Using Thunderbird as a web-browser

Recently I’ve build a very simple addon that will open links in the Thunderbird tabs (instead of the browser).

And the more I use it, the more I realize that I can finish most of my emails without leaving my Thunderbird. I’m now logged in many websites like Github and I can reply and close issues directly from Thunderbird.

So I’m wondering, why is Thunderbird not aiming to become a web-browser?

It can already do most of the things a web browser should.

And there is only few things I miss:

  • back / forward navigation with mouse Back / forward buttons
  • opening links in the web-sites with middle mouse button on new tab
  • Firefox Sync. integration so that I could import my passwords and to allow sending links to other devices
  • Firefox containers would be also nice to have
  • some adblocker - but I’m sure one of the existing would be easy to port

What do you think?

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Apart from a few limited cases, I wouldn’t open links in TB in the first place. I’d prefer to use Firefox which - as your question says - has far more features and is kept up to date - at the cost of a big development effort compared to TB. TB was once part of a combined browser and messaging program, to the disadvantage of both IMO.
TB should stick to being an email client. Or a messaging client if it must.

How does your addon differ from the existing ‘Browse in Tab’ BTW?

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Thunderbird is up to date :slight_smile: - the updates are released the same way as Firefox - every 4-6 weeks.
It’s based on Firefox ESR so I’m pretty sure most or all browser features are already there, just disabled.

I really I don’t see any significant development cost here, that’s why I’m asking :slight_smile:.

Regarding my humble addon (build in few hours), it doesn’t require access to whole PC :smiley:
Screenshot 2021-06-04 11.22.20

Screenshot 2021-06-04 11.31.04

Also it has a slightly different behavior for middle / double clicks.

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The ‘full unrestricted access’ is because it’s an old-style addon, converted as a ‘mail experiment’. Yours is a new-style Mail Extension.

Yes, I’m aware of that. It nicely demonstrates one of the biggest issue of the old addons architecture - the security.
Imagine if the author sels his addon to some third party and then new version is released and then BAM! Malware in your PC!

And this is not some “theoretical” scenario, this happened just recently with the Nano Defender!
And I can tell you I’m receving these great looking offers all the time :frowning:. It’s terrible.