Standardizing on Mozilla?
Thursday July 3rd, 2003
Slashdot today asked "Which Organizations Have Standardized on Mozilla?" A lot of good stories and ideas about trying to get an organization to switch to Mozilla based solutions.
#1 "Uphill battle" is an understatement
Thursday July 3rd, 2003 7:57 PM
<self-plagarized from slashdot, slightly edited for clarity>
I do use Mozilla at work, but I long ago gave up the apparently futile effort of trying to convince SOME of the older people I work with that Mozilla is NOT some piece of "Shareware that my kids told me not to run". Whatever. I *do* occasionally convert someone in non-business circles to switch.
...before organizations decide to standardize on Mozilla mail, there needs to be some good reasons for them to switch from something they have which is already working. That's a steep uphill battle in most companies, if not impossible.
Although Mozilla browser does have some very compelling features, I have yet to see an article that makes Mozilla mail appear much better than the competitors. Plus, Mozilla has a reputation of loosing data (whether truthful or not) and most people don't want to risk their e-mail archives on a "possibly better" client. And looking at the slashdot comments, lots of people believe that it crashes alot too (possibly leading to the data loss I mentioned).
In Mozilla 1.4 (Windows 2000), I'm still using the same mail store I started with in 1997 in Netscape mail, I have over 62,750 messages in dozens of folders.
I switched to Mozilla from Netscape 4.7x when Mozilla 1.0-RC3 came out. I haven't had any mail losses in Mozilla.
For safety, I always backup my entire profile folder (including e-mail, but excluding cache) before installing a new Mozilla release, but I haven't had to restore any mail messages.
Just this week I lost all my bookmarks that were not in a folder using Mozilla Firebird 2003-06-27.
My bookmarks get backed up along with my e-mail whenever I install a new version of Mozilla.
- Eric, InvisibleRobot.com <http://www.Invisiblerobot.com/>
Mozilla (in Windows 2000) hasn't crashed at all for me since a couple of the early 1.0 releases, and even with those early releases, a crash was extremely rare. I have certainly never had Mozilla crash in 1.3 or 1.4, and I use it extensively at home and at work.
#11 Re: Why change to Mozilla e-mail?
Friday July 4th, 2003 12:32 PM
No crushes of the email for me since Mozilla 1.0 RCs. The Bookmarks and the Address book have also never been lost. The only thing which is pretty inconvenient I noticed in Mozilla 1.4 (possibly happened earlier) was difficulty to restore the old emails from my back up. Occasionally I restore the back up to get some old emails. I did it simply replaced the whole Mail folder. Last time it did not work for me with Mozilla 1.4 (I did not see folders). The workaround was to replace the contents of the Mail folder.
I know a person that lost all their mail twice in Mozilla 1.0 when it was released. I managed to get him to try mozilla when 1.0 came out, as he was using netscape 4 mail - but ever since then he's held a grudge against anything Mozilla-related (and I don't really blame him).
He wasn't backing up his mail at the time, but I'm sure he's been extra careful with that now as well.
#18 Re: Re: Why change to Mozilla e-mail?
Friday July 4th, 2003 10:34 PM
I have two friends who have also had the same experience. One friend got burnt twice, losing all his email both times; the other gave up after the first time this happened...
Suffice to say, neither of them are game to try Mozilla Mail ever again. I've not had any serious problems using Mozilla for IMAP mail for ~3 years now; however they were both using POP3 mail...
As I said above, I have many years of e-mail, and have been using Mozilla since 1.0-RC3 in Windows 2000 with no mail loss. I've updated Mozilla at least 10 times since 1.0-RC3, and haven't had any mail losses. I always uninstall the previous version before installing the new version, and I always backup my profile directory, but I've never lost an e-mail in Mozilla, and I've never had to restore e-mail from the backup. (I think I once had to restore my bookmarks from the backup copy, but never e-mail.)
What caused these people to lose their mail?
