Thunderbird released today!

March 2, 2007

Thunderbird was released today.  Here are the release notes:

  • Improvements to product stability.
  • MFSA 2007-06 Mozilla Network Security Services (NSS) SSLv2 buffer overflow
  • MFSA 2007-01 Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:

Have fun updating!


Thunderbird 2 beta 2 released!

January 25, 2007

I’ll be posting more about this later. I couldn’t find anything on Mozilla’s site about changes they’ve made from 2 beta 1, so I’ll have to check it all out manually.

Thunderbird released today!

December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas to us! Mozilla released Thunderbird today. They also released Firefox, which is cool, because I’ve been waiting for the first update to give 2.0 to my clients at the school. Anyway, here are the changes for this new version:

  • Improvements to product stability
  • Several security fixes:
    • Mail header processing heap overflows
    • Mozilla SVG Processing Remote Code Execution
    • XSS by setting img.src to javascript: URI
    • LiveConnect crash finalizing JS objects
    • Privilege escallation using watch point
    • CSS cursor image buffer overflow (Windows only)
    • Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:

2beta1 Impressions – Folders & Filing

December 20, 2006

This is the fourth & final article about my impressions of the 2.0 beta 1 version of Thunderbird.

2b1 Folder View BarFolder Views

I was really confused by this one when I read this on Mozilla’s site, and like I said last night, I was hoping it would become clearer once I played with it. It is very clear now. Right above the folder pane, there is a new bar there that currently reads “All Folders”. This was such a subtle change, I missed it while looking around the UI. At the right end of that bar, you’ll see some arrows. Start clicking those arrows and it will switch to a different set of folders. The defaults right now are:

2b1 All FoldersAll Folders

2b1 Unread FoldersUnread Folders

2b1 Favorite FoldersFavorite Folders

2b1 Recent Foldersand Recent Folders.

I don’t see a way to add more categories to these, but maybe that’s something they will add…or let some enterprising Add-on developer take care of it…who knows.

Anyway, you can add folders to your Favorites list by right clicking (control click for Mac) on the folder and choosing Favorite Folder. You can also go to Edit > Favorite Folder. I can see this2b1 Adding Favorite Folders becoming very popular with those who have a huge volume of email. You could have different pages of folders based on different projects, or one for Family, one for Work, one for your Rocket Club, etc with each view having different folders in them.

Folder Summary Popups and New Mail Notifications

I’m not getting either of these. Since this is only a developer’s release, I won’t gripe too much. I’m sure they are cool features, but I’m not getting either one to work.

Improved Filing

I can see how this would be helpful if you move lots of your messages. They added a “Recent Folders” at the top of the Move To dialog. I use Message Filters to move most of my messages, so I probably won’t see this feature very often.

Speaking of Message Filters, they added a “Match All Messages” option to the filters, but I don’t see this as much of an improvement. I’m still waiting for them to allow me to say match all these rules, and any of these rules. That way, I don’t have 30 rules just to move certain messages into a certain folder. It frustrating to have all the messages with the same subject line, but not ALL messages with that subject line need to be moved, just ones that have certain things in the message. Maybe someone will develop a filter-related add-on that will allow this.

Ok, so I’ve probably bored you to death and worn you out with my reviews so far. I read on the Monkey Bites review that he thought it was a little snappier performance-wise, but I didn’t really notice a major change.

I think my next article will be a wish list for things I still want to see added into the 2.0 release. Get ready to write!

2beta1 Impressions – Addys, Search, & Toolbar

December 19, 2006

Address Book

There are no major changes to the address book, which is really good, cause my users would freak! I was kinda hoping I’d see native support for vCard though. Looks like I’ll still have to depend on MoreCols for that. Hopefully, it will come later.

I did notice that if you right click on a card in the address book, there is an option for Instant Message this person. I choose that it started to open Adium, my chat app. pretty interesting. I would guess that only works if the person has a chat ID in their address book card.


I noticed that Find As You Type was on the list of new improvements. I, typically, don’t do lots of searching, but I do end up keeping a lot of my old mail in the trash and searching for something every once in a while. I tried this new feature and it seems to work great. It reminds me of the Spotlight on OS X. I’ll have to go back to and see what the major difference here is…again, I don’t do lots of searches, so I just don’t know.

