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Suggestions for improving T-bird.

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1. iNTRO - I spent an extra un-necessary year on the beta channel because of TBs Oauth2 set up problem. While there I had a major Tbird crash. Duplicates appearing , moving emails to other folders resulting in loss of said emails. incessant indexing, compacting and re-appearance of deleted contents of directories with unexpected loss of current contents. A real mess. After a month of this nonsense I only managed to recover by re-installing Beta to a new directory and copying backed up local folders manually, directory by directory, into the new Beta and checking (and or repairing) the contents, folder by folder. It took a day and a half. Arising from this experience and looking, sometimes aghast at the Beta Channe,l I suggest the following.

2. Suggestions 2 .1 Repair Tool We need to have a repair tool to rebuild a mail system just as I have partially described - you will know that there are many nuances in such a rebuild with some .sbd files not being recognised automatically and some others being recognised (trial and error methods were used to overcome these problems). In short you guys have the rule book and could easily programme a rebuild tool. What a relief it would be to know that such a rescue vehicle was at hand. 2.2 Back Up Tool As email data bases grow - mine is now 33 Gb - there has to be good back up system that users can trust. In the MS world (awful software) the back-up tools are not much good - so it would be useful for TB to do this or recommend some software for this purpose. I think TB guys should do this as Restore facilities are critical here - offering users options to recover particular email folders and emails and place them in particular locations would seem essential. 2.3 Archive

I have a lot of folders - but many are not  active at any one time. eg I have sent directories going back to 1997 eg Sent_1997, Sent_1998 etc . It would be useful to have a foreground / background arrangement of folders where folders in the background were semi-archived. They would be visible and accessible when required but not part of TB's routine search or maintenance .   They could be differently coloured in the LHS pane. It might take longer to access them. This might have the effect of preventing loss of active performance.

2.4 Deep Archive A deep archive where the user elects to compress(ZIP) folders in the Deep Archive. Once archived these would be ignored by the system unless they were released into the foreground /background area 2.5 Purge Command When things go wrong and the indexing screws up many duplicates are sometimes created. There should be a Purge folder command when right clicking on a folder.

There are other things such as better TB messaging and better documentation of the profile folder system - the existing information is too dispersed - and shoe-string - needs a User friendly approach not assuming one is familiar with shells. Do everything through DOS for consistency. Here too a tool would be useful.

Best

Gilbert

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re :I spent an extra un-necessary year on the beta channel because of TBs Oauth2 set up problem.

I do not know of anyone else who had such a problem with OAuth that they decided to use a beta version which is basically a version of Thunderbird not passed as fit for release. Usually, people choose to use a previous/older version - a downgrade.

Not sure which OAuth issue you experienced,I had no issues, but some people did have temporary issues. Others just fowarded emails to another account as a short term tempory fix. In some cases, the admins of the server removed the IMAP/SMTP access, but that was usually for MS Exchange.

Beta versions are for those people who are willing to report on bugs. You will experience some issues at some point. Backups are important for anyone using a beta. If you run a business or similar then you should not use a beta version for very obvious reasons. Often people running beta version as a test software program are also running a standard release.


So any issues you experienced why running beta versions should be reported. Sometimes the bug is already known and being worked on. Sometimes the problems experienced may not be due to a bug.

Backups are the responsibility of the user. This is the same for any document in any folder on any computer. Scheduled backups can be set up on computers, but you would not want those to occur if you are actually opening those files at the time.

IT is very easy to manually copy and paste one folder to an external drive to use as a backup. That folder is the 'Thunderbird' folder. Thunderbird must not be running. If you use 'Windows OS' then the default location is in the Roaming folder: C:\\Users\User name\Appdata\Roaming\Thunderbird

Alternatively, there in a addon tool called ImportExportTools NG which has loads of various options on saving individual emails in various formats, including saving entire folders in mbox format or indeed perform a 'profile' backup. It must be understood that the addon may not function in beta versions, so you would need to test this.

re: A deep archive where the user elects to compress(ZIP) folders -

In the profile any 'folder' in Thunderbird is actually be a file containing a lot of emails. There are occasions when some files may be contained within .sbd folder, but it cannot be assumed. You can choose to do 'zip' any *.sbd folder within any profile mail account folder, but this has to be done at the point of where the folder actually exists and of course Thunderbird must not be running.

I would advise that you still should have a normal backup.

Please be advised that imap account may have full downloaded copies of emails or they may only have headers and that can be set on a per folder basis. It is always adviseable that you get all folders fully synchronised and set up to download full copies before creating any backup. I have often had people tell me they had no idea the emails were not actually on their computer, so they had basically just backed up a load of headers and no emails.


re: I have a lot of folders - but many are not active at any one time. eg I have sent directories going back to 1997 eg Sent_1997, Sent_1998 etc . It would be useful to have a foreground / background arrangement of folders where folders in the background were semi-archived. They would be visible and accessible when required but not part of TB's routine search or maintenance

If you have an IMAP account - the emails are stored on the server. You can easily put emails into a folder and then unsubscribe from seeing that folder. This means you are using the server to store and not your computer. The emails are in a state of permanent accessibilty - you simply subscribe to see them again. This functionality already exists and is the best method if you are very unlikely to need to read contents of folders that are decades in age.

