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A Pointed Critique of Thunderbird 3's Performance Compared to v.2

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the should've-stopped-while-ahead dept.

Mozilla 234

PerfProtector writes "Did you recently install Thunderbird 3 or upgrade from Thunderbird 2 to Thunderbird 3? Did you notice any severe slowdown in your machine or a major decrease in its performance? Well, many people around the world encountered these problems. We wrote a technical analysis about the severe problems that are caused by Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client. These problems include anomalous usage of CPU, memory, hard disk and Internet bandwidth. You can read the full analysis, including several graphs that show how bad the situation is and what went wrong from Thunderbird 2 to Thunderbird 3. For example, while CPU utilization of Thunderbird 2 is usually between 0% to 10%, with an average of 0.3%, Thunderbird 3 CPU utilization is between 5% to 80%, with an average of 30% — 100 times more than Thunderbird 2. In addition, during long periods of time, Thunderbird 3 used more than 50% of the overall CPU resources.This behavior slows dramatically the whole machine." It's worth noting that this analysis comes from developers who have developed a (freeware) tool they claim will improve Thunderbird's performance, but they explain also how to do so with manual changes.

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234 comments

Indexing (5, Informative)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153260)

I have not really seen this behavior, but have seen it get stuck doing some kind of indexing forever, or at least until I restart Thunderbird.

Re:Indexing (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153498)

We wrote a technical analysis about the the severe problems that are caused by Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client.

While the the post from yesterday regarding the bettered done was byfar the the biggest slip up of grammar ever seen, this one is mild...

Re:Indexing (2, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154488)

Sounds like it's been written by an Indian. "Please to be ignoring definite article".

Re:Indexing (2, Informative)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153564)

I noticed that all the indexing was a big drain right away, so disabled it. I do have 4 email accounts, all IMAP, with 10k, 15k, 2k, and 200 messages, respectively.

Re:Indexing (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154330)

When I first installed v3 I disabled indexing too, with only two IMAP accounts, because it was dog slow.

And it actually crashed quite a bit for me under Lucid Lynx. I finally gave up on TB and switched to Evolution. That is also quite slow, at least to start up, but things like calendars (Google, tasks (RTM - read only, unfortunately) and memos (Tomboy sync) are much better integrated.

Re:Indexing (1)

cryoknight (313161) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154404)

"On My Machine":

According to Task Manager (win7 x64), Thunderbird takes up roughly 0% CPU time while I just have it running in the background (say, while typing out this comment).
When I hit the Check Mail button, the CPU usage peaks at a whopping 9% during the next few seconds, and is then back down to 0% once the email is downloaded.
That being said, the only email that requires indexing is that which is downloaded each time I check my email. My other ~150k messages over 2 email addresses, are already indexed.
Using http mail (hotmail + gmail, via thunderbird plugins)

Re:Indexing (2, Interesting)

andyi (959526) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154440)

I definitely noticed this performance hit. I use POP for several accounts, one of which holds over 100,000 emails. Once I archived the bulk of them using Thunderbird's archive, the indexing penalty seemed to disappear completely. Now, I still have access to the archive for searching, but since it doesn't change, there's no new indexing done on it.

Did I notice a severe slowdown? (5, Interesting)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153270)

Nope.

Did I notice any slowdown at all?

Nope....

Solutions for problems that (to me) don't exist...

Re:Did I notice a severe slowdown? (1)

Pandur77 (1172799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153652)

I run Thunderbird 3 in the background at all times. I use it to check 3 email adresses via imap. According to my G15 keyboard my computer is using 0-2% cpu while I'm typing this in Opera with 8 open webpages, Steam, Live messenger and Thunderbird is running in the background.

Re:Did I notice a severe slowdown? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33153774)

They can keep their Thunderbird 3. I'll stick to Thunderbird 2 indefinitely, thank you very much. Sure, they say TB2 is discontinued now, but IMHO it was a *big* mistake to discontinue TB2 in favor of the - vastly inferior - TB3. Newer Is Not Always Better.

Re:Did I notice a severe slowdown? NO (4, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153886)

I also use Thunderbird 3 for 2 pop mailboxes and 1 imap mailbox (with about 8 email addresses in aggregate). No slowdown or resource-hogging has been observed. It appears just as snappy as Thunderbird 2 was, but with a few new features.

FYI, this is not on a multi-core speed-demon PC. We run Thunderbird on a 7-year-old Pentium-M laptop (Ubuntu 10.04).

Re:Did I notice a severe slowdown? (2, Interesting)

rssrss (686344) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153986)

Me neither. The only thing that bothers me is that it doesn't write new mail in the tabs.

