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Mozilla The Internet Upgrades

Thunderbird 1.0 RC1 Released 460

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the mail-call dept.
KingDaveRa writes "Mozilla.org has quietly released Thunderbird 1.0 RC1. 1.0 RC1 includes lots of bug fixes and improvements for features like saved search folders, the RSS reader, mail migration, and message grouping. The default themes have both been updated with new and improved artwork as well."
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Thunderbird 1.0 RC1 Released

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  • Popularity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fembots (753724) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:22PM (#10982374) Homepage
    Is Thunderbird as "spread-like-wild-fire" as Firefox? I just don't hear people talking about TB as much as FF.

    Even in newsgroups where you need a news reader to do anything, people still talk about FF. I'm using TB but I don't have the same enthusiasm to discuss it.

    Is this due to lack of usage, or lack of competition, or something else? Or just me?
    • I don't know.. EMAIL clients just aren't 'the thing'

      I use GMAIL, and haven't really tried TB out at all really. Once my ISP fucked me by accidently deleting my account (and then, worse, somehow the account name becoming 'reserved' making the whois contact in my domains wrong... so I can't claim ownership (forgot the pass, but always figured if i needed in the config I could have a recovery email sent)) is when I went to gmail -- hopefully I won't get fucked there
    • Re:Popularity (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Any serious usenet junkie will tell you TB won't cut it-- same with OE, though. I like pan [rebelbase.com]. ;)
    • Re:Popularity (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FlipmodePlaya (719010)
      I'm thinking lack of usage. Especially during the aKadamy, KMail seems to have sapped up all the available attention. KDE's whole PIM suite is evolving so rapidly, it's obviously being doted upon by the geek community.

      Outside of that afformentioned community, it seems Outlook/Express is absolutely dominant. Personally, I like Opera's M2.
    • Re:Popularity (Score:5, Insightful)

      by skids (119237) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:31PM (#10982450) Homepage
      The geek fanbase for thunderbird is smaller, so it gets less free publicity.

      You can't really live without a graphical web browser (well, at least without impairing access to a lot of stuff), but the same isn't true of email. There are a number af very good text-mode mail readers, and most people I know prefer something like PINE, and really dread the day when you can't live without a graphical email reader.

      So far we've done a fair job of beating back the perpetually looming encroachment of non-plain-text email. (There's even an ASCII ribbon campaign :-)

    • Re:Popularity (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Umbral Blot (737704)
      Well it defnintely has competition form Outlook, and of course many other free third party clients. The difference is that, unlike FIrefox, Thunderbird does not incoperate many more features than outlook. Also it has few extensions and themes, which could make up for its lack of brilliance. I can give people planty of reason for people to switch from ie to Firefox, but from outlook to Thunderbird I can only pester people about security. And I have no way at all of "converting" users of other mail progra
    • Re:Popularity (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TheBurningDog (747915)
      I suggest thunderbird to my friends because of the ease that PGP integrates into it with the enigmail [mozdev.org] plugin.

      Not many webmail sites offer good PGP support.
    • Re:Popularity (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oneeyedelf1 (793839)
      Outlook has so many more features then thunderbird. Since I dont use outlook I will give my mom's answer when she looked at thunderbird for her office. Can I use it to schedule the presentation rooms? Can I use it to sync? With email filters pretty much grabbing all the outlook viruses anyways, most buisness shouldnt be too concerned running outlook. Firefox was different it has MORE features and protects in ways that just arent too realistic on win2k in an office enviroment. When employees go home, general
      • Re:Popularity (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AstroDrabb (534369) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:56PM (#10982642)
        Outlook has so many more features then thunderbird. Since I dont use outlook I will give my mom's answer when she looked at thunderbird for her office. Can I use it to schedule the presentation rooms?
        Why would you compare MS Outlook, a groupware application, to an email application? A better comparison would be MS Outlook Express to Thunderbird. MS Outlook Express cannot schedule the presentation rooms either. Thunderbird is far better then OE and has far better default security.

        For office type groupware, MS Outlook is currently the best product out there. But for a typical _home_ user email program, Thunderbird is very good and much better then MS Outlook Express IMO.

        • Re:Popularity (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Albanach (527650)
          You make a very fair point - Thunderbird is a sound replacement for anyone usine OE at home.

          However, the Moz suite - either as one application, Mozilla, or as a pick and choose set of Firefox, Thunderbird and Sunbird will, eventually pose a serious threat to Outlook's dominance on the corporate desktop.

