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Vision for Thunderbird 4 by Mind Map: Vision for Thunderbird 4
0.0 stars - reviews range from 0 to 5

Vision for Thunderbird 4

cognitive modes

BEFORE I FORGET: let me write this down before i forget it

after i write it down, i'll figure out what to do next

i'm in a brainstorming session

i'm writing meeting minutes, in media res, ex post facto

IIRC: where did i see X? search a corpus of past interaction.

i'm researching a subject and need a place to keep my notes

I remember sending X to Y. let me find it again.

BRING IT ON: i'm ready for new email

i'm ready to fight back on running projects

just a quick scan for something urgent i'm expecting

preparing for passive entertainment

ESSAY WRITER: i'm composing a document which will require several sessions of mental energy

CHAT ME UP: participate in a synchronous, instant messaging conversation where the other parties are also chatting


CHECK ME OUT: i'm checking in to a place, or mood message, i'm now listening to x, i just bought or sold a stock, here's a picture of what i'm eating right now

TAKING YOUR PULSE: what are other people saying realtime about X? search twitter hashtags,, etc.


i'm collaborating with a team on a document

i'm collaborating with a team on a plan of action, within an email thread, we're scheduling a formal meeting, we're plancasting / foounding a less formal meeting

is the ball in my court? is someone expecting me to do something? am i slipping through the cracks?

select my next action from an extant list

organize my actions reflectively

ludic stigmergic distributed cognition

End User Value Proposition

a unified messaging client

for writing any text to any channel




memory augmenter

Just as Spotlight is the first reach for search, TB4 will be the first reach for

sending a message

of any length

over any medium

to any audience, including "self"

less is more

pain points

overwhelmed by messaging volume, priority inbox, xobni

cognitive burden too high, have to choose a protocol and a messaging environment before composing a message to someone, sometimes we start a message with, content, original, forwarded, recipient

constant flood of new services, protocols, etc, don't want to have to re-sign-up to facebook, twitter, quora, etc, etc, etc

mail is not quite cloudy enough, maybe automatically create a gmail account with every TB4 download and use it as the backend, get the jump on evernote and dropbox which have quota costs

archiving is lacking, let's make the lives of future biographers easier, everything we write, irrespective of medium, should be saved, (firefox) everything we read should be saved

all existing clients are too slow and make me feel stupid when using them

support for keyboard-only operation, please


The next time a new medium like Twitter comes along, Tweetdeck won't be a startup: it'll be a TB4 plugin

the TB4 architecture should allow someone to implement TweetDeck in less than 1000 lines of code.

The product will be a net profit center for Mozilla

through an app store

through an advertisement box

through paid downloads

through systems which are orthogonal to opensource the way Amazon is, as described in Tim O'Reilly's piece. if Mozilla can partner with JungleDisk to be a paid value-add atop S3, that'll be good

extend that concept: just as Firefox : Search box : Google : Ad revenue, maybe we can have Thunderbird : component : partner : service revenue.

Maybe Firefox and TB4 should share the same underlying architecture, but take a different set of plugins, in the same way that Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are the same core with different plugins

Success Criteria

at least as many opensource developers on the project not working for Mozilla as paid

Product Promise through Plugins

READ IT: handle any input









VIEW IT: in a number of different forms


screensaver mode

plurk / twitter timeline view

three-pane view

thread focus

single message focus

annotate and markup

IM-style, scrollback: it isn't just for IM! Why not display an email in an IM format? If the message (excluding sig and quote) doesn't exceed 140 chars, just display the whole thing inline like an iChat or iPhone SMS interface. Add chevron option to view in detail.

predictive viewing tries to guess which messages / threads you care about most, and how you're likely to react to them.

WRITE IT: Rich Document Editing

emacs keybindings, please

SMART EDITOR: editor affordances dynamically adapt to currently selected read/save/send/audience specification., if responding to a tweet, automatically limit to 140 chars, if editing a wiki page, groks WikiWords as links, if about to send as email, automatically offers to downres JPGs, don't support fancy fonts when publishing to a medium that doesn't support them, eg IRC or Skype or Twitter,, other twitterlike tricks gleaned from tweetdeck, seesmic, osfoora, etc, other email tricks gleaned from gmail like the "attachment" sanity check, the addressee sanity check, etc., can a gmail plugin run within thunderbird?

SAVE IT: Storage Backend

local harddrive

backed by Google Docs

backed by Evernote

backed by S3 filesystem

backed by an IMAP server

SEND IT: Multiprotocol Plugin Support

Instant Messaging, AIM, MSN, Jabber, and other libpurple

VOIP, Google Voice, check your voicemail through TB4, initiate a Google Voice call through TB4, Skype, initiate a Skype call through TB4

Email-like messaging, SMTP

Social media messaging, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter

TO ANYONE: Unified Addressbook

targeted audience, iOS4 already merges multiple addressbooks, every new protocol, every new account, integrates the new contact list into the Unified Addressbook

public audience, to a blog, via googledocs, via a wiki, to twitter

Hard Questions

how is this not Flock?

what the fuck is Seamonkey doing? Firefox + Thunderbird = Seamonkey. WTF? We don't need "more of the same" thinking.

will Raindrop become TB4?

what can a desktop application do that a web browser can't? seriously. with HTML5, XUL, and Chrome/Gears, why should anyone continue to develop a cross-platform binary when an offline-mode web app is just as powerful?

does the value prop align with the fundamental innovation drivers of open source and with the business models?