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Thunderbird to Leave Mozilla Foundation

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the fewer-fowl-feather-firefox's-flanks dept.

Mozilla 239

An anonymous reader writes "MozillaZine is reporting that Mozilla Thunderbird is to move to a 'new separate organizational setting' as the Mozilla Foundation focuses more and more on Mozilla Firefox. Citing a blog post by Chief Lizard Wrangler Mitchell Baker, MozillaZine outlines the three possibilities for Thunderbird that are being considered: 'one is to create a entirely new non-profit, which would offer maximum independence for Thunderbird but is organisationally complex. A second option is to create a new subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation for Thunderbird, which would keep the Mozilla Foundation involved but may mean that Thunderbird continues to be neglected in favour of Firefox. A final option is to recast Thunderbird as community project, similar to SeaMonkey, and set up a small independent services and consulting company to continue development. However, there are concerns over how the Thunderbird product, project and company would interact'. Lead Thunderbird developer Scott MacGregor favours the third option."

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I submitted this story yesterday... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003061)

Before it even hit MozillaZine... and what do I get? Nothing.

Re:I submitted this story yesterday... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003153)

You get nothing for coming first in life. Just ask Netscape...

Re:I submitted this story yesterday... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003285)

'You get nothing for coming first in life. Just ask Netscape...'

Though, of course, a lot of the Netscape people now work for Mozilla, so maybe you do.

Re:I submitted this story yesterday... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20004483)

I came first on your mom.

Re:I submitted this story yesterday... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005009)

You were hardly the first. But you were certainly the quickest and the smallest.

Poor thunderbird (5, Interesting)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003095)

You have to wonder why thunderbird doesn't compete as well in the email marketspace as firefox does in the browser market space. I suspect its because thunderbird doesn't really offer anything more than its competitors and because it has few must-have extensions. But it could also be the prevalence of web mail. So what would make a killer email client?

Re:Poor thunderbird (4, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003113)

And when you try to find Thunderbird extensions, they're all mixed in with the firefox ones and you can't tell which is for which.

Re:Poor thunderbird (4, Informative)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003179)

The few plug-ins I run on Thunderbird are actually listed as Firefox extensions. They're nothing major - dictionaries and the like - but they're not specifically Thunderbird extensions, either. So if they're mixed, that's probably why, but I had confusion looking for them, too.

Re:Poor thunderbird (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003613)

Also, when you go to a web page and browse for Firefox extensions, you're doing it in Firefox. You click on the link to an extension, it automatically installs, and takes effect immediately. The Thunderbird, you still browse for extensions in your web browser, you have to download them, and then install them into Thunderbird through Thunderbird.

The whole process feels very different.

Re:Poor thunderbird (2, Insightful)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004345)

I don't see why they don't solve this by having a custom prefix to the extension download URI - something like thunderbird://*/*/tbird_extensi on.xpi. Even if you don't have Thunderbird open at the time, it would open automatically, and then realize its being fed an .xpi format extension and automatically prompt to install it.

Maybe it introduces security risks I suppose, but the extension could be signed with an encryption key and checked against a Mozilla/TBird-team database to make sure that not only you don't have extensions getting installed by non-white-listed sites, but I think would also make it harder to spoof TBird into accepting fake signatures. This would really only be needed I think if you wanted to be able to install TBird extensions from say Opera or IE - it could be done away with if TBird extensions could only be installed through Firefox (and just use a white-list maintained in/by Firefox), except then a lot of people would cry foul play for the process being less open and negatively effect people who for example use TBird but Opera or IE for their browser (work place policies, personal preference, etc)...

Now to wait and see if people flame me for not submitting it straight Mozilla - I'm sure other people have thought of this, since I just did in the past few minutes here (didn't even have it thought out all the way when I started posting, but it could surely be refined)...

Re:Poor thunderbird (5, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003187)

Actually the latest version of Thunderbird is really nice.
It has folders which I really do like but it also has tags for those that are into tagging. What is really brilliant is that it allows you to create "folders" that are based on the tags.
Plugins work fine but you just don't need a lot of them for Email. I use GPGP for signing and encryption. The plugin manager could work better. I would say it isn't great for normal end users.
I find it fast and a much better program than Outlook. Now if you compare it to Outlook plus Exchange then it really isn't in the same league.
To me that is the problem. FOSS need a server that will interface with Thunderbird and offer all the same features as Outlook plus exchange and with the same ease of use.
As I Thunderbird user I can not say I am pleased.

Re:Poor thunderbird (5, Insightful)

keithjr (1091829) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003239)

In the enterprise world, it's not uncommon for companies to not use Outlook but still rely on an Exchange infrastructure. Thunderbird as a standalone mail client is fine, but if it wants to compete it's going to have to integrate much better with robust calendar and resource scheduling programs. Lightning or Sunbird betas aren't going to cut it.

It also needs (1)

hawk (1151) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003747)

The ability to automatically print extensions . . . that's right there in outlook, but isn't in the Thunderbird print dialog.


Re:Poor thunderbird (1)

sparkz (146432) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004657)

It'd be good if Outlook/Exchange were robust, too.

I (have to) use Outlook/Exchange at work, but if the "appointment" specification was public, I would be able to get away from it.

In particular, I find that if I receive an appointment, start to reply (maybe giving a "Tentative" response), then cancel that message, it has already disappeared from my Inbox, into my Calendar. I have to find the date (I memorised that, just in case, right?!), find the appointment, and then continue from where I was, giving an "Accept" response, this time.

Now we also have IM (which I don't personally like to use in any form; if I wanted random people to interrupt me at a whim, I'd tie a cowbell to a string above my desk), also built in to the whole setup. Microsoft's Communicator seems to be a poor-man's Jabber, with no logging and a huge obtrusive GUI, and no chance to even edit the source.

Re:Poor thunderbird (1)

boldie (1016145) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004735)

Is there any "remind me about this mail the 22 of august" for thunderbird? Some other mail client?

Re:Poor thunderbird (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20005061)

it's not uncommon for companies to not use Outlook

Holy triple negative batman!

Re:Poor thunderbird (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003787)

I find it fast and a much better program than Outlook. Now if you compare it to Outlook plus Exchange then it really isn't in the same league. To me that is the problem.

I think you're right-- that's the problem. How to solve that problem, I don't know, but that is most likely the reason why Thunderbird doesn't have a larger user base.

I think most people who use e-mail fall into a couple groups.