          One thing that I do wonder about though is syncing with other programs, especially mobile phones. Is there any pressure being put on Symbian etc to make their phones sync contacts with an LDAP server, email w

          • Re:Popularity (Score:3, Informative)

            by liquidpele (663430)
            Last I checked, Mozilla's roadmap did not include making it into a Groupware application.
            So no. The only serious threats to Outlook are compatable web-based systems, and Evolution.
        • Re:Popularity (Score:5, Interesting)

          by EvilStein (414640) <spamNO@SPAMpbp.net> on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:25AM (#10983749) Homepage
          I've itched about this before as well - Thunderbird very well could blow away Outlook in many organizations, but the CALENDAR *SUCKS* - Sorry, Sunbird sucks more ass than anything that has even sucked ass before. The last time I tried it, it was incapable of recognizing its own calendar files, instead they were opening as plain old text in Mozilla.

          Here's my idea: Ditch flippin Chatzilla. Put a lot of effort towards the calendar.

          The Calendar is one of the big reasons (that I have found) that people stick with Microsoft Outlook.

          It doesn't even have to be the whiz-bang calendar like Outlook has, but it'd be nice if it would actually work worth a crap.
      • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Friday December 03, 2004 @08:34AM (#10984801)

        It's true that Outlook can do much more than Thunderbird, and as someone else already pointed out, Outlook Express would be a fairer alternative to compare against.

        Still, I prefer Thunderbird even to Outlook, for a simple reason: I don't need those extra features. All I want is a mail client that can:

        • read mail effectively (including avoiding HTML bugs, not filtering out genuine .exes, etc.)
        • provide a simple and effective address book
        • provide decent mail processing rules
        • back up and restore mail without losing data
        without zillions of stability and security issues. I switched to Thunderbird after a system failure (caused by an official MS update, in fact) took out my MS-based mail system.

        I doubt I'm the only one in the world who really doesn't care about scheduling meetings and booking rooms using Outlook. I'd rather just have a simple, effective tool that helps me do my job. Trying to schedule meetings using Outlook is far less efficient than simply e-mailing, picking up the phone or (shock!) walking around and talking to people, IME.

    • One factor that slows Thunderbirds success is that so many people are locked in to Outlook as there isn't cross platform alternative.

      Thunderbird also doesn't yet have the calendering and shared contacts lists and all the other stuff that Outlook has.

      This is coming in related projects, but right now would it be wise to tell Joe the sales rep that he should dump Outlook and lose his shared calendar and contacts for Thunderbird whereas getting him to use a better, faster, safer browser in Firefox is a no

    • Re:Popularity (Score:2, Informative)

      by nukem996 (624036)
      I think thunderbird is an amazing mail client. But as said above many people dont use mail client any more. Most people use webmail, even when a mail client is avalible. When people do use a mail client most of the time its Outlook. We need a spread thunderbird campain, it probably would help with the spam/worm problem.
    • Re:Popularity (Score:2, Insightful)

      by LnxRocks (759556)
      Thunderbird's usefulness to me is cross platform e-mail. Since the linux and and windows versions use the same mail store format, just setup the store in a mutually accesible spot to all OS software and it works.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:22PM (#10982376)
    using my OS, emacs
  • Handling in Linux? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thephotoman (791574) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:22PM (#10982380) Journal
    How does it do with mailto: links from Firefox in Linux? That's the one question burning on my mind.
    • by SlashdotOgre (739181) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:27PM (#10982423) Journal
      Under Gnome, clicking a mailto: link in firefox launches the default mail program you select under Preferred Applications in gnome-control-center. If Thunderbird is your default mail client, it will launch that.
      • by bob beta (778094)
        What about us FVWM2 and Tab Window Manager (twm) (it's kinda nice, actually, and is 'built into' the base X11 distribution, i.e. it;s there by default on NetBSD, without having to add a single thing)?

    • by Vireo (190514)
      My question is somewhat related... can you open a link in a new tab in FF by middle-clicking in TB? And in general, from a user point of view, are FF and TB as tightly integrated as Mozilla Mail and Mozilla-the-browser?
    • by Accipiter (8228)
      Additionally, you can use the mozex [mozdev.org] extension to handle these types of things, completely independent of the window manager.
    • by alphan (774661)
      How does it do with mailto: links from Firefox in Linux? That's the one question burning on my mind.

      enter about:config to the addressbar

      set (or create) these key-value pairs:

      network.protocol-handler.external.mailto (bool) = true

      network.protocol-handler.app.mailto (string) = mozilla-thunderbird

  • Im surprised (Score:2, Interesting)

    by OAB_X (818333)
    Im surprised that it took so long after firefox to be released in 1.0 that thunderbird went preview. Though i can understand why they did, I always thought that they would go 1.0 together.

