×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Thunderbird in Crisis?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the film-at-eleven dept.

Mozilla 422

Elektroschock writes "The two core developers of Thunderbird have left Mozilla. Scott McGregor made a brief statement: 'I wanted to let the Thunderbird community know that Friday October 12th will be my last day as an employee of the Mozilla Corporation.' Meanwhile, David Bienvenu blogged: 'Just wanted to let everyone know that my last day at The Mozilla Corporation will be Oct. 12. I intend to stay involved with Thunderbird... I've enjoyed working at Mozilla a lot, and I wish Mozilla Co and the new Mail Co all the best.' A few month ago Mozilla management considered abandoning their second product and setting up a special corporation just for the mail client. Scott was more or less supportive. David joined in. While Sunbird just released a new version no appropriate resources were dedicated to the missing component. And while Thunderbird became the most used Linux mail client it has been abandoned by Mozilla for 'popularity reasons'. Both messages from David and Scott do not sound as if the founders will play any role in the Thunderbird Mail Corporation. What happened to Mozilla? Is it a case of pauperization through donations?"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

422 comments

Still good... (4, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894657)

I will continue to use it even if it never changes again. I like it. Maybe it's just *that* stable?

Re:Still good... (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894741)

I will continue to use it even if it never changes again. I like it.

I use the Thunder/SunBird combo too, but it would be good to see it continue being developed. Given the possible split from Mozilla, I'd like to see OpenOffice.org take an interest.

Re:Still good... (5, Interesting)

dascritch (808772) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894885)

I think that Eudora staff will probably do the right stuff : Rethinking the keyboards shortcuts that are just sucking (i use a french locale, and sometimes, i have the worng focus, so instead of typing a mail, i do "something" with my inbox)

IMHO MoFo should be reorganized : the Xul Foundation, with everyone implied into (Firefox, Thunderbird, Songbird, CeltX, Disruptive Innovations,...) for-profit and non-profits organizations, and Firefox, FirefoxCom, Thunderbird should be independent corporations or foundations.

Two things seem to have affected MozFo: (1, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894989)

"IMHO MoFo should be reorganized..."

To many people, MoFo [thefreedictionary.com] means something offensive. Perhaps MozFo would be better.

Two things seem to have affected MozFo: 1) It is headed by someone with no technical experience, Winifred Mitchell Baker [wikipedia.org]. 2) Google has been giving MozFo $50,000,000 per year because Google search is the default search engine.

I would very much like to hear more about what's happening with MozFo.

Re:Two things seem to have affected MozFo: (1)

dascritch (808772) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895361)

And having a (masculine) hard-core coder would not be too offensive for institutions, universities, big companies, medias ?

Re:Two things seem to have affected MozFo: (4, Funny)

tedrlord (95173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895389)

To many people, MoFo means something offensive. Perhaps MozFo would be better.


I thought that was the point.

Re:Still good... (2, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895055)

Given the possible split from Mozilla, I'd like to see OpenOffice.org take an interest.

What? And make it bloated, semi-compatible to Outlook and totally useless?

TB is a hundred times better than Evolution for reading mail on a Linux box. Because its GPL, I'm sure interested folks will be able to fork it and release useful extensions.

Re:Still good... (1)

Potor (658520) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894821)

i hope this does not affect my university's plans to eventually role out tb 2, which simply rocks as a mail client.

Re:Still good... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895247)

Bah, carving runes on stones and sending them by horse carriage have you beat as for stability and maturity!

Re:Still good... (1)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895505)

Bah, carving runes on stones and sending them by horse carriage have you beat as for stability and maturity!
i don't know - crash recovery can be a real problem. And some stones break easily on certain platforms.

Re:Still good... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20895263)

I will continue to use it even if it never changes again. I like it. Maybe it's just *that* stable?
Although it could be considered stable now, what happens if new vulnerabilities are identified and not patched? Would you continue to use it then?

Well, it kind of shows in the code... (3, Interesting)

thatseattleguy (897282) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894661)

I'm in the midst of attempting a conversion from my PC-based mail client (Eudora) to Thunderbird on a Mac. It's been a horror show from day one - the Thunderbird import function turns out to be more buggy than a
New York City apartment in the summer. If I didn't have lots of GNU command-line tools and a hex editor to fix the many things that choke Tbird, I'd have abandoned the effort and switched to some proprietary client a long time ago.

Let's hope as a separate entity they can do better.

Re:Well, it kind of shows in the code... (4, Informative)

HSpirit (519997) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894739)

Not sure if you're aware but there is a Thunderbird project called Penelope [mozilla.org] for those Eudora users stuck by Qualcomm's decision to discontinue the product. I haven't tried the Eudora importers, though...

