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08 December 2010, 14:32

A Conversations view for Thunderbird

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Zoom The Thunderbird Conversations add-on brings a Gmail-like conversation view to the Thunderbird email client.
Source: Mozilla Labs
The Mozilla Labs developers have announced the release of a new extension experiment called "Thunderbird Conversations" for the open source Thunderbird email client. According to Thunderbird Conversations Developer Jonathan Protzenko, the add-on is designed to emulate Google's Gmail user interface (UI) and bring its conversation view to version 3.3 of Thunderbird, which is currently still in development.

The current version of the add-on is the result of Protzenko's work over the summer after the Mozilla Messaging team invited him over to work on the project. The add-on automatically "fetches" all related messages across folders and features inline reply, to quickly reply to an email thread with support for contacts auto-complete, as well as contact tooltips. Other features include a quote detection code that collapses most types of quotations, integration with several third-party extensions, such as BidiUI or Enigmail, and partial Bugzilla email threads support. Protzenko says that the Thunderbird Conversations add-on is not compatible with version 3.1 of Thunderbird "because it was too risky" to modify the application to support it.

More details about the add-on, including a screencast video and a list of known issues, can be found in a post on the Mozilla Labs Blog and in the FAQ. Thunderbird Conversations 2.0 Alpha 1 is available to download from the Add-ons for Thunderbird portal and requires Thunderbird 3.3 Alpha 1 or later. Licensed under the MPL 1.1/GPL 2.0/LGPL 2.1, Thunderbird Conversations source code is hosted on GitHub and documentation is provided.

Thunderbird binaries are released under the Mozilla Thunderbird End-User Software License Agreement and the source code is released under disjunctive tri-licensing that includes the Mozilla Public Licence, GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1. The latest stable release of Thunderbird is version 3.1.6.

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