In the first post of this series I told you the background story why I built a tool that's able to show some email analytics in the Mozilla Thunderbird email client. After using this tool for a year now, I've determined three major issues:
❌ It depends on the mail storage engine
❌ The stats creation process is a little too complex
❌ The stats page cannot be accessed directly from Thunderbird
To address all of these issues, I decided to create a native Thunderbird add-on with the same functionality. Well, I never built a Thunderbird add-on before, so I took a look into the Thunderbird documentation. It turned out, that thanks to Thunderbirds WebExtension APIs, I was able to reuse nearly all of my Vue.js code - nice! I spent a weekend of porting my code and creating ThirdStats:
ThirdStats is a Thunderbird 78+ add-on for beautifully visualized email account stats. Download from Thunderbird Add-ons repository. Contributions, corrections & requests can be made on GitHub. Created by Andreas Müller.
Install ThirdStats from the Thunderbird Add-ons repository:
- Start Thunderbird, open the main menu and click on Add-ons
- Search for ThirdStats
- Click Add to Thunderbird and give necessary permissions
- Open the ThirdStats Popup in the upper right corner of the toolbar and enjoy your email account stats
To properly recognize emails as sent, make sure to configure all email adresses you write from as identities for your email account. You can do so under account settings > select your account > click button more identities at the bottom and add or modify identities as you need.
Also keep in mind, that the processing of large mailboxes can take a lot of time.
- Showing various stats…
This is actually the first Thunderbird 78+ add-on providing visual statistics of email accounts (at least I wasn't able to find something similar in the repository)! So if you are interested in contributing to the large community of Thunderbird users - you are very welcome to do so! I've prepared the GitHub repository so it's ripe and ready for harvest in this year's Hacktoberfest.
If you're new to contributing to OSS and you want to get to know the process of creating Pull Requests first, you can just add a translation of the add-on in your native language. This is as simple as adding a single JSON file. I explained everything in the Contribution Guidelines and prepared some example issues.
If you're already familiar with Vue.js app development and you have some experience in building user interfaces, you can help improving ThirdStats UI. I've prepared some example issues for this topic too (e.g. #8, #9, #10). Please discuss your ideas or possible changes in the corresponding issue first before investing a lot of time for a pull request that won't get merged for some reason.
And for those of you who are looking for the real challenge, I prepared some feature requests (#11, #12) to implement additional charts and analytics to make this add-on even more complete. What numbers are you interested in about your mail account?
Again: Please discuss your ideas in a corresponding issue first before investing a lot of time for a pull request that won't get merged for some reason.
So I made my first steps contributing to the (in my opinion) best open source email client out there by creating an add-on to expand its functionality. Do you use Thunderbird? Would you use this add-on? What is missing in your opinion? Let's discuss here in the comments or directly on GitHub!
- Download and Install: https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/addon/thirdstats/
- Discuss and Contribute: https://github.com/devmount/third-stats
Edited: 30th of September 2020 (added repository links)
Published: 29th of September 2020