  • The first is the business power user, for whom nothing matches Outlook+Exchange+Blackberry/WindowMobile. This is a huge market
  • The second group would be very casual users, for whom being able to read their e-mail is sufficient. They'll just use whatever comes on their computer, or else webmail. They really don't care as long as they can send and receive e-mail. This is a huge market.
  • For the sake of the discussion, I'll lump everyone else into a third group, and those are people with particular preferences or specialized needs. These people use the e-mail client they choose or else the e-mail client they need to. This group probably goes to Thunderbird pretty often, but there are still people using things like Pine, or some totally random client.

The only real group that Thunderbird could go after would be the business users. However, in order to do that, you need to be able to connect to Exchange and do calendars, notes, task lists, and Exchange contact lists. Of course, you could also replace Exchange with something else, but that something else would have to have the same sorts of features, and Thunderbird would still have to connect to it.

Contrary to what many geeks think, Exchange/Outlook is very helpful for a lot of businesses. Connecting tasks, calendars, e-mail, and contacts all together, and making that available through client software, on the web, and on mobile devices has turned out to be the big-business killer app.

OpenGroupware + Thunderbird + Lightning + plugins (5, Interesting)

Pav (4298) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004503)

The pieces are JUST starting to come together re: replacing MS Exchange... although, granted, it's still VERY alpha/beta it's quite an exciting development.

    OpenGroupware (nightly builds) support CalDAV, and Thunderbird /w Lightning talks to it. There are other Thunderbird plugins which use GroupDAV for shared address lists and free/busy information through the OpenGroupware server.

    This works today(!), though it's non-trivial to set up, and you have to be careful about versions. The combination to use is Lightning 0.3.1, the latest Thunderbird, OpenGroupware nightly, and the latest GroupDAV free/busy and shared address lists plugins. Unfortunately the latest Sunbird/Lightning (0.5) doesn't work right now, but bugs have been filed and the developers understand the problem... and a fix will happen in time.

    OK, it's less functional and robust compared to the dominant player... but it's cheaper.

Re:Poor thunderbird (1)

sparkz (146432) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004721)

On paper, what Exchange/Outlook provides looks good; if it was an open standard, I would applaud Free Software implementations of clients (and - hey - servers too, why not?!). Outlook is still seriously flawed. I work for a major MS partner, I should have the best possible MS WinXP/Outlook/Exchange setup possible. My personal email is on a resold co-located Linux box somewhere in Canada (I don't even know where!). To open a 10Mb file from Canada (Linux) takes about a minute; that's about the same time as it takes to open a 50Kb file from the UK (where I, and my mail server, both are). What happens in that downtime, is what really matters to me. Thunderbird is still responsive, whereas Outlook, once I have glanced in the direction of a large email, will hang, and not allow me to do anything else, until it has downloaded the entire contents of the email. Even if I know on sight (from the subject line, for example) that I don't want it, and only want to delete it, I can't even delete it without downloading it (at the expense of all other email/calendar/etc functionality)

Re:Poor thunderbird (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004777)

The first is the business power user, for whom nothing matches Outlook+Exchange+Blackberry/WindowMobile. This is a huge market
It is. You're right. And actually this is the core issue with OSS versus MS. The OS doesn't matter to business users, but Office and Exchange are the key reasons MS has domination of the OS -- because business needs these to be compatible and familiar across the board.

Trouble is, most OSS developers don't work in that kind of World (which is good for them admittedly), which does mean though that they don't really have much insight into ways to improve these softwares. Exchange is practical, but it's sure as hell not sexy -- working on browsers is more fun.

I use Thunderbird out of loyalty to the principles of Mozilla. The name is cool, the logo's ok, and it mostly works -- but the product is not good.

Re:Poor thunderbird (1)

joelt49 (637701) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004865)

You forget Exchange's actually killer feature -- the ability to share with other users. That's what's really driving adoption to Exchange at my University. I've found that a lot of people don't really care about the integration of calendaring into their email client. What they care about is the ability to share their emails, their calendar, their contacts, their tasks, etc., with other users.

Currently, Exchange is the only wide-spread server-side app that supports this kind of sharing. Google is getting there, but not with the ease-of-use that Exchange offers (and I never thought I'd say that in reference to an MS product). And right now, MAPI has become a de-facto standard. In the short-run, email clients will need to be able to integrate with MAPI and support sharing the same way Outlook does, or better, before Outlook's dominance is even touched. It's possible to develop a new, open standard, but it would have to offer something much more than Exchange does to get any kind of widespread adoption. But right now, too many companies are too heavily invested in an Exchange infrastructure to move to something else (i.e., all their emails, calendar items, etc. are on an Exchange server, and they won't want to lose them or spend much effort migrating to something else).

Re:Poor thunderbird (4, Interesting)

Vidar Leathershod (41663) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004791)

I would much prefer that they develop a peer to peer syncing for address book and calendar. I'm tired of dealing with server-side stuff for a business with 3 employees, all on an internal network. Apple Mail should do this too. I keep hearing about CalDAV and the iCal standard, but have yet to see any products that fully support what should be a basic functionality.

Calendar functionality should be an option during install, and however it needs to be done, compatibility with Mobile devices for synchronization should be implemented. Personally, I use a cell phone, and don't or even like PIMs, but I can't stand having to deal with Outlook just so someone can use a Blackberry.

Finally, something needs to be done in terms of simple profile migration, and the import/export features need to be more robust. For example, if you want to switch someone to Thunderbird from Outlook Express, you have to activate a profile in Outlook Express. If Thunderbird can't find it in the default location, it doesn't let you choose a WAB file. That is pitiful. Same goes for importing Thunderbird stuff into Thunderbird. It shouldn't be that difficult to prompt for a file location and take it from there.

Eudora on TBird (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003191)

What does this mean for the Eudora on TBird project?

Re:Eudora on TBird (1)

dmpyron (1069290) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004617)

Penelope is going on on her own. But for how long, I don't know. I'm staying with Eudora for at least a while. Last time I looked at Penelope, it wasn't up to my standards.

Re:Poor thunderbird (2, Insightful)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003199)

It could just be that when it comes to e-mail, there are plenty of competitors. It's not that Thunderbird is bad in anyway, but it's a matter of taste. Some people like Evolution, some like GMail, some (for some reason) like Outlook. There are many more freely available mail clients than web browsers. It would be very unlikely for Thunderbird to meet the reception that Firefox did.

Re:Poor thunderbird (2, Interesting)

Denis Lemire (27713) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003839)

I'm curious as to what you cite as competitors? Might be just different for my needs but Evolution has broken IMAP support last I used it. Outlook chokes the minute your mailbox begins to get large. Apple Mail is quirky and not cross platform.

I guess that's the just of it, what other mail clients are there that are cross platform (Mac, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, etc) and have IMAP support that isn't broken?

Then again, 90% of the world probably couldn't care less if their mail app of choice wasn't cross platform... ie) the same people that run to Incredimail for the purdy colors.