But if you just want the folder to be a different colour then change it to whatever you want. This already exists. Right click on folder and choose Properties and change the colour of the folder.

If you want folders to be excluded from a global search then set the folder up to be excluded. This already exists. Right click on folder, select 'Properties' and uncheck the option 'Include messages in this folder in Global Search results'

If your Global Database is producing weird results then it is suggested you rebuild it. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/rebuilding-global-database

re :There should be a Purge folder command when right clicking on a folder.

This already exists. There has always been a purge command. It is called 'Compact'. It is a command you should periodically run to help maintain a healthy file. It's purpose is to completely remove all emails which have been 'marked as deleted' and hidden from view. Any email which was 'moved' or 'deleted' or whether account is set to only synchronise x days will have emails set with a 'marked as deleted' marker. You can compact on a manual per folder basis OR set computer to alert you to compact when it would save x amount. You can also set up IMAP account to purge/compact Inbox folder upon exit.

In addition there is also a 'Properties' option which contains a 'Repair Folder' button. This action is designed to repair the index file. So it is updated to show what is currently contained in the mbox file. Sometimes, the mbox file and index file can get out of sync. Sometimes, emails have lost due to Anti-Virus products quarrantining files - mbox files. This means an index file thinks emails exist but when selected are blank because they do not exist. Sometimes the mbox file emails do exist and it is the index that has got corrupted, so it is not even showing them.

In addition, if more dramatic need requires it, if this is an IMAP account, you can completely remove the account, check nothing is in the profile folder and then reinstall. This is possible because IMAP accounts store all emails on the server and in effect show a view of what is on the server.

Modified by Toad-Hall

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Dear Toad Hall

Thank you for your response. I have been a Decmail/Netscape/T-bird user since c1978. I am in a Uni - so I do not control the server retention strategy. I am a remote user - 100 miles away from the server.

My move to Beta was caused by the Uni as they moved to MS Outlook and Office365 and Multi-authentication. At that time TB release did not have MA. The Uni advice was to move TB beta V77 and IMAP (previously I was on POP3 - much safer). I did this. This was around July 2020.

This was bad timing all round as the next version of TB Release (around late Autumn 2020) did have MA (but the Uni did not know this).


Backup Backup - this is under some control - I have opted for manual back ups of Thunderbird in Winzip. OAuth2 This Oauth2 problem is currently a bug with your group it occurs in the email account set up tool where Oauth2 is not an option on the list at setup. I am surprised that you are not aware of this - you can check - but I can send you the correspondenc if required. Permanent Access Your comment about folders being stored and permanently accessible on the server is not a strategy for smeone in a Uni. Users have no control over IT policy and the university retention policy is not static. So one cannot rely on that. I was really suggesting that we have a systematic and automatic way of doing foreground /background - organising emails is not something TB users want to spend all their time on. For example folders in the background could be automatically excluded from the global search.

The Purge Command I don't think you picked up my meaning. Consider : Email Subject Corres. Date Time email1 xxxx me 10/12/2021 19:01 email2 xxxx me 10/12/2021 19:01 email3 xxxx me 10/12/2021 19:01 email4 yyyy you 10/12/2021 20:02 email5 yyyy you 10/12/2021 20:02 Now PURGE and get Email Subject Corres. Date Time email1 xxxx me 10/12/2021 19:01 email4 yyyy you 10/12/2021 20:02

I have many damaged folders which I have compacted and repaired and they look like the upper panel when what I want is the lower panel, All the xxxx emails have the same contents and all the yyyy emails have the same contents (but different from the xxxx emails). I repeat compacting is not PURGING in this sense. There can be thousands of emails in a folder like this. In the example above there are 2330 emails. We need a PURGE command when things go wrong.

Global Database If your Global Database is producing weird results then it is suggested you rebuild it. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/rebuilding-global-database . Thanks for this - I will read . I suggested tha twe need a tool to do thjis.

I would like you to consider the need for the various tools I have mentioned - I do not want to be told well YOU can do this. I want you to say instead Toolx will fix that . ie build your expertise into TB.

Best for now Prof. G. MacKenzie.

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The Purge Command I don't think you picked up my meaning. Consider : Email Subject Corres. Date Time email1 xxxx me 10/12/2021 19:01 email2 xxxx me 10/12/2021 19:01 email3 xxxx me 10/12/2021 19:01 email4 yyyy you 10/12/2021 20:02 email5 yyyy you 10/12/2021 20:02 Now PURGE and get Email Subject Corres. Date Time email1 xxxx me 10/12/2021 19:01 email4 yyyy you 10/12/2021 20:02

Do I understand that you actually mean remove duplicates ?

There is an addon you could use. I have not tested this in version 91.3.2, but it is something you could try. https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/addon/removedupes/

Modified by Toad-Hall

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Dear Toad Hall

Yes - remove - they are just the product of a garbled database and/or indexing fai.lure.. Thanks for the tip.

Best Gilbert

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