Gearing up

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There’s a bunch to report in Thundebird-land:

* Shredder 3.0a2 was released! In fact, it was released a week or so ago, but for a variety of reasons I was late in announcing it. Excitingly, it’s our first release available in multiple languages, which taught the new folks in Thunderbird a lot about the process. Expect more languages in the next release.

* The so-called Firefox summit was a great event for Thunderbird, Calendar and Seamonkey folks as well. If anyone felt before the summit that Thunderbird was being abandoned, I think that no one did by the end. Not only were there lots of great sessions on Thunderbird and related topics, but Thunderbird and messaging came up repeatedly in other areas, whether in the discussions around data, the mobile effort, user experience, weave, and more. We are very much central to the Mozilla endeavor as a whole, and that felt really good.

* I’m highly biased, but to me it feels as though there’s a palpable sense of energy in the larger Thunderbird team which wasn’t there a few weeks ago. We’ve gotten a couple of alphas out, we’re starting to get more ambitious about what we can do individually or as a group. It’s really hard to tell exactly what will land when at this stage, but it feels like we’re picking up some good momentum.

* We’re just barely starting to scale in a few places. We have had some new contributors join the bug triage effort, some people take leadership roles in well defined UX discussions, some contributors commit to working on blocking features, some people simply stepping up and saying “I want to do X, is that ok?” That, more than anything else, feels right.

* In addition to feeling like there’s more cohesion among the folks who’ve decided to join the party, it also feels like we’re starting to be more user-facing, tackling work that will have significant benefit for end-users, from the mundane (a birthday field in the address book, simpler account setup) to some powerful, platform-style features.

Low-vision theme for Thunderbird?

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I’m getting several requests for a theme for Thunderbird which is designed for low-vision users. In particular, with an aging population, a theme which has large, high contrast fonts would be really welcome.

Does anyone know of such a thing?

I’ve seen various attempts at hacking userChrome.css, but doesn’t count as a good answer for this market either, although it’s a start.

As an aside, the over-60? crowd is a market that Thunderbird could be a good match for, given some work in the product, packaging, support & distribution.