Re:Poor thunderbird (3, Insightful)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003921)

Frankly, the only mail clients I use are GMail and Thunderbird. However, I don't know anyone else (outside of online contacts) who use Thunderbird. My wife uses the Apple mail client, at work we use Lotus Notes, etc. There just seem to be a lot more options, even in the FLOSS spectrum (eg, KMail, Pine, Mutt, etc).

For whatever reason, it seems like mail clients are much more about taste than a web browser is.

To be honest, Thunderbird is not up to par (4, Insightful)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003227)

I suspect its because thunderbird doesn't really offer anything more than its competitors and because it has few must-have extensions.
I use Thunderbird as my only email client at work, but in my opinion, Thunderbird doesn't offer more, it offers less. Not less such as in less bloated, but less such as in features-that-I-would-like-and-I-can-find-in-other -email-clients. The addressbook sucks. Search too. As you said, there isn't enough good extensions so far (e.g. the pitchdark theme that I like so much as not been updated to TB2.0). No support for user tags (no, the "tags" they included in 2.0 (which were there in previous versions) does not count as support for tags). Poor support of non-english characters. etc.

But why do I keep using it? Because I hope it will become as good as Firefox and switching email clients is never as straightforward as one would like. And I'm not saying FF does not have flaws, in my opinion benefits outweighs the flaws. I'm not sure if this is true with TB. I have no idea, and I'm probably not alone failing to predict the future, if a new status for Thunderbird will actually help the project or not... I guess we'll find out in a few months/years!

Re:To be honest, Thunderbird is not up to par (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003687)

...and switching email clients is never as straightforward as one would like.
I'm guessing that you receive your email via a POP server. If you used an IMAP server, and you could switch between clients 10 times a day with no grief.

That said, I agree with you about Thunderbird's shortcomings. So why do I stick with it? Because other email programs usually have more features, but their implementation is always too Rube Goldberg [] . Usually, I can't even find a simple obvious way to say "show me the next unread message"!

Re:To be honest, Thunderbird is not up to par (1)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004081)

I'm guessing that you receive your email via a POP server. If you used an IMAP server, and you could switch between clients 10 times a day with no grief.
Actually, I use IMAP at home and at work, but I don't know how to use it efficiently: since I have over 5,000 emails (much more in fact), many that I want/need to keep for work-related purposes, I move them in specific folders. Doesn't this defeat the purpose of IMAP? IMAP is not meant for syncing thousands of emails, am I wrong? Because of this, I always felt that even if my email is IMAP, this was more or less useless since my email archive is not IMAP compatible because if its size. (tell me and wrong and I'll gladly change my habits!) (and yes, I use the TB feature to delete attachments after copying them on the HD :-)

You're wrong (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004419)

Sorry to be so blunt, but you did ask to be told. :-)

There aren't any particular limits on IMAP, and it's not really designed to "sync" mail. It's a way for mail (however many folders, subfolders, or whatever) to live on a central server, while your client downloads a list of them and then asks to see whichever one you click on.

Most clients also have an offline mode, where it copies everything locally, but there is exactly one master mail store. And you can change clients 10 times in a day with no grief.

Re:You're wrong - not that wrong? (1)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005043)

Thanks for telling me I'm wrong, but you see, both at work (Thunderbird on Debian) and at home (Mail/.mac), my IMAP servers have storage limits too low for my needs. So if I get it right, IMAP can't help me. Thanks anyway! :-)

Re:To be honest, Thunderbird is not up to par (1)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004433)

It's nice to eventually archive stuff off the IMAP server onto a local drive, but the database size isn't that much of a limitation. It's not like IMAP brings the whole thing down to your local drive at once, which is kind of the point. The idea is the data lives on the server, and the client provides a window to it. The only time you have to copy stuff down in bulk is for archiving or for offline use. Otherwise, the client caches as you go, often keeping headers and such around so it can add its own tags, flags, and whatnot to them, as well as for speed purposes.

Re:To be honest, Thunderbird is not up to par (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004449)

Do you run your own mail server at home? If so, try changing to Dovecot [] . They passed 1.0 (1.0.2 now) and they deserve it. Handles maildirs, GSSAPI, and it's fast. I have 5,981 messages in my Inbox alone, probably 5 times that in all the other folders, every non-spam e-mail I've ever sent or received since I started running my own mail server ... God, it was 6 years ago now. Anyway, I had to switch away from Courier-IMAP about 9 months ago because it's a dog when you have large maildis, and Dovecot was the only thing that supported it without ridiculous caveats. So glad I did.

Re:To be honest, Thunderbird is not up to par (1)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004829)

second that!

I use dovecot on my server over imaps and connect with mutt in a screen session on my main machine. i get mail anywhere in the world that has terminal emulator w/ ssh. And it rocks. The only one dovecot chokes on is my debian-user archive which typically has about 20k messages in it. (don't ask, I'm an addict). but even that only takes a little bit (maybe 20 seconds) to sync up and sort.

Re:To be honest, Thunderbird is not up to par (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004895)

Aww, wtf, Google ref stuck in my link. That'll teach me. Here's the right link. []

Re:To be honest, Thunderbird is not up to par (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004497)

Actually, I use IMAP at home and at work, but I don't know how to use it efficiently: since I have over 5,000 emails (much more in fact), many that I want/need to keep for work-related purposes, I move them in specific folders. Doesn't this defeat the purpose of IMAP?
Which purpose is that, and how is using folders defeating it? Somehow, I doubt that IMAP's designers added support for folders (and many folder features) but didn't intend folks to use them.

I myself have almost 6000 messages in my work IMAP account. Unlike you, I don't have a good reason for having so many email messages — I've just been lazy about cleaning out obsolete stuff. IT is probably not happy with me for wasting so much sever disk space, but it doesn't seem to slow things down at all.

IMAP is not meant for syncing thousands of emails, am I wrong?
Strictly speaking IMAP isn't for syncing at all. It's POP that relies on syncing, because you have to download your email in order to read it. Typically, you download a message each time you read it.

But maybe you're talking about Thunderbird's ability to download folders so you can work with them offline. I actually use this, even though I never browse email offline, because it makes my mailboxes visible to Google Desktop. I haven't had a lot of performance problems because of this. If you have, perhaps your mail server is overburdened or you need to compress your email folders.

I always felt that even if my email is IMAP, this was more or less useless since my email archive is not IMAP compatible because if its size.There's no size limit on IMAP. If there's a limit on your account, it's because your provider has imposed a quota. I don't have a quota because my IMAP provider is also my web presence provider, and any mailbox space I use comes out of my web allocation.

Re:Poor thunderbird (2, Insightful)

IntelliTubbie (29947) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003515)

But it could also be the prevalence of web mail.