    I use thunderbird for all my mail, and it is much better then Outlook on windows. Good job Mozilla.
    • Re:Im surprised (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Dancin_Santa (265275)
      It's only great if you deal with English-only mail. Just about any other language introduces some pretty serious problems that prevent the widespread adoption of this outside of the US and Canada.

      The biggest issues is the inability of the mail reader to adequately auto-detect foreign character sets, so you end up with a huge jumble of garbage instead of the expected text.
  • by Nadsat (652200) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:24PM (#10982395) Homepage
    Problem with Thunderbird is that I never liked the way it handled multiple-acounts. And could not import multiple identities from Outlook very well. Hopefully this is resolved. Looking forward to Thunderbird dropping presents all over the place from the sky.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Thunderbird's identity management is much improved even in 0.9. You can now set up multiple outgoing e-mail addresses, all using the same smtp server and all linked to a single incoming account. Very handy for me as I run my own mail server which pulls e-mail from a couple of different ISP and webmail accounts.

      Previously you needed to manually edit a config file to do this but now there is a dialog box for it.

      Allan
    • That, and 0.9 refused to import mail from Netscape 7.1 (and by refused I mean didn't give the option)
      Very strange if you ask me, since I did it manually by just copying the damn profile folder over, but whatever.
    • by John_Booty (149925) <johnbooty@b[ ]yp ... g ['oot' in gap]> on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:57PM (#10982652) Homepage
      Problem with Thunderbird is that I never liked the way it handled multiple-acounts.

      I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to, but I have a feeling you didn't like the way the mail was split up, with one "Inbox" per account? A lot of people didn't like that.

      Well, the good news is that you now have a choice. For each email account, you can choose whether the mail goes into an account-specific Inbox OR a "global Inbox". So you can have all your mail in one big Inbox, if that's what you like.

      Personally, I like having separate Inboxes for each mail account, because I have many mail accounts and each one has a pretty specific purpose. One for spam, one for friends, several for business/website-related purposes, etc. But apparently the majority of users want a global Inbox, and the developers listened. Pretty cool if you ask me. :)
      • For each email account, you can choose whether the mail goes into an account-specific Inbox OR a "global Inbox". So you can have all your mail in one big Inbox, if that's what you like.

        Yeah, unless you want to use Thunderbird with your local mail spool (or "movemail" as the code calls it for no reason) -- in which case, you're out of luck: it doesn't use the global inbox (see bugzilla bug 263013) the mail notification sounds don't work (see bug 270186), and in general you get treated like a third-class c
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:25PM (#10982402)
    I'm a Thunderbird user and have been for a long time, about as long as it has existed. It's a fine email client, a good one, in fact. However, it's missing something. Missing what? I don't know. But it's missing something that would make people want to switch from the client they're already using. If it's your first client, or you're not happy with the one you're using, it's a good choice. But if you are happy, I'm not sure how to convince you to change to it.

    Spam filters? Available in other clients, either natively or through add-ons. RSS reader? I think most people that read RSS already have a reader they like. It's not the fanciest looking client, and it still has some bugs. So, how would you convince someone to use it?
    • "So, how would you convince someone to use it?"

      Well, security is as much a selling point for TB as it is for FF. Outlook/OE vulnerabilities are a big reason I still get virus attachments in my inbox every now and then.

      But I think a big reason a lot of people won't find the enthusiasm that FF has behind it is that a lot of people are content to use whatever web interface they've got. Most of the world uses aol/hotmal/yahoo/gmail as far as I can tell. Not only can you not [easily] use these accounts
      • Well, there is one reason to use a POP3 account (managable easily through Gmail without paying extra): spell checking.

        I know I'm not the only one that can't remember how to spell.

        Unfortunately, AOL, Hotmail, and Yahoo don't do POP3 for free. Yahoo does do it, but it costs $20/year (but with that, you get 2 GB and 20 MB in attachment space for each message). Hotmail stopped the service, and I have no clue about AOL.
    • You know one big advantage it has over it's competition (at least the MS flavor of competition?)

