, rant over. Just so tired of Mozilla having selective memory about the support they got from admins early-on; getting Firefox approved for corporate desktop images, internal testing, dev support for intranet applications, and getting visibility in the enterprise. But, Firefox is not for business users according to Asa Dotzler.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @06:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @06:00PM (#270819)

      What is "GP"?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @06:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @06:17PM (#270824)

        On MS Windows, it's Group Policy [wikipedia.org]. On SoylentNews, it's short for grandparent.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @06:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @06:19PM (#270826)

        Oh BTW there's an extension for that:

        https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/gpo-for-firefox/ [mozilla.org]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:27PM (#270980)

      Most FF users are Windows. Just do it.

      DON'T LET YOUR DREAMS BE DREAMS

      JUST

      DO IT

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @01:23PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @01:23PM (#270617)

    Don't like Mozilla management? It's open source. Grab the source and carry it the way you like.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:45PM (#270678)

      Yeah sure, right after I've rewritten Gnome and systemd. And if 24 hours per day are not sufficient to do that, I'll just do the rest during the night. Doing my actual work then easily fits into the second before midnight. </sarcasm>

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @03:16PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @03:16PM (#270712)

        Then why do you expect mozilla to do that for you, for free?

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @05:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @05:34PM (#270803)

          They are not doing it for free. They are paid a bunch of money, and my using their product is part of the reason they get that money.

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @05:45PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @05:45PM (#270809)

            Kid, your sense of entitlement is breathtaking.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @09:33PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @09:33PM (#270944)

              It's not a sense of entitlement, its the model by which they (mozilla) gets paid and by that model they get $300M per year. And all thats being asking for is little more than leave it alone and fix some bugs.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:59PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @10:59PM (#270997)

                You get to ask for things when you pay them your money. As they say about Google, you are not the customer, you are the product.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:05PM (#270643)

    it's not thunderbird per se that's crap.
    thunderbird is actually what makes gmail useful (srsly, try configuring gmail in thunderbird!).

    i bloody hate the way the web-interface of gmail works. but maybe st0pid people just know how to complain and not learn new things?

    anyways the main problem is email. it is old. it is st0pid and it is the sole culprit that has removed the most privacy on the interwebs.

    i mean, how difficult can it be to have a program running on a computer/router that just listens for incoming text messages?

    how difficult can it be to send some text to another uniquely identifiable person on the internet?

    it's DEAD simple but -alas- email has been a "killer-app" from day one and it is, to this day, being milked for belleons!

    no sir, thunderbird is just as important as firefox!
    who knows, maybe somebody is going to take my ramblings serious and implement a tiny 350 kb email server (MTU) that can run on "any" router.
    oh and, while you're at it, maybe make it "pull" instead of "push" email, so i get a notification that i got email but it isn't actually clogging up my HDD but rather sitting on the senders HDD waiting for me to go pick it up .. this will force spammers to sit on their spam ^_^

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @02:50PM (#270683)

      Yeah sure, and hope that the laptop the message was sent from is switched on and connected right at the time when you are trying to get at the email. ;-)

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @03:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @03:05PM (#270702)

    Another bad decision by Mozilla... o_O

    I think Mozilla is trying to keep it too real. They see that people are mostly using centralized email providers trough their web interfaces and decide to kill Thunderbird. Instead they should be thinking whether this is a good or bad development and act accordingly. Their mission statement reads

    "...to keep the Internet alive and accessible, so people worldwide can be informed contributors and creators of the Web. We believe this act of human collaboration across an open platform is essential to individual growth and our collective future"

    Web interfaces to email tend to be horrible. And unique to which ever provider you happen to be using. Often you simply cannot perform any advanced actions or at least they are very well hidden. So I'd say having a civilized dedicated client around would certainly help with accessibility. I also claim it would help keep the internet alive instead of getting centralized to oligopoly to monopoly.

    But this is Mozilla, people who are crazy enough to use HTML5 to build applications on their Firefox OS. They also killed the Mozilla Suite, part of which was for creating web pages. But hey, who needs that, we have these wonderful social media walled gardens that allow even (and mostly) idiots to create "web pages". (Ha!) So much for "open platforms". I'm getting worried about our collective future.

    I recently noted that Mozilla is asking for donations. Sorry but I'm not giving a dime to such a silly corporation. And that's coming for a person who once thought I should work for Mozilla.

    And having said all that, I'm using a Firefox derivative as browser, it's still easily the best option around.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @05:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @05:52PM (#270813)

      "They see that people are mostly using centralized email providers trough their web interfaces and decide to kill Thunderbird. Instead they should be thinking whether this is a good or bad development and act accordingly."