Re:Well, it kind of shows in the code... (1)

thatseattleguy (897282) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894833)

Thanks for the link. I'd heard of it but it's still apparently in alpha (according to the users, even though officially it's in beta).

What's irksome in trolling through the buglist is that some fo the bugs are being blamed on the Penelope port, even though I'm encountering them in the plain vanilla TB/Mac. Something's not right there.

Re:Well, it kind of shows in the code... (5, Informative)

SD_92104 (714225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894839)

If you are still in midst of this conversion, you should take a look at Eudora Mailbox Cleaner [mac.com] - it can do the conversion for you and should give much better results than TB's own import.

Re:Well, it kind of shows in the code... (2, Interesting)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894999)

I converted from Thunderbird on the Mac to Mail.app on the Mac and never looked back. Give it a shot if you haven't already...

Re:Well, it kind of shows in the code... (1)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895195)

Last time I switch mail clients I switched to Opera's built in mail client M2, it imports Eudora and Thunderbird mailboxes flawless (at least for me). I'm using Opera on Windows, so I havnt been able to try it on Mac or Linux. But on Windows I can recomend it for anyone that is looking for an alternative plain mail client to Outlook, Thunderbird etc.

Natural Selection (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20894675)

The source code is out there. If it serves a useful purpose, someone will either take it and continue or fork it.

If not, then someone will eventually come out with something better.

Re:Natural Selection (3, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895043)

I've been waiting five years for a decent e-mail application, which is a lot of time in the tech world. Maybe somebody will come out with something better, but it's irrelvant to me - I stopped waiting and moved everything to gmail.

Re:Natural Selection (2, Insightful)

Lurks (526137) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895143)

You could try The Bat. It's the most advanced old-school full featured mail client around really.

I use it for work email because I need to be able to tailor ways I write email according to folders (internal/external mail etc). That said, I do my personal mail on gmail because I need to read it on any machines and because I use it as a sort of knowledge database. Searching email in a real client always takes years where as in Gmail it keeps everything, ever, and takes a fraction of a second to search it. That's a killer feature right there.

Re:Natural Selection (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895501)

Searching email in a real client always takes years where as in Gmail it keeps everything, ever, and takes a fraction of a second to search it.
Have you tried Outlook 2007 yet? If you're able to type your seach term, start a stop watch and stop it again after your results have appeared you were probably typing onehanded or have three hands. (Or to make it simple: It's wicked fast.)

is webmail to blame (5, Insightful)

EjectButton (618561) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894677)

I use thunderbird quite a bit but I wonder if heavy email clients have much future. Of all the applications where a web client can replace a heavy desktop side client email seems like one of the easiest and google has proven that you can make a webmail client that isn't painful to use.

Re:is webmail to blame (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894767)

I hate gmail, and webmail interfaces in general.

1) Decent integration with -other- applications is non-existent. (even simple stuff like sending an attachment from the windows desktop, or the iphoto / mail.app link on OSX) webmail doesn't compare.

2) When I decide to just quit all windows of my web-browser to clean up my desktop I hate that the mail gets closed too. I like that its a separate application, one that doesn't crash when I visit a website that kills the browser.

3) No offline functionality.

4) Large Attachments have to be 'downloaded' when I need them. I often leave stuff as email attachments, and then just open the attachment when I need to look at it. On my 'heavy' mail client its a fraction of a second to open it.

5) PRIVACY. You can't rely on that with webmail.

6) User experience. Gmail is 'comparable' to a real application, in the same way that a mock-up looks like a real product. From 4 feet away it might even look the same, but start using it and its immediately obvious you are using a web based application. Maybe one day that won't be true; but 'html + javascript + xmlrequest' won't be the platform its built on.

Webmail is a great technology but it doesn't replace a good mail client, it complements it.

Re:is webmail to blame (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895009)

Well said.

I'll just add to that:

7) Integration with old mail. I've got email dating back 10 years. I don't know of any way to import that into gmail. But I can import my gmail into my offline mail app.

I don't want to lose my mail history every time I switch webmail providers.

Re:is webmail to blame (1)

squidinkcalligraphy (558677) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895197)

Actually, you can import old mail quite easily. I can't exactly remember how (I've only needed to do this once), but I think it involved creating a filter in thunderbird or some other such 'e-mail' client, applied to * or all the messages you want to import, and adding a 'forward' or 'bounce' rule to it or something like that. It all comes into gmail as new messages, which you subsequently label (or set up a temporary filter in gmail to label all incoming mail during the import). Google it for more info.

In fact, you can do this with any webmail provider. And as long as the webmail provider provides POP or IMAP as well, you can go the other way.

Re:is webmail to blame (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895541)

But then all the mail appears to have come from a single source (you can try & forge headers, but SPF will stop most messages these days). Dates & times will also be wrong.