Re:Did I notice a severe slowdown? (4, Interesting)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154114)

Well your lucky then. I upgraded to thunderbird 3 half a year ago and had to downgrade back to thunderbird 2. The reasons were exactly the same as the article, all around poor performance, many crashes and problems. I tried some fixes such as disabling indexing, but they only made it bearable. Thunderbird 2 however is rock solid on my quad core machine.

Do you use both imap and pop? Are you on linux instead of windows? There is probably some way you are using the program that does not reflect the majority. I have heard many reports of people with problems with thunderbird 3 performance. Simply take a look at their forums to get a good sampling.

Re:Did I notice a severe slowdown? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33154284)

Well your [sic] lucky then.

Given the majority of the replies here, I would conclude that you're unlucky.

Re:Did I notice a severe slowdown? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33154444)

Listen, I run Thunderbird 3 everyday on both Windows and Linux. I connect to IMAP and gmail. The Linux system also connects to an Exchange server (via IMAP). No problems at all.

Thunderbird 3 is fine. It runs as fine as 2 did, as others here have already widely reported.

Clearly, there is something wrong with your system that is causing Thunderbird 3 to perform poorly for you. I suggest you clean up your system instead of spreading FUD because you will see there is no problem with Thunderbird 3.

Re:Did I notice a severe slowdown? (1)

Xamindar (533756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154578)

Well your lucky then. I upgraded to thunderbird 3 half a year ago and had to downgrade back to thunderbird 2. The reasons were exactly the same as the article, all around poor performance, many crashes and problems. I tried some fixes such as disabling indexing, but they only made it bearable. Thunderbird 2 however is rock solid on my quad core machine.

Do you use both imap and pop? Are you on linux instead of windows? There is probably some way you are using the program that does not reflect the majority. I have heard many reports of people with problems with thunderbird 3 performance. Simply take a look at their forums to get a good sampling.

I have three gmail accounts (imap) and one pop in Thunderbird. I had this issue that the article talks about when Thunderbird 2 was upgraded to 3. It would get to the point that closing Thunderbird would not work. I would have to kill -9 the process to get rid of it and the total use of one of my processors. The sollution in my case was to delete all my account folders and settings and recreate them from scratch. Since they are imap it was no big deal.

Is it possible something from version 2 to 3 is the cause? Does a fresh setup of 3 with email accounts produce the same problem?

Re:Did I notice a severe slowdown? (2, Informative)

Monkey_Genius (669908) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154562)

Haven't noticed the issue on OS X 10.6.4 --I wish the same could be said for Firefox though on both OS X and Windows. An interesting note, as I was reading the summary, TB popped-up a dialog that said v3.1.2 was available.

Limited problems (4, Informative)

snd_chaser (104514) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153346)

Seems like this only affects

A) People with very large mailboxes
B) People using IMAP
C) A + B

I haven't encountered any problems with Thunderbird 3.

Re:Limited problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33153494)

Neither have I...

Re:Limited problems (1)

gambino21 (809810) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153524)

I'm using Thunderbird 3 on Fedora 13 to access my mail over IMAP. I'm not sure how much is "very large" but I have about 11,000 messages in my inbox now, and several folders with a total of probably 100,000 messages. I haven't seen any performance problems compared to Thunderbird 2.

Re:Limited problems (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154050)

"I'm using Thunderbird 3 on Fedora 13 "

I am using Linux as well and have no issues. Here is my usage per the top utility:

PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
7687 joe 20 0 1038m 85m 18m S 0 2.8 9:01.82 thunderbird-bin

The 0 and 2.8 represent CPU usage and Memory Usage respectively (idiotic slashcode doesn't honour my request to add whitespace). The article mentions Ubuntu Linux in passing, but they don't offer much information about their setup beyond that. Most likely the problem is not Thunderbird, as there are many, many, many "no problem here" posts already. Unfortunately, there is no way to figure out what they are doing wrong, because they simply don't give nearly enough information to do that :-( Off the top of my head, I am wondering if maybe they have multiple machines set up to use the same IMAP account at the same time, or something similarly atypical.

Re:Limited problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33154124)

I haven't used Thunderbird in a while, but just installed it because of this article to check out.

ArchLinux
Core 2 Duo 2.4GHZ
3GB RAM
10k+ e-mails
IMAP off of an Exchange server

On the first connection, it sucked up about 15-40% of my CPU for 10 minutes or so and a good 0.5GB memory. After it had retrieved everything CPU dropped to nothing and it's currently using about 35M of RAM.

Not sure what they're talking about, at least with this config.