#20 Re: No problems with POP3 for me
Saturday July 5th, 2003 11:09 AM
If we knew the answer to that question, then it would be far more reassuring. Unfortunately, there was nothing special that they did to make the mail disappear. Neither had used Mozilla before and were running a clean 1.0 release build (at the time)...
One of them was getting intermingled corrupted messages, which I as near as I could guess was the result of "null-character-in-email-causes-things-to-get-corrupted" .. the other opened up his email to find all his messages had mysteriously vanished! That same user later ran into a problem on a different machine where Mozilla somehow created duplicates of all his emails in his inbox. That wound up taking him hours of weeding out all the duplicates amongst hundreds and hundreds of mesages. Weird stuff...
#22 cause of email problems
by webgremlin <email@example.com>
Saturday July 5th, 2003 5:21 PM
My mom has had occassional email problems with her, invariably outdated, versions of Mozilla, and I have also in the past. I have seen both email vanishing and emails gettings oddly jumbled together. I suspect that all of the aboves' email wasn't really lost, only the .msf files were mangled. Most problems with (POP3 at least) mail can be resolved by typing "del *.msf /s" at a command prompt. (It's safe to type that in your profile directory, safe to type at C: so long as no other programs use .msf extension. No others do on my system.) That always fixes such things for me.
I personally never lost my mail with Mozilla, I'm using Mozilla Mail, Netscape Mail, and Thunderbird on the same folder without problems at all. But in the past a coworker lost his mails because the program Put a new folder for his mails. I had to change the folder setting to repair it.
#3 Bugs that make Mozilla business-unfriendly :-(
Friday July 4th, 2003 4:12 AM
I have made all my company (35 using computers) switch to Mozilla Mail.
The bosses were very angry at me. Why? Because the program insists to put the sig at the bottom of th email, even when there are previous mails quoted. I told him that the >>s meant quoting, but to no avail. They just don't get it.
What does Mozilla do about it (even if $ has been promised?): <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=62429>
Another thing the drives users mad, literally *mad*, is that at least once a day, Mozilla remains idle on a mail recieve, or totally hangs and needs a Windows restart. Part of it is in: <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=183501>
I hope the division of the Mozilla programs wil make things better.
Too bad I'm a Java developer, or I'd look into it... or is it time to learn a new language? ;-)
#5 Re: Bugs that make Mozilla business-unfriendly :-(
Friday July 4th, 2003 8:27 AM
Past time I'd say... :)
#12 Re: Bugs that make Mozilla business-unfriendly :-(
Friday July 4th, 2003 2:01 PM
I notice you haven't even voted for the second bug you mention <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=183501> about the freeze when getting new messages, and the bug remains UNCONFIRMED because it doesn't have enough votes. Please vote for the bug if you have determined that it's important that it be fixed.
#13 Re: Bugs that make Mozilla business-unfriendly :-(
Friday July 4th, 2003 2:46 PM
For MailNews/Thunderbird to have same basic functionality as OE has had for ages:
<http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=30057> - Use one Local Mail tree for all POP3 accounts
<http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=75866> - Viewing message for very short time shouldn't mark it as read
<http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=43278> - Crossposts (same Message-ID) not marked as read in other groups
And as bonus: nasty crasher <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=206199> - Mail client crashes immediately on startup
#16 Re: Bugs that make Mozilla business-unfriendly :-(
by Ascaris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Friday July 4th, 2003 8:29 PM
Don't forget the many problems with the Mozilla Mail editor. If you use the plaintext editor and use the customary two spaces after a period as you type, the people that read your email will see unwanted indentations in the middle of a paragraph, anytime a period happens to fall at the end of the line above. You won't see this as you are typing, but it will be apparent to your reader, no matter what email client they use. It looks really poor.
I post regularly on several email lists, including two of which I am listowner, and when I see what Mozilla has done to my emails, I wonder how any business could use Mozilla Mail. I like Mozilla... I have been a Netscape faithful since I started using the web in the Windows 3.1 days, and I will not use anything other than Netscape/Mozilla for browsing or email out of loyalty and inertia. However, there is no doubt that Mozilla's plaintext editor simply is not good enough for the business environment, or for anyone that is serious about email. It is not capable of producing professional quality output.
