Mozilla announced a complete overhaul of the famous program Thunderbird. See what to expect from the new version.
Thunderbird is a program for managing emails with a 20-year history. The older of you must have heard of it, since it was the main competitor of Microsoft's Outlook. The developers of Mozilla announced a complete overhaul of it.
The new Thunderbird will have its source code refreshed, its interface improved, and the company has spoken of a commitment to a monthly update schedule. But what could all this mean? Let's go see.
Almost every computer that has been around for the past two decades has had an email client, and for most Linux users, the default client has been Mozilla Thunderbird.
Thunderbird was released in 2003 and is built on top of the Firefox code. It has an excellent set of features that allow it to function as a multi-purpose newsgroup reader, IRC program, RSS application, and more. Versions for Windows, macOS and Linux are also available, with unofficial ports for FreeBSD and OpenBSD.
Thunderbird was maintained as a community between 2012 and 2017, with the company slowly regaining more control resulting in new additions or changes requiring approval from the core developers and designers.
What to expect from the new Thunderbird
Mozilla has announced a complete overhaul of Thunderbird's code base in an effort to make it leaner and more reliable. This will involve rewriting code that has been around since the early 2000s and updating it. The company is committed to removing the "technical debt" caused by design choices made too long ago.
The company also promises a completely new interface, built from the ground up, with an emphasis on consistent design, as well as maintaining adaptability, and a customizable user interface.
Mockups for the redesigned Thunderbird calendar were released in November 2022 and featured innovations including the ability to collapse weekends to save space, hotkey hints, and visual customization options available via a pop-up menu.
Journal entries are much easier to read and you'll be able to expand them with a single click. We expect the email aspects of Thunderbird to feature similar improvements.
Thunderbird also disconnects from Firefox's update cycle and switches to monthly updates. This gives developers time to fully test their changes and ensure you have a predictable experience where everything works as it should.
When will it be done
While the first changes for the launch of the Thunderbird 115, codenamed 'Supernova' will take place in July 2023, the upgrade program will take place over an extended period of up to three years. You'll see incremental improvements appear with each monthly update. Thunderbird has a small core team of only 12 full-time developers, and there is a lot of code to build.
The user interface will be the first thing to change, with minor tweaks to the overall look going forward.