Re:Limited problems (3, Informative)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154204)

Seems like this only affects

D) Random other factors (maybe whether the profile was upgraded or wiped out and created anew?)
E) C + D

I've never voluntarily deleted a single non-spam email that was sent directly to me (eg, I've pruned old mailing list messages, but not stuff in my main inbox). As of this moment, I'm using Thunderbird 3 and IMAP to access 84,000 emails taking about 2GB on the server. It's still fast and responsive, and uses few resources while idle.

Re:Limited problems (1)

rcrodgers (1233228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154536)

While I count as one of the C people, the performance I encounter in Thunderbird 3 even affect me when I'm utilizing an account with a few dozen messages, and even when trying to send email, not just read messages. I'm experiencing problems on both Windows Vista (64-bit) and Fedora 13 (also 64-bit) with 6 GB RAM; I don't think that I'm running into a low memory situation when Thunderbird takes sudden pauses. Case in point, I went to send an email to a friend on an account with 15 messages in the mailbox (for simplicity's sake, I switch to the inbox of the account I'm working with so I don't have to be as careful in choosing an account in the send message window), Thunderbird paused for 45 seconds or so while I was trying to type the message, then resumed normal operation for a few minutes, then paused again. Heck, even just reading RSS feeds in v3 is pause filled. I didn't get this behavior under v2 with the exact same account configurations. Nonetheless, it's not something that is completely unbearable...

A Solution Looking for a Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33153376)

Thunderbird is the only mail client I use. I did not notice any slow down after version 3...

Seemed faster to me (1)

rsayers (987262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153404)

I thought thunderbird3 was faster over all. Even if normal operations were a little more sluggish, the increased search speed would make me not mind.

Non-issue (1)

jamincollins (599712) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153408)

I run two instances of Thunderbird 3.0 here, with two separate profiles (personal and work). Overall, my CPU 96% idle at most times. that's even with Chrome and Opera sessions open. More often I find that Opera's plugin wrapper freaks out and wildly thrashes on one of my cores. Can't say I've ever seen Thunderbird consume huge amounts of CPU time other than when I've asked it to do some massive operation (some operation on hundreds to thousands of e-mails). Even searching my entire mailbox (personal or work) doesn't cause it to consume much if any CPU time.

Re:Non-issue (2, Informative)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153906)

I think you'll find searching is now an even cheaper operation, since the slowdown seems to be caused by the background indexing service. So actual searches should be using a perpetually-maintained index now and be really snappy.

I see an indexing-related message in the notification area occasionally, but it has never really affected anything I wanted to do. I may have had to wait a second or two to get into a folder right after I've received a bunch of mail, but not often and the delay is short enough as to be pretty much unnoticeable.

Well, except right after the upgrade, when it had to index all of the emails it discovered in my folders. That caught me by surprise and took a while, and I had sporadic access to my precious saved email during the process, which was unsettling.

It would have been nice to get a "do you want to index your messages now, or turn off indexing?" prompt on first startup, because the slowdowns made me think Thunderbird had boned my email store and I'd have to go to backups.

On the other hand, that was a one-time hassle and I love the new instant search.

Re:Non-issue (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154116)

Their problem seems to be that it's downloading and indexing a multi-GB IMAP mailbox. If you're indexing local messages during an upgrade there's no download, so it's only going to take as long as your disk can get through it.

In the tested situation it's downloading, storing, then indexing. So it's tying everything up for a very long period of time until all that is done.

New features consume resources, news at 7 (5, Insightful)

TheMeld (13880) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153416)

Yes, storing and providing full text search over a large pile of email consumes resources ... duuuh?

Also they're measuring the performance of Thunderbird while converting to the new system, not in its steady state. This is like complaining that Firefox uses a lot more CPU importing settings from IE than IE uses when looking at your home page.

Their claim as to how long it took to do the full text indexing of the mail seems dubious to me. I've got a similar amount of mail, and the time it took to index was more like minutes, not days.

Re:New features consume resources, news at 7 (1)

JernejL (1092807) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153624)

I use thunderbird with imap at work and it never stops hogging resources, this keeps going and going forever after you update to V3, it doesn't matter what settings you turn off.

Re:New features consume resources, news at 7 (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154024)

I use Thunderbird with IMAP at work and top says that it's currently hogging 0.00% of CPU and 368MB (out of 8192MB) of RAM. This has been typical since updating to V3; it doesn't matter what settings you turn on.

That doesn't disprove your experience in any way. I just wanted to point out that Thunderbird isn't universally a hog for everyone who runs it.

Re:New features consume resources, news at 7 (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154144)

I realize it offers a lot of functionality, but there's still a part of me that bristles at the idea of an e-mail client eating 368 MB of RAM. Granted, relative to your total system memory it's pretty menial, but it still floors me.