I think you hit the nail on the head. People who require Outlook/Exchange for work use Outlook as their client; those who don't generally use Gmail or some other web mail service. There isn't much room in between for a standalone email client anymore.


Re:Poor thunderbird (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004507)

If that's true, it's unfortunate. Webmail isn't very pleasant to use, even gmail. I'd much rather use even outlook.

Re:Poor thunderbird (1)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003741)

I think the reason why Thunderbird doesn't do as well against Outlook as Firefox does against other browsers because until recently it wasn't a functional replacement. With Tbird extensions providing calendaring options, it'll do better. I understand that there purists out there that would prefer their apps to do one thing and do it well, bu the reality is that many users prefer to have calendaring and messaging in one app.

I think the question this leaves on the table is one of software system architecture. I think the problem of conflicting views of what a given application should be to everyone is rooted in the "application" concept itself. Wirth's Oberon is a good case study in an alternative model that may address this concern. There's lots of analogy's that can be drown to the Posix shell environment and modularity of tight, focused commands that can be combined in powerful ways- leading to a whole greater than the sum.

Smaller Marketshare (1)

boris111 (837756) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003755)

For personal use I can't remember the last time I used a email client for personal use. Probably Freshman year in college. Once my school came up with a Web client I used it less and less frequently. My old job was a small company so we did use POP3 internally, but even they were migrating to others. My current job uses Outlook, and for personal email I use Yahoo and Gmail. I know Thunderbird has other things like RSS feeds etc, but again I set up Gmail for that too.

Tab in Firefox (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003765)

Anyone besides me wish that you could run Thunderbird in a tab inside Firefox, ala FireFTP? If the interface was Gmail-esque and ran in a tab, with a shared Sunbird calendar in another tab, that would be the killer arrangement for me. If those apps all came bundled in server side application suite along with a portal and company wiki so you could either setup and manage it internally or hire out hosted services, that might be very appealing in the business world.

My sense is we're on the verge of moving away from client-centric software to a hosted application model. There is some functionality still a ways off but email, calendar and web browsing are certainly there now. Google apps is showing the potential for hosted productivity apps, SugarCRM...the big pieces are already there. There just isn't any unifying force...the Standard Oil of OSS. Oddly the application community seems to be moving apart instead of coming together, but it's always been a contentious environment.

Re:Tab in Firefox (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003785)

So ... you want Mozilla. Maybe you should just download Mozilla then.

Switched to KMail (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003767)

I used (and was very faithful to) Thunderbird for a long time (well, ~ 4 years). Loved the extensions, and the skinning capability. However, it started corrupting its files, so that old emails were lost, it couldn't start correctly, etc. I've since switched to KMail, have much better filtering capabilities, and better addressbook support. It's not nearly so pretty as Thunderbird, but a helluva lot more stable.

Re:Switched to KMail (2, Informative)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004577)

I have also seen T-bird corrupt files, but I have never seen it lose email. Usually, when I have problems with T-bird it is the summary files (*.msf) that are corrupt. Have you tried deleting the *.msf files and rebuilding them (to rebuild, just open T-bird and click on the folder in question)?

Re:Poor thunderbird (1)

Interl0per (1045948) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003811)

I use both, but I imagine based on the lack of hype surrounding Thunderbird that the project is a dog for Mozilla (meant in the business model sense), and that's probably not something they need to be saddled with at this stage of the game. Hopefully wherever it lands, the new development house will continue to work closely with Mozilla and stake out their own market. Considering what's been done with OpenOffice and Exchange's expense, surely there's enough demand for a free or open collaboration system which could benefit from continued refinement of Thunderbird as a front-end?

Re:Poor thunderbird (3, Insightful)

guaigean (867316) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004011)

You have to wonder why thunderbird doesn't compete as well in the email marketspace as firefox does in the browser market space.

One word: gmail

Re:Poor thunderbird (4, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004103)

You have to wonder why thunderbird doesn't compete as well in the email marketspace as firefox does in the browser market space.

Because there's no reason it would. First wave of Firefox adoption was developers and savvy users. They got development extensions and they cared about good CSS/JS support.

You don't develop for e-mail. You could assemble the occasional HTML email but that's hardly "development".

Second wave of adoption came from the fact not that Firefox is good, but that IE was bad. No tabs (the mythical tabs) and poor security led companies and users to switch.

There were some VBS related exploits for Outlook (part of Office) but nothing last few years about Outlook Express (part of Windows). Outlook Express is a very decent mail client, and people just use it for what it is.

Killer features can't push people to adopt Thunderbird since people care to receive and send their email only. Thunderbirds spam filtering isn't noticed by anyone using Outlook Express. (hm.. what about email tabs...? naah).

Re:Poor thunderbird (1)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004173)

"I suspect [it doesn't compete well in the email marketspace] because thunderbird doesn't really offer anything more than its competitors"

It could also be the fact that it sucks. My experience with it has been that set up is equally as annoying as the MS alternative. It cannot format email consistently. Sometimes I like to set the size and font to one setting for quotes and another for replys, but Tunderbird likes to reset evrything to Helvetica 14 point. In my experience, it was not stable. It would crash frequently and lose partially prepared but unsent emails.

Re:Poor thunderbird (1)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004209)

You know what I love about thunderbird? The way it wont "get mail" on my pop3 account if I also have an IMAP account in the same client. Isnt that wonderful! Beautiful design. Just silently failing to pick up messages from one account. Thats the kind of service I want from my mail app! Sure I can get it by right clicking and then clicking on the individual account but come on...

But really the fact it doesnt have a calandar is why it cant be deployed in an office environment. Theres some way on outlook to send caladar items to other people. I have seen many people using this, could it not be reverse engineered to work with outlook?

Re:Poor thunderbird (2, Insightful)

slaker (53818) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004639)

My Thunderbird has three IMAP accounts and three POP3 accounts, and I get mail on all of them all the time.
Maybe it's not Thunderbird?

Third option (2, Interesting)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003109)

If the Mozilla Foundation isn't as interested in Thunderbird, why would a subsidiary of it (ala the 2nd option) or a brand-new entity (ala the 1st) bring a whole lot of enthusiasm? Let the users have it.

Re:Third option (5, Interesting)

ekstrom (941853) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003321)

Eudora's home page [] says that the paid mode Eudora is no longer available, and that an open source version of Eudora is being developed by Mozilla. An article at 0078 [] says that the new Eudora will be based on the Thunderbird engine. This is apparently the Penelope project [] , which claims not to be trying to supplant Thunderbird, but may be about to do so. Would an insider please clarify all this?

just curious (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003169)

just curious, since Google's deal with mozilla brought in a lot of cash, did Mozilla ever pipe any of that into Thunderbird? If they did then how is it helping to seperate Thunderbird like this?

