Mike Stone

Mostly The Lonely Howls Of Mike Baying His Ideological Purity At The Moon

Trying Out Thunderbird 78

17 Jul 2020

I did something today I haven’t done in a really long time. I installed a desktop version of an email client. Thunderbird 78 to be specific. So, how did it go and why did I go and do such a thing?

I read over on omg!ubuntu! about how Thunderbird 78 has OpenPGP Support built in, so I decided to give it a spin. I generally avoid desktop email clients for a couple reasons, and not just because email is broken.

I don’t generally use desktop email clients because I access my email on a lot of different devices, and I like to standardize my workflow as much as I can. I don’t want to use the web at work, where they won’t let me install stuff on my computer like a personal email client, an app at home, a different app on my Android devices, etc. It just means I have a half dozen different interfaces for the same thing.

Another reason that I don’t generally use desktop email clients is more of a personal opinion. I think they all suck. I haven’t found one that I like, and every time I look, I’m disappointed in what I find.

I was willing to give Thunderbird 78 a spin because I’m a fan of the idea of integrated encryption.

It didn’t go particularly well. In fact, I didn’t even test the encryption part.

For my personal tastes, Thunderbird is a mess. The UI is a total disaster. I just flat out won’t use this. Not even with the lure of integrated OpenPGP support.

I realize that this is my opinion, and opinions vary. I highly encourage anybody who likes Thunderbird to upgrade to 78 and configure OpenPGP support. End to end encryption should be the standard, not something that only gets used on the rare occasion.

Unfortunately, email clients are an afterthought that they cover with a web interface, and there’s no way in Hades I’m going to upload my private key to a web service I’m only using for email. That voids the point of “End to End”.

Hopefully in the future we’ll see this change. I can’t help being a little pessimistic though.

Day 66 of the #100DaysToOffload Series:

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