Email Sucks; Mozilla Wants To Fix It.

Matthew Magain

Mozilla have launched a spin-off company, Mozilla Messaging, which states as its mission to improve “the killer app of the internet” — email.

The initial focus for Mozilla Messaging is the development of Thunderbird 3, which will deliver significant improvements, notably integrated calendaring, better search and enhancements to the overall user experience. Thunderbird is a free, open source email application that is used by millions of people around the world and is built using the same open source development model as the award-winning Mozilla Firefox Web browser.

Thunderbird has been my mail client of choice for roughly 7 years (I created a wishlist of features a few years ago, some of which have been since incorporated) so I’m delighted to see it get this kind of backing. Thunderbird has its quirks, as does every mail client. Yes there are features that are sorely lacking (calendar integration, for one), however when you look at factors such as reliability, interoperability, spam filtering and price, you just can’t beat it.

With a team of full-time, paid developers and a terrific community of users, testers and developers, I’m excited to see what comes out of this project. Thunderbird may well step out of Firefox’s shadow after all.

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  • http://www.mikehealy.com.au cranial-bore

    I’d like Thunderbird to start listening when I say something isn’t spam.
    I get regular mail from a few legit mailing lists and I’ve been clicking “Not a Scam”, “Show Images” every time for years. The messages come from the same address each time.

  • http://www.tyssendesign.com.au Tyssen

    I’ve been using Opera as my mail client for a while – I find the email client / web browser / RSS reader combo more important than a calendar (I use an online service for note-taking, calendaring anyway), so I don’t think I’ll be switching.

  • http://scythe.hu szigeti

    Is there a way in Thunderbird to set up my own black/whitelist of words and email addresses? I couldn’t find it, but maybe I was just unlucky.

  • http://rollerscapes.net s.stok

    IMAP support is also not so great, after tree directories i get an warning about Maximum number of connections overwritten…

    Then i increase, and the same happens.
    I hope they will fix this too!

  • http://www.jhauser.com datune

    I don’t see the point of using a mail client anymore, for more then 2 years now I have been using nothing else then gmail, for ALL my mail, what more could you possibly need?

  • http://rollerscapes.net s.stok

    @Datune: I have an own Domain-name and for that an email-client is no luxury, sure I can use Webmail+IMAP but still then I need to have one open browser Window.

    IMAP is not always supported, my company (no this no spam, I don’t offer service outside the Nederlands ;) ) supports IMAP. But only when the customer wants it.
    If you use only Webmail, then the mail is stored in an database of the webmail.
    Or else you cant store it in any other folder.
    To get it somewhere else requires eater IMAP or re-sending it to an email address.

    So an email-client is still a very usefully thing.

  • Stevie D

    I don’t see the point of using a mail client anymore, for more then 2 years now I have been using nothing else then gmail, for ALL my mail, what more could you possibly need?

    Not everyone wants to use Gmail though! I would much rather use my own domain for all mail, rather than entrust everything to the mighty G. And it looks for more professional to have @businessname.com than businessname@gmail.com.

  • Yvonne

    Did your feature wish-list include having an easy way to filter mail from different sources into different folders?

    Execmail used to have this feature, and it was very easy to set up, and displayed the filters nicely in your inbox.

  • http://www.andrewmullins.net artists_envy

    I am using gmail for my domain – everything comes in to outlook via imap – works like a charm. You can even setup a custom url to point to your gmail login (mail.yourdomain.com) and the setup is straight forward – just change your mx records and the imap settings for your mail client.

  • Sepi A.

    cranial-bore Says:
    February 21st, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I’d like Thunderbird to start listening when I say something isn’t spam.
    I get regular mail from a few legit mailing lists and I’ve been clicking “Not a Scam”, “Show Images” every time for years. The messages come from the same address each time.

    szigeti Says:
    February 21st, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Is there a way in Thunderbird to set up my own black/whitelist of words and email addresses? I couldn’t find it, but maybe I was just unlucky.

    I believe Thunderbird suggests that if you want to let emails come through and not be marked as possible scam, you should add the sender to your personal address book. Don’t know about the words though…

    Why not start reading the messages you’re being shown by applications instead of ranting about them???

    Sepi

  • http://www.mikehealy.com.au cranial-bore

    to let emails come through and not be marked as possible scam, you should add the sender to your personal address book.

    I don’t want to clog my contacts list with address I will never write to.

  • Brian Knoblauch

    Until Thunderbird gets calendaring, it’s useless to me. In the meantime Evolution gets the jobs done.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t want to clog my contacts list with address I will never write to.

    You can have multiple address books – I have one just for mailing lists so they don’t mess up my contacts.

    Seems like you don’t know how to get the best from Thunderbird – but like many open source projects it is the documentation, how-to’s and usability that seem to be least worked on.

    It should be obvious how to do something. Its not good to have someone complaining that something doesn’t work when in fact it does – its just that the user doesn’t realise how to.

  • gsbe

    the spam filtering in Thunderbird is a joke. I cna’t wait for them to make this work better…hopefully this is on their task list. ;)