Re:just curious (1)

hwaara (226026) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003573)

Of course they did.

The two lead engineers have been working paid full-time on this for years, where do you think those resources are coming from? The mozilla build team has pushed releases, Thunderbird has had its place on along side Firefox [] etc.

Basically, the issue now is - how is Thunderbird going to survive without all this support? I'm not saying it all is going away, but Thunderbird WILL have to do more on its own. As I understand it, Mozilla Foundation/Corporation (not sure which) might still help out somewhat financially, but I am not sure of the status on that situation.

However, I think there's no reason to believe "it's all over". There are plenty of other organizations/companies doing top-notch Mozilla work without being a physical part of Mozilla Corporation. See Joost, Songbird, and others [] . Also, it will be interesting to see what high-level decisions are taken by the Thunderbird team now that they will be more independent. I think there's a chance they will have to think more radically about Thunderbird's place in the world than what has been the case up until now.


Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003205)

Oh yeeeeeaaaaah


Darling you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
If you say that you are mine
I'll be here 'til the end of time
So you got to let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

Always tease tease tease
You're happy when I'm on my knees
One day is fine, next day is black
So if you want me off your back
Well come on and let me know
Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An' if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know!

This indecision's bugging me
Esta indecision me molesta
If you don't want me, set me free
Si no me quieres, librame
Exactly who'm I'm supposed to be
Dime que tengo que ser
Don't you know which clothes even fit me?
¿sabes que ropas me quedan?
Come on and let me know
Me tienes que decir
Should I cool it or should I blow?
¿me debo ir o quedarme?

Yo me enfrio o lo sufro

Should I stay or should I go now?
yo me enfrio o lo sufro
Should I stay or should I go now?
yo me enfrio o lo sufro
If I go there will be trouble
Si me voy - va a haber peligro
And if I stay it will be double
Si me quedo es doble
So you gotta let me know
Pero me tienes que decir
Should I cool it or should I go?
yo me enfrio o lo sufro

Should I stay or should I go now?
yo me enfrio o lo sufro
If I go there will be trouble
Si me voy - va a haber peligro
And if I stay it will be double
Si me quedo es doble
So you gotta let me know
Pero me tienes que decir
Should I stay or should I go? ay-Or-Should-I-Go-lyrics-The-Clash/49018F2FE45022A C482568AB0031961D

Why do OSS projects always do stuff like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003223)

sheesh, talk about "not invented here" syndrome. We're too busy focusing on the one child we're really proud of to deal with a lesser product like you. Shoo now, we're busy.

I see this type of high brow attitude all the time from FOSS projects. The leaders get on these power trips and start making edicts and acting like they're royalty. Like the FreeSwan project that refused to follow the IPSEC RFC (the fucking RFC!) and implement MANDATORY single DES, because they felt that DES was insecure. But guess what, if you don't implement a MANDATORY part of an RFC, you are not compatible, and sure enough, a bunch of commercial IPSEC clients wouldn't work with FreeSwan because of the missing modes.

Or Dan Bernstein's djbdns, which won't work in an inetd setting -- because DJB doesn't like inetd and forces you to use some halfcocked replacement he invented. Even though inetd is about as standard to unix systems as init and syslogd. But no, DJB has decreed: inetd must go! Let them eat cake!

Just two examples of many. And now the royal decrees are flowing from Mozilla. Great.

Re:Why do OSS projects always do stuff like this (1)

detain (687995) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003989)

in DJBs case there was just cause, the whole inetd thing was prone to problems and so he wrote an alternative way to handle daemons that fixs all the problems in inetd.

Now alot of those initial problems have been resolved, but his alternative daemontools, is a very powerful (albiet cryptic imo) way of running daemons.

At any rate this has little to do with Thunderbird and more like an excuse to bitch about DJB ;p The FreeSwan compairison had little to do with it either, in fact basically all of your argument is flawed. They are simply focusing on one project as it is much more popular. That has absolutely nothing to do with what your talking about.

Re:Why do OSS projects always do stuff like this (1)

ditto999999999999999 (546129) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003991)

Or Dan Bernstein's djbdns, which won't work in an inetd setting -- because DJB doesn't like inetd and forces you to use some halfcocked replacement he invented. Even though inetd is about as standard to unix systems as init and syslogd. But no, DJB has decreed: inetd must go! Let them eat cake!
Yeah, I know what you mean. All three of my dedicated-purpose nameservers running djbdns with uptimes measured in years agree with you too.

Re:Why do OSS projects always do stuff like this (0, Offtopic)

sparkz (146432) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004909)

Why wouldn't any DNS server measure its uptime in years? Hardware or OS issues wouldn't count towards actual DNS server downtime, if we are being fair to the DNS software itself. Why would it fail? Why would BIND need downtime, beyond external factors? You have nothing here to boast about.

I hope Thnderbird sticks around (2, Interesting)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003229)

I use Thnderbird at home. Every day @ work using Outlook reminds me why I prefer Thunderbird.

I do have some gripes when it comes to the way most extensions and plugins are handled for it though, much like other people are saying...

I'd rather see it stay in the Mozilla foundation but if it must leave then I would prefer the third option as well. The second one really sucks...

Re:I hope Thnderbird sticks around (1)

sparkz (146432) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004755)

Same here. Thunderbird isn't perfect, but it's far more pleasant to use than Outlook. Having said that, I am considering reverting to pine...

What is the Foundation not providing? (5, Insightful)

kimba (12893) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003251)

This is disappointing news, and begs the question why the Mozilla Foundation can't provide the needed resources to Thunderbird?

Given the Mozilla Foundation HAS a substantial amount of money, presumably spinning Thunderbird out into a separate entity will mean Thunderbird will have even less money than it has today because it can not be cross-subsidised by Firefox's search revenues. Spinning Thunderbird out, which will cost it more and earn it less, doesn't sound like a recipe for success if your problem is lack of resources.

Exactly what I was thinking. (5, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003327)

Whatever little Mozilla Foundation is providing to Thunderbird has to be better than nothing, which is what they would be getting from them if they went their own way. Unless the foundation is hindering development in someway, I really don't see the point of spinning off.

Re:What is the Foundation not providing? (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003553)

What a long, strange trip it's been.

First there was Netscape, the browser, which of course grew to include a mail reader (as all apps must), then with NS4 it became a suite with an HTML editor and what-all else.

Then it became Mozilla, which started life as a NS4-style suite, but people wanted a non-bloated browser, so they made Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox (which of course went on to become quite popular) along with the suite, then they started offering all (most? whatever) portions of the suite available as separate apps, which is when Thunderbird arrived. (And Sunbird, the calendar.)