      I applied a couple years ago to Mozilla to work on Thunderbird towards this end of a better decentralized information system. Never heard back ftom them that I can recall. Bunch of GitHub stuff by me in various related directions, for example: https://github.com/pdfernhout/Pointrel20130202 [github.com]

      I can look in my Thunderbird app and privately review and privately search more than a million messages I've received stretching back for over a decade, as well as review and search tens of thousands of messages I've sent during that time. Tell me how to do that with a scattering of web services (other than poorly and publicly with a web search engine). And no, not with another centralized privacy-invading services like Slack -- although I guess I could check out, say, Mattermost, a FOSS Slack alternative.

      Sad to see such a great group like Mozilla with so much potential make such a terrible decision. We apparently need better alternatives. I hope a
      "social semantic desktop" based on good standards is someday the norm. It would have been nice if Mozilla could have lead us to that.

      --Paul Fernhout

      • (Score: 1) by pdfernhout on Thursday December 10 2015, @10:09PM

        by pdfernhout (5984) on Thursday December 10 2015, @10:09PM (#274667) Homepage

        My essay on this written yesterday: http://pdfernhout.net/thunderbirds-are-grow-manifesto.html [pdfernhout.net]
        "To deal with Thunderbird's technical debt (which Andrew Sutherland described on the Mozilla Governance thread that Mitchell Baker started), I propose Mozilla fund a "skunkworks" team of about seven people for a year to create a new server version of Thunderbird (called "Thunderbird Server", or "ThunderbirdS" for short) that runs initially as a locally-installed Node.js app providing a single-page JavaScript/TypeScript/Mithril/D3 webapp for email handling and other peer-to-peer communications using the local file system. Thunderbird Server would use Firefox (desktop or mobile) as its primary client; Firefox would access Thunderbird Server just like any other (local) web server using web standards. The most significant Thunderbird Desktop plugins (based on downloads or other metrics) would be ported by the team to this new Thunderbird Server platform (ideally, aided by a custom tool for such porting). Some of the most popular plugins might be unneeded though for Thunderbird Server given they could run directly in Firefox (like translation tools and ad blockers). This Thunderbird Server platform would, through plugins, eventually become a social semantic desktop that could change the nature of the web as we know it, reducing the significance of the distinction between local copies shared with peers and centralized content shared with clients. "

        (I also made the comment above mentioning Pointrel. Finally signed up for an account today.)

        --
        The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Wednesday December 02 2015, @03:27PM

    by looorg (578) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @03:27PM (#270721)

    Considering I already dropped Firefox for Pale Moon ages ago I guess one can only hope that if Thunderbird goes it will be picked up and transformed into Pale Bird or something. If that doesn't happen I'll just keep running whatever the current version of TB (38.4 apparently, probably a few versions higher then that when they eventually drop it - it's not like it's happening tomorrow is it?) is until it doesn't work anymore. I assume it will work for quite some time tho as there is really nothing in that should break in a way that will render it useless - email is essentially what it has always been and as long as it can make the connection to the server I don't see it breaking down anytime soon.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @05:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 02 2015, @05:14PM (#270788)

    So because it doesn't bring in Google or Yahoo! Revenue it will be left to the wind. Personally I love Thunderbird, can't live without it. I wish they would give more love to the Calendar, it showed such promise.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by WillR on Wednesday December 02 2015, @05:17PM

    by WillR (2012) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @05:17PM (#270790)
    If you've absolutely gotta grind that anti-Mozilla axe, at least have the courtesy to the rest of us to keep it in your own words and refrain from sprinkling links into blockquotes that didn't originally have them.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by darnkitten on Wednesday December 02 2015, @06:41PM

    by darnkitten (1912) on Wednesday December 02 2015, @06:41PM (#270832)

    The clerk at the town I work for uses Thunderbird. We switched her over several years ago when Outlook refused to migrate her mail and profile through a workstation and MS Office upgrade (governmental rules require records retention). Fortunately, we were able to rescue her mail and move it to Thunderbird, and, once we got her new account tweaked to where she liked it, it has functioned the way it should.

    The UI has basically remained the same, unlike MS Office, her browsers, and other software. Mozilla hasn't put out a new version and broken compatibility with older versions , unlike Apple and MS (her Thunderbird profile has seamlessly migrated through three more upgrades). It saves her mail, it's not obtrusive, it gives her the right amount of notifications and it stays out of the way when she doesn't need to focus on it. Honestly, I think she's forgotten she ever used Outlook.

