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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

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  • (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: []
    "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.