Not particularly useful I think.

You forgot something... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20895027)

ADVERTISING! I'm assuming you are like me and are using something like Adblock Plus and wouldn't even know about the existence of internet advertising, but it certainly exists. I prefer my daily life to be as free of advertising as possible. *I* make the educated purchasing decisions and *I* do so based on the best prices, shipping arrangements, warranty, customer feedback, etc. Advertising is an insult to intelligence, a waste of money and completely inefficient and blind method of making purchasing decisions.

The key problem with the much hyped "web based application services" is that there is no *I* left in your usage of computers/the internet.
- *I* should be able to do whatever I want with my email (and have assurance my actions on the email have been carried out permanently)
- *I* should be able to view it and export it any way I wish
- *I* should be able to increase the size of the GUI controls to 3x if I have eyesight difficulties
- *I* should be able to sign/encrypt my email so the email provider can't read it
- *I* should be able to have assurance that my email/data won't be held hostage for a sum when the company chooses to start charging for email
- *I* should be able to see how my emails are handled behind the scenes and what information is stored on me
- *I* should be able to do all of this for FREE and FOREVER on a level playing field without any annoying advertising

Re:You forgot something... (0, Flamebait)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895331)

I certainly hope you're a slashdot subscriber then because you're denying slashdot, a website you clearly use and find value in, of important revenue.

Re:is webmail to blame (0, Offtopic)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895225)

On the other hand, POP and IMAP are two of the worst protocols ever invented and most every client implementation FAILS on such simple things as downloading the small messages before the large ones.

If they prefetch messages at all.

Re:is webmail to blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20895455)

So... you base your opinion of POP and IMAP on the fact that you have only been using bad implementations of them? Sounds reasonable.

Re:is webmail to blame (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895307)

I hate gmail, and webmail interfaces in general.
Webmail is just a subset of the Gmail services, though.

1) Decent integration with -other- applications is non-existent. (even simple stuff like sending an attachment from the windows desktop, or the iphoto / mail.app link on OSX) webmail doesn't compare.
I'd say that Gmail's free POP3 support works pretty well with other applications, along with its various POP3 delivery settings.

2) When I decide to just quit all windows of my web-browser to clean up my desktop I hate that the mail gets closed too.
Don't close the tab you run Gmail in...? What are you "cleaning up your desktop" for if you want some stuff to remain open? Sorry, I must simply not get this part.

4) Large Attachments have to be 'downloaded' when I need them. I often leave stuff as email attachments, and then just open the attachment when I need to look at it. On my 'heavy' mail client its a fraction of a second to open it.
Well, but that's because your mail client downloads them in the background. Again, you can do either this with Gmail by using POP3, or by saving the large attachements you don't want to wait for to download if you need the mail again.

Anyway, one big advantage for me with webmail is that it has the environment independence going for it. Not just platform or software independence, but usually not even dependent on your OS configuration or software installs. That's a pretty big one for me.

Re:is webmail to blame (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895543)

Webmail is just a subset of the Gmail services, though.

But its the part of gmail that defines it. Gmail's pop3 is pretty much the same as anyone elses. Except you get more space than usual, and you pay for it with a privacy policy that no one should be willing to submit to.

That said, most of your counter-examples come down to using gmails pop3. Which presumes using a 'heavy client' which nullifies the op's suggestion that 'heavy clients' are obsolete.

Anyway, one big advantage for me with webmail is that it has the environment independence going for it. Not just platform or software independence, but usually not even dependent on your OS configuration or software installs. That's a pretty big one for me.

Which is why I agree that webmail complements a good mail client, but it doesn't replace it.

Re:is webmail to blame (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895309)

5) PRIVACY. You can't rely on that with webmail.

Unless you operate your own MTA, how is web mail any more or less private? Ultimately you rely on those operating your mail account not to peek in your inbox.

Store your session! (0, Redundant)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895319)

2) When I decide to just quit all windows of my web-browser to clean up my desktop I hate that the mail gets closed too. I like that its a separate application, one that doesn't crash when I visit a website that kills the browser.

Fixed. Try the Firefox extension TabMixPlus, which includes some nifty extra tab context menus and a session manager. Or the Firefox extension Session Manager, should also do fine if you only want that.

Crashes and problems with Firefox will never bother you so much again.

Re:is webmail to blame (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895353)

My #1 gripe with thunderbird is threading bugs (that is e-mails that are part of a thread are incorrectly placed in the thread or even worse moved to their own new thread). It isn't anywhere near as reliable as gmail (and even that doesn't work 100% of the time).

Re:is webmail to blame (2, Insightful)

WingCmdr (100480) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894777)

I really don't like google's webmail client. I much prefer yahoo mail. And Hot(spam)mail is my least favorite.

