Mozilla Thunderbird Features Summary

Saturday December 6th, 2003

David Tenser writes: "What's so good about Mozilla Thunderbird anyway? I've written a document covering the most important reasons to use Thunderbird as your default mail and news client. As always, I appreciate feedback and I'm sure there are many features I've missed."

#1 dont forget...

by jtilak

Saturday December 6th, 2003 10:24 PM

You forgot speed, stability & simplicity. And I don't think you stressed the importance of not running scripts by default. When I think Outlook I think VIRUS SPREADER. You should also mention that it's cross-platform. (Not everyone uses windows)

#10 Re: dont forget...

by robdogg

Sunday December 7th, 2003 10:23 AM


Stop with the FUD already. Outlook or Outlook Express haven't spread a virus in 3-4 years. The scripts are OFF by DEFAULT.

#11 Source Code for the Manual

by kquiggle

Sunday December 7th, 2003 10:52 AM

Just because the scripts are off by default, doesn't mean they can't be switched on again. Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that it is all too frequently true that in MS products you can features or you can have security, but not both at the same time.

More important, Lotus Notes and OE are the "competition," so it is important to compare features and functions. This kind of competition should make all of these products better.

#16 scripting in OE/Thunderbird

by mlefevre

Sunday December 7th, 2003 3:29 PM

It's true that script can be turned on in OE. But that's also true of Mozilla and Thunderbird, and Mozilla's scripting has also had security flaws.

Criticising OE on the basis of mistakes in previous versions is stupid - should we invite people to evaluate Thunderbird 0.1? Mozilla 0.9? Netscape 6.0?

Deliberately making misleading statements about Microsoft products is a great way to find yourself of a law suit (even if you're not in the US). Hopefully this was just a mistake and djst will correct the page...

#17 What?

by jedbro

Sunday December 7th, 2003 3:33 PM

I think you need to get your sats right. No way it's only been 2-3years. More like 2 to 3 months :) No, a bit longer, but in the past 3 years Outlook has been the number one cause of e-mail viruses. Just google it for more info.

#19 Re: What?

by mlefevre

Sunday December 7th, 2003 4:01 PM

Which doesn't make this a good argument. "Use Thunderbird 0.4 now, because it's better than Outlook 98 was 4 years ago"? Why not "Use Outlook 2004, because Thunderbird 0.1 is crap".

Marketing your product by making silly claims which anyone with technical knowledge can shoot down in flames is an invitation for people with technical knowledge to shoot it down in flames. It might score points with the mass of less experienced users, but it's just scoring own goals in terms of MozillaZine (and Slashdot) readers, IMHO.

#24 Re: What?

by jgraham

Monday December 8th, 2003 8:19 AM

Of course that wouldn't stop Microsoft doing the same thing (witness their recent retoric comparing the number of security patches in some period for windows 2003 server, compared to Redhat *6.0*, if I remember the story correctly). It's undoubtedly true that Outlook (Express) has caused serious security problems in the past, whereas I don't recall any incidents of viruses/trojans/whatever spreading via Mozilla mail. If this is a marketing document rather than a technical document, there's no good reason not to mention this fact.

#2 Wow...

by Waldo_2

Saturday December 6th, 2003 10:32 PM

I never knew this existed. One look is all it took for me to file a bug to fill this out and make it the official Why document for Thunderbird (similar to for Firebird):

#9 actually I think it's pretty week

by an_mo

Sunday December 7th, 2003 9:34 AM

... look at the discussion over at slashdot today. There you'll see that different people complain about the fact that each of these "why" features are supported, and better, in other mail clients. Don't get me wrong, I love TB, but if these were the reasons I wouldn't be using it.


by jgraham

Monday December 8th, 2003 8:10 AM

My impression from the slashdot story was that people get very attached to particular features that exist in software they use, and dislike other software when it doesn't exactly match the feature set they are used to. It's surprising how prevalent this attitude is (for want of a better example, I've witnessed people involved with Mozilla complain when some buttons have swapped positions to better comply with iterface guidelines on various platforms. Yet still people wonder why people refuse to change their web browser, let alone their operating system.). I'd even venture that this is particularly true with email, since many people have very complex systems for categorising and storing email. Combine that with the fact that slashdot comments don't represent a good sample of opinions (people only comment if their strength of feeling is sufficient to make writing a comment worthwhile) and it's quickly apparent that the phenomonon you observe is inevitable regardless of the strength of the product being discussed.

#3 Similar to an existing page

by jesse

Saturday December 6th, 2003 10:36 PM seems pretty similar to

#4 Re: Similar to an existing page

by Waldo_2

Saturday December 6th, 2003 10:40 PM

The design is much better, though, which is what will make the greatest initial, pre-reading impression. It also goes into a little more detail in a few spots to enable the end user to "do it himself".

#5 Keep on trying

by mcbridematt

Sunday December 7th, 2003 12:29 AM

Good document, but you still don't convice me to switch from a perfectly working Mozilla Mail setup, which intergrates nicely with the bundled browser, to a standalone product, despite it's new features.

Any way, it's a good marketing document :)

#7 Re: Keep on trying

by mss

Sunday December 7th, 2003 3:06 AM

i have to agree with you. there is confusion among people between 1.4.1 and 1.5 (the suites) already!

i think the users will do better wait for a stable milestone, while we tech-enthusiasts experiment with tech-previews!


