Thunderbird Is Finally Adding Conversation View

Easily keep track of your email conversations.

Thunderbird Is Finally Adding Conversation View

Thunderbird is a legendary email client, but it became stagnant over the years and failed to keep up with alternative email clients. Now, Thunderbird is getting some love, including some modern features and a more modern look. It's even gaining the "conversation view" that other clients and websites implemented several years ago.

In a short video, the Thunderbird team explains why this 20-year-old email client still lacks a conversation view. The team says that conversation view was a "priority" in the past, but Thunderbird's archaic message database made the feature difficult to implement. So, Thunderbird is rewriting its global message database in a way that can accommodate modern features like conversation view. Once the new database is in place, conversation view will be a trivial addition.

The Thunderbird team also acknowledges that the conversation view should have been introduced years ago. The fact of the matter is that it's a wrong that's now being fixed. Thunderbird will feel more like a modern, competitive email client.

In case you're not familiar with the term, "conversation view" is just the "threading" of multiple back-and-forth emails. Some email clients will do it with simple conversations (when you email someone and they reply back), others do it with similar emails from a single sender (such as marketing pitches), but the concept is the same. Related emails are threaded into a single conversation, making everything easier to read and saving you the trouble of searching for old emails.

Previously, an add-on called Thunderbird Conversations provided this functionality. This add-on is still maintained (despite what's said in the above video), though it's rough around the edges and conflicts with some of Thunderbird's new functionality. Mark Banner, the developer who maintains Thunderbird Conversations, will continue supporting the add-on "until there's equivalent functionality in Thunderbird itself."

A future Thunderbird update will include a native conversation view. The Thunderbird team hasn't said exactly when, but they suggest that the feature should pop up by May 31st or later, depending on when the new global message database is implemented. In the meantime, you can use the Thunderbird Conversations add-on, which is still supported and works fine.

Source: Thunderbird

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