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Spicebird; Spice up Thunderbird and Sunbird 4 December, 2008

Posted by aronzak in web.
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Spicebird is a new tool that brings together mail, calendaring, IM and rss, borrowing design ideas from iGoogle. It uses a five tab interfae, combining Thunderbird and Sunbird along with its own elements. It’s a very cool idea, and could save you a lot of time, by using just one application.


You can easily add a second clock for a non-local timezone. The company developing sunbird is Indian, which may account for their default choice of timezones. Usually, people run their clocks according to the three major stock markets: London, Tokyo and New York. By default, there is an option of Berlin, Los Angeles or Calkutta. Slightly strange not to include London there. Colonial hangover?

I found a variety of minor design issues in the current beta.

The first thing I see in spicebird is the home tab, which by default is blank. This looks wrong. There should be a clock on it, as a reasonable default.

The next thing that gets me is that there is no way to move the contacts tab. The calendar tab is far more frequently used. The contacts tab can be turned off, as with an IM bar at the bottom of the screen, which I didn’t use.

Most of my other qualms are very minor differences in what I would like for design.One of the more obvious ones, as apparent in the picture, is that the name of the calendar is written on the top of the calendar events. The korganiser default is std.ics, an abbreviation of ‘standard’ but also ‘sexually transmitted disease’. This is customisable.



1. Old Poet - 5 December, 2008

Hard to choose a city sometimes. Many middle-european cities are using same time settings.

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