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The Bright Future of Thunderbird

Have you ever heard a politician talk about going on a listening tour? That's what I've decided to do as I start a gig as the Community Manager for Thunderbird, the popular Email, and communications client. I've decided to take in as much feedback from users of, and contributors to, the project and see if we can come to a consensus as to what the future of Thunderbird looks like.

It's surreal to be working on a project that I grew up with. Thunderbird is a legend in the open source world, it's a piece of software I would never have guessed I would have the chance to contribute to in such a meaningful way. I'm incredibly grateful for the Thunderbird Council's decision to bring me on and inspired by what I've heard from them thus far.

There are problems with the current state of Thunderbird, however. The first of which is the UX and UI seem dated pitted against other modern communications apps. Secondly, Thunderbird-as-a-Platform (I'm calling it TAAP) is not being considered as often with modern plugins and extensions to its functionality - especially when compared to projects like Firefox. Finally, Thunderbird has no presence on mobile partially because of the toolkit it is built upon.

There are other considerations, but to start we need to come together in order to determine what is important to us, the users.

A few thoughts:

  • What would we like Thunderbird to do?
  • Should Thunderbird maintain its place as an Email, messaging, and calendar client, or should it focus solely on one of these features?
  • On what devices do we want to use Thunderbird?
  • Should we focus on privacy and rolling in better support for encryption?

These are just some of the thoughts circling in my mind as I begin talking to more folks about Thunderbird. What would you like to see the project focus on?

I don't know what the future of Thunderbird looks like, but with feedback and contributions from the community, I'm sure it's a bright one.

Future of Thunderbird Poll

I've created a simple poll, please take a moment and provide some feedback, this is for me to get an idea of where folks are at - I'll likely do a more widely distributed one again in the near future.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3RZTJXT

Ryan Sipes

Ryan Sipes

Community builder, organizer, technologist, open source enthusiast, and all-around rabble rouser. Community Manager for Thunderbird.

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