Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0: STILL not ready for prime time

I would like to use Mozilla Thunderbird to read my email, since Mozilla Mail only opens links in Mozilla, and I'm happy with Firefox. I tried switching again with the release of Thunderbird 1.0. My first impression about Thunderbird 1.0 was good: it imported my mail folders, address book, even mail filters.

I've switched back to Mozilla Mail. Here's why.

1. Thunderbird has an irritating habit of blanking out the pane that displays the message information (subject, sender, etc). If it only did it once in a while, that would be one thing, but this seems to be intended, and happens all the time. It shouldn't have been.

2. Slowness. Thunderbird would often show the hourglass wait icon, sometimes for reasons that still elude me. Granted, I have a complicated setup: 3 accounts, one of them a secure connection, and all using IMAP. But Mozilla Mail deals with it much more gracefully.

3. Worse, Thunderbird randomly crashed three or four times on me for no apparent reason. Googling led to some information that said I should delete my XUL cache. (Thunderbird uses this to keep track of all the menus and such.) What the heck, I did. It seemed to crash less after that. Not something you should need to do for an allegedly 1.0 version.

3. The dealbreaker? Spam. I wasn't surprised that I might have to train Thunderbird spam filter, and sure enough, 17 spam emails landed in my inbox. So I marked all 17 spam messages as spam, and they just sat there.

I checked the setting: it was indeed set to move spam to the Junk folder on marking. I tried the Run Junk Mail Controls on Folder command: nothing. I gave Thunderbird the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe it somehow didn't get that these were spam, so I tried a promising-looking function that would delete mail marked as spam in the current folder: nada.

Rather irritated, I quit Thunderbird and got back into it. The Mark submenu I use to mark spam had vanished. Mark was still there, but there was no arrow showing that it would expand out. Come on! I guess I wore it out from so much use. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. (It's possible, now that I think about it, that the menu was still there, just the arrow was missing, but I'm not going to use a program that flaky. )

Not only that, but when I pulled up my Task Manager, it was still running after I quit it. After killing it, I uninstalled with extreme prejudice.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Thursday, December 9, 2004 (Link)


Posted by motorbelly Saturday, December 11, 2004 at 08:40 PM

I am sorry to read this but am glad I saw it. I too am thinking of making the jump from Mozilla Mail 1.73 to Thunderbird, but I have been hesitant.

Staying with Mozilla Mail has meant clicking links in mail opens Mozilla even though Firefox is my default browser, I haven't figured out how to fix this yet.

I thank you for your posting here as I believe I'll delay a bit longer before I jump.

Posted by Shannon Sunday, December 12, 2004 at 02:03 AM

There is a setting to keep it from blanking out the message window. It's under Tools>Options>General. There's a little window regarding the Thunderbird Start Page. Make sure the box is unchecked, and it won't do that anymore - at least it hasn't for me.

I haven't had random crashes or anything. I've only been using it for a short time, though. No weird hanging up for me either. I have 6 email accounts set up, too.

I'll let you know if it starts flaking out on me.

Posted by InvisiBill Wednesday, December 15, 2004 at 09:39 AM

I've been using Thunderbird since its initial release. I started using it as my default somewhere around 0.4.

The only one of those issues I have experienced is slowness. I found that it was caused by having a huge number of messages in one folder. As soon as I deleted and rearranged some emails, the slowness disappeared.

I believe there were/are issues with the Bayes spam filtering on IMAP. That could be causing or contributing to some of your issues.

I would suggest deleting the entire install directory, as well as your profile directory, and starting over. It sounds like something is mucked up. I honestly don't remember Thunderbird ever crashing on me (even in the early stages). It's definitely less than Firefox, and even its crashes are few and far between.

Regarding Mozilla Mail links opening in Mozilla, that's hard coded. There's no way to make them open elsewhere.