That makes 3... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894829)

I hate webmail, too. While I have to maintain a lot of email addresses, whenever possible I access my webmail accounts through Thunderbird, anyway. That way at least I have a consistent interface.

Re:That makes 3... (1)

keiserxol (983709) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895209)

you can obviously forward messages from other accounts to your gmail account (or let it fetch them for you). that's what I do, I use only gmail and check all my email addresses from there. I recently abandoned thunderbird: fresh install is much easier, no need for backups, or email on another computer is soooo great

Re:That makes 3... (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895367)

no need for backups, or email on another computer is soooo great
If you use your gmail address then you can keep them on gmail. That way you have the advantages of a local client as well as offsite storage.

Re:is webmail to blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20894903)

I'm not a big fan of webmail so perhaps my biggest reason for using an actual email client is not true but...

I prefer an actual email client for encryption purposes. If any webmail offering out there allows the use of encryption on email communications, I am not aware of it, and I have never looked and don't really care to look. I am happy with Thunderbird and the enigmail extension.

There are numerous reasons I prefer an email client, and some of those have already been posted as responses to your comment.

Re:is webmail to blame (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894917)

Just to balance the replies a bit, I prefer gmail over any desktop client. Then again, off of work IM has made a pretty big dent in my email use anyway.

Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (3, Insightful)

mind21_98 (18647) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894681)

And it'd be sad if it disappeared, but Apple Mail, Evolution and Gmail are better options on non-Windows platforms. That's probably why it's not as popular as it should be.

(also, if you're careful enough, Outlook and Outlook Express are perfectly usable on Windows, especially the newer versions)

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (4, Informative)

kimvette (919543) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894725)

No way. Thunderbird is stable, Evolution is not.

Thunderbird's renderer works, Evolution's is crap.

Also, while there is a tiny handful of plugins for Evolution, there is a HUGE selection of extensions for Tunderbird which are extremely useful, including one extension which can be used to automatically purge duplicate messages from one's inbox.

With that said, I do use Evolution as my primary email program both at home and at work, but only because the scalix connector is available for Evolution. Thunderbird can access via IMAP only, and cannot use Scalix's calendaring features.

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20894801)

Thunderbird replaces "> " with "| ". Changing the actual content and presenting a lie is good enough reason not to use it, no matter how benign the intent for the change is.
That, and the requirement to convert all your e-mail to a highly incompatible Thunderbird format that nothing else can work on. (Import/Export routines are remedies, not solutions, and buggy as hell too.) That's Microsoft tactics, locking people in.

Good riddance, I say!

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894963)

I've yet to find an email client that doesn't have a more-or-less proprietary format for storing messages. Thunderbird is IMHO the best client in that regard since the extensible architecture allows anyone to write a plugin to export mail in the format of their choosing. But it's getting to be a non-issue, anyway. POP3 is dead. Seriously, unless you're still piddling around with your ISP-provided account your mail should be safe on a remote server - Gmail, SMTP, Exchange, etc.

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (4, Informative)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895075)

Thunderbird uses mbox format to store mail. There's nothing proprietary about it. I just copied the Inbox to a linux box and ran mail -f Inbox with no problems.

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895167)

I said more-or-less because there are still major email programs that don't support it - like Outlook. The mbox format is probably the best format out there right now, but if 90% of people can't use it then it doesn't do a whole lot of good.

I don't think the answer is in standardizing a format for stored email, though - it would be nice, yes, but good luck getting all the major players to implement it. Server-based mail systems like IMAP are far better in terms of availability and compatibility, and they happen to work today.

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (4, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895013)

So that is the real problem competition with Gmail and Evolution or more specifically successful competition against both those products are having an impact on future thunderbird development.

So in a nut shell, there appear to be limited corporate revenue opportunities for thunderbird, it is just a useful, simple, easy to use, end user interface for managing email, fit for purpose rather than fit for profit software.

No corporations are really going to get behind it, especially not google or any other company involved with email servers.

So thunderbird will keep quietly ticking along, doing the job it needs to do, with out any major changes, just continual refinement. I use it and I am pretty happy with that. To put it simply, I am sick of software changing for change sake and to generate upgrade profits. As for privacy invasive web mail, eww, I only use that for G-mail (garbage mail) and questionable web sites.

The next big thing might be email address portability, much like postal address not being bound to the people making the deliveries, one could envisage a government controlled email address router to allow end users to retain a permanent email address, not bound to a particular supplier or as a marketing tool for that particular supplier ie. an address that avoids customer lock and ensures competition in email services. It would really hurt web mail but of course not as much as cheap internet serving appliances, IPv6 and free email software servers, privacy invasive web mail is doomed ;).

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (3, Insightful)

dodobh (65811) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895269)

Just get your own domain, and have it hosted somewhere else.

