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Thunderbird 3 Alpha sneaks onto web

Thunderbird 3 Alpha sneaks onto web

The first Thunderbird 3 Alpha release, codenamed Shredder, looks pretty smart - but beware the bugs.

If you're looking for an e-mail client to match your Firefox 3 Beta 5 installation, then say hello to Shredder Alpha 1.

Shredder Alpha 1 is the first preview of what will eventually become Thunderbird 3. Built on top of the same layout engine Mozilla uses for Firefox 3, Gecko 1.9, the next-generation message client promises a fresh look and some snazzy new features.

First among them is an in-built Add-ons Manager, which allows – you guessed it – easy browsing and installation of Thunderbird extensions. While this is a pretty neat feature, you'll be hard pushed to get any use out of it at the moment – very few add-ons have been updated to work with Shredder.

Mac users can enjoy the benefits of Shredder being a native Cocoa application, and the ability to read contact information from Mac OS X's built-in Address Book – although this is disabled by default.

The search functionality has been tweaked too, with fewer false positives when searching a large body of e-mail and improved accuracy in multilingual installations. If you're looking for a speed boost, improvements to the Javascript implementation means that the latest build flies along pretty well.

All these improvements do come at a cost, however: Shredder Alpha 1 doesn't support any version of Windows prior to Windows 2000. Nor does it work with Mac OS versions prior to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

Even if your operating system is supported, it's still not all plain sailing – remember that Shredder is not only still in the alpha stage of development, but is in its first Alpha release. Do not install this release in a production environment, and don't use it as your main e-mail client. Seriously.

That said, if you're desperate to see how the next generation of Thunderbird is shaping up, you can grab the installer for Shredder Alpha 1 for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux at the Mozilla Messaging site.

Is anyone going to trust their important communications to an alpha build, or are you sticking with Thunderbird 2 for now? Do you use a completely different application for e-mail? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

13 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
proxess 16th May 2008, 14:44 Quote
yay new goodies! even tho i use evolution...
Thacrudd 16th May 2008, 14:57 Quote
I'm glad to see some progress on TB3 but geez, releasing an Alpha to the pulblic? That's like driving a car with the lugnuts loose. "Eh, they might come off, they might not."
E.E.L. Ambiense 16th May 2008, 15:06 Quote
^LOL. Great analogy.
p3n 16th May 2008, 17:41 Quote
Doesn't look like the UI has changed/improved much Oo
IanW 16th May 2008, 19:11 Quote
Am I the only one worried about an email app codenamed "Shredder"?
Mr T 16th May 2008, 20:31 Quote
Firefox 3 is codenamed "Minefield"
<A88> 16th May 2008, 20:39 Quote
Sorry guys, but Outlook 07 all the way.
legoman666 16th May 2008, 20:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by <A88>
Sorry guys, but Outlook 07 all the way.

Thunderbird and Outlook arent even in the same class of programs. That's like saying, "sorry guys, you can play with photoshop all you want, I'm happy with paint.
Denis_iii 16th May 2008, 20:57 Quote
Outlook 2007 brings fear and loathing every time i'm confronted with it as have to support it at work . Not a day goes by I don't receive a call concerning Outlook2007. I hope Mozzila brings Thunderbird up to be a competitor to Outlook forcing Microsoft to get there act together just like how Firefox forced Microsoft to move on from IE6.

Lets hope a addin comes along so I can use my hotmail account with thunderbird just like I use my exchange mailbox with outlook.
l3w1z 17th May 2008, 01:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis_iii

Lets hope a addin comes along so I can use my hotmail account with thunderbird just like I use my exchange mailbox with outlook.

That would be a godsend.
IanW 17th May 2008, 08:12 Quote
antiHero 17th May 2008, 11:09 Quote
Hopefully they get the calender right as the Lightning extension sometimes goes a lil bonkers. I am downloading it now and have a look around.
p3n 18th May 2008, 22:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3w1z
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis_iii

Lets hope a addin comes along so I can use my hotmail account with thunderbird just like I use my exchange mailbox with outlook.

That would be a godsend.

gmail imap? :P
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