Storybook for Thunderbird

Storybook is a component library to document our design system, reusable components and any specific components you might want to test with dummy data.


The Storybook will list components that can be reused, and will help document what common elements we have. It can also list implementation specific components, but they should not be added to the “Design System” section.

Changes to files directly referenced from the Storybook (so basically non-chrome:// paths) should automatically reflect changes in the opened tab. If you make a change to a chrome:// referenced file then you’ll need to do a hard refresh (Cmd+Shift+R/Ctrl+Shift+R) to notice the changes.

Running Storybook

You can run Storybook by executing

# Working directory is your comm-central checkout root directory.
../mach tb-storybook

Now Storybook should be running at http://localhost:5703 and Thunderbird will open with a temporary profile, loading a tab with Storybook.

You can disable Thunderbird opening with the command using the --no-open option.

Manually opening Storybook in Thunderbird

Run the following command in your Thunderbird developer console:

tabmail.openTab("contentTab", { url: "http://localhost:5703" })

You can also launch Thunderbird with Storybook getting loaded in a new tab in a temporary profile using ../mach tb-storybook launch. If the --no-temp-profile flag is specified, your normal development profile is opened and no preferences are modified except to open Storybook in the first place. Consider the next section on preferences you might want to flip while using Storybook like this.

Ensuring all style features work

Our stylesheets use some features that are not available to web content. To fix this a couple preferences have to be set to true:

svg.context-properties.content.enabled = true
layout.css.light-dark.enabled = true

To change those preferences in your Thunderbird profile, go to the Settings and scroll to the bottom in the General pane. Click to open the Config Editor and enter the preference names in the search bar.

You might not want to keep these preferences enabled on a long-lived profile.