The bug that covers this is #91608:
This is such a big problem in my daily use of Mozilla... it amazes me that it only has three votes. I guess that most people that use the plaintext editor either do not use two spaces after a period, or else they do not see their own posts and realize how Mozilla munged them up. You people that use Mozilla mail with the plaintext editor... I suggest you go look in your sent folder and see what Mozilla does to your messages.
The other complaint I have about what Mozilla does to the email is that it adds a CR+LF after each section of cited text. I found that if I set the the pref editor.quotesPreformatted to false, that problem is fixed. There is nothing, though, that works as a suitable workaround for bug 91608. The only kludge I have found to work is to use the HTML editor, which had this same indenting problem, but that was fixed months ago.
Using the HTML editor is not a perfect solution, because it disregards the font choice the user has made when text is quoted (another Mail bug). I specify the default monospace font (Courier New) be used when composing mail, and it works when I hit the compose button... but when I hit reply, it uses whatever font is the default HTML font, which is the default serif font, which is Times New Roman. I like to compose with Courier New... the same font I have been using since Netscape first came with a mail client with 3.0 Gold. I'm a creature of habit.
Since I only send plaintext mail, I should be able to use the plaintext editor. I hate the graphical quotes that the HTML editor uses (I wish the pref for graphical quotes got rid of ALL of the graphical quotes-- this is IMO another Mail bug). Rewrapping the text gets rid of them, so I added a rewrap button to my toolbar in Mozilla (and in Thunderbird), but it is still a kludgy way to do it.
If I had even the slightest clue about how to fix any of these bugs, I would do so happily. I don't, though, so all I can do now is hope that they get fixed soon. These little glitches like this are not crashers or dataloss bugs, but they add to (cause) the rough, unfinished feel that Mozilla Mail has, and that prevents it (and its derivatives, like the mail part of Netscape 7.1) from being business-quality products. As it stands now, Mozilla Mail is not even close to being ready for prime-time. The browser is outstanding; I hope that Mozilla Mail/Thunderbird will benefit from more intensive development the same way that Phoenix/Firebird has.
#4 re: Bugs that make Mozilla business-unfriendly :-(
Friday July 4th, 2003 7:47 AM
> What does Mozilla do about it (even if $ has been promised?): (LINK)
I read that bug, and it is pretty fucking retarded. Just add the pref already.
Reminds me of the equally retarded endless discussion and total stonewalling by the Metacity window manager guy who refused to add a pref that allowed you to turn off window minimization animations.
#23 Re: re: Bugs that make Mozilla business-unfriendly
Saturday July 5th, 2003 6:12 PM
You think that's bad? There's several cases where years of geek-philosophical rambling has meant that Mozilla doesn't support HTML 4.01 properly (like aligning and/or styling table columns/column-groups).
It's a perfect example of why design-by-committee sucks balls - every project needs one or two friendly ruthless dictators to settle decisions like this so everyone can fix a problem and move on. It's how Moz-Firebird went from idea to implementation so quickly.
Sometimes it happens that one of my accounts doesn't show any mails. I'm sure that 2 minutes ago there where a lot of e-mails there before I had a look into another account. Closing Thunderbird and using the Mozilla 1.4.1 e-mail client (uses the same directories as Thunderbird does) once fixed this always. Two hours ago I upgraded to Thunderbird 0.4 and just now I got again an empty inbox view in one of my accounts. Using Mozilla doesn't help anymore to recover my e-mails. What now?
Any help or suggestions?
I'm using thunderbird at home on PC, and at work on a Mac. Both of these installations are erasing my mail sponteneously: AGGH!.
Here's a workaround: use search, and search for *all* messages received after (say) 1 Jan 2000. You will see all your invisible mail subject lines again. Select those you want to recover, click on 'file', and select a different folder: it might take a while to execute, but it'll recover your mail. I've had to do this process three times this week, so I'm of the opinion this software's great, but losing my emails!? nope: can't trust it.