      I know exactly where my e-mail is stored on my computer. If T-bird ever crashes or if I need to copy the entire in-box I can do it easilly.

      In Outlook Express, the location of the mail is hidden. With absolutely no information on how to find it in the help-files or MS website. Further you can't export your mail to any easilly accesible format. I can't count how many messages I've lost simply because I was up
      • There's a setting buried in OE for youre "Store folder"... it points to where your mail is stored.

        But it's still fairly well buried in about 50 nested subdirectories in a non-obvious place. Bastards.
        • Um... It's far easier to change the location of your mail folder in Outlook Express than in Thunderbird, it actually works without loads of profile hackery, and the default directory is perfectly sensible and fits in with the Windows standards for application data. But apart from that, your argument was great. :-)

          Seriously, Thunderbird has many things going for it over OE, but how it stores the files on disk is not one of them.

      • I know exactly where my e-mail is stored on my computer.

        When I used Outlook Express, I knew exactly where my email was stored (it varied between Windows & IE releases, but was relatively easy to find). I use Outlook at work, and I know where my mail is stored too (If you don't, just search for a .PST file). Conversely, I'm not sure where Thunderbird stores email by default.

        As for migrating from one PC to another, all you had to do was copy the mail store (which, unfortunately, you couldn't find) to
      • One of my relatives was getting an obscure error message about the address book when starting OE. He was nagging me over the phone, so I pointed him at thunderbird.
        Next time I was actually there I tried to fix OE, and I couldn't find a way to fix the broken address book. I *think* he's still using Thunderbird since it does everything he needs, but since he hasn't had any problems I can't say for sure :).
      • Are you kidding? Drag a file from OE onto your desktop. Can you guess what happens? That's right, a plain text file with the entire source of the email.
    • by gavinjolly (584983) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:40PM (#10982524) Journal

      I have recently moved a client Off thunderbird due to issues. Refer here http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=1710 10 [mozillazine.org] for my post to the Tunderbird forums. Here is the summary of the issues from my message for those too lazy to click on the link

      • No spell check suggester
      • Limited signatures - Only one per account and no way to insert during editing a message. A pain for us who use signatures as an Autotext/proforma facility.
      • Searching for emails - In OE and other mail clients when the list is sorted by Sender clicking M will take you to the first M entry.
      • Formatting HTML emails - You cannot select HTML text and then set to the same text size from the formatting toolbar, you must go through the menu (Format > Size > Medium)

      I still use it myself as a preference.

      • by Oscar_Wilde (170568) on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:03AM (#10983689) Homepage
        No spell check suggester

        And on systems that have spell checking ability built into every GUI element that can contain text (Cocoa apps on OS X at least but I'm sure there are others) there is still no spell checking.

        It just doesn't feel right on a mac when text boxes don't let you spell check things. Perhaps this kind of thing will be more common when the rest of the software world catches up ;-)
      • Seconded (Score:4, Insightful)

        by RedBear (207369) <redbear.redbearnet@com> on Friday December 03, 2004 @03:23AM (#10983741) Homepage
        That signature issue in particular is a good indicator, I think, of the general reason why Thunderbird (and Mozilla Mail before it) never really "spread like wildfire". I'm not sure what somebody was thinking. I mean, come on. You have to create some kind of text file outside of Mozilla with Notepad or something, save it somewhere (no default location), and then go in to the preferences and browse to the location of that text file that you somehow figured out how to create. And you can only have that one text file, so only one signature unless you go through that process again. And it's either there or it isn't.

        The whole process is totally nonsensical to your average user. Other email clients will just let you choose a signature to insert from a list. That's the kind of thing people like. Thunderbird and Mozilla Mail have just been kind of rough in spots until now. Built in mail filtering not withstanding, it just hasn't had anything special to pull people away from Eudora, OE, Pegasus or Opera Mail.

        And yes, we are talking about the average Windows user here, the 95% of the population that this software is supposedly being marketed to. In that world there are a lot of users who do not know how to create a simple plain text file with Notepad.

        On Mac OS X the case for TB is pretty hopeless. Apple Mail integrates with the rest of the OS like clockwork and is a hell of a lot prettier. I'm actually kind of surprised to see Thunderbird getting to 1.0 so fast. In my opinion it still needs a lot of usability enhancements and beautifying to really compete with other email clients the way Firefox can compete on level ground with all the other browsers. Maybe a miracle has happened since 0.9, but I doubt it.

