This is Thunderbird's upcoming redesigned Calendar

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 10, 2022

Work on the next major release of the open source email client Thunderbird is in full swing. The developers have now published a preview of the planned Calendar changes in the new major release.

thunderbird calendar mockup

Thunderbird Supernova, that is the name of the next major version of the email client, will reinvent the email client according to the development team. While that is often cause for concern for long-standing users of a software, it appears that this should be less of a concern for Thunderbird users.

The new version features a modernized interface, but also features that many existing users found missing in the current version. Besides the ability to sync data between different Thunderbird installations, courtesy of Firefox Sync, it is the Android version that needs to be mentioned specifically. Thunderbird is a desktop only email client at the time, which means that users need to use a different app on their mobile devices.

The built-in calendar is getting a new design as well. The team highlighted some of the changes scheduled for the Supernova release in a new blog post on the official Thunderbird website.

The team notes that the highlighted design has been made to look busy on purpose, that there will be options to change the density, that many visual changes will be customizable, and that everything should be considered in development at this point.

thunderbird weekly view

One of the interesting changes of the redesign is that users may select to collapse certain days of the week in monthly and weekly view; this is done to increase the space for the important days. A work week may be from Monday to Friday, and users may want to collapse Saturday and Sunday in the views to get more space for the important days of the week.

Thunderbird's development team promises lots of customization options. These include, among others, the ability to hide color and icons, collapse or completely remove weekends, or swap colors.

The event view is getting a modernization as well.

thunderbird event view

Details such as location, attendees or date/time have a better visibility in the new dialog. It takes one click to open the preview screen, and another to edit it. Customizations will be available to change the click behavior, e.g., to go to the edit screen with a single click, effectively skipping the preview window altogether.

Closing Words

It will take some time before the next major version of Thunderbird is released. It looks as if the team is focusing on modernizing the client, adding community-requested features, and all of that without forgetting customization options and user choice in the process.

Now you: what do you expect from the upcoming Thunderbird release?

This is Thunderbird's upcoming redesigned Calendar
Article Name
This is Thunderbird's upcoming redesigned Calendar
A preview of the upcoming redesigned Calendar interface and functionality of the open source email client Thunderbird.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. anona said on November 11, 2022 at 11:30 am

    Looks better. I use Thunderbird as home and Outlook at work and I have to say the latter has a MUCH better interface. Better looking and better workflows. Besides the interface, there’s lots of improvements to be had in Thunderbird’s calendar. For example it can’t even create “all day” tasks yet!

  2. Anonymous said on November 11, 2022 at 3:55 am

    I’m glad they are continuing development.

    I look forward to the calendar redesign. It looks good.

    I’m running 102.3.3.
    On the monthly calendar view, it only lists one event. (Defect)
    The multi week view lists them all, with a scroll bar.

    The redesign looks like it fixes the following:
    I would like a monthly or multi-week view that had an easier way to see the day’s events, e.g., if the cursor hovers over the day for more than X seconds, or clicks on the day #, a temporary small transitory window will show all of the day’s events, while the cursor is focused on the day.
    Kind of like the balloon help on some applications.
    Even better, if you hover over an event in the transitory window of the days event’s, it will show you the event’s details.

    ###############My major enhancement request ##################
    Allow calendars to appear in more than one tab.
    Currently, I can only have one tab with a calendar.

    I have multiple calendars that I want to look separately.
    I don’t want to have to toggle the calendar’s visibility to view it.
    Allowing calendars in multiple tabs would make this so much easier.

  3. Jody Thornton said on November 11, 2022 at 3:23 am

    My concern is that since it’s likely being built on the same engine as Firefox ESR 115, it won’t run on Windows 7 or 8x

    1. Iron Heart said on November 11, 2022 at 7:11 am

      Actually, it could be the last version that runs on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Support for older OS versions are usually dropped one version after the ESR.

      1. Jody Thornton said on November 11, 2022 at 2:19 pm

        I thought that too, but I think this time, ESR 102 will be it in June/August. It seems to be where the plan is for Mozilla

  4. irontwat said on November 11, 2022 at 3:16 am

    I’m usually anti-change, but as someone who’s been using Tbird’s calendar for a couple of years (prior to that I ran my life using the late ReminderFox, which I still miss), I’m ready for an upgrade. It’s buggy and unpleasant.

  5. yanta said on November 10, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    …will reinvent the email client according to the development team. While that is often cause for concern for long-standing users of a software, it appears that this should be less of a concern for Thunderbird users….

    It should be a major concern for Thunderbird users given Mozilla’s tendency to alienate their users, doing only what they want to to hell with customers needs.