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (5, Informative)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894799)

also, if you're careful enough, Outlook and Outlook Express are perfectly usable on Windows, especially the newer versions

Outlook has been pretty safe since the XP release (Outlook 2002), and even the 2000 release with a patch. That's when they stopped allowing you to open executable attachments. There was still a minor risk of javascript nastiness, but they fixed that as well. The 2003 (11) and 2007 (12) releases of Outlook have been stable and safe. (Outlook 2007 doesn't use the controversial Ribbon toolbar like the rest of the Office 12 suite)

Outlook Express is dead, though if you're still using XP you have it. Outlook Express has also been the Microsoft mail client with the most issues, mostly because it's free and more or less neglected. The problem is that "Outlook Express" and "Outlook" actually share nothing in common except for the name and the fact that they both do email. Beyond that they're two separate codebases, managed by two separate teams. It's unfortunate that they're named similarly, since Outlook Express' issues have tarnished the fact that Outlook proper is actually a very good, secure, and competent email client.

If you're running Vista, Outlook Express is gone. It was replaced by Windows Mail, a more bare-bones mail and news reader that finally divorces the "Outlook" name from the free mail client. Alternatively, you can use the Windows Live Mail Beta [live.com] software (different from Hotmail/Windows Live Mail web interface, as it's client software that can be used for other mail accounts besides just Hotmail). Windows Live Mail integrates with Live services (Messenger, Spaces), where Outlook Express and Windows Mail don't.

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (1)

flydpnkrtn (114575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894935)

It sounds like Windows Live Mail fits right into Microsoft's "Software as a service" push

Hmm... is "Windows Live Mail" basically "Outlook Live," in the same vein as "Office Live"?

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894983)

It sounds like Windows Live Mail fits right into Microsoft's "Software as a service" push

Microsoft's current version is "Software plus Services", which actually makes more sense IMHO. Rather than trying to replace Office with online versions like Google's stuff, they're building rich client software (traditional Office), powerful web services (Office Live, Sharepoint Server), and integrating the two.

Hmm... is "Windows Live Mail" basically "Outlook Live," in the same vein as "Office Live"?

Think of it more like "a better Outlook Express". I guess you could say Windows Live Mail is to Outlook what Windows Live Messenger is to Office Communicator, as in it's the mail client for the Windows Live suite of client tools.

MOD PARENT UP. (0, Offtopic)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894949)

MOD PARENT UP. Very Interesting: "Outlook Express' issues have tarnished the fact that Outlook proper is actually a very good, secure, and competent email client."

Don't forget KMail (2, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894997)

KMail is a good option too, or Kontact if you want integration with calendars and a newsreader (KNode), or just run them each separately. I use KMail for all my email, I prefer the interface to Thunderbird's.

Re:Don't forget KMail (1)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895101)

For quite awhile I used Kmail and it worked pretty well. I eventually tried Thunderbird and, for my purposes - tunneling an X connection over ssh on a DSL connection - Thunderbird was _much_ slower than Kmail. You could watch it slowly paint many areas of useless eye candy. I'm now using fetchmail/procmail/mutt which, based on speed over a remote link, works quite awesomely.

Re:Don't forget KMail (1)

AaronW (33736) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895211)

Kmail shows a lot of promise, but I keep running into major stability issues with IMAP support with Kmail, plus it doesn't support the immediate notification of email like Thunderbird does. Hopefully this will be improved in KDE 4.0.

Re:Don't forget KMail (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895529)

How accurate is it in placing new e-mails in long threads? Also how well does it order e-mails while in threaded mode? I recently started importing my gmail e-mails into Thunderbird with the order being based on date and time. It sorts correctly when not in threaded mode, but loses that when threaded (I can't see any discernable reasoning behind the ordering. It doesn't order based on number of e-mails in the thread, whether or not its part of a thread, the date of the first e-mail in a thread or the date of the last e-mail on a thread. It appears to be somewhat random). Having said that, all 3 apps look good. I believe I'll use KNode and Kontact regardless of KMail. Thanks for the suggestion.

Also one last question: Do these apps work in gnome? I'm planning on using KDE (computer gets delivered tomorrow, desk the day after) but I'm curious if they do work on gnome.

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (4, Interesting)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895105)

I'll throw in the odd vote for Mail.app, for two features I just can't live without:

One, the aggregate Inbox - I can view all my inboxes at once without actually merging the folders. It's so handy to be able to see all my new messages at a glance, or separated into accounts, so quickly and intuitively.

Two, filtering IMAP messages by body text. I've tried half a dozen other email programs and none of them seem able to filter IMAP messages this way. I can't see any valid explanation why other clients refuse to do this. I can sort quasi-spam (ads from companies I've placed orders from, for example) far more effectively with body filters.