        Of course I'll still be forcing my users to use it anyway, since it's a hell of a lot better than OE on Windows.
        • Re:Seconded (Score:3, Informative)

          by Jokkey (555838)

          You have to create some kind of text file outside of Mozilla with Notepad or something, save it somewhere (no default location), and then go in to the preferences and browse to the location of that text file that you somehow figured out how to create. And you can only have that one text file, so only one signature unless you go through that process again. And it's either there or it isn't.

          It's not quite that bad. You can write the signature within Thunderbird itself, rather than using Notepad, then save

    • Easy.

      It's missing instant full-text indexing like the Opera M2 mailer has. The power you have with 4 years worth of mail instantly searchable/accessible in under a second is life-changing.

      Getting rid of folders sounds scary in the beginning, but you have stopped categorizing links after Google arrived too, haven't you? ;)

      Opera even had this feature long before GMail, but GMail got all the buzz.

      Have a look at the Opera M2 Tutorial [opera.com] if you want to know why this is one of the few non-free products I use

      • Actually no, I didn't stop categorizing after google.
        I still keep all my bookmarks in folders because google isn't perfect and I can organize my favorite pages better myself than they can. It's this reason that I still filter my mail into folders. When I remember some email I need (usually has a link or picture I want), but I don't remember exactly who sent it or the wording, I can still scroll through and find it in a reasonable amount of time.
    • Of course it is missing something. It's missing the features that allow a virus or bot to infect your machine simply by mousing-over a link, scrolling down or simply previewing the email.
    • by Nimey (114278) on Friday December 03, 2004 @12:10AM (#10982742) Homepage Journal
      What T-bird is missing vs Firefox is a monopolized market. There are a lot more email clients out there than web browsers, and I doubt that Outhouse Excess's marketshare is quite as high as IE's.
    • I made a small list of features where Thunderbird scores over Outlook express. Here use it for advocacy :-)
      1. Inbuilt junk filter
      2. Spell Checker (OE doesn't have spell checker if MS Office is not installed)
      3. Save Searches as Folders
      4. Integrated RSS reader
      5. Inline search (no separate window is popped for simple searches, has a neat search box on top)
      6. Allows creating simple Rules for filtering mail automatically
      7. Option to view contacts in a sidebar for easy finding and insertion in compose window
      8. Inline search in
  • Desired Features (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SlashdotOgre (739181) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:31PM (#10982455) Journal
    What I really wish Thunderbird would do is sync with my PocketPC. At the very least I wish it was easier to sync my address book. I also hope they have better support for vCard exporting. On a side note, does anyone know the timetable for the next major mozilla.orf milestone, Mozilla Suite 2.0, to be released?
  • A couple of things: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lawpoop (604919) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:34PM (#10982474) Homepage Journal
    1. The importing process seems to only have a wizard to import from other email programs. I would like to have the option to point to a directory or file of email to be imported.

    2. It would be really cool to have automatic virtual directories. I have my email sorted into subfolder by email address. I have rules set up to put emails into folders. Why not have this be automatic? Sort by email address, sort by folders. I wonder why no popular email client has this.

    • by jeffehobbs (419930) on Friday December 03, 2004 @12:01AM (#10982679) Homepage

      It would be really cool to have automatic virtual directories. I have my email sorted into subfolder by email address. I have rules set up to put emails into folders. Why not have this be automatic?

      Saved Search Folders [mozillazine.org] is exactly, precisely what you want, and it's in Thunderbird right now. It's an insanely great feature.

      ~jeff
      • OK I RTFA... Do I have to create the search criteria first? Do I have to do this for each and every email address? If so, it is not exactly, precisely what I want. Don't wait for me to say it, just go ahead and make search folders for my entire address book.
        • Sounds like a great Extension.

          1. Observe the Address book
          2. When a new entry is made, one is deleted, or changed, add, remove or modify a search folder.

          Writing an extension isn't that hard, and it's "probably" a lot easier that writing a plug in for Outlook.

        • by jeffehobbs (419930) on Friday December 03, 2004 @12:21AM (#10982813) Homepage

          Then it sounds like you're a candidate for "Grouped by Sort", which is a dumb name for a cool feature:

          1) sort your mail by sender.

          2) hit "G". Now all your mail is arranged in little collapsed subgroups depending on the sender/email address.