  6. yanta said on November 10, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    Gross. So “windows 8”
    We’re stuck on 52.9.1 because of addons we use that Mozilla broke after that.
    It’s incredible that they still haven’t added “minimize at startup” or added the ability to selectively use S/Mime encryption.

    1. Jody Thornton said on November 11, 2022 at 2:10 am

      Again – get over your hate for flat design. It’s here to stay and it’s adaptable to device dimensions. Your three dimensional desktop features are disappearing.

    2. Iron Heart said on November 10, 2022 at 10:40 pm


      > We’re stuck on 52.9.1

      Not a good idea since this version is no longer getting updates, including security updates. There is a fork of this branch that is still getting patched named Epyrus:

      This is comptible with all extensions that are compatible with Thunderbird 52, sometimes you need to look for prior versions on Thunderbird’s add-ons page.

      There is also Interlink, however its update pace is much slower: …but even that is still better and more secure than Thunderbird 52.9.1.

  7. Haakon said on November 10, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    I don’t know if the Mozilla calendar is still a Thunderbird “extension” called Lightning. Anyhow…

    I had been using Thunderbird for my ISPs’ mail services since v1.0.2 to v52.9.1 and with Haller’s portable whenever that was released. I rejected v60.0 and beyond.

    Last year I snagged my own domain and began using Outlook 365 which made a mess of Lightning’s ics export. Because ics is a standard. So, I entered my calendar data manually in Outlook which coincided with a long overdue house cleaning on the Lighting side.

    As I don’t stay persistently signed into Outlook, I only open TBird (offline default) to check the calendar. Whenever an event needs to be added or updated, I do both Outlook and Lightning. I know that sounds tedious, and it is to a minor degree as it’s all about significant anniversaries, like “Moved home owners insurance to State Farm.”

    For the routine day-to-day events and reminders I use Rainlendar; Dr. Jones 11:00, Utility bill due, Renew SpyShelter license, etc.

    As for the new gee whiz bang Calendar… There is seriously too much going on there. It needs lots more wasted space and much larger fonts. Only four days should be in view with events having efficient ellipsis truncation. So “Judy’s Birthday” would be “Judy’…” /sarc

  8. Jon Forrest said on November 10, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    Something trivial – in English you can’t say “a software”, such as in “for long-standing users of a software”. It’s just “software”, e.g. “for long-standing users of software”. You could also say “for long-standing users of a software package”.

  9. GoodMeasure said on November 10, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    Dear Thunderbird team, my requests

    -In redesigning your software that currently works well enough, please allow existing add-ons to continue to function (especially on the email side)! Please!

    -Give the calendar the ability to not only tell us when a birthday or anniversary is coming, but add a “count” function so your software will be able to tell us how old the person is (Joe’s 31st B-Day) or which anniversary it is (14th anniversary).

    -Continue to allow your email and calendar client to function with MyPhoneExplorer ( Its an excellent open source software that syncs Android phones with your computer. It is a great way to organize phone numbers, photos, email addresses, calendar stuff, etc. You can back up your phone to your PC. They have been around forever. It looks like they just had an update. It works with Thunderbird, so please Thunderbird team, don’t mess this up!

    -On the email side, I hope they can provide custom colors for different email address accounts. There was a great add-on that did this but Thunderbird updates killed that. It was more handy than you would think.

    1. jsdfklsjdflk said on November 10, 2022 at 4:51 pm

      Why would the Thunderbird team read anything you ask them over here?

      Also, MyPhoneExplorer is not open source.

  10. Anonymous said on November 10, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    Oh joy… Another very usable desktop program being “redesigned” to work well with small handheld devices! I use Thunderbird, including the calendar, and don’t want it being dumbed down to fit on a smartphone. Build another version if you need too, but don’t screw up the full sized version. When will people realize how worthless a smartphone is as a primary platform. These devices should be considered secondary tools that assist in helping the user while they are away from their primary platform.

    I’m completely fed up with the direction of user interface design being foisted on us these days. I am a programmer and I watched user interface design improve from the 70’s onward. The increase in color depth and screen real estate allowed for robust and easy to use 3D interfaces. Then the minimalist concept was brought in by google to try and address using big fingers on a small screen. A return to lifeless, flat design with minimal color depth. The need for many pages to spread everything out when one would due just fine. Now there’s a big giant leap backwards.

    1. Jody Thornton said on November 11, 2022 at 2:07 am

      Sorry guys – you can say amen to your desktop brethren all you want (actually I am one too – but unlike you I’m realistic). And here it is – the phone IS THE PRIMARY CLIENT in 2022. The desktop is the backseat warmer that’s there when you need to perform a larger task. But MOST people MOST of the time use mobile environments.

