Thunderbird Progresses with Exchange Compatibility

March 2024's Thunderbird Digest reveals Exchange Autodiscovery and OAuth compatibility improvements in the latest update.

As the calendar page turns to April, the Thunderbird development team is excited to share the latest updates and progress from March 2024. They have been hard at work, making significant strides in several key areas of the email client’s development.

Exchange Integration

As we informed you at the end of January, the big news is that the email client will finally have native support for Microsoft Exchange. This feature has been among the most frequently requested by users for many years.

In light of this, this March, the team celebrated the completion of initial Exchange Autodiscovery and OAuth compatibility in account setup. Additionally, they have achieved fetching and rendering of all folders, marking a crucial step towards full integration.

While some areas still require refinement, the goal is to include these features behind a preference in the upcoming beta release. The development team encourages the community to follow the progress closely via the dedicated bug tracker and to explore the new Thunderbird XML struct tool for those needing advanced parsing capabilities.

Improved List Management

A notable improvement in user experience comes with the initial implementation of the List Management feature. This feature, aimed at simplifying mailing list subscriptions, is now available in Thunderbird’s daily and beta versions.

With its current accessibility via a context menu on the List ID, the team is exploring more user-friendly UI/UX options to make this feature seamlessly integrate into the Thunderbird environment without becoming intrusive.

The ESMification Milestone

Thunderbird has transitioned to standard JavaScript modules (ESM) in a significant architectural overhaul. This change might go unnoticed by users, but it represents a monumental shift towards a more standardized and modern codebase for developers.

This transition enables the Thunderbird team to leverage contemporary JavaScript features, streamlining development and enhancing the platform’s capabilities.

Continuous Improvements and What’s Next

Thunderbird’s development team is committed to enhancing the email client through incremental changes. Among the developments in focus for the upcoming month are:

  • Completion of the Cards view UI
  • Resolution of the missing FindBar in multi-message and browser views
  • Implementation of a new visual selection paradigm
  • Enhancements to the usability and accessibility of the Quick Filter bar
  • Finalization of email setup in the new Account Hub
  • Numerous API improvements and additions for add-ons
  • Advanced support for viewing nested signed messages and other OpenPGP enhancements

For more information, check out the official announcement. You can find detailed information here if you’re curious about what Thunderbird has in store for 2024.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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