Re:New features consume resources, news at 7 (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154266)

I know. Having cut my teeth on a C=64, it's hard to wrap my brain around a single desktop application using that much RAM. I console myself with the thought that it's putting a couple gigs of data at my fingertips, should I ever need to access it that quickly.

Re:New features consume resources, news at 7 (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154508)

368MB?! Holy cow – mine's only at 18MB at the moment and rarely goes over 60.

Re:New features consume resources, news at 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33153784)

Yes, storing and providing full text search over a large pile of email consumes resources ... duuuh?

IMAP4 has a "SEARCH" capability in the base standard (section 6.4.4 of RFC 3501). If an IMAP client detects the server has this capability, why not just let the server handle it by default?

I can understand downloading messages (slowly) in the background for caching, but it should be a lazy update.

IMAP has designed to work over CDPD, [1] so there's no reason why a modern client would need to use more bandwidth for base functionality (get a list of mailboxes, new messages, change flags, etc.). Message volume and size has increased, and bandwidth is helpful there, but even indexing and threading can be handled by the server (with lazy pulls by the client to update local indexes for caching).

I think it's just a matter of TB being too aggressive.

[1] http://groups.google.ca/group/linux.redhat.misc/msg/e8ea4850193e28ae

Re:New features consume resources, news at 7 (2, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154066)

IMAP4 has a "SEARCH" capability in the base standard (section 6.4.4 of RFC 3501). If an IMAP client detects the server has this capability, why not just let the server handle it by default?

For the sake of my laziness and for everyone else reading along, is there an official recommended setting in Thunderbird to tell to use only server-side searching on a particular account and not to bother indexing it?

Re:New features consume resources, news at 7 (2, Interesting)

N7DR (536428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154000)

Their claim as to how long it took to do the full text indexing of the mail seems dubious to me. I've got a similar amount of mail, and the time it took to index was more like minutes, not days.

Must be a YMMV thing. After four days of waiting for 30 seconds or more at a time just to do simple things [and even longer just to exit the program; the OS kept inviting me to kill the program since it didn't actually close sufficiently quickly -- every time I exited; that got real old real quickly], I turned off all the indexing. I kept hoping that it would finally finish indexing, but there was no indication here that it was ever going to do so. It seemed (here... again, YMMV) that simply receiving a new e-mail into a folder would cause the entire folder to be reindexed. When one has more than ten thousand e-mails in a folder, that brings even a powerful machine to its knees.

I've experienced nothing of the sort (1)

jijacob (943393) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153426)

I don't have a particularly large mailbox (5,000 emails), but I do use IMAP, and noticed no slowdown whatsoever. I do have a Core i5 processor so CPU usage probably isn't as noticeable to me as it would be for someone running a P4, but as I post this Thunderbird has been open for a couple weeks straight, and CPU usage is right around 0%, peaking at 15% when I am actively opening emails and organizing stuff.

Oh boy (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153436)

In my humble experience, Thunderbird 2 was all ready much slower than Outlook Express (the switch was reversed after two weeks). Sounds like I'll be stuck with OE for a while longer.

Re:Oh boy (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154150)

Well, depends if you want to stay on Windows XP or prior... Outlook Express has been discontinued since Vista. Just saying.

Summary Fail (5, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153470)

Would be nice to mention that the increases are due to use of search indexing and/or IMAP account synchronization (especially with a large amount of e-mail). They don't do a comparison of what happens when you turn those off which I think would be more useful.

On a side note I was bored with the apparently stagnation of Thunderbird (I couldn't even find a good Aero Glass extension that worked during the 3.1 beta) I tried Windows Live Mail. It was interesting up until the point where it refused to show any mail from one of my accounts and insisted it wasn't failing. At least Thunderbird actually worked...

Switched one of my machines to Linux and am using Evolution which is actually quite nice... the account setup was far more pleasant and simple than Thunderbird or WLM and both my accounts worked fine.

99 times more average CPU usage, not 100 times (-1, Troll)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153508)

For example, while CPU utilization of Thunderbird 2 is usually between 0% to 10%, with an average of 0.3%, Thunderbird 3 CPU utilization is between 5% to 80% with an average of 30% -- 100 times more than Thunderbird 2.

Actually, 30% is only 99 times more than 0.3%. If you wanted to use the 100 figure, you'd need to say "100 times that of Thunderbird 2".

Re:99 times more average CPU usage, not 100 times (1)

Maarx (1794262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153704)

At first, I was momentarily shocked that I wasn't the only one that caught that, until I remembered this is a website full of CompSci's and pretty much all we do is hunt down off-by-one-bugs.