          This doesn't use folders per se, so I agree that it's not exactly, precisely what you want, but the end result is similar.

          ~jeff
  • by bersl2 (689221) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:34PM (#10982477) Journal
    1. Someone complains about Outlook Express on USENET or in a forum.
    2. ???
    3. Profit!---er... Download!
  • ....allowed you to sort by "who" (i.e., the other party, not just sender or recipient), and allowed you to filter outgoing messages and put them in the appropriate folder based on the recipient.

    Bummer.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is the Spambayes plugin for Outlook. I've used this for a while now and I simply love it. I never end up with spam in any of my inboxes, *BUT* here's the catch. I do have to check my "Possible Spam" folder every few days and see what's in there. Every so often a legitimate e-mail will end up in that folder. I can quickly & easily recover any messages I want, and then delete the rest as actual spam (which improves the training).

    Why doesn't TB offer something like SpamBayes: Good Mail, Maybe Spam, S
    • SpamBayes seemed much more on the ball at filtering spam. Maybe I haven't trained Thunderbird enough, but it lets an awful lot through.
    • by boomgopher (627124) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:08AM (#10983103) Journal
      Why doesn't TB offer something like SpamBayes: Good Mail, Maybe Spam, Spam. I tried TB a few months ago and don't like the idea of having to check dozens of spam messages to make sure a good e-mail didn't end up in there

      Dude, I've used TB for year or two now, and get a few thousand spams a week on my work account - couldn't live without Tbird. TB's spam filter trains rapidly like within a day or so it seems, and is very accurate. My account would be unusable without it.

      I have a work copy of Outlook 2003, which looked neat, but tried it for a few days with SpamBayes (well, I think it was spam bayes), and... I hated it. It took longer to train than TB, and I don't know about you, but I don't trust MS with freaking anything when it comes to security. Especially not my personal and professional emails.

      Though see my sig for a humorous bug/feature of tbird :).


  • Why Mail and News? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fred911 (83970) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:41PM (#10982530)
    I don't understand why people want a browser that has a POP and NEWS client built in? If I want to use
    POP I use my POP client (not outhouse). If I want to use NNTP I use a NEWS client.

    Why expose yourself to such a mess?
    • by znark (77857) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:59PM (#10982661) Homepage
      I don't understand why people want a browser that has a POP and NEWS client built in? If I want to use POP I use my POP client (not outhouse). If I want to use NNTP I use a NEWS client.

      E-mail and news (and offline dial-up BBS messaging of the old days) are all sides of the same coin, communication-wise:

      • You have paragraphs of text.
      • You have quoting.
      • You have signatures.
      • You need to have a message editor.
      • You usually have a need to archive important messages into folders of your own choosing.
      • Most often you would like to keep a record of what you have yourself written.
      • You need some search facilities.
      • There must be a way to see a list of new messages, and an option to thread them into coherent discussions.

      A well-written news message is the same as a well-written e-mail message. The line between the two further blurs when you subscribe to mailing lists. Why use (and learn) two different interfaces and programs for handling what is essentially the same form of communication?

      -- znark
      • I don't know how much they're really alike as communication media; but in terms of coding, if you've written an Internet email client, then you're halfway to writing a Usenet newsreader, and vice versa. (I speak from experience.) So it makes some sense to combine them, in that respect.

        In Thunderbird's case, it's also supposed to replace the news and mail portions of the old Mozilla Communicator suite, with its all-in-one approach. I suppose they could have broken it down still further, into news and mail c
      • They're even closer than that, the format of the messages *is* the same.
    • by EzInKy (115248)
      I don't understand why people want a browser that has a POP and NEWS client built in? If I want to use
      POP I use my POP client (not outhouse). If I want to use NNTP I use a NEWS client.


      The same as I consider editing, compiling, and debugging as one integrated development task I see browsing, reading email, instant messaging, and news reading as one integrated web communications task, that is why I'm sticking with Mozilla as long as I can. It's just plain convenient not to have to launch five applications
  • KMail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Helios1182 (629010) on Thursday December 02, 2004 @11:45PM (#10982563)
    I used Thunderbird back in the Windows days (say, 9 months ago or so). Since I switched to Linus (Suse w/ KDE) I've been using K-Mail. It works great, integrates well, and does everything I need. Quite frankly see no reason for Thunderbird at this point. I do have a copy installed so I can walk my Grandparents through when they have problems, but thats it. If I still had Windows I would probably use it still.
  • Helpful OS X feature (Score:3, Informative)

    by Matey-O (518004) <michaeljohnmiller@mSPAMsSPAMnSPAM.com> on Friday December 03, 2004 @12:10AM (#10982740) Homepage Journal
    Tbird is one of the few mail readers that support 'Secure Password Authentication' for people that want to read email off of a Windows 2003 POP server without Entourage on the Mac.