If Thunderbird could duplicate those two features I'd probably give up Mail.app. Thunderbird is far more extensible and has quite a few features Apple's client lacks, like good IMAP folder management and Bayesian filtering.

Yet both Thunderbird and Firefox feel largely stagnant these days - Firefox 3's promises seem nebulous and the release never seems to come any closer, and neither program is doing anything all that innovative in the meantime. The most impressive new feature I've seen in the past year (which wasn't an extension) has been Thunderbird's categories, which is itself is a copy of Gmail's keywords feature and rather similar to Mail.app's smart folders. What are the devs doing?

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (1)

igb (28052) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895291)

``Thunderbird is far more extensible and has quite a few features Apple's client lacks, like good IMAP folder management and Bayesian filtering.'' Huh? Mail.app is the first GUI client I've found tolerable (Multics read_mail 1983-86, MH and nmh 1986-1999 with a brief flirtation with RMAIL in there somewhere, then mutt when I needed IMAP4 support, now Mail.app since I've drunk the Jobs Koolaid). It has Bayesian filtering --- its junk filtering is both Bayesian and ``pay attention to ISP headers''. I'm not sure what you mean about IMAP folder management, but I have several hundred IMAP folders, in deep hierarchies, sometimes with messages in the intermediate nodes, and it all seems to work OK for me against Cyrus.

Re:Thunderbird is awesome on Windows (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895387)

[F]iltering IMAP messages by body text. I've tried half a dozen other email programs and none of them seem able to filter IMAP messages this way. I can't see any valid explanation why other clients refuse to do this./quote>It's computationally quite complex. To do it sanely, you need a fairly sophisticated text-processing database engine on the backend, and they've not been available for that long. But I do think you'll see that feature more in the future now that there's OSS DBs that can tackle this so that everyone doesn't have to reinvent it. The future's bright!

Re:Evolution Fails Critical Test w/GPG Signatures (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895199)

Instead of them being inline as they are in Kmail, OE and Outlook, Evolution attaches them as a seperate file. This defeats the entire purpose of digitally signing an email. It's impossible to prove the email was modified or who it was signed by as the attachment could go to anything. Sorry but until Evolution gets that straight (inline means INLINE) it will remain a bit player on Linux.

Re:Evolution Fails Critical Test w/GPG Signatures (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895273)

Instead of them being inline as they are in Kmail, OE and Outlook, Evolution attaches them as a seperate file. This defeats the entire purpose of digitally signing an email. It's impossible to prove the email was modified or who it was signed by as the attachment could go to anything.

Just because it's in a separate file it doesn't mean that the signature is meaningless. The signature doesn't simply say "yeah, whatever's the first part of this email is fine", you know. Do you really believe that detached signatures were a) invented, b) standardised, and c) implemented in multiple mail clients without anybody realising that the signatures need to correspond to the data they are signing?

Evolution (0, Offtopic)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894691)

I'm stuck using Exchange. :-(

I use evolution on Linux.

I hate the exchange web stuff. I use g-mail for person stuff.

Thunderbird is not something I've ever used and I'm not going to miss it.

Re:Evolution (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894737)

It was an alright email program, certainly not something that I would jump head-over-heals for. I thought the newsreader was a real pain in the ass. Though I'm not the world's greatest webmail fan, I'm pretty much using GMail full-time, and SLRN for reading my Usenet posting, so there's not much point.

Re:Evolution (1)

ladybugfi (110420) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895023)

I've used Evolution since pre-1.0 and I agree, it's very very good. Several years back it was practically my only e-mail client.

However, nowadays I use a mixture of Windows and Linux environments and because of that constant change I'd like some things to stay stable. So I have switched to Thunderbird as my e-mail client. Just because it's similar in both Windows and Linux environments.

I have tried to install the win32 Evolution to a Windows XP box but that bombed pretty hard. If they get a stable and supported Windows install of Evolution, I'm willing to try again but until that I'm sticking to Thunderbird.

Jesus Christ, you know we're in deep shit... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20894715)

...When even International Rescue are in crisis!

Oh wait, what...?

Re:Jesus Christ, you know we're in deep shit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20895285)

You know what I came to this story just see this joke. Thank you for cheering me up this dull Monday morning.

This is clearly a job for Stingray!

Mozilla Inc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20894755)

It seems Mozilla is looking more and more like a normal corporation, and less like a Open Source supporter. This is funny, since Mozilla is what it is because of the Open Source community support.

And here is our retribution!

Re:Mozilla Inc (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894789)

Mozilla is looking more and more like a normal corporation, and less like a Open Source supporter.

Most Open Source supporters ARE normal corporations.

he meant M$ (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894823)

Well, i just guess he meant that :)

But Mozilla is still far from it.
Anyone can abandon a project, even a corporation.