Re:99 times more average CPU usage, not 100 times (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154026)

What's more surprising is that several times in the past I've had people here reply that I'm wrong, that 100 times more than 0.3 really is 30. Usually once I give examples like "Well, how many times more than 0.3 is 0.3?" they see their error.

Re:99 times more average CPU usage, not 100 times (3, Funny)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153712)

I suspect you are 99 times more pedantic than the article writer :)

Re:99 times more average CPU usage, not 100 times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33153730)

For example, while CPU utilization of Thunderbird 2 is usually between 0% to 10%, with an average of 0.3%, Thunderbird 3 CPU utilization is between 5% to 80% with an average of 30% -- 100 times more than Thunderbird 2.

Actually, 30% is only 99 times more than 0.3%. If you wanted to use the 100 figure, you'd need to say "100 times that of Thunderbird 2".

ummm what math are you using?

$ bc
bc 1.06.95
Copyright 1991-1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
For details type `warranty'.
0.3*99
29.7
0.3*100
30.0

Re:99 times more average CPU usage, not 100 times (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153950)

ummm what math are you using?

$ bc bc 1.06.95
Copyright 1991-1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
For details type `warranty'.
0.3*99
29.7
0.3*100
30.0

0.3*99 ; "99 times"
29.7
29.7+0.3 ; "more than 0.3" <-- you left this step out
30.0

Re:99 times more average CPU usage, not 100 times (1)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153964)

Note the 'more'. It is 99 times 'more', and thus a 100 times the 0.3 figure.

Re:99 times more average CPU usage, not 100 times (1, Informative)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154068)

100 times more:

y = x + 100x

y= 101x

100 times as much:

y = 100x

Make sense now?

Re:99 times more average CPU usage, not 100 times (1)

Archtech (159117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154160)

Noticing from this thread that 3.1.2 was available, I applied it and restarted Thunderbird. Five minutes later, its accumulated CPU time since the restart is 00:00.03. That is 30 milliseconds. CPU usage, of course, is 00%. Peak working set a little over 113KB.

I've got three accounts in one profile, with all sent and received messages back to about 1997. Many, many thousands of them.

Re:99 times more average CPU usage, not 100 times (1)

Archtech (159117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154256)

Then I told it to search all my emails for the string "gorilla". That saturated one of my eight cores (so about 10-12% CPU usage) for 1 minute and 20 seconds of CPU time. But what the hey - the other seven cores were still at my disposal.

Mozilla Suite (1)

dereference (875531) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153566)

Long ago, in the days of Netscape 6/7/8, the mail client of what was later Mozilla Suite (now SeaMonkey) was absolutely fantastic in terms of performance. The "new" standalone Thunderbird as introduced was horribly slow by comparison, and has only gotten substantially slower over time, even on the same hardware with roughly the same level and rate of messages. I haven't tried SeaMonkey recently, but several years ago it seemed an order of magnitude faster than Thunderbird. Does anybody know how Mozilla managed to make the standalone product so slow?

stupid propritary (5, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153642)

This is why all software you use must be open source, this wouldn't happen if people were able to get in and see the code that is actually causing the problems

Re:stupid propritary (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33153834)

This is why all software you use must be open source, this wouldn't happen if people were able to get in and see the code that is actually causing the problems

Oh My God, Quick before anyone looks I've found the source for Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1 stop the freakin presses!!!!

ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/releases/3.1/source

Now we can fix all those problems in the pesky proprietary Thunderbird.

Thunderbird 3 is *much* faster! (5, Funny)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153700)

It can go into orbit!

Thunderbird 2 is heavy and can only go supersonic!

There's no contest! What planet are you guys on?

Link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbirds_machines [wikipedia.org]

Apples and oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33153734)

You can't compare the two. Thunderbird 3 is a space vehicle and Thunderbird 2 operates in the Earth's atmosphere.

Of course 2 will be s-s-s-slower.

H. K. Hackenbacker

Closed, Won't Fix (1, Insightful)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153770)

Almost every message above this one (that I have read at this time) is a prime example of what people hate about nerds (and by extension much of OSS forums/support).

They built MF'ing graphs and detailed analyses of the issue. It is obvious that *something* is seriously broken.
From the comments it is apparent that few clicked through to the article ( "I can't reproduce it, sucks to be you" or "stupid n00b ought to know better" or "Thunderbird? Meh.") and those that may have just decided "too long, did not read".

It is goddamned Digg.com with a different color scheme.

If a conversation of the issue is to be found... it will be buried under a mountain of hubris.

Re:Closed, Won't Fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33154260)

If a conversation of the issue is to be found... it will be buried under a mountain of hubris.

We need a FOSS de-hubrisizer, an anti-Hubrinator if you will. Why don't you code one? I would but my PL1 skilz are rusty.