  • I've eagerly watched Thunderbird shape up quite a bit on the way to version 1.0 -- all the developers involved deserve a great deal of credit for what they've accomplished. Thunderbird has come a long, long way in the past three months thanks to an inspiring collection of effort, and I'd like to wholeheartedly thank them for all the hard work and dedication. These folks have created a really great email client, and I can't wait to switch my user base over to it.

    ~jeff
  • I quite like TB as an email client. Its 'learning' ability for detecting spam is brillant. But as a news reader it lags a tad.

    I know the new version has impoved grouping for threads, but I'll wait till i see it tonight before i pass judgment on that feature.

    I am still waiting for:

    * combining of encoded posts that are split,
    * mark posts for download

    As I'm a lurker in alt.binaries.pictures.wallpapers , encoded post handling is important (especialy when someone split a 400k wallpaper into 20k chunks).
    • Assuming you're on a *nix system, I would recommend Pan [rebelbase.com]. Nice GTK-based newsreader, and the only one for UNIX to get a perfect score on the Good Net-Keeping Seal of Approval evaluations. And it has all kinds of features for alt.binaries lurkers like you, for example yEnc support.

      I dunno, personally I'd probably never use my email client as a news client as well. I kinda like the two things separate... for some reason I never liked the user interface of a combined mail/news reader. But I read my mail

  • by pugugly (152978) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:27AM (#10983201)
    As a helpdesk techie, I think Thunderbird is going to have a rougher ride than Firefox.

    The problem strangely enough, is that Outlook Express was so much worse than Internet Explorer. IE isn't a great browser, but for most people until this last set of security flaws (Infection via Jpg? Yeah, that's tied too bloody close), it's "Good Enuff" - they could work around it. the only other browsers out their had fanbases, but weren't so head and shoulders above to be worth dealing with. I never cared for netscape, didn't like the packaging of mozilla, and didn't wan't to pay for opera - So I tweaked IE's security and stayed with the one that was "Good Enuff".

    So when Firefox came to maturity just as the last set of flaws finally did things even my ultra paranoid security settings (Never had an adware get through) couldn't compensate for, people were primed to leave en masse. And it's great - I can tweak it, it's portable, and it does stand head and shoulders over IE.

    Outlook express on the other hand never was "Good Enuff", for anything besides simple Email. It's really only used by people that have never bothered to try anything else. Pine and Elm have more capabilities. Everybody else moved, and has gotten to using something else that *is* good enough, and doesn't have the security holes IE had to jolt them. I have fifty+ filters I'd have to port from Eudora, others use Pegasus, or elm, webmail, or whatever.

    So the people who wanted to move, have. The people who haven't moved yet aren't just waiting on Thunderbird the way I was waiting for a browser I *liked*.

    So it's not going to hit OE as hard as Firefox hit IE.
  • by ptbarnett (159784) on Friday December 03, 2004 @01:29AM (#10983215)
    I know that MS-TNEF is generated by a lame Outlook. But, I get a lot of email from corporate clients that I wouldn't be able to read (either partially or entirely), and it's not appropriate for me to tell them it's their problem.

    I have to forward it to an account where I can use Outlook, or launch a web browser and use SquirrelMail to open the IMAP folder and read the message. I had to install a plug-in to SquirrelMail to read MS-TNEF email. If the Thunderbird team doesn't want to put it into the default installation, they could at least develop an MS-TNEF extension/plug-in for Thunderbird.

    This issue is the one that prevents me (and others) from abandoning Outlook altogether and switching to Thunderbird. Yes, I know there are some programs available that will interpret MS-TNEF. But, that requires a lot of manual effort and makes it difficult to convince the typical business user to use Thunderbird.

    • I can sure understand that you don't want to bother your correspondents with stuff they wouldn't understand anyway.

      But this MS-TNEF shit most probably comes to you through their Exchange server, where I think the problem can be fixed globally.

