Tabbed Thunderbird

by

Proposal for a one-pane interface for Thunderbird


I've been thinking (albeit briefly) about a tabbed interface for Thunderbird, or rather a one-pane interface. It looks pretty simple.

(Disclaimer: it's 02:17 BST so thoughts may appear partially-formed, deformed, misinformed and/or Nazi-uniformed; I'll proof-read this at an undetermined future time.)

+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| @ Mooquackwooftweetmeow Thunderbird                                                         - + X |
| File  Edit  View  Go  Message  Tools  Help                                                        |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|   @@@     @@@  |   @@@    @@@                                                                     |
|   @@@     @@@  |   @@@    @@@                                                                     |
| Get Mail  Stop | Compose  Etc.                                                                    |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|  _______   _______   ___________   _______________________                                        |
|_|*Gmail*|_|Airmail|_|aRSSe Feeds|_|Newsgroups of the World|_______________________________________|
|  ____   _____   ______   ____   _____   _____________________   ________________________________  |
|_|Home|_|Inbox|_|Drafts|_|Sent|_|Trash|_|Re: Taking over world|_|*Compose: Re: Taking over world*|_|
|                                                                                                   |
| Subject: Re: Taking over world                                                                    |
| From: rb@virgin.co.uk                                                                             |
| Date: 2005-04-01 08:32                                                                            |
| To: billyg@mozilla.org                                                                            |
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| Friday sounds good                                                                                |
| --                                                                                                |
| Richard                                                                                           |
|                                                                                                   |
|                                                                                                   |
|                                                                                                   |
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| ~ |                                                                     | Unread: 0 | Total: 4781 |
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The basic idea is that the current 3-pane system is condensed into a set of nested tabs. Each account's Home tab shows pretty options like Thunderbird's current server pages. Inbox, Sent and friends look much like the current messages pane. Messages' previews would appear beneath the messages' list item, in the style of webpage-bound, JavaScript-driven expandable FAQ lists. All of these tabs would be immutable.

When a message is double-clicked (or middle-clicked) or a Compose-like action is chosen, a new tab would be opened under the appropriate account. These tabs can be closed and perhaps rearranged, imitating Firefox's tabs. When sending a message, progress would be indicated in the status bar, not in a pop-up dialogue.