New Update Rebuilding the Thunderbird Interface from scratch

enaph

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Thunderbird is quickly approaching its 20th anniversary as a standalone email client. And as we get closer to this year’s release of Thunderbird 115 “Supernova” we’re hearing a certain question more and more often:


“Why does Thunderbird look so old, and why does it take so long to change?”
~ A notable percentage of Thunderbird users

It’s certainly a valid one, so let’s spend some time answering it!


As Thunderbird’s Product Design manager, I have some good insights into what’s happening and where things are going. Consider this article (and the companion video below) the first painting in a more complete mural showing where Thunderbird is headed, and why some of the things we’re doing might seem counterintuitive.


Some of the talking points below might be divisive. They might touch a nerve. But we believe in being transparent and open about both our past and our future.
 

simmerskool

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Good article in that it refreshed my memory, and my memory was correct! Mozilla stopped developing TB for a number a years, and apparently now employees of a related entity of are developing it again. I was unaware of the last part, ie, TB coming back under some Mozilla control...
 

goodjohnjr

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Here is a video that I saw today that briefly talks about this during this part of the video:

Windows Is Spyware, Fedora Adds Flathub, AI Tool Violates FOSS: Linux & Open Source News:



I see no reason to change the previous user interface. New is not always better.
I normally would agree, but not in this case.

When most of my coworkers and I tried Thunderbird on Linux within the last two years, pretty much everyone found it to be unintuitive & difficult & odd & not so good-looking & the settings are scattered all over the place et cetera; even our ancient outdated SquirrelMail webmail is easier to use, more intuitive, et cetera.

So hopefully the changes will be an actual improvement and not make it worse.
 
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ForgottenSeer 98186

I normally would agree, but not in this case.

When most of my coworkers and I tried Thunderbird on Linux within the last two years, pretty much everyone found it to be unintuitive & difficult & odd & not so good-looking & the settings are scattered all over the place et cetera; even our ancient outdated SquirrelMail webmail is easier to use, more intuitive, et cetera.

So hopefully the changes will be an actual improvement and not make it worse.
Thunderbird is not a good user experience.
 
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Ink

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I see no reason to change the previous user interface. New is not always better.
A "classic" GUI won't attract new users. For a product to survive in modern times, change is inevitable.
 

Malleable

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Here is a video that I saw today that briefly talks about this during this part of the video:

Windows Is Spyware, Fedora Adds Flathub, AI Tool Violates FOSS: Linux & Open Source News:


That's why OOSU10 automating many of the privacy settings for the ever-growing myriad invasive Windows info transmissions was a time-saving milestone for the paranoid like me. Seems like Windows gleefully fought them for a while with every update then finally threw in the towel and accepted them. Persistence pays off. Of course, checking for OOSU10 updates opens a browser tab so they can stick a cookie up your . . . but I digress. With the internet, there's only small victories.
 
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ForgottenSeer 98186

Since Microsoft now sits on the Linux Foundation Board, it will increasingly be a part of the Linux world. Why do you think Microsoft implemented the Windows Subsystem for Linux?
 

silversurfer

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Thunderbird 115 “Supernova” will be released tomorrow, according to official release notes:
Version 115.0, first offered to channel users on July 11, 2023

For more on all the new features in Thunderbird 115, see What’s New in Thunderbird 115.

System Requirements:
Details
  • Windows: Windows 7 or later
  • Mac: macOS 10.12 or later
  • Linux: GTK+ 3.14 or higher
 

silversurfer

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Here are screenshots of the new Thunderbird 115 “Supernova” Note: all are default settings after installation, except the last option of Email end-to-end encryption:

tb#1.pngtb#2.pngtb#3.pngtb#4.pngtb#5.pngtb#6.png
 

SeriousHoax

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Thunderbird is not developed by Mozilla Corporation that develops Firefox, it's been independent since 2012. They have some agreements with Mozilla Foundation who collects donation that it receives from users of Thunderbird (maybe some other sources also) that helps Thunderbird developers to keep it alive.
 

vtqhtr413

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Thunderbird Sync, the much-awaited synchronization feature of the Thunderbird email client, won't be introduced in Thunderbird 115. A new blog post on the official Thunderbird blog confirms that the feature has been postponed.

The Thunderbird team planned to integrate Sync functionality in their latest major release, Thunderbird 115. Thunderbird 115 is the new Extended Support Release (ESR) base of the email client and it features changes, including an overhauled interface and plenty of other modifications.

Work continues on adding more of the planned features, such as launching Thunderbird for Android or Thunderbird Sync.

Thunderbird Sync enables users of the email client to sync data, including settings, between clients. The team plans to enable syncing for the following sets of data:

  • Email account definitions.
  • Account credentials.
  • Signatures.
  • Saved Searches.
  • Tags, Tasks.
  • Filters.
  • Majority of preferences.
The blog post by Jason Evangelho confirms now that Thunderbird Sync won't be part of the Thunderbird 115 release cycle. The team plans to introduce the functionality in the next Thunderbird ESR release, which will be released in 2024. This is also when development is switching to a monthly release schedule for the email client.
 

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