#6 Junk mail is per account

by Simplex

Sunday December 7th, 2003 1:01 AM

From the release notes: The enable/disable option for adaptive junk mail detection appears to apply to all accounts (Tools / Junk Mail Controls / Adaptive Filters). It is, however, a PER ACCOUNT option. To set the option for a specific account, choose the account in the 'Account:' dropdown on the 'Settings' panel, then switch to the 'Adaptive Filters' panel and set the option. Repeat per account as needed.

You should probably add that you need to select your account before you mark turn on junk filtering. That is, unless this is just a bug and won't be like that in future versions.

#8 Junk mail filter misses messages with no body text

by Blob2004

Sunday December 7th, 2003 5:50 AM

As good as the junk mail filter is, it is still foiled by messages with no body text. More and more spam consists of nothing but a graphic image. However, the subject is usually a dead giveaway. Perhaps one day the filter will check the subject as well. Until then, we're stuck with seeing this junk every day.

#13 Re: Junk mail filter misses messages with no body

by czarandy

Sunday December 7th, 2003 12:47 PM

That's true. To combat this I set a filter to move any message that doesn't have either an "a", "e", "i", "o", or "u" to my junk folder. I figure if anyone is sending me e-mails without vowels I probably don't want to read them in any case.

#21 Re: Re: Junk mail filter misses messages with no b

by albano

Monday December 8th, 2003 5:36 AM

"I figure if anyone is sending me e-mails without vowels I probably don't want to read them in any case."

Hey - it could be Arabic or Hebrew!

#12 What about support for Netscape webmail?

by bugs4hj

Sunday December 7th, 2003 11:35 AM

Can mozilla Thunderbird be used for Netscape's webmail (IMAP+)? I really wonder if there's something special about that AIM protocol. Any tips for getting that functional?

#18 Re: What about support for Netscape webmail?

by mlefevre

Sunday December 7th, 2003 3:35 PM

No, only Netscape browsers have support for Netscape mail via "IMAP+". How it works is an AOL secret and they're not giving it away (and implementing it without their blessing wouldn't be a good move...)


by jgraham

Monday December 8th, 2003 8:14 AM

Although, unless they have a patent on the system (or has a contract with AOL), there's no legal reason that Mozilla couldn't implement it. As far as I understand it, trade secrets are just that - secrets. If you can discover those secrets, for example, by reverse engineering, there's nothing that the company can do to prevent you from utilising that knowledge. In this particular case, I guess non-disclosure clauses from ex-Netscape employees would also limit who could work on the code. Of course that doesn't mean you can expect to see netscape webmail support in Mozilla anytime soon, just that the situation isn't quite as bad as has been made out.

#14 subject-verb agreement, clarity

by nguyen_alex

Sunday December 7th, 2003 1:35 PM

The sentence "Our tools analyze your e-mail, and identifies those that are most likely to be junk." should read "Our tools analyze your e-mail and identify the messages that are most likely to be junk."

The sentence "You can automatically have your junk mail deleted or you can put it in a folder that you specify." should read "You can have your junk mail automatically deleted or put in a specific folder."

The caption "Mozilla Thunderbird removes spam and helps keeping your Inbox clean." should read "Mozilla Thunderbird removes spam and helps keep your Inbox clean."

The sentence "In the end, all these possibilities makes you more productive and efficient, which is what Mozilla Thunderbird is all about." could replace "possibilities" with "features."

"addressbook" should be split into two words ("address book").

The sentences "With themes, you can change the look and feel in Mozilla Thunderbird. A theme can change anything from just the toolbar buttons to the whole browser appearance." should read "With themes, you can change the look and feel of Mozilla Thunderbird. A theme can change just the toolbar buttons or the whole application's appearance."

#20 Re: subject-verb agreement, clarity

by beastie

Sunday December 7th, 2003 5:32 PM

"In the end, all these possibilities makes you more productive and efficient, which is what Mozilla Thunderbird is all about."

"make" not "makes"

#15 More detail comparison with several Mail clients

by vgendler

Sunday December 7th, 2003 2:17 PM

This article is too short to present and outline Mozilla Thunderbird features. With the size (7.5 MB for Windows)it looks slightly bloated especially in comparison with such popular product as The Bat! (1.89 MB - v. 2.02 RC )

#25 mozilla and microsoft...

by mss

Monday December 8th, 2003 11:38 AM

outlook (and outlook express) are "mature" products, which are thoroughly "researched" and "produced out of the box". mozilla is an opensource software, which upgrades itself "day by day" by gathering inputs (only) from enlightened individuals.

mozilla software now works better and better on windows platform: supports activex more completely, works better with NTLM authentication, thunderbird looks more like outlook express.

at the developers' end, windows builds are first available, sometimes builds for other platforms are with bugs, such as 1.5.1.

we will have to accept that microsoft has set a "way", though we do not want to call it a "standard".

who has forgotten trademark issues: phoenix and minotaur had trademark issues and had to borrow names from Ford, followed recently by zilla. it wouldnot be surprizing if "lizard" and "seamonkey" would suddenly become a trademark issue, and we are all back to square one. ...DEEP SIGH... MSS