Then, they mostly got out of the suite business [] --the suite isn't even listed on the front page of now, they're going to ditch the standalone email client.

In other words, they've gone browser, browser+email, suite, suite, browser + other individual apps + a suite if you wanted, browser + other apps but no suite, and now just browser. My question is this: how long until they say "You know, Firefox is a great browser, but what we really need now is make an equally-nice email client."

I say within 18 months. Any takers?

Personally, I've got two jobs and am almost never home, and when I am home, I'm more likely to be using my laptop on the couch while watching TV than I am to be sitting at my desk. I've been webmail-only for four years now.

Re:What is the Foundation not providing? (1)

Caetel (1057316) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004153)

Money is most likely the reason in the first place.

On the one hand you have a successful product (Firefox) which makes a not insignificant amount of money in terms of search revenue from Google.

On the other you have a product with a much lower adoption rate, with no current potential for revenue.

Which product would you focus on?

Re:What is the Foundation not providing? (2, Insightful)

trawg (308495) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004717)

Given that Microsoft's big, big hold on everyone in business at the moment is Office+Outlook, it seems that NOT supporting Thunderbird is just a completely bizarre course of action.

Every time a post comes up on Slashdot about Thunderbird, I see the EXACT same comments - "our business uses Outlook, we've tried Thunderbird but it doesn't compete. If it did, we'd switch in a second."

Our business is the same; we'd happily make the switch away from Outlook+Exchange if Thunderbird was a viable alternative. It's not - yet - so we can't.

Mozilla pumping funds into Thunderbird development (with an Exchange replacement) to me seems like the best and fastest way to capture even more desktop space - but I guess they're having such great success with Firefox that they want to keep that going as best they can.

Don't Crap On Tbird (3, Interesting)

tarsi210 (70325) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003295)

I, for one, am not looking forward to the idea of having Tbird as a community project, unless it is headed by a small team of very focused individuals. A mass free-for-all will simply destroy it due to feature bloat and a multitude of ideas around what an email client should be.

What should an email client do? How about -- email. Just email. Not email and newsgroups, not email and collaboration, not email and Facebook -- just plain old simple email. Sure, I'll concede to HTML email for you folks who can't stand to not have a little color in your lives and insist on spamming my box with your yellow backgrounds and pink text, but it's still email.

Tbird is awesome and makes almost no waves because of a) marketing -- the browser wars are much more publicized, b) marketing -- Microsoft isn't really trying to take over the world with Outlook, because they know it sucks, and c) marketing -- There's not much word-of-mouth going on because email mostly works with just about any client and people put up with it, so there's not as much of a scramble for a "good" email client.

I love the app. It works and works and works and doesn't break and doesn't screw up one of the most important things in my online life, electronic mail. I don't want to see it backburnered by the Foundation, either, but at the same time, I'm happier thinking that the Foundation has their finger on where it's going and so far, I trust that they're not going to make it suck. So I'd be preferable to leaving it their hands for that reason.

Winifred is the problem, not Thunderbird. (3, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003353)

Someone with no technical knowledge cannot run a technically oriented company. The Mozilla Foundation needs someone competent. Winifred cannot be the leader of something she doesn't understand. That's Winifred Mitchell Baker [] , the CEO [] of Mozilla, an extremely socially uncomfortable lawyer who became CEO when no one thought there was an opportunity. Now that Mozilla Foundation is making millions from making Google the default browser, Winifred can afford to hire people to make herself look good.

There are many, many quirks in Firefox, not just Thunderbird, that should be fixed, but no technically oriented manager to organize that. For example, the CPU hogging bug has been there for at least 5 years. Winifred has insufficient control over those who work for her, because she doesn't understand what they do. The Firefox CPU hogging and memory gobbling bug would take some serious troubleshooting to find, and no one wants to do the work, apparently. See Firefox development sometimes resembles playing. []

Don't let ignorant and managers destroy your programming efforts. Find some way to have them removed.

Huh? (4, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003555)

There are many, many quirks in Firefox, not just Thunderbird, that should be fixed, but no technically oriented manager to organize that.
That isn't here job and shouldn't be. It is the job of the lead developers. Her responsibility is to manage the non-profit - getting donations making business deals and determining the best way to distribute the budget they have between advertising, upgrading equipment, and paying developers.

If you have a problems about how she is doing in that role, then say so, but otherwise you are complaining about the wrong person.

That doesn't follow (2, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004555)

She's in charge of the organization. Anything that it produces reflects on her. Her job does include all the donations and budgeting and whatever you described, but it certainly also includes making sure the product is decent. If she can't do it herself, it's up to her to find somebody who is capable of managing the development team to produce a decent product. The parent's saying she's not capable of that.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20004921)

True enough. But at the end of the day the buck stops at her desk, so if somebody isn't doing their job in getting key technical issues addressed, her job is to put enough pressure on people - or replace them with someone more capable - to get the problems fixed. Five years for the CPU hogging bug(s?), and similar bugs that affect user perception, is long enough that someone's head ought to roll. And if that hasn't happened, she's not doing her job and she should be replaced by someone who will do what's necessary at that level.

Re:Winifred is the problem, not Thunderbird. (3, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004825)

The Firefox CPU hogging and memory gobbling bug would take some serious troubleshooting to find, and no one wants to do the work, apparently.

You mean the one where If you open a lot of windows and tabs in Firefox on a laptop, and put the laptop in and out of standby, you will eventually notice that the laptop fan is running all the time, even when there is no activity. That's the CPU bug, and it can potentially shorten the life of your laptop [] ? It looks like it's fixed [] . As for a "memory gobbling bug", you'll have to describe in much more detail what you mean. Firefox seems to use less memory than other browsers [] , and in addition, about 100 memory leak bugs have been fixed in the past year [] .

If you see a quirk in Firefox, simply write up a bug report specifying in enough detail what the problem is, and it will be fixed. Whining about them on Slashdot is about the least effective thing you can do.

Tbird needs dev focus, not a new org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003511)

Thunderbird has solid code, but the UI is totally unpolished. For example, the folder list (i.e. group list for Usenet) cannot be sorted alphabetically. It's the most basic interface expectation you can have, but Thunderbird doesn't do it. The groups are just listed in whatever order you happen to add them. It's extremely difficult to set preferences for how threads and messages are displayed. There are tons of these little annoyances in the UI -- especially since most of the defaults are horrible -- because the devs are apparently too focused on obscure features that they don't realize how unusable Thunderbird is compared to Outlook. It's frustrating because the fixes that Thunderbird needs are *easy*, there's just nobody doing them.

And while Thunderbird can import email from Outlook, it can't import basic Newsgroup settings, like which groups you're subscribed to. Good luck manually re-adding 50+ groups.

