Mozilla has announced the opening of a new project called "Mozilla Messaging", dedicated to the development of Thunderbird 3. This is a noble cause and I hope that some of the Mozilla hackers out there donate time and their good minds to the efforts. Personally, I am highly unlikely to avail myself of all the efforts.
Thunderbird is a great desktop email client- please don't misunderstand me. I switched from Eudora to Thunderbird when it was first released and used it for a long while. But the sad truth is that I need email functionality across multiple computers and devices. Having a web based email client like gmail with built in search functionality and the ability to read and reply from my Treo as well is a life feature I am not sure I could be happy computing without any more. I can happily hop from computer to computer and never worry about how all of my activities are syncronized. I can see all the email I have sent from any computer with web access, at any time- no trying to remember where I was sitting when I wrote the reply.
I realize that this is a problem of privilege. Most folks out there are happy to have a single computer at home from which they read their email and are only too happy to leave email at home and not access it from their phone no matter where in the country they are. Blessings to them. Some days I wish I could return to that simpler, less complicated and theoretically happier state. But the truth can not be denied. I live a fully interrupt driven life and hop hopelessly from computer to computer searching for a sense of consistency- gmail assists me in that minor delusion.
If you live the saner, simpler life, keep an eye on this email client. If it lives up to its precursors, it will be an excellent desktop tool. And if you occasionally like to throw some lines of code together for fun? Go and pitch in- help shape something that might even be great.