Monday, April 23, 2007

Email.. Thunderbird failes me again

I saw all the news about Thunderbird's latest 2.0 release, and since I use Thunderbird for 2 of my accounts, I thought I'd give it a try. For my trivial usage, i.e. as a secondary email client, I see almost no functional improvement versus the previous releases. It has all these great features like GMail support, Tagging, and Search. It still doesn't address my biggest annoyance.

I use Outlook for my work email and GMail for the majority of my personal email. Thunderbird is just used for 2 legacy accounts that I have around for historical reasons. One is POP, the other is IMAP. Both are sssllloooww. The IMAP is via SSL. For both accounts, when I send email, I sit there with Thunderbird blocked on the send, for a few seconds. That happens for every message. Worse... because of SSL, the sends pop up a username/password dialog. But it takes seconds before it does so. By that point, my impatience has moved me on to some other task.

Here is what I'd love to see improved to make me rave about Thunderbird:
1) It knows it will need a username/password, and that it doesn't have one one file. Why did it wait?
2) The reason I don't let it 'save' my username/password is because it doesn't encrypt the saved username/password. If they added strong encryption of this, then that whole issue would go away.
3) It prompts me about expired SSL Certificates too often. Why can't I just click an 'always allow' check-box and get on with my life?
4) We live in a multi-threaded world. Why is send/receive still blocking? If Linux ran better on my laptop, I've be running Evolution, which I vastly prefer over Thunderbird. The main reason is that all mail server interaction is done in the background. I can delete/move/etc to my hearts desire and not have to sit and wait for every option to finish before I get interactivity back.

Don't get me wrong. Thunderbird 2.0 is better than the previous version. I am using it on a daily basis. For a free product, I feel guilty asking for more. Still ... resolving the above issues would make me a much happier customer.


Blogger RichB said...


12:29 AM  

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