April 25, 2019

Spicebird: A Modern Thunderbird Remix - page 2

Spicebird Installation and Setup

  • August 5, 2010
  • By Joe Brockmeier
You set up chat via the Contacts tab, which really doesn't seem to make much sense at all. To set up an account you go to File -> New -> Chat Account, but only from the Contacts tab. If you're in the Home or Inbox tabs, it's not an option.

The IM/IRC options also seem to leave out logging, which I consider an essential chat feature. Spicebird needs some serious work in this area. Chat should be its own tab, at the least, and it needs some serious work to be a replacement for Pidgin or another client. It might be better if Spicebird integrated well with standalone IM/IRC clients. This might be difficult for a cross-platform app like Spicebird, but as the feature stands now it's not a good option except for users who use IM/IRC very sparingly.

According to the beyond 8.0 post on the Spicebird blog, the project is thinking about dumping the Telepathy backend and focusing on XMPP/Jabber as the sole protocol. I would agree with that, even though many users will miss AIM and others. The sooner people standardize on Jabber the better.

Spicebird Summarized

I might sound a bit critical of Spicebird. Actually, I think it's a good early effort, but there's quite a bit of ground to cover. Right now, Spicebird is basically Thunderbird plus some features Thunderbird should have had already, plus chat.

But they need to go farther than that to deliver a compelling client that will gain any kind of uptake. I should be able to have real integration between my calendar and email, for instance. Why can't I create an appointment out of an email? Putting the applications in one place isn't enough, you should also be able to actually move information seamlessly from email to calendar to chat and back again.

Final summary? Spicebird is good, not great. But it's not alone. Greatness and email clients seem to be as far apart as greatness and Uwe Boll movies. Next month I'll take a look at the current crop of Linux mail clients and see how they fare against modern usage.

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