"mozilla mail" developer resources have waxed and waned over the years, and the most recent announcement that Mozilla are no longer supporting thunderbird development, reminded me that the usage of Mozilla email clients has been the most constant technology thread that I've used in my 20 year tech career to date.

Now I try not to get inappropriately attached to any technology, though I've not noticed any email client significantly better to warrant a switch. It's interesting to see the general move from local clients to hosted email like gmail which currently has about 1 billion users (compared to thunderbird's 10 million), though personally I've found the control and flexibility of having all my mail locally, very useful.

It'll be interesting to see how messaging evolves, given the recent increase in divergence rate from email to irc, slack, whatsapp, facebook, ... Here is a recent summary of innovation in the email space.

1995 - Netscape navigator 2 mail

My first experience with Netscape email was with the navigator 2 client, which I switched to after having stability issues with Eudora.
netscape navigator 2 email client

1997 - Netscape communicator 4 mail

This was quite an improvement in functionality and interface.
netscape communicator email client

1999 - Mozilla mail and newsgroups

I used this separated version (generally with the pinball theme) for a few years after the open sourcing of netscape to Mozilla.
mozilla mail and newsgroups

2005 - Thunderbird 1

The first thunderbird version I used, and I also stopped using news groups around this time but transitioned to reading blog feeds from within thunderbird.
thunderbird 1

2010 - Thunderbird 3

This was the last major update really to thunderbird, which I reviewed separately at the time, and had a new vertical layout.
thunderbird 3 vertical layout

2015 - Thunderbird 38

Not significantly different to warrant a screenshot. It'll be interesting to see where the community takes it from here.
© Dec 4 2015