Re:Closed, Won't Fix (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154600)

From the comments it is apparent that few clicked through to the article ( "I can't reproduce it, sucks to be you" or "stupid n00b ought to know better" or "Thunderbird? Meh.")

I spoke up not to defend Thunderbird but to provide more data points. On my system, Thunderbird 3 runs fine - even with indexing and local caching enabled. I don't doubt that it runs like crap for other people and would never dispute that.

Critical details missing (1)

itomato (91092) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153818)

The graphs are nice, but they don't tell the whole story.

What builds?

I have noticed severe memory leaks with Mozilla apps not at stable release level.

TFA by 'Perf Protector' says 'a beta tester' is providing the data - from an 'infected' Windows machine, apparently in a corporate environment.

Coincidentally(?) 'Perf Protector' is the tool used to generate the graphs as well as the handle of the poster. Is this a soft anti-Mozilla Slashvertisement for a Windows performance monitoring tool?
 

Who still uses a local email client? (1, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153826)

Seriously, they require your computer to go everywhere you do. Web email is the way to go.

Plus all the thunderbird users are annoying because they send messages every coupe years about their email changing because they changed ISPs.

One web-based email account fan fix all that.

If your internet is out -either at the provider or your house, then what good is email anyway?

Re:Who still uses a local email client? (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153902)

You know that you can set up these email clients to work with your web email, right?

That's why they're called email clients and not email servers. Thunderbird can access your hotmail, gmail, and exchange account. Makes it easier than having to log in to each item.

Re:Who still uses a local email client? (2, Insightful)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153974)

If your ISP changes, does your email address remain the same just because you use webmail? Didn't think so.

If your ISP changes, and you use *their* webmail, how do you access your old emails?

I have emails going back 10+ years, stored in my local Thunderbird archives, and I've changed email addresses & ISP's more times than I care to remember.

Re:Who still uses a local email client? (3, Informative)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154106)

IMAP is the way to go. You can have your webmail client wherever you go. But at home, the performance of a desktop client is better. Read/unread status is propagated, and any labels and flags are as well. Gmail supports this fairly well.
 
Users of ISP email is a strawman that has no place in this discussion.

Re:Who still uses a local email client? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33154110)

Web email is the way to go.

Except when the web interface sucks. Which is the case for my work email: there is a web interface but it is terrible, so I access my email over IMAP using Thunderbird.

Seriously, they require your computer to go everywhere you do.

Once upon a time, maybe. I access my work email using Thunderbird when at work, on my mobile phone when I'm on the go, and from the (crappy) web client when I'm at home. I access my personal email (Gmail account) using Thunderbird at home, using the web when I'm at work, and on my mobile phone when I'm on the go. I download local copies, but it's all stored server-side, so I can access it from anywhere. Some web clients are great, others are not, so it's great having the option for either using the web or a standalone email client to access my mail.

Really, the age of the standalone email client is far from gone.

Re:Who still uses a local email client? (1)

dOxxx (8571) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154196)

Apple Cube G4 + Debian + dovecot + cable internet + DynDNS + registered domain = portable email that doesn't suck.

Slowdowns not the only problem (1)

frisket (149522) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153838)

I've been a devotee of Tbird ever since I junked Evolution because it spent too much time housekeeping and it appeared to open and load every folder of every mailbox every time it started. I wanted a mailer that would only open a folder when I clicked on it.

Now Tbird (3) seems to spend all its time indexing something. I have no idea why — I didn't ask it to, and it's slowing down the whole operation, whatever about its use of memory and other problems.

It has certainly slowed down, and sometimes when it stops to think, the screen greys out for a minute or so (this is a rather old machine).

What happened to the fast and effective mailer we used to have? Fortunately I still keep a copy of Elm...

Dear Sunbird... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33153850)

You will be sorely missed.

Duh? (5, Informative)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153892)

The two proposed changes in the article are to :
- disable the global indexer
- disable caching of messages to the local computer

It should come as no surprise that these two features increase cpu load and bandwidth consumption respectively...

Re:Duh? (4, Interesting)

DerPflanz (525793) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154036)

The two proposed changes in the article are to :
- disable the global indexer
- disable caching of messages to the local computer

I consider it a design flaw that these two settings are on by default, also for IMAP folders. The whole point of IMAP folders is to keep your email on the server. I don't want to download 4+ years worth of e-mail to my computer. I had the same problems and immediately switch these two options off on any new installations.

I found this already on May 5th [friesoft.nl]. Didn't know about the options though. I ditched version 3 for 2 for a short perios of time afterwards.