No, they aren't. (0, Offtopic)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894843)

Most "open source" organizations are not corporations at all, but simply collaborations among individuals. Some large-scale open-source projects have gone (or rarely, started) commercial, but not most, by any means.

Everyone uses web apps these days (0, Redundant)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894883)

And I HATE web apps with a vile and bitter passion. Because there is nothing quite like the inefficiency of sending a bunch of text mostly redundant to a server in another continent & waiting for a reply.

The main reason people use web apps these days is because they are too damn lazy to close / minimise that damned browser and open something else

I did not buy this fancy Dual Core(tm) thing so I could use a web app. I want it to be good and responsive, not waiting for a reply from a server across the pond.

Can't die (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20894905)

fortunately OPEN SORES APPLICATION can't die cuz the communaty will continue developing it and making sure its much better and more STANDRADS copliant then the Micro$oft outlook shitz.

obligatory??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20894945)

"Scott McGregor made a brief statement: 'I wanted to let the Thunderbird community know that Mozilla Corporation is not in charge of Gundam.'"

Thunderbird in Crisis? Yes. (3, Insightful)

flydpnkrtn (114575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20894955)

I would say that due to the fact that we're approaching the end of 2007 and Thunderbird still doesn't have integrated calendaring (not in beta, that's a copout), then yes, Thunderbird is in crisis.

Until feature-for-feature Thunderbird can equal or beat Outlook it will never have people flocking to it like Firefox did.

Look at Firefox versus IE 6 - heck, Firefox basically "inspired" IE 7 (tabs, search bar on the top right, extensions, etc. etc.) That's what led to the huge masses adopting it.

The fact that Zimbra has released a cross-platform offline client instead of extending Thunderbird to fit their needs speaks volumes.
http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/03/26/zimbra-to-lauch-desktop-application-with-full-offline-functionality/ [techcrunch.com]

Re:Thunderbird in Crisis? Yes. (3, Insightful)

J0nne (924579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895021)

Why does an e-mail application need a calendar? Wouldn't it be better to just use a calendar application to handle calendar stuff?

Re:Thunderbird in Crisis? Yes. (4, Interesting)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895271)

I used Outlook for calendaring and contact management, actually, and was using it with Thunderbird as the mail client. At a certain point, I realized that was one more executable more than I needed running, and migrated to Outlook for mail, as well. Outlook's IMAP performance is, in my experience, smoother than T-bird's (which often seems to "forget" that it copied messages to my offline store, making them unavailable when I'm offline.)

Once you start dragging and dropping from your inbox to your to-do list, contact list, and calendar, it's hard to give that up.

Re:Thunderbird in Crisis? Yes. (4, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895025)

Why *should* an email program have *integrated* calendaring? A separate program like Sunbird makes more sense to me, as long as the programs work together seamlessly. Which is not to say that Thunderbird and Sunbird work together particularly well, but I think they have the right idea, just like Apple with Mail.app + iCal + Address Book. I will agree that nothing out there handles as well as Outlook yet, but that's because Microsoft has thrown massive resources at it. I think that any PIM software would be better implemented as a cluster of mini-apps, which each do one thing well, and communicate via a good set of APIs.

Re:Thunderbird in Crisis? Yes. (2, Interesting)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895475)

I'm not saying the Unix approach to this matter is bad, but good PIM software may be doing a tiny little bit more than just piping text from one tool to another. Additionally: If a great Application like Outlook (v12 "2007" is great, stable and not as memory-consuming as previous ones) does all the tasks better than three, five or seventeen mini-apps, I am going to use the monolithic thing. Seems kind of similar to the [Gentoo/LFS]/[Ubuntu/Novell/RedHat], [Firefox + Thunderbird + n Extensions/Opera or Build your Computer/Buy it built debates. The former ideas may be compelling to try stuff out, do it yourself, and have some advantages in few scenarios (a wee bit faster and custom-compiled, more flexible, really capable of gaming) but if you want to get work done, you'll stick to the latter ones and save yourself hours of update, configuration or build time.

Re:Thunderbird in Crisis? No - No Way (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20895045)

And I'd say exactly the opposite. I've switched over to sylpheed precisely because it has less integrated, is simpler and faster and most of all stable. I can agree with the idea of a separate calendar program which directly gets access to calendar messages from thunderbird; but ideally it's even simpler. There should be a calendar program which reads the same mail feed as your mail program and handles calendar information.

Why copy Microsoft's idiot design with all of it's terrible maintainance and security problems? Separation gives you:
  • the ability to change your calendar whilst staying on the same mail software (or the other way round)
  • limitation of security bugs in mail to only your mail
  • smaller upgrade packages
  • easier use on small systems (where you only need one of the programs running)
  • better scriptability and control
  • faster compile times
  • etc.