What about Eudora? (4, Interesting)

richg74 (650636) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003519)

Not too long ago, Qualcomm, the publisher of the Eudora E-mail client, announced that future Eudora versions would be based on Thunderbird. Back in the bad old days when I still had to use Windows, I used Eudora for E-mail -- it was streets ahead of MS Outhouse. Perhaps Mozilla can cook up a deal with Qualcomm.

Re:What about Eudora? (1)

cnj (87028) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004541)

There's a lot about Eudora I miss (and some I don't, to be fair) now that I'm using primarily the Seamonkey mail.

Both Seamonkey and Thunderbird have come a long way (the random "what's the Internet?" problems, where the client needs to be restarted before it can use the network again, from earlier versions of Thunderbird don't seem to happen anymore). The most painfully obvious deficiency as I see it is the absolutely pitiful filtering rules though, which I remember being significantly better in the version of Eudora I used about a decade ago.

Admittedly, filtering is done best on the server (procmail, you're my hero), but sometimes that's not always an option. There are still a few rough edges, but I've managed to configure it to the point where the filtering is the only thing that comes to mind right now (as far as a "normal" user is concerned, anyway--if I were to compare it to good ol' mutt, it doesn't even come close yet).

Oh my.... (2, Interesting)

Brad_sk (919670) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003563)

Already Thunderbird is not that great a product, especially when compared to Firefox. I don't know whats gonna happen now - Hope it will not become just another open source project with just handful of folks using it:(

no one gives a fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003597)

kdawson is still a fucking fucktard shithead cunt.
i'm in control here bitches!

Why throw out TB? (3, Funny)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003617)

Why not split off Firefox instead, since it's getting most of the attention? Maybe then the Mozilla project can go back to making good software.

Geez (1)

slorge (722786) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003641)

Geez, I just got the new Tbird installed with all the extensions I need, syncing up to 6 different email accounts and also allowing me to see/edit my google calendar and seeing the RSS feed on my blog. Did I pick the wrong client? As of this moment, I don't think so, but time will tell.

Re:Geez (3, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004215)

Actually, smooth syncing with my cell phone is pushing me back to Outlook. Firefox has really overcome almost all compatibility hurdles - Thunderbird (particularly the address book and calendaring bits) not so much. Also, Thunderbird still seems to get confused about offline copies.

Ultimately, I just wonder if it has enough developer person-hours to compete with Outlook. Firefox definitely does.

Of course the most obvious answer... (4, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003673)

"Stop fawning over Firefox so much and develop the projects more equally" isn't even mentioned.

It's just a case of glory seekers. From the Mozillazine forums/Bugzilla, it appears MScott is pretty much the only truly dedicated developer of Thunderbird. It's not as "sexy" as Firefox, so people want to contribute to the browser instead. Firefox has brand recognition to almost make it a household name like IE is now. Thunderbird, not nearly so much.

Animal Names? (1)

Revenge_of_Solver_Ta (862178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003681)

Does anyone know why all of these products are based around animals,
particularly scary animals at that?

Mozilla sounds like something that would chase me out of a Japanese movie
theater, Thunderbird is not only a car and malt liquor beverage, but
also seemingly a monster's name.

Duck, Here comes Brontosaurus 1.2!

Re:Animal Names? (2, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004009)

Because Firefox was Phoenix and then Firebird before it had to be changed quickly due to legal reasons. The mail client was named thunderbird (firebird, see?) and never needed the name change.

They are catchy and easy to remember, and somewhat related to each other still, so there's been no reason to change them again.

It also appears to be a legend in North America. y) []

Re:Animal Names? (2, Informative)

edwdig (47888) | more than 7 years ago | (#20005049)

When Thunderbird was first created, it was called Minotaur. I think they changed it at the same time as the Phoenix -> Firebird change just to get similar names, then didn't bother changing again.

Saddening. (1)

shrykk (747039) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003761)

This saddens me. I'm convinced that this is essentially because Thunderbird is not the cash cow that Firefox is, and the Mozilla Foundation/Corporation have lost interest.

Firefox is cool, and exciting - and it generates millions of dollars in kickbacks from Google from the default search bar. Thunderbid enjoys no such advantage. What's more, there are several good alternatives to Thunderbird, and a smaller development community. I can't help thinking this mainly comes down to politics within Mozilla, despite things such as this quote, from one of Baker's comments to her own article:

I do not believe that hiring more people will solve the Thunderbird issues. Assume an additional 5 (or 10, or 100) people to work on Thunderbird. Is that enough to compete with other players for a consumer based product? No. Firefox is succeeding because of a massive community of people who build the product and drive adoption.

Thunderbird does not have this community. It never has. We can speculate on the reasons. But whatever the reason, Thunderbird does not have the community development that has driven other projects. I do not see Thunderbird changing. And I do not see Thunderbird developing further within the current structure without such a change. I do not see Mozilla hiring enough people to make up for this difference.


Sure, there is a smaller community. But I put it to you that that is because e-mail is a mature application. E-mail clients are all much alike, and most of their functionality is pretty much giving you the properties of e-mail as described in the RFC's. But it doesn't have to be that way!

Nowadays a majority of people use webmail rather than a standard mail client. Obviously webmail is perfect for when roaming about, but surely a local client can have enough useful functionality to entice people to use it on their usual own machine. With tight integration with popular webmail services, lots of improved searching and display functionality, new ideas for spam-prevention and better extensions, Thunderbird could be a proud member of the Mozilla stable of programs. Thunderbird: reclaim your e-mail.

Instead, it's going to be passed about, lose Mozilla's powerful support, and become just another e-mail program. Maybe Evolution will become the mail-client of the future instead.

Qualcomm? (1)

VGfort (963346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003851)

Qualcomm awhile back has stated Eudora was going to be founded on Thunderbird, wonder what this news now means to them. I really think that the Mozilla Foundation should continue to develop Thunderbird, Firefox maybe the Ace, but surely Thunderbird is a Jack or Queen. We really need these apps to compete with Microsoft's. I'd rather see them scrap Camino than Thunderbird, just make the Mac people use FF without the consistant UI, I never saw what the big deal was, although I think it allows them to do spelling checks and other things the standard Mac UI does.

Another wake up call... (3, Interesting)

mmcguigan (677816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003871)

If anyone is surprised by this move, they weren't paying attention.

MoFo/MoCo are owned in a serious financial way by Google. Remember the Mozilla Suite was dumped in a similar, though worse, manner just a few years ago when Google poored money all over the cash strapped Mozilla that AOL left behind. Google wasn't interested in financing the suite. Google probably stipulates that their financing only go to Firefox development, where Google is front and center in the users face. Google isn't likely to help finance a mail client where they don't see any return on investment. Google wants you to use Gmail for the ads.

