Author Topic: Thunderbird email client's status  (Read 243 times)

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Thunderbird email client's status
« on: October 03, 2017, 07:43:38 pm »
William mentioned that Thunderbird was no longer being developed. I was curious about this since it's still bundled with most non-KDE distros.

After a bit of digging it looks like that Thunderbird's development model is now to have no new features added to it but that security updates will maintenance releases will still continue:

Quote
There are currently two editions of Thunderbird: 'Thunderbird' and 'Thunderbird ESR'. Both will be maintained and based on the same Gecko engine release. Only 'Thunderbird' is affected by the change:
A new release of Thunderbird ESR is available since November 20th, 2012. As defined in the Thunderbird ESR plan, it has inherited the then-current Thunderbird feature-set. This release will be updated every six weeks, for the duration of the ESR cycle to ensure the best possible security and stability for organizations.
At the same time, Thunderbird has been released with the same feature set as Thunderbird ESR and will be updated every six-weeks for security and stability. However, and contrary to Thunderbird ESR, Thunderbird may include an additional release during the ESR timeframe which would include extra features.
The plan should therefore have no impact in the way individuals and organizations use the product and obtain updates.

Source: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/New_Release_and_Governance_Model

The most recent update was in August:

https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/52.3.0/releasenotes/

So I would still say it's fine to use it (i.e. it's not abandonware), just don't expect new features. Which, honestly, to me, would be no big deal. Are there really any new features do you need that isn't already there?
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Offline buster

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Re: Thunderbird email client's status
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2017, 11:07:47 pm »
Jason, if you check the bottom of that page you will see that it has not been updated for 5 years. However other pages show that there is a significant staff taking care of needed drivers (?) and security, and have been doing so for years without us really noticing anything different from before the policy change many years ago.

 I suspect there are minor 'innovations' but by third party additions or tweaks. Doesn't matter - it does what it does, and across platforms.

It only has to last a few more years. Just until I'm too feeble to use a computer. But I suspect it be be going for years, as long as people write emails.

Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Thunderbird email client's status
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2017, 11:45:49 pm »
Thanks, I hadn't noticed that. However, the second link shows that Thunderbird is still being updated, most recently on August 16, 2017, which is to which I was referring when I said: "most recent update was in August". Their blog mentions the confusion with people who had thought that Mozilla had "dropped" Thunderbird back in 2015, as well:

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I’ve seen some characterize this as Mozilla “dropping” Thunderbird. This is not accurate. We are going to disentangle the technical infrastructure. We are going to assist the Thunderbird community. This includes working with organizations that want to invest in Thunderbird, several of which have stepped forward already. Mozilla Foundation will serve as a fiscal sponsor for Thunderbird donations during this time.

The bottom of the Wikipedia page for Thunderbird also shows that there have been many such updates in 2017 alone. It does look like they want to continue feature development too, but to do that they need to have to develop their own engine since at present they're using Gecko (what Firefox is also based on) and have to spend a lot of time pushing out updates to keep in sync with it.

It's a bad idea to use internet software that is no longer being actively developed but that doesn't seem to be the case with Thunderbird though admittedly, I don't really use it. I was surprised when I found out that most PLUG members still use email clients. I migrated away from using them as soon as online email was fast enough to use, back in the early 2000s.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 01:36:06 am by Jason Wallwork »
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: Thunderbird email client's status
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2017, 07:13:31 am »
I have numerous email addresses, which I use for specific purposes.
I have my Amateur Radio callsign as part of a few email addresses. I use more than one amateur radio email address, to separate out my  amateur radio related email.
Some email is related to just general Amateur Radio correspondence and some Amateur Radio email is related to the Lindsay radio club, which I am on the executive.

I depend on an email client, to go out and fetch all my email from my various email addresses.  I would hate to have to log on manually to each email account, to read the mail and send mail. :-)

I do manually log onto my Hotmail account, since I use it basically as my junk mail account and I would not want all the spam from it,  being delivered to my email client.

Bill
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Offline fox

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Re: Thunderbird email client's status
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2017, 07:16:47 am »
I'm with Bill, and my regular email client is Thunderbird. I've tried Evolution, but I find Thunderbird to be faster. I've also tried Geary, Claws Mail and Sylpheed, but none of them has the minimal features I depend upon.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Thunderbird email client's status
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2017, 01:28:30 pm »
Yeah, that makes sense. I have multiple accounts too, I just set up my Gmail account to handle them. So I log in once and it gathers all the email. As long as the email account has POP3/IMAP access, Gmail can do it. See attachment below.

I use Sneakemail for preventing spam. It's not another email account; it acts as a filter for my main email account.

Different strokes...
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Offline buster

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Re: Thunderbird email client's status
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2017, 08:48:42 pm »
I like having my emails on my hd when I'm traveling to places without wifi, which seems often. I have reservations and sometimes documents sent to me from some institution or place and I can refer to them. Not easy if you only have a web account.

Offline Scott

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Re: Thunderbird email client's status
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2017, 01:26:39 pm »
Like Jason, I have also migrated all of my e-mail accounts to GMail (Between work and pleasure, somewhere around 20).  Having one central repository, with folders, message rules and the ability to send as any one of those addresses is a life saver.  Not to mention I can access it from any computer, at anytime.

Another great feature is that GMail supports both POP and IMAP.  I have both my laptop, and desktop configured to check my GMail via IMAP.  It syncs/mirrors the content online, including the folder structure, but stores it on my HDD, great for archival and for those of you who mentioned you want a copy of your mail when you aren't on the internet.

 

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