One of the main strengths of free software is that we can all work together. The reason Microsoft does feature bundling is that they know you need their mail program so they want to use that to force you to use their calendar solution. Since free software developers don't care (in the same way) and just want the best solution for the user they aren't bound by the stupidities of marketing.

Re:Thunderbird in Crisis? Yes. (4, Informative)

sveinhal (469879) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895333)

Look at Firefox versus IE 6 - heck, Firefox basically "inspired" IE 7 (tabs, search bar on the top right, extensions, etc. etc.) That's what led to the huge masses adopting it.


You should give credit to the right people. Two of those three are Opera innovations, that Firefox copied. Not that Firefox is not a good browser. I'm just saying who actually did this first.

Slashdot sensationalism damages OSS project! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20895017)

Dear /.

You should be ashamed of yourselves. When you consider the size and diversity of your readership, writing sensationalised headlines based on your own assumption there may be a crisis with a project is very damaging to said project. Didn't your parents ever tell you to think before you open your mouths? With your reach you're in a position of responsibility and frankly, you should STFU until the developers in question have actually given their reasons.

Increasingly disappointed /. reader

Damnit man think of the users! (2, Funny)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895081)

I have used Thunderbird exclusively since v1.5 and I have never looked back! I need those new features.
I need security updates. I need a calendar. We all use Thunderbird. Just fork it damnit! We need it.

call it Inlook or something!

The elephant in the room. (5, Insightful)

Soko (17987) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895091)

The reason Thunderbird won't gain the same traction as Firefox has is Exchange. The Thunderbird developers have made a great email client, but they've hit the wrong target. They, along with GMail et. al. have killed off Eudora and Pegasus, not Outlook. (aside - here's hoping IncrediMail is next)

Email has evolved into a collaboration tool, not just a way of sending words in ASCII. Plain and simple, until your contacts can email you a meeting request and TBird puts it in your calendar automagically - and that meeting goes in your BlackBerry/Treo/Gizmo-of-the-week - it won't gain near the same buzz. Outlook + Exchange adds far too much business value to simply abandon in the name of Open and Free.

If you just need email, Thunderbird is OK-fine - if you need collaboration, you need Outlook. It's a damn shame, too.

Re:The elephant in the room. (3, Informative)

haeger (85819) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895433)

if you need collaboration, you need... something like Kontact [kontact.org]?

Still it doesn't do exchange intigration all that well, but I think they're on the right track.
They wrote about it on the dot [kde.org] a few days ago.

.haeger

Crisis? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20895137)

All I see is some useless drama. Developers quit all the time. And structures change. That's life, not a crisis.

Mutt! (1)

Robert Frazier (17363) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895201)

After over a year of using Thunderbird (Icedove), I've gone back to using Mutt. ;)

The main reason is that, for me, email is mostly text (at least the email I want), I do tons of email over a ssh connection, and, even with an ADSL connection (but not the biggest pipe in the world), X11 forwarding over ssh made using Thunderbird over ssh slow and cumbersome. In addition, filtering, scripts, backup, attachments, editing (with my editor of choice) .... are all so much easier with Mutt. But, I'll say this for Thunderbird, it is slick.

Luckily, I don't do calendaring.

Best wishes,
Bob
 

FUD, FUD, FUD, and FUD (1)

stox (131684) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895239)

As far as I am aware, there hasn't been a single negative comment from these developers upon their departure. Do you think there might be a slim possibility that they received job offers that interested them more than Thunderbird?

Bus effect (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895243)

I cannot believe that Thunderbird has a bus effect threshhold of only two developers. In any case, the Penelope developers will be able to take over, I'm sure, but it makes open source software seem rather fragile. Not that I feel that closed source software is any more stable. In any case, Tbird saves mail as mbox, so there should be absolutely no problem moving to Kmail, Evolution, or some other standardized client.

Both got new jobs ... (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20895275)

with the same company? Seems a bit suspicious they both leave on the same day without saying what they are going to be doing. I suspect they have been head hunted.

May I suggest... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20895357)

Claws Mail? [claws-mail.org]
It's much faster and powerful than Thunderbird, and it's multiplatform. I was tempted to swap it with Thunderbird some months ago and went back as soon as I discovered how unstable is Thunderbird when managing a dozen or so accounts.
For the normal user Thunderbird is a good email client, but when you need something fast, powerful and stable, I'd strongly suggest to try Claws Mail.

That's the power of Open Source. Should Thunderbird "die", it would be mantained by someone else in a matter of weeks, but in the very unlikely situation it dissolves without the development being taken over by other developers, we already have a great alternative.

gtk2 only means not with me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20895411)

They lost me when they went full GTK2 - which is just ugly and slow on my older machines.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...