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The @thunderbird betas have a rewritten main window UI. This has a lot of accessibility problems. Unfortunately, I currently don’t have the energy to file the bugs myself. Here’s what I found:

1. Too many tab stops. Toolbars should definitely be a one-tabstop container and employ the ARIA toolbar design pattern.
2. Speaking of which, the containers should all be made into proper toolbar containers in the process.
3. The main messages list should be a tree with tree items, since they are collapsible. List and list items are not. Also, there are a lot of focus issues still remaining when deleting messages/threads or when the view refreshes from the IMAP server.

Perhaps someone on the team can convert these into proper bugs in Bugzilla, or maybe most of these are already filed. Like I said, I unfortunately currently lack the energy to do so myself.

reshared this

I’m using mail for windows until these things get addressed. These are obvious regressions.
Me and guy named ali-savas have filed most of these as proper mozilla bugs. Alesandro, Elizabeth and other people on the #Thunderbird team are tackling these as they can. I can already see some of them being addressed in nightlies. Would you like me to post links to individual bugs?
@pvagner Just wanted to jump in and express our appreciation for the work you've done submitting these bugs. We know it takes time and patience to get that done. Thank you!
I have accidentally posted all the issue links twice.
Just to add into it here are some recent accessibility related enhancements I have recognized.
reporting message columns is now greatly inproved in Thunderbird 114, it is now possible to inwoke the context menu in the message list, dropdown buttons in the message reader UI can now be activated with the enter or space key.
F6 and shift+F6 navigation has been improved so it can be inwoked when filter buttons or the edit field has the focus.
Hi Marco, I'm the product design manager at Thunderbird. Thank you so much for trying out beta and for this overview of the issues you encountered. We're 100% aware of all of these and we already have bugs and work in progress patches to address the issues.
ARIA toolbar design pattern is currently on alpha (daily) for the message pane, and it will be added to the main toolbar as well in the next months, alongside updating the container markup.
The annoying extra tabs are due to the fact that we got rid of a lot of XUL elements which weren't keyboard or screen reader accessible, and replaced with native HTML elements. But as you noticed, now everything can be tab focused, so more work is needed to make it properly usable.
The message list is using the ARIA Listbox pattern which grants us more flexibility for dynamically loaded content. We have visually impaired users that tested the various builds and were saisfied
nonetheless, we will explore updating the message list to an ARIA tree implementation and test it again to evaluate the proper approach.
Thank you again for your invaluable feedback.

@alecaddd Hi there! Thank you so much for your quick reply! Yes, I thought so that migrating everything away from good old XUL to HTML was the reason for everything now having tab stops. And that is greatly appreciated in general. But with many controls, especially in an app context, for keyboard users some things should be streamlined so it is not only accessible in principle, but also efficient to use, and thus actually usable. I appreciate the team already diving into these bugs and making changes. Look forward to trying them out when they reach the beta channel. This is what I am on currently.

Again, thank you!