Graphs and First 48 Hours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33153926)

The graphs are only showing the first 48 hours after install and account setup. It mentions that it took 3 days, which is more than 48 hours.

What is the long term view? If I start TB2 and TB3 and let them run a week, what does it look like after the initial indexing and everything? Let them index and everything, then turn them off for 24 hours and turn them back on?

To me it is like showing my car gets only 1-2 MPG when I am stuck in traffic(stop and go, at a red light or something), ignoring that 99% of the time I am not in that state.

Profile file explosion! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33153960)

The BIGGEST pain in the ass of all this was TB 3.0.4 , which would cause a mail file explosion on existing 2.0 profiles. TB 3.0.3 did not do this!!!!

Its quite amazing to see TB mail files that increment up to the remainder of your free HD space over the period of 24 hours. Starting out with 100+GB free space the day before and wondering why your XP, or Win 7 machine is at a stand still with 0 free space gets a quick trouble call when the user, or BOSS, can't do ANYTHING!

TB as gotten better, but, I have users (the Boss) who WILL NOT move to 3. EVER! It's been blacklisted by him and we now have to find something else for him to use, despite any fixes that TB 3 releases in the fture. (presently he's on TB 2, which was EOL'd...)

Yes, he's stubborn, but he seemingly has NO downtime. Ever. Yes, EVER!

I miss Sunbird (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33153962)

The only thing I didn't like about Thunderbird 3 was that the calendar plugins all stopped working. I like having a calendar integrated with my email client. But I just went to Google's calendar and imported my last calendar file from Thinderbird into it, and all was well. It's not as nice, but it works.

Well of course.... (1)

PapaBoojum (232247) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154008)

Thunderbird 2 was a big fat cargo carrier. Thunderbird 3 was a big sleek rocket. Off course it will be faster. Unless the guy operating the marionette strings falls asleep or something.

Moved to web-based mail (1)

Slider451 (514881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154074)

I was one of the last of my friends to give up the desktop mail client. I was an email packrat and kept everything, archiving off messages once in a while. I have archives going back to 1995 using the predecessor to MS Outlook and the earliest Netscape offerings. But once I moved my domain mx record to Google mail a couple years ago I dumped the clients and haven't looked back. I've felt completely liberated ever since. Using one IMAP mailbox accessible from browsers and mobile apps anywhere is the way to go. The only disadvantage I can see for some is off-line reading. I thought it might be an issue for me but it hasn't been.

Re:Moved to web-based mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33154218)

I can't stand gmail's threaded message list and the fact that it can't be disabled. If they would fix that, I think I'd drop thunderbird.

Re:Moved to web-based mail (1)

Slider451 (514881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154514)

That is annoying, sometimes. I could escape it by looking at mail on my iPhone. But now the iPhone 4 OS does it, too.

Thunderbird 3 bugs (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154084)

I use Thunderbird 3.1.2 with a pair of IMAP accounts. I've noticed the following:

1. The Archive folders shouldn't have "unread" messages in them. This causes strange bugs where Thunderbird shows messages in Archives on the new message list when I receive additional email, despite me having already viewed the copy of the same message in my Inbox.
2. Since 3.1, Thunderbird randomly stops responding. It's literally unusable for 15-20 seconds chunks, sometimes longer. Sometimes when I'm switching messages in my Inbox, sometimes when I'm writing an email to someone else.

If older software didn't tend to have more security holes than older software, I'd switch back to Thunderbird 2, which didn't have either of these problems.

eats disk space (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154166)

I saw thunderbird 3 go crazy and keep redownloading and indexing the same messages from an imap server over and over and over until it turned a couple hundred MB of email into 34GB and completely filled the user's hard drive. The only thing that stopped it was to remove the program and delete the profile. No problems with thunderbird 2 or outlook on the same imap server. Thunderbird 3 while it has nice features has some serious bugs. Be warned!

They're not lying (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154174)

There is most definitely a performance problem and resource abuse issue with Thunderbird 3. The Portable version can't even run correctly at all from any but the fastest external Flash/SSD media, instead it must be run from an external HDD; otherwise the user interface takes extended sabbaticals for ten seconds at a time when even the mouse is ignored. It isn't simply the indexing feature, because explicitly disabling it in the configuration did nothing to relieve the above symptoms. I can't claim to know the exact nature of the cause, but running the Portable version from typical Flash media is a deal-breaker. It works well enough from even a slow 4200 RPM external HDD on both my desktop and laptop systems, but every piece of Flash media I tried made it unusable.

Thunderbird has other major usability bugs that aren't being addressed as well, things that would easily qualify for "papercut" status. An example: the "new" status assigned to retrieved messages disappears from all messages in accounts seemingly randomly at the drop of a hat: when opening and closing messages in a new window, deleting messages, compacting folders, or even just clicking from one account (folder) to another without doing anything else.