      So if I’m a software company, I’m not going to create interfaces with three dimensional icons, aero like translucency and what not, and make it not be able to be sized up or down to the dimensions of the device. The desktop version needs to be functional for its purpose, and as long as you can do what you need on it, and that can be accomplished by sharing code with the mobile version that MOST people will use, then that’s good enough.

      That’s called “smart”. Nerds and technophiles are a minority of the tech consumer market. Dems the facts. The people you likely refer to as “normies” are the market now.

      And before you say that phones and tablets can’t preform REAL WORK, that’s changing rapidly. Besides, many Gen Zz are creating ways of doing things that us older guys could never imagine. So these devices can do real work. And many influencers are making a real living using mobile tech. It’s just this work is different than our work was.

      1. mek said on January 10, 2023 at 9:57 pm

        Sorry gals/guys … if I’m at home I’m on a computer … if I’m out-n-about it’s because I want to get out of the house, away from the computer, and if I’ve got a phone with me it’s because I may need to make/receive a phone call.

        Why can’t a piece of software be designed with multiple interfaces … one for desktop/computer folks who have large monitors with plenty of real estate … one for phones/handhelds with tiny monitors?

        I’m with the majority of the commenters here … stop dumbing down the UI … stop bloating my desktop with unnecessary white space (and unwanted (emot)icons).

      2. TelV said on November 11, 2022 at 6:15 pm

        I sincerely hope you’re wrong about the stupid phone becoming the norm for all things digital. Trying to do banking operations on a screen not much bigger than a postage stamp is a pain in the posterior as is having to answer a shitload of questions concerning the state of my health when arranging my next health related operation.

        Add to that the fact that phone support is minimal and presumably you’re expected to replace the device every couple of years since it no longer qualifies for support and using an unsupported device in the Netherlands at least ensures you get blocked by all manner of organizations who only produce apps for f**king phones.

        Similarly, smartphones are aimed at the younger generation who have (and need) 20/20 vision and have no trouble reading miniscule size fonts so that a page fits on one screen. For the older generation though having to deal with using a smartphone is little more than an exercise in futility especially when having to retrieve data from two or more different sites to complete whatever task you’re faced with which often requires splitting the screen thereby making the ‘postage stamp’ half its normal size before you even begin and then having to commit to memory the code which has to be entered to gain access to a given site, but ceases to be visible having been hidden by the two other sites which overlays the third one. I was having to deal with just such an exercise recently when trying to make an appointment for the Covid-19 booster injection and ultimately gave up on it because I couldn’t retrieve the code from the third site in time to complete the operation.

        Now look at this same exercise on a laptop screen and try and tell me that it’s easier if you use a phone!

      3. Rod said on November 11, 2022 at 8:41 am

        Right, tho’ there are still millions of users who won’t do without a desktop. Mobiles as a platform for doing regular office work, not to mention audio and video production etc ? Extremely painful even if possible to a certain extent.

    2. Anonymous said on November 10, 2022 at 10:08 pm

      They are making a separate mobile app, it’s based on K9 mail (unless I’m out of date – haven’t checked lately). I think they’re only doing this to look like outlook so it’s easier to poach users.

    3. John C. said on November 10, 2022 at 3:11 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better myself! Totally agree!

    4. Anonymous said on November 10, 2022 at 2:57 pm

      Amen, brother!

  11. Anonymous said on November 10, 2022 at 11:28 am

    Does Thunderbird support nowadays minimizing to tray and showing there the number of unread messages?

    1. Anonymous said on November 10, 2022 at 9:24 pm

      Yes, it does.

  12. Anonymous said on November 10, 2022 at 11:26 am

    Is it possible to use Thunderbird with ProtonMail account? If yes, how can one do it?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 10, 2022 at 12:06 pm
  13. |Henk said on November 10, 2022 at 11:14 am

    Q: “what do you expect from the upcoming Thunderbird release?”
    A: Not too many unnecessary changes, at least that’s what I hope.

    I use Tbird for sending and receiving mails, archiving them, and (to some extent) managing my various email accounts. Not more, not less.

    I never use the Tbird calendar function, so don’t care about that or how they might change it. To me, any email client with a built-in calendar is like a car with a built-in kitchen mixer.

    As for syncing, since many years I easily sync Tbird across my various devices simply by keeping its profile folder in a double-encrypted Dropbox container. I never used Firefox sync, and for obvious reasons never will.

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