2b1 Saved Search Form

They do have a new feature called Saved Searches. As a Mac user, these are called Smart Folders. Basically, you setup the criteria you want, give it a name, and when you go to that folder, it actually performs a search (based on your criteria) and loads the folder with things that match from the search. Of course, it doesn’t appear that way, it just looks like a folder with stuff in it, but the stuff automatically updates itself. I could bring up the Saved Searches form, but I couldn’t complete it. It was asking for a folder to search in (like Inbox, etc), but the button didn’t seem to work. Oh well, this is just a developer’s release…


I just went to go check the official improvements list to see what I was missing. The forward and back buttons! I’m still not sold on whether me or my users would end up using this a lot, but I can see how people would. It even switches folders to show you messages in other places that you’ve read. 2b1 Forward and Back buttonsOk, never mind, I would probably use this often. It looks like it only goes back/forward 11 messages. Hopefully, they will include some preferences settings to change that. I rip through 11 messages pretty quickly, so this would useless if it doesn’t go back further, or at least give you the option to go back further. There might be a setting in the Advanced Editor to tweak that…have to check that out…

2beta1 Impressions – Preferences & Accounts

December 18, 2006

This is the third article about my impressions on the 2.0beta 1 version of Thunderbird.

2b1 Preferences General

None of the major categories for Preferences changed. However, the options inside these preferences have made some changes; some good, some bad.

• They added the sound notification option as a part of the main area, rather than a form reached by hitting a button. The function for sound notifiction still needs a tweak or two (at least on the Mac it does), but I know lots of people use this and its nice that they’ve moved out from the shadows. My favorite is still the Holy Grail quote “Message for you, Sir!”

• There is a new Tags subtab under Display that allows you add, edit, and delete your tags. I was wondering where you’d do that exactly.

• A great new addition is moving part of the Junk Mail Controls into the preferences. I was hoping for this feature because I do get a lot of user questions about where to set this up and it was confusing to users to have the Junk Mail Controls somewhere beside in the preferences. Of course, I think the Account Settings should also be in the preferences too, but maybe that’s just me.

• There are quite a few other changes, but I’ll hit those in detail once the final release comes out, since these might be changed by then anyway…

Account Settings
2b1 Account Settings
So not all the Junk Mail Controls moved into the preferences. Anything dealing with specfic accounts was moved into Account Settings. There is a new section called Junk Settings that has most of the settings for Junk Mail Controls here. Minor change, but better than having a separate place for them. Other than that, there aren’t any major changes here.

2beta1 Impressions – Tags

December 15, 2006

Tags buttonSo this is my second article about my impressions on the Thunderbird 2.0 beta 1. I just pulled up a screen shot from one of my earlier postings and noticed the new addition to the default toolbar: a Tags button. When I click on an email, the Tags button becomes usable and allows me to tag a message. The default tags are: Tags menuImportant, Work, Personal, To Do, & Later. You also have the option to Remove Tags and make New Tag. From the updates list on Mozilla’s site yesterday, tags are used to sort messages. That’s a very similar idea to Google’s Gmail, rather than using folders, you tag messages and choose to view by the tag. Let’s see how easy that is…

Fun! Ok, so when you add a tag to a message, it highlights the entire message line with that color, then changes the font color in the message line to the tag’s color. You can set and change the tags colors to be whatever you want (personally I plan to set them to reflect my iCal colors…).

Messages Being Tagged

You also see that when you tag a message, the tag now shows up in the message headers Message Header with Tagfor that message. This wuld be especially helpful if you have more than one tag for a message and the color only tells one fo those tags.

Tag also now shows up as an option for your messages headers too. That will make it much easier to find a particular message without having to file it first or even searchTags Sort header for it.

Setting up a “smart folder” using the tags is not so easy…at least not right now. I tried to setup what they are calling a “Saved Search” using my new tag Workorders as my search criteria, but it wouldn’t let me choose a folder to search in, so I can’t finish setting it up. We’ll just report that one as a bug. Overall though, this could be a very useful feature and I could see this replacing some of my normal message filters as well as some subfolders.

These will be very helpful. I can already picture setting a dozen message filters to automatically tag messages and having them show up in Saved Searches…if they ever work. 🙂

2.0beta1 Impressions

December 14, 2006

I’ve decided as I’m writing this to split up my impressions and notices of the changes into several different posts. I don’t typically write alot unless I get questions, so I’ll be able to add several different posts over the next few days about the 2.0 beta 1. Here are just my first impressions:

I’m hoping there will be many impressive improvements already added to the app that will make my user’s lives a little easier. FYI: I backed up my mail folder, just in case this thing decides to take dump on me… Here we go:

The icon is the same, no changes there, and it installs the same (at least on a Mac), so cool.

It did check out my add-ons for compatibility and disabled three of them: MoreCols, Contacts Sidebar, & Thunderbird Message Filter Import/Export. Apparently, these don’t have official support for 2.0 yet, althought Lightning & Foxytunes were left alone so we have some add-on developers that are ahead of the game.

