Switched to Thunderbird

I switched from Mozilla Mail to Thunderbird yesterday. Two new features I like: toolbar customization, messages I have have replied to are marked in the thread pane with a green arrow. Thunderbird also includes a spell checker, but I probably won't end up using the spell checker until it supports spell-check-as-you-type (58612).

After switching, I changed some prefs (which might have been present in Mozilla Mail too):

  • Never send return receipts
  • Open each message in a new window
  • Don't remember the last selected message
  • When you mistakenly think that my message is not plain text, "convert it to plain text" without asking me".

Things that bug me the most about Mozilla Mail and Thunderbird:

  • Searching sucks.
    • Search defaults to "any of the following" (125631), like Altavista did in 1999.
    • Specifying a search seems to take more clicks than it needs to.
    • Searching is slow because it doesn't index (bug number?) or even short-circuit (154867).
  • Address completion sucks.
    • The first address is usually not the one I want to e-mail (208833).
    • Autocompletion breaks the backspace key (239558).
  • I can't minimize Thunderbird to the system tray for notifications (208923). I would... uhh... set it to check every 2 hours, and I'd never open Thunderbird otherwise, and then I wouldn't be distracted by mail so often!
  • Message composition message windows don't disappear until Thunderbird finishes sending the message (126140, WONTFIX).

Gmail (Google) and remail (IBM Research) suggest that there is a lot of room for improvement in e-mail clients. (Gmail screenshot with ads, Gmail screenshots with "related pages".)

One Response to “Switched to Thunderbird”

  1. Andrew Donaldson Says:

    Jesse, have a look for a nice little app called ‘thundertray’, it lets you fire it off to the system tray. It was the first thing I looked for!