User:Dmose/Tb Product Notes

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Thunderbird Product Notes v0.6

As mentioned in previous discussions, a number of us believe that our vision for Thunderbird is likely to evolve significantly over the coming months as we iterate on add-ons and grow to understand our options in the market better. As such, none of this is set in stone. Version 0.6 is intended to be a baseline and a starting point for discussion that tries to codify what we already believe, and leaves offering a stronger vision to future iterations.

Goals For This Document

1. Make it easier for everyone in the community to see where the Thunderbird product is going, how to align themselves with it, and thereby encounter fewer directional surprises over time.

2. Act as a reference/short-cut for decision-makers, lessening the need to constantly reason and discuss from first principles.

Values (taken from the Mozilla Manifesto)

  • The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible.
  • Individuals must have the ability to shape their own experiences on the Internet.
  • The effectiveness of the Internet as a public resource depends upon interoperability (protocols, data formats, content), innovation and decentralized participation worldwide.
  • Commercial involvement in the development of the Internet brings many benefits; a balance between commercial goals and public benefit is critical.


  • Maximize our impact in shaping the future of messaging on the Internet.


  • Thunderbird will focus on the individual user and Small Office / Home Office (SOHO) market segments.


  • The Thunderbird user-experience seeks to help users accomplish the important tasks suggested by conversations and messages (such as scheduling a meal or updating a to-do list) rather than simply displaying lists of these things.
  • Thunderbird will favor elegance over completeness.
  • Thunderbird will focus on conversations that occur over mainstream and emerging communication channels. These include email, web forums, social networks, and microblogging services.
  • Personal preferences and niche functionality will be accommodated by enabling an ecosystem of optional add-ons, rather than overloading the main UI with a large set of preferences.
  • We intend to explore a variety of models for publicizing and supporting add-ons depending on their purpose.
  • We intend to evolve and structure Thunderbird so that both the core project itself as well as developers working in the ecosystem around Thunderbird can be financially self-sustaining.
  • Helping people own, control, and protect their own conversations, messages, and data is a critically important feature of Thunderbird.


  • Offering developers a platform to integrate their messages and conversations with the user experiences and data that matter to them (particularly, but not solely, on the web) will continue to be critically important to Thunderbird.
  • Traditional Gecko add-on mechanisms (eg XPCOM-based ones) will continue to be supported, but focus will gradually shift to Jetpack-based mechanisms over time.


  • Mozilla strives to build and strengthen a healthy community of participation around Thunderbird, based on mutual respect, positive contribution, and recognition of differences in experience and interests.