Full Screen Shot 2beta1

With the app open now, I don’t really notice any major changes. It looks a little more like Apple’s Mail, but not by much. Maybe this will change a little more once the final release comes along.

Tags buttonI did notice the new Tags button, and eventually, the new Folder Views bar. I’ll write in more detail about those later.

I couldn’t get the Folder Summary Popups or the New Mail Notifications to work for me. Since its a developer release, I won’t gripe too much, but those would have been nice to see in action.

Overall, I’m digging where it’s going. There are certain things that I would love to see changed or added at a much faster pace, but I understand that quick development and good quality product don’t necessarily go together. More reviews are coming…

Thunderbird 2.0 Beta 1 released today!

December 14, 2006

So I’ve been waiting for some news on Thunderbird 2.0 ever since Firefox 2 was released. Well, here is the first beta release and it looks like it was well worth the wait! Here’s the short list of changes:

  • Message Tags: Create your own tags for organizing email. Messages can be assigned any number of tags. Tags can be combined with saved searches and mail views to make it easier to organize email.  –  This sounds very similar to Google’s Gmail.  You use tags instead of folders, which can be really fast, but a little disconcerting if you’re not used to it.
  • Visual Theme: Thunderbird 2’s theme and user interface have been updated to improve usability.  –  The screen shots I’ve seen so far are impressive.  I’ve already seen people callling this just fluff and eyecandy, but I couldn’t disagree more.  Since I have to train teachers to use this app, any bit of user-friendliness and “eyecandy” that can be added is a very good thing!
  • Session History Navigation: Back and Forward buttons allow navigation through message history.  –  This might be useful, but I’ll let you know later.
  • Folder Views: Customize the folder pane to show favorite, unread or recent folders.  –  I have no idea what this means.  Hopefully, it will make more sense when I play with it.
  • Improved Support For Extensions: Extensions can now add custom columns to the message list pane in addition to storing custom message data in the mail database.
  • Improved Offline Management: Thunderbird (Linux and Windows) automatically adjusts the offline state based on current network connectivity.  – Ok, so Mac isn’t worthy of this too?  What the heck?
  • Improved New Mail Notification Alerts: New mail alerts include information such as the subject, sender and message text.  –  I think I just wet my pants (j/k).  This is a such a great idea.  Isn’t this available with Outlook?  If so, this will make my users very happy!
  • Folder Summary Popups: Mouse over a folder with new messages to see a summary of the new messages in that folder.  –  Uh huh.  Again, hopefully this will be a little easier to understand when I play with it.
  • Saved Search Folder Performance: Search results for saved search folders are now cached, improving folder loading performance.  –  Very cool.  I don’t use searches that often, but if you file all your mail and do lots of searches, this would save a ton of time, I’m sure.
  • Find As You Type  –  Good.  This is a standard feature in a lot of other apps (especially on Mac).
  • Improved Filing Tools: Recent folder menu items for moving and copying folders to recently used folders. Move / Copy again functionality.
  • Updates to the extension system: The extension system has been updated to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions.  –  Didn’t you cover this already?  Why list improvements to extension systems/support twice?  I guess someone’s put a ton of work into this and wants credit…it’s probably due, so good.
  • New Windows installer: Based on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, the new Windows installer resolves many long-standing issues.  –  I know nothing about this system and have less than 1o people on XP, so I’m sure I won’t really notice this much.  If you’re using Windows, I assume this is an improvement…
  • MacOS X Universal Binaries  –  Beautiful!  No more rosetta for my Macbook users!

Rumbling Edge has a more detailed list of notable bug fixes.

There are plenty of things I can think of that I hope are included in the 2.0 version…like improved filtering…but I digress.  I’m going to play with the beta tomorrow and I’ll post some screen shots and reviews then.

Thunderbird released

November 10, 2006

Hello everyone!

Thunderbird was released Wednesday, November 8th, 2006. If you’re Thunderbird hasn’t asked you update it yet, it should have done so already. You could always do it manually:

  1. Open Thunderbird
  2. Go to Help > Check for Updates
  3. It should check with Mozilla’s site and see the new version. Click on the Install Now button.
  4. Restart Thunderbird when prompted.

Or you could always go download it and install it manually.

The following bugs were fixed in the release:

MFSA 2006-67 Running Script can be recompiled
MFSA 2006-66 RSA signature forgery (variant)
MFSA 2006-65 Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:

I don’t about the rest of you, but I’m looking forward to version 2.0, especially if it’s as good as the 2.0 release of Firefox.