Thunderbird developers plan to revive Firefox Send

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 19, 2023

Sending large files via email is still a major problem on today's Internet. Most email providers cap the size of emails. Attempts to send emails that are too large are met with a "can't do" error message in the client.

Email users have a small number of options at their disposal to send large files to recipients: from uploading files to cloud storage and linking to them in the email to using integrated solutions.

The development team of the Thunderbird email client plans to revive Firefox Send for the purpose. Firefox Send was launched in early 2019 to the public as a way for users to share files privately online.

The service grew in popularity quickly, as it allowed users to share files with a size of up to 2.5 gigabytes. Misuse skyrocketed as well, which led to the temporary termination of the service in 2020 and the permanent shutdown of Firefox Send in the same year.

The developers of Thunderbird revealed the plan in the fourth episode of the ThunderCast podcast. They did not provide details on the plan at this stage, which means that we are in the dark right now regarding changes, the actual integration in Thunderbird, potential monetization or the planned release schedule.

Thunderbird does not leave users alone when they attempt to attach files that are too large in emails right now. Integration with file sharing providers, called FileLink, is available already.

Thunderbird highlights this, when users add files that exceed a certain amount of storage.

It is a useful system that relies on add-ons. Users of the email client need to install a service provider add-on before the option to link files becomes available.

One reason for the integration of Firefox Send functionality could be that this could improve the process. It seems unlikely that the FileLink feature is going away, but Firefox Send could provide another option to users.

Firefox Send might also provide the team with a new revenue source, although it seems doubtful that it could make a huge impact on the organization's financials.

In other news, the team revealed that it plans to hire an iOS developer this year to bring the Thunderbird email client to Apple's platform as well.

Now You: do you use Thunderbird? How do you send large files?

Thunderbird developers plan to revive Firefox Send
Article Name
Thunderbird developers plan to revive Firefox Send
The Thunderbird email client could soon get support for a file transfer feature that is based on Firefox Send.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. Tom Hawack said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    I don’t use Thunderbird anymore nor any email client but I remember having used Filelink with Thunderbird.
    No email client, no facility provided by my Email service provider so in the rare occasions where I need to send a heavy file I use ‘Send’, “A fork of Mozilla’s Firefox Send. Mozilla discontinued Send, this fork is a community effort to keep the project up-to-date and alive.” []

    Send – instances : []

    Send – Instances – Ones I use (Server location, max file size, max duration) :

    send-vis-ee (NE, 10GB, 7 days) : []
    send-zcyph-cc (CA, 20GB, 365 days) : []
    send-portailpro-net (FR, 10GB, 30 days) : []
    send-datenpost-app (DE, 30GB, 7 days) : []

    Instances happen to rise and disappear. All four above are valid, conditions (maximums essentially) may vary.

    1. ipnonymous said on September 20, 2023 at 1:55 am

      Anyone know how to do this with zerotier?

  2. yanta said on September 19, 2023 at 7:32 am

    Some email providers, like gmail and will block links to large files. I write programs for various purposes and even though they are under the maximum size limit, they still get blocked if I archive them or send links to the files.

    Thunderbird also has a terrible issue where the size of the upload is almost twice the size of the file you are trying to send. For example, I send an 18mb file via a site that lets me send files, and the resulting upload is 33mb.

    Still I dislike the idea of storing anything in the cloud to send to people.

    1. Lemegeton said on September 19, 2023 at 10:28 am

      > For example, I send an 18mb file via a site that lets me send files, and the resulting upload is 33mb.

      This is because mail was not originally designed for file sending (only text), so files are first MIME-encoded before being transferred, and then decoded back at the receiving end.
      And the file size in this MIME-form is larger than in the original form (especially if you are sending an archive, which is already compressed by nature).
      You can check this (size difference) in any MIME encoder. Thunderbird has nothing to do with it. That’s just the way email works (original, unmodified, by standards).

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