So work on Thunderbird 3 is underway. Mozilla Messaging is a project to develop the next generation of Thunderbird and to integrate it with calendaring. This is good news. I have begun to really like Thunderbird 2, and have got to a point where I use it more than mutt.
Calendaring will be based on Mozilla Lightning, a plug-in version of Sunbird for Thunderbird. I am not really a fan of big applications. I would prefer that my MUA does email, and a separate application handles calendaring, as is the case today with Thunderbird/Sunbird. On the other hand, the masses seem to love bloatware these days.
There are probably benefits of having an integrated email/calendaring solution as well. Thunderbird provides a contact list (via the addressbook), and this information is used by the calendaring component as well (for meetings, for instance). I’ll try to keep an open mind about this, and I might even install Lightning again, just to see if I can get comfortable with the idea of my toaster being able to launch SCUD missiles.
It seems they are going to improve searches as well. That would be a good thing, since searching in Thunderbird currently er.. leaves a lot to be desired (although there are a few extensions that might help you out). While they’re at it, they should do some work on the contact list component as well, which I am not too fond of.
I hope that Thunderbird now gets the attention it deserves beside Firefox. It has always felt as Thunderbird development hasn’t been prioritized as much as the browser development. This is not fair, since Thunderbird also has a large user base. Also, we need a good alternative to the crap that the Gnome and KDE projects want to force upon us, otherwise those desktops will enslave us all one day.