A while ago, I wrote some thoughts on Thunderbird in the aftermath of the announcement of the new MailCo and the resignation from Mozilla of two key developers. I was disappointed at the time, but looking back at my post, I don’t think it was particularly negative – if anything, I was pointing out how vital I still thought (and think) it is that Tbird be a successful project.
Having exchanged pleasantaries with David Ascher over the past couple of days, and read what he has to say about Tbird, I’m much less disappointed and much more hopeful. Tbird is important to Bongo for a variety of reasons, particularly having a good standards-compliant client for Windows users is crucial. Over time, I’d like to see Tbird become an exemplar client: it should be possible to have mail, events and contacts all integrated, and take full advantage of server-side functionality so that the sum of bongo + tbird is greater than the sum of the parts. Implementing server/client standards, like mail, is a chicken and egg problem. Having both the chicken and the egg drive each other forward (is that stretching the metaphor too far ? 🙂 can only be a good thing.
It will be interesting to see the vision for Tbird develop over the coming months, and I hope that Bongo can play a role in that in some shape or form. At the very least, I’ve told David that I will keep a more active watch on Tbird, and hopefully Bongo can contribute much more than that.
As an aside, David is also collecting a list of interesting e-mail experiments – more grist to the mill, as it were. For what it’s worth, any links I come across like this I usually post on the Bongo mugshot group – I know I’m not the only member; other people should feel free to ping stuff on there too 🙂
Finally, a note on M3 – Pat has done some great work tracking down various bugs, Jonny’s CalDAV work has been merged in, and the list of blocking bugs isn’t too bad. Another release will probably happen this weekend after we’ve knocked a few more off the list, and the full release should probably happen at the end of the month. It’s starting to take real shape now after the madness that has been getting rid of MDB, and that’s very pleasing to see!