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:
- 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
- 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