Basically I think all of Mozilla's energy is focused on Firefox, and Thunderbird isn't seeing much attention.

Re:They're not lying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33154268)

A whole lot of those papercut issues were with the Core product that is the basis for both Firefox and Thunderbird, so you'll see whatever improves Firefox 4 will also improve Thunderbird 4.

Spamchecking is way faster than TB2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33154192)

My ISP runs SpamAssassin on my incoming mail and moves spam to a junk mail folder. Some mails slips thru, so I train TB's spam filter on my junk mail folder. TB3 screams thru that folder compared to TB2. In TB2 you can easily follow the progress by rolling the mouse wheel, but in TB3 you'll have to follow it by pressing page down if you manage to catch up.

Mork (5, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154292)

The problem is Mork. It's a stupid old database that Mozilla products are saddled with. When you have a big one, the whole damn thing needs to be loaded into memory to be parsed. Big folder? Bam, there goes a hundred megs of RAM. Swap if needed.

Replacing Mork with sqlite started a long time ago, has achieved limited success in some Mozilla products, and has been effectively abandoned in Thunderbird.

All this burns tremendously more computing resources than are really needed. Why does Mozilla hate the environment?

Improved (1)

Denis Lemire (27713) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154354)

I have actually found the opposite, Thunderbird 2.x in OS X was dog slow and prone to random periods of non-responsiveness. Thunderbird 3.x on the other hand has been quite snappy.

Crap C++ code (1)

bored (40072) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154412)

I run thunderbird, and disabled the indexer a while back. But, calling 3.x buggy crap and not 2.x is a bit misleading. I had the distinctly icky experience of trying to find a strange IMAP crash back a few years ago.

I should have immediately given up, when my debug build failed to even run, poping on assertions all over the code base. The whole IMAP implementation in thunderbird is (was?) such a mess its lucky to be working. I remember finding bug after bug, and comment after comment about "hacks" made to avoid some nonsensical state because it was obvious the bug fixer was as clueless about the code execution as I was.

Instead of a clean class layout its was a total mess, and quite an example of what can easily happen in a C++ project with people who are totally enamored with trying every little design pattern.

Not so much slowdown, but buggy behavior (1)

whovian (107062) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154468)

caused me to downgrade to v.2. Window sizes and positions weren't saved, and the application windows were greyed out. Loved the new search function, however.

Upgrade forced me to abandon Thunderbird (4, Interesting)

steveha (103154) | more than 3 years ago | (#33154526)

At work, I have a Windows machine I need to use. I installed Thunderbird on it to read my personal email.

One day, Thunderbird offered me an update to Thunderbird 3. Sure, why not; I let it upgrade.

So, the next day I got an urgent email from the corporate IT department demanding to know why the corporate antivirus was reporting dozens of viruses on my work computer! I was not pleased.

My email server has a virus scanner (ClamAV of course), and when it detects a virus, it shunts the virus email message into a special folder. I rarely look at the folder or worry about it. Well, Thunderbird 3 changed the default behavior without asking me anything, and downloaded every message in every folder I have. Not just headers, message bodies as well. Thus, it downloaded a bunch of virus emails onto the hard disk of my corporate Windows desktop computer.

Long story short, IT ordered me to uninstall Thunderbird to make sure that this could never happen again. (IT recognizes that the viruses were never active on my system, but they officially have a zero-tolerance policy about viruses being present inside the corporate network at all.)

So I am no longer a Thunderbird user. I found another way to read my personal email while at work.

I was always happy with the old policy, of downloading message headers only, and grabbing the message bodies when I actually opened an email to read it. The new policy might make sense if I had a single machine that I always used to read email and I always wanted my email stuff to be as fast as possible (everything cached to the local hard disk). But I use IMAP and I read my mail from a half-dozen different computers, and the vast majority of my email on my server is old stuff I rarely look at. The new policy of downloading everything makes no sense for me, and I didn't see any way to globally change the setting; it looked to me like you need to change the setting on a folder-by-folder basis. (I could be wrong about that, but it doesn't matter because I had to abandon Thunderbird anyway.)

I don't think defaulting to downloading the entirety of every message on a server is a good idea. And it led to me being forced to abandon Thunderbird, so Thunderbird has at least one fewer user as a result.

steveha

I have noticed it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33154588)

...but it was only because I didn't set a limit to my RSS feeds (had over 100,000), which took forever to index. But now with such index built, and a limit to my RSS feeds, thunderbird wastes nothing.
(I'm running the nightly build Shredder)

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