Mozilla will let go of Thunderbird


#1

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#2

There is still a community developing Thunderbird, it’s just no longer Mozilla backed. While the community Thunderbird is largely independent already, hopefully another company steps up to back the project for funding. Still, this isn’t the end of the project unless people stop contributing - the TechCrunch article’s confused on this point.
Repo for Thunderbird: https://hg.mozilla.org/comm-central
The mailing lists of Thunderbird devs are still working out multi-year plans for Thunderbird. It could well languish and die, but that depends mostly on whether there are people who contribute, and putting out the idea that it’s dead doesn’t help in that area.


#3

Thunderbird is needed. It is commonly used at our work by people not wanting to invest in anyone’s ecosystem. It needs, if not advancement, cleaning up and modernising, and it has to both import and export from and to things like Outlook better.

It needs work, and it is needed.


#4

Mozilla has learned a valuable lesson: If you love something, set it free.


#5

For a while, PostBox offered a Mac Mail like interface in a ported version of TB, for a nominal fee ($10 IIRC). It was heavily promoted shortly after the last “we’re dropping this” announcement a few years ago. Problem was, they stopped developing that too, and when Google changed the way their calendar interfaces with the Lightning plug in, lots of PostBox users were left high and dry.

FYI, for those wanting Outlook.Exchange server access in TB (or any other classical POP3/IMAP mail client, such as Eudora), try the excellent “DavMail” plug-in. It runs a background Java :worried: app in the taskbar, but provides a quick and easy pass-through, by using the web mail interface of your company’s outlook server.


#6

Too bad the mail client isn’t nearly as important as the server backing it. Unless you control that half of it too, you’re really not doing much to protect yourself.


#7

I’ve used Thunderbird for years and disagree that it’s “creaky and poorly maintained”. It’s regularly updated and does everything I need so I’m quite happy with it. Hopefully it’ll continue to live.


#8

That’s my experience too.


#9

That is good to hear. I was thinking about switching as apple’s mail.app is the worst.


#10

ya, that’s the part I don’t get. If the Electronic Communications Privacy Act is about files left on a server, then how does the Thunderbird client I use to access that server somehow protect me more than Gmail? Gmail is webmail and Tbird is a “standalone” client, but the law is about the server. you can run your own encryption, but unless the whole world decides to also start encrypting their emails from a standalone client, I fail to see how that circumvents the ECPA. Overseas servers? are all gmail servers on US soil? I figured for sure they’d have them all over the world at this point.

My first email was from my school’s terminals; a command line thing, PINE I think it was called? Then Hotmail and now Gmail. So, my files have never been on my machine, but that’s hardly unusual. I’ve never understood what it was that Thunderbird provided, both fundamentally and now the advantage re the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. I know I’m pretty dumb about these things, but if xzzy says it doesn’t follow, then…


#11

I’m a happy TBird user for a long, long time, not only for email but for RSS feeds as well-I spend almost 75% of my time in it.


#12

You can configure Thunderbird to store all your mail locally and delete the messages from the server. After checking messages in Thunderbird when it’s set up like that, you’ll see the messages in Thunderbird, but if you go to your webmail interface in a browser you won’t see them, they’re no longer on the server side.

Of course that doesn’t delete them from server back-up tapes or failover servers or whatever more-or-less-abstracted version of your messages was created to sell as your advertising profile.

I’m no email expert (by any means!), and it’s been several years since I set this up, but I think you can tell Thunderbird to do this for both POP and IMAP accounts. IIRC, one type was easy to handle, just a matter of checking a checkbox saying Delete From Server After Download, but I think for the other kind you had to set up some filter rules saying move messages to a local folder, and then maybe even then, maybe just for Gmail, which has its own weird IMAP implementation, you still had to delete messages on the server side through the browser webmail interface, maybe close in time to when you moved them locally so they don’t get reuploaded/redownloaded the next time messages are checked for Gmail. I don’t remember exactly, so I’ll stop talking now.


#13

Thunderbird Update, Mitchell Baker, 2015-12-03

“This message is a summary and an update to a message about Thunderbird that I sent to Mozilla developers on Monday. …”


#14

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