      Try sending a mail to their administrator about it, or to postmaster@their-domain. He probably didn't reall want the users to send out TNEF mails and will be glad to fix it when he hears about the problem. As an admin for a few small businesses, I would definitely li
  • by Animaether (411575) on Friday December 03, 2004 @05:06AM (#10984075) Journal
    I made the switch to Thunderbird a while ago because Outlook Express kept locking up on me for unknown reasons. (That's right, not because of security issues - my OE was locked down tight. And yes, this would be on the Win32 platform.)

    However, I found many issues with Thunderbird which have convinced me that although Thunderbird has more options and probably more long-term viability, it is not the better e-mail client for the average user.

    I'll list some of the issues I found in 2 weeks' time, just in regular use, below.

    And yes, don't worry, I'll go waste* an hour or two of my time perusing a giant bugzilla database to see if there's any previous report of the issues I encountered. Wouldn't want anybody just reporting it and have some sort of moderator just label it a dupe, after all. Even though they are probably able to tell, from memory, whether it is a dupe or not, and I have to spend a serious amount of time to find out :P
    ( I moderate a private Bugzilla, so I do know the issues involved. )
    * waste, depending on whether the issues get addressed. I'll happily concede if a majority of users believe that how I think things should work is not the right way.

    1. Mail Filters not applied to Local Folders on incoming mail.
    Problem: When fetching mail, the Mail Filters specified for the Local Folders group is not run automatically.
    Solution: Tools > Run Message Filters... manually
    Expected: Mail to be filtered automatically, dur.

    2. Headers area does not scroll
    Problem: When dealing with an e-mail with a lot of headers, viewing all headers causes the header area to be sufficiently large to extend outside of the screen, and there is no scrollbar to scroll down!
    Solution: View > Message Source (Ctrl+U) manually
    Expected: I'd expect a scrollbar where scrolling is required for proper operation.

    3. Message filters have no quick summary preview
    Problem: There is no quick way to see what a specific message filter does.
    Solution: Double-click the message filter or choose Edit... to see the full details
    Expected: See Outlook Express's Mail Rules dialog.
    ( yes, OE's mail rules ruleset is much more limited, but its user-friendliness is much better )

    4. Cannot rename with change-of-caps only
    Problem: When renaming a folder, say, 'test' to, say, 'Test', the warning about a folder with that name already existing pops up.
    Solution: Rename to something else first, e.g. 'Test dammit', then rename to proper target, g.g. 'Test'.
    Expected: I'd expect to just be able to change the case of a folder without it thinking I'm making 2 folders of the same name.

    5. Save dialog uses an internal variable, rather than the actual filename field, causing issues.
    Problem:
    Step1: Save an e-mail to a file called 'test'
    Step2: Start saving an e-mail to a file called 'test', but rather than hitting the Save button select the previous 'test' file and rename it (hit F2) to 'test2'
    Step3: Hit the save button
    Watch as Thunderbird complains how the file 'test2' already exists. Now check the filename field.. still reads 'test', right ? So it shouldn't try saving to 'test2'
    Solution: Go to filename field, add a character, backspace it, then hit Save.
    Expected: I expect whatever application to save the file under the filename I actually specify in the filename field - and not what it has stored in some variable.
    Note: ThunderBird isn't the only application to have this issue. Is it the use of a particular file dialog handling API ?

    6. Mail imported from OE excludes 'read/unread' flag.
    Problem: Mail imported from OE is all unread. Solution: Means you have to go mark all of them read, and then compare with OE side-by-side to mark unread that which was actually unread.
    Expected: I would've expected the read/unread status to have come across properly.

    7. There's no 'Stop processing any more rules/filters' option in Mail Filters.
    Problem:
    Filter A: [Message subject] contains [hello] move to
  • Localisation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by david.given (6740) <dg AT cowlark DOT com> on Friday December 03, 2004 @07:44AM (#10984540) Homepage Journal
    I use Thunderbird at home. I think it's great. I do think kmail is better, and I use that at work, but Thunderbird is still damn good.

    There's just one thing I don't know how to do: Thunderbird displays all dates in the bizarre M/D/Y format. Is there any way I can persuade it do display them in either D/M/Y, which is more common in this country, or in Y/M/D, which is the preferred format everywhere? There seem to be no localisation options.

  • Ximian Connector (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Danathar (267989) on Friday December 03, 2004 @08:38AM (#10984835) Journal
    Would it be possible to integrate Ximian exchange connector into thunderbird? That would be a feature that I'm sure MANY people would like.

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