    So why use Thunderbird?--Because It Just Works, and sometimes, that's all that is needed.

    I just wish I could convince her to switch from MS Office to Libre- or OpenOffice.

  • (Score: 2) by Pav on Thursday December 03 2015, @12:26AM

    by Pav (114) on Thursday December 03 2015, @12:26AM (#271051)

    SOGo [www.sogo.nu] is a natively compatible Exchange replacement, and Thunderbird is the Open Source client-side part of the stack, with a Thunderbird-like web UI, and (importantly) native Outlook compatibility. Don't take my word for it... there are packages for Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat and SUSE, and also a pre-spun distro on the site for easy testing (called "ZEG" - Zero Effort Groupware).

    This effectively kills off the only real Exchange replacement out there.

  • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Thursday December 03 2015, @01:51AM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Thursday December 03 2015, @01:51AM (#271099) Homepage

    Why not use Emacs instead?

    Calendar? Org mode is better.
    mu4e provides excellent email support, including local caching and arbitrary searching of body content, header content, and attachment content.
    Contacts? BBDB (Insidious Big Brother Database) can fulfill all your needs.

    The best part is they're all FOSS and 100% integrateable and scriptable using Emacs Lisp, so there's no reason to ever use another tool again.

    --
    Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
    • (Score: 1) by Mike on Friday December 04 2015, @04:45PM

      by Mike (823) on Friday December 04 2015, @04:45PM (#271847)

      I'd point out gnus as another email client for emacs. It's not for the faint of heart (bit of a learning curev, etc.), but you can configure it just about anyway you'd like to read mail.

  • (Score: 1) by rickatech on Thursday December 03 2015, @06:08AM

    by rickatech (4150) on Thursday December 03 2015, @06:08AM (#271221)

    I use a form of Thunderbird/Firebird regularly (SeaMonkey). Email is the primary way to authenticate for new accounts and services (e.g. facebook needs an email address during signup). Trusting email to a hosted webmail provider removes end to end control of message composition, transport, reception.

    Even if there are only few sponsors for an open source desktop email client, the overall security of most consumers is ultimately dependent on some form of email client. I for one take comfort in knowing a true open source advocate is insuring a full featured email client is maintained, stays abreast of latest spam and phishing trends, and provides robust installer access to users of major consumer platforms.

    Unfortunately, email client account settings setup is too confusing for the increasingly non-tech savvy masses (e.g. non-intuitive SMTP, IMAP, port settings, ...). Mobile carriers have brick and mortar store to help setup texting for users as part of standard mobile service plans - so users are increasingly justified in using webmail as idiot proof way to access and send email.

    Downloading and use a new web browser requires zero configuration, email client setup needs to be just as simple. Outlook is subsidized by the business community for Windows, while Apple mail client for iOS and OS X tries to make it easy, but only on their captive platform. Perhaps a new standard or service is needed to make email account setup sufficiently fool proof.

    With Mozilla pushing to SSL the entire web, a similar effort to offer a free secure email configuration service is needed.

    Spit balling here, Mozilla should offer a service that allows users to register any email address and provider information with them - include a mobile text number as part of the registration process. In return, Mozilla's new email config service provides user with a token they can enter into a new email client - it then negotiates with Mozilla and email provider to ensure end to end encrypted email client settings are working - that's it. User has only had to enter a single temporary token code and their email client is expertly configured to run. It would also provide a way for Mozilla to offer spaminess service that SPF and other protocols could use to further control spam. If you use an email address that is not registered with free Mozilla service, loose a few credibility points. If it is registered, and doesn't originate from Mozilla approved hosts, loose some more credibility points. Oh, and since mobile number is also part of the registration process - identity authentication is further enhanced.

  • (Score: 2) by cykros on Thursday December 03 2015, @06:51AM

    by cykros (989) on Thursday December 03 2015, @06:51AM (#271230)

    I use thunderbird, as it just generally has made using multiple accounts with simple encryption/signing (through enigmail) something that is easily available.

    If it goes, I suppose I'll have to finally sit down and set up a good mutt config file. A word of warning though; once I go this route, the likelihood of a gui stealing me back very quickly approaches 0. CLI clients are always more efficient; they simply have that learning time factor that lets anything else compete. Considering that mutt will do the work of enigmail with builtin gpg support, and that the whole setup is leaps and bounds more versatile (thanks to being something I can just tie up in existing gnu screen sessions), there'll be no going back.

    Frankly, I'm almost grateful mozilla is finally putting some heat on me here. The only thing delaying this for years now has been working 70 hours a week, but if I HAVE to...