Mozilla has officially released Thunderbird 31.0, an email and RSS client, for all the available platforms, and the developers have actually made a number of improvements to the application.
The first version has been released in the Thunderbird 31.x branch, but unlike some of the previous updates, this one actually brings something interesting. It's been a while since Thunderbird received any real improvements, but that's not exactly Mozilla's fault.
The company announced a while ago that it was no longer actively developing the software. They would only push important security updates, but the implementation of actual features has been left to the community, which didn't do a great job so far. In fact, it's been a very long time since any real work has been done on the client.
The advent of the Internet browsers and the increased functionality provided by services like Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook has made this type of client almost redundant. There are some alternatives out there, at least on the Linux platform, but it looks like Mozilla Thunderbird is just dragging its feet.
The Thunderbird client now also shares the same version number with Firefox 31, which was launched today as well. For a while, the two projects used different version numbers, but for now they are on the same level. It won't be too long before Thunderbird is trailing behind the Firefox project.
According to the changelog, a number of CSS variables have been fixed, opening a message, feed, or newsgroup message in a tab no longer results in an empty transparent tab, users can now see the text beside the icons of the quickfilter bar when using a dark theme, the correct value is now used for the domain length in readFromXML, the “Open containing folder” contextual action has been implemented for messages in search results, and the Mail Compact function no longer exhausts disk space and stays full until it receives the response to “unable to compact mail folders.”
Also, the Address Book quick search no longer fails on occasion, a fix has been implemented to handle the slow responding feed favicons, double-clicking in a blank space no longer opens the Advanced Property Editor, hovering over a separated toolbar button no longer hides the separator, the Australis titlebar styling is now used, and Ubuntu One Support has been removed from Thunderbird.