Thunderbird 3 Plans for 2008

David Ascher head of the newly formed MailCo has posted plans for Thunderbird 3. The main plan is to increase the already sizable user base (millions) by including with Thunderbird 3 built-in calendar integration (based off of Lighting) much like Microsoft Outlook. Also to introduce a better search function such as those found in Gmail or Mail.app. In addition to these plans is the goal is to have a final release of Thunderbird 3 by the end of 2008. Here is an overview of David’s plans for Thunderbird 3 in 2008:

  • Goal:

    • To have at public milestone build of Thunderbird 3 in 2008.

      • Thunderbird 3’s overall aim is to significantly grow its user base worldwide, as well as build a strong foundation for later Thunderbird releases.

  • Release-defining features:

    • an integrated calendaring feature, based on Lightning
    • a better search experience, especially for message content searches
    • a better overall user experience

  • Less user-visible but important goals include:

    • Significant headway on getting rid of Mork and RDF
    • A concerted effort to improving the extensions ecosystem for Thunderbird, including refactorings, FUEL, developer documentation, and user experience
    • Better test coverage and performance metrics in place to support refactoring goals

  • Schedule

    • Figuring out the schedule at this stage is hard, as it will depend on who shows up with energy and talent. I would like to set some placeholder milestones for discussion, however:

      • Alpha builds in Q1
      • Beta builds without calendaring starting in Q2
      • Widely useful builds by Q4 (although whether they’re branded “release” will depend on quality, as always.
      • We’re revise the schedule as we gain knowledge.

It is important to understand Thunderbird 3 will not be the end of Thunderbird. Planning for Thunderbird 4 will be beginning soon and will included features that were not possible to be part of Thunderbird 3 due to the aggressive build schedule. But with that said, tabbed browsing/navigation is a planned feature for Thunderbird 3 (however, t was for Thunderbird 2 as well).

There is quite a bit of information on the Thunderbird 3 Mozilla Wiki Page.

News Source: Mozilla Links

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