The funds Mozilla had before the Google deal were likely diverted from the suite to Thunderbird and other applications. Mozilla has likely exhausted those funds now. Thunderbird developers should join the SeaMonkey community. Together the community and the projects might survive this.

Future prediction of a friend: When the government cracks down on MoFo's shady tax history, MoFo will go under and Google will likely buy MoCo and spin it as if they saved Mozilla. []

Inability To Manage a Product Line (4, Funny)

RonBurk (543988) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003915)

Just like closed-source, for-profit orgs. OSS is really growing up! :-)

I really think this will be a good move... (1)

NIN1385 (760712) | more than 7 years ago | (#20003927)

Considering having installed Thunderbird on all of our office systems and seeing just how in-compatible the program was with our clients who all used some form of exchange I think this will be a good move. They have a lot of work to do before this program is able to communicate and provide end user functionality for everyone.

I fully support Mozilla and hope they are able to make it an industry standard program, but I am waiting until they get everything figured out before I switch all of my users over to it. Feel free to bash me and say it's able to do everything you need it to do, but it doesn't work well with emails sent from Outlook or Outlook Express and I know this from hearing people bitch every day and night and seeing it myself.

Anyway, I hope this move help them and doesn't hurt the program if they decide to scrap it altogether.

Re:I really think this will be a good move... (1)

sparkz (146432) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004853)

Call me a pedant, but... What RFC(s) do these problematic Outlook / Outlook Express messages comply with? Isn't it the case, that your problem is some people are using non-standard (ie, Outlook) email clients, and getting undesired results? What standard have Microsoft used (and specified in the content), that Thunderbird has failed to deliver? Actually, scrap that "call me a pedant" stuff. I don't think that I am being pedantic. I want a globally workable email system (actually, I've got one, and it's well documented, too). Microsoft choose not to comply with it. Microsoft's non-compliance has become an issue for me, personally, when I took up employment with a company which uses MS Exchange. Other than that, so fscking what? When Microsoft are in the wrong, you need to call Microsoft to fix it, not anybody else.

Idiocy or deliberate sabotage? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20003995)

While Thunderbird is a great product (use pine myself), Mozilla are failing to rise to the challenge. Resigning themselves to one success story and passing the buck isn't a long term strategy. I've installed Thunderbird on many customers desktops because when it fits the bill, it is IMHO the best client.

Perhaps Mozilla need a business orientated product manager to take Thunderbird out into the world. In ditching XULRunner and now looking to rid themselves of TB, they're left fighting a losing battle. Imagine how fast competitors would encroach on Microsoft if they ditched everything apart from Windows and Office?

Something is very wrong here.

gmail (4, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004021)

Thunderbird has to compete with not only client-side apps like Outlook and Eudora, but also webmail packages, which are becoming very sophisticated thanks to AJAX. Years ago, webmail sucked - limited space, no search ability, etc. But now it is really good, and I'm finding I envy my colleagues who don't need Remote Desktop to check their email. I even wonder if POP3's future is looking grim.

Re:gmail (1, Informative)

Super Jamie (779597) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004205)

POP3 has been dead for a long time. Use IMAP and Thunderbird Portable, or setup an IMAP AJAX webmail client like Roundcube.

Re:gmail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20004303)

Anybody with a clue has been using IMAP for years, the death of POP3 is long overdue. Webmail as we currently know it will die long before I ever give up my shell accounts, it's already become another advertising channel. As if it wasn't already irritating enough webmail will morph into multimedia content delivery where the customer is the advertiser. Realtime messaging, chat and voice will all be added to the central ad-nexus providing a direct path to the consciousness of it's dim-witted userbase.

Hey, I've noticed you're reading my cynical opinion. I'm doing a special this week, paypal me $5 and I'll reply with my own brand of cynical enlightenment on any subject that interests you.

Deal with Google (GMail?) (1)

RepCentral (1059932) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004379)

Thunderbird needs a deal with Google (Firefox default home) so the millions in kickbacks will roll in.
I guarantee the Firefox group will love 'em again and help them spend the money!

4th option - Thunderbird as PlugIn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20004485)

Why can't Thunderbird become just another plugin for Firefox?

This would get a lot more users and probably a lot more people using it and improving it.

It would make Firefox a little "fatter", but overall would improve both products

just a thought

NOOO!! (1)

8ball629 (963244) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004511)

That is all...

The Thunderbird Foundation? (2, Interesting)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004533)

I hope they make Thunderbird have features like Outlook has, but without the security flaws.

The Calendar extension needs more work, and so does the Address book. I need to be able to get the Address book to export to Outlook CSVs so that I can import them into my Yahoo address book, or my Timex Datalink Watch or iPaq because the Thunderbird CSV files don't work with those applications.

Having data syncing with the calendar and address book with mobile devices, PDAs, watches, etc would be a good thing as well.

Has Mozilla forgotten their mission ? (5, Interesting)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 7 years ago | (#20004547)

From the website:

The Mozilla Foundation was established in July 2003 as a California not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the public benefit.
There are many different ways of advancing the principles of the Mozilla Manifesto. We welcome a broad range of activities, and anticipate the same creativity that Mozilla participants have shown in other areas of the project.
It seems that in focussing on Firefox, Mozilla is forgeting the whole point of their existence. It is a dangerous path...

- They are becoming beholden to Google and a single project (Firefox). We don't need another Opera (nothing wrong with Opera per se), or another browser created by yet another software company. OSS is supposed to be a *different* business model, with a *broader* vision, benefitting the public, not just Google proxies or lackies.

-It would seem that they endanger their status as a 501c3 public charity/foundation, and thus their tax-exempt status. IIRC, a 501c3 cannot accept more than 10% of their funding from any one source. At the moment Mozilla is rapidly looking like they are doing coding for hire (Firefox for Google).

- Pushing Thunderbird forward *within* Mozilla would at least maintain some sense that 1) they are promulgating a broader mission, 2) they are doing more than what Google asks them to.

- If Google's funding is truly earmarked for Firefox (as suggested in this thread), Mozilla should end that right now, and stipulate to Google that at least some reasonable fraction of their "donation" (e.g. 30%) MUST be in the form of an "unrestricted grant", that could and will be use for other projects in the foundation, like Thunderbird.

Mozilla is nuts for focusing on Firefox at the expense of Thunderbird. They are losing sight of their entire unique contribution to the community, and their larger mission.

Email is an essential function of the Internet and modern computing. If Thunderbird isn't doing so well, Mozilla should be fixing the problem and addressing those issues head-on, rather than jettisoning and punting on it.

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