Computer Tech

Thunderbird 3 update

Thunderbird 3 is currently at b3 and even so is still in quite a state of flux if you read the development notes. There are a lot of changes from TB2 and quite a few differences in usage as well which may catch some out. This is a short article to mention some of these differences and indicate areas that are changing still. The input for this post is the MozillaZine ‘Thunderbird 3 – New features and Changes’ article.

  • one of the most contentious changes is the new message header pane ( removal of compact header view ) – the collapsible option has been removed and some are of the opinion that you lose too much space as a result. An extension has been developed to restore the old usage. Note that the CompactView extension ( now at 0.4.1 ) will not be updated if already installed, to a new version – you need to manually download and install the new version
  • there are now action buttons in the right corner of the header pane, these can also be had in the std toolbar below the menu
  • there is now a star next to each email address in the header pane, which is blank if the address is not in the address book, and yellow if in the address book; you can click the start to add the address ( if not there ) or edit it ( if there )
  • any of your identities included in to/from/cc headings are replace with ‘You’ – this is configurable
  • messages and folders can now be opened in tabs ala Firefox – there is some session restore capability allied to this although it’s not workin for me right now
  • there is automatic image resizing within the message pane and a zoom ability
  • there is now a disk cache which can cache any remote content including images, cert data and update files; also messages and attachments are cache for IMAP accounts
  • the attribution line in quotes now includes the data and time of original message
  • you can highlight a portion of text in a message, hit reply and only that portion will be quoted in the reply
  • inline attachments are not included in the quote when replying ( configurable )
  • messages are forwarded inline rather than as attachments
  • use shift-forward to forward a message as plain text ( rather than html )
  • sigs can be enabled or disabled for forwarding messages
  • there is now an option to send email/news messages in the background rather than interactively
  • a warning is activated if you have words in your email relating to attachments, and there is no attachment for this message; this list of words can be customised
  • TB3 now allows pasting of lossless png images from the clipboard into messages
  • there is now an archiving function ( this is a move function rather than a copy )
  • there is now a compact button available on the toolbar for compacting folders; note the auto function is still available per account
  • Smart Folders are available where the inbox of all accounts are merged
  • the Gloda indexing system is now available ( although disabled by default ) which indexes all mail/news contact across all folders/accounts
  • an Account auto-configuration option is now available, where TB will try to guess connection parameters based on the supplied account info
  • new IMAP accounts are set with offline folders enabled by default now!!! in addition, existing folders will quietly be set this way as well; all content is now sync’d in offline copies ( bandwidth issues? )
  • text or html sigs can now be had for accounts
  • the retention policy setting applies to both offline copies and remote IMAP folders!!! this pertains to POP messages too …
  • there is now an Activity Manager which tracks all activities in TB
  • passwords are stored in a different location to TB2 so there may be some work to do in terms of downgrading if you need to

So, all in all quite a lot of changes, and having used TB3 since b2, I can say that it’s in pretty good shape. Unfortunately there hasn’t been enough time to incorporate lightning but it’s still available as an extension.

1 reply on “Thunderbird 3 update”

Totally agree with you.

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