back to article Mozilla squirts out Thunderbird 3

Mozilla Messaging finally splashed Thunderbird 3 onto the interwebs yesterday. The outfit’s free alternative to Microsoft’s Outlook was made available as a download for Windows, Mac and Linux users on Tuesday. It comes less than a week after Mozilla pushed out a second release candidate version of the email client, in a move …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    do the forward and back buttons work yet?

    Never been able to find the right combination of new messages or not so my forward and back have been grey for 2 years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Forward and back

      Hey. Me too.

      I'm sure there must be a way to set it up to simple move through the inbox, but I've never found it. Not looked that hard though.

      Anon - 'cos it might be really simple to do.

      1. mrmr

        Re: Forward and back

        The buttons move you through your 'reading history' just like the firefox buttons would do. Not forwards or backwards through the internet.

        And yes, as a result they're almost completely pointless.

      2. Steve X

        to and fro

        Download the "Buttons!" add-on, and replace the standard Prev and Next buttons with Previous! and Next!. They step through messages one by one, read or not.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Thunderbird still one of the best

    The thing I loved about Thunderbird was the flexibility across platforms. I initially had it running on Linux, when I need to drag my email around on a Windows laptop, I simply zipped up the Thunderbird mailstore ( basically a glorified set of text files, like the old Unix mail prog ), unzipped on the Windows kit and started Thunderbird up on Windows, worked perfect!

    When I moved from WIndows to OSX, I downloaded OSX Thunderbird, zipped up my mail again ( now 3GB in size ), unzipped on the Mac, started TB, worked perfect once again!

    I finally stopped faffing about then I moved to Mac Mail, but once again due to the open nature of TB, I converted all my mail ( now 4.5GB in size ) in 15 mins to Mac Mail.

    I still highly recommend TB over anything MS, with their nasty locked up mail formats, have to offer.

  3. Forget It

    International Rescue

    I think I'll wait for Thunderbird 7

  4. GregC

    Not bad, but...

    What happened to the plan to integrate calendaring into the main application? Not been following development that closely so can anyone clarify whether it's been dropped or just delayed.

    The Lightning extension is fine (although a word of warning - it's not updated for TB3 yet, so you'll need to install a nightly build of the extension to get it working), but on my dual boot machine which uses a shared profile between XP and Ubuntu, it just won't work in Ubuntu. I was hoping that having the calendar integrated would solve that problem.

    Oh well - other than that, first impressions are good. I like the interface changes, tabs are long overdue and most welcome, and the search seems much quicker.

  5. Gary 23



    That is all.

  6. Moogal

    @AC 13:04

    It's especially useful on a system booting multiple OSes - you can keep the mail store on a separate partition accessible by each OS, then have a copy of Thunderbird for each OS pointing at it.

  7. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Thunderbirds are Go

    Yay, it's a beaut.

  8. Jon Green

    And it's ... not good!

    I've been using T3rc2 for a while. Install the final version doesn't want to show me my mail. It sticks on "Determining which messages to index". This happened on RC2 too, at first, but there was a progress indicator. This time, there's nothing at all, and no evidence from disk or net activity that anything's happening at all.


  9. Anonymous Coward

    re do the forward and back buttons work yet?

    I thought it was just me. Hold on AC - it is just me

  10. Dazed and Confused


    Why would I want a web based email system?

    I can then only read my email while I'm connected to the internet.

    In lots of parts of the world it is not easy to remain connect to the internet while moving about (I'm think Berkshire here not Outer Mongolia)

    Yet I might well need to be able to recall a message I was sent 6 weeks ago.

    I look forward to trying the new version. Does that qualify me as a Fanboi yet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Yes webmail. I'm totally uninterested in email unless I'm connected to the internet.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    In case you were wondering..

    Google Image Search shows that Thunderbird 3 was the red rocket-shaped one....

  12. Miles Leadlem


    Installed RC1, found I had to fight it to do what I need it to do, uninstalled it, reinstalled 2.0. Happy as a clam.

  13. Alex Walsh
    Thumb Up

    great on attachements

    If it spots the word attachment in a mail but you've forgotten to attach a file, it prompts you. Now that is useful!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Sounds irritating to me, you may want to use the word attachment without actually attaching a file. Like for example "you forgot the attachment you numbskull".

      In all seriousness this is the sort of "helpful" feature that MS Office users curse. Mozilla are getting more like Microshaft every day. It's not helpful to assume that all your users are morons.

      1. blackworx
        Thumb Up


        No doubt perfect users such as yourself will be able to switch the feature off if it annoys you, but me I'm thick as shit in a bottle and constantly having to send stuff twice because I forgot the attachment/s, so the benefit far outweighs the nuisance.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        @AC - Irritating...

        "t's not helpful to assume that all your users are morons."

        If they've been using MS Outlook, they are and you need to start them along the road to elightenment via T-bird.

        Go T-bird!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Shame the prog isn't as good as the bike. Anyway, most Outbreak users use it at work, where they tend to have no realistc choice in the matter. While Thunderbird is like Linux - omissions and stupid errors that anyone who cares about quality more than ego (or Microshaft) wouldn't let rtm without fixing first and that the fanbois conveniently ignore because being identified as one of the discerning elite by championing this stuff is what it is really all about. The morons.

      3. PaulStuffins


        you should inform them that Thunderbird has this nifty feature that alerts you if you have forgotten an attachment.

        Then you don't need to inform them again that they have forgotten an attachment, and so you wont get alerted to a "forgotten attachment"!

  14. Stuart 22 Silver badge

    Nearly ... but not quite yet

    Had to install Sunbird/Google Calendering to replace Lightening (plus the horrid sunbird button). Google Contacts not yet available - the best of the three add-on in the previous version.

    This is on my - try anything new PC. My working PCs will stay at T2 until this is resolved.

    You can't brag about close integration with Gmail and forget about the rest. I was happy with T2 for email and wanted better more closely integrated contacts & calendering. Hopefully compatible with Google. Only that combination can be an Outlook buster.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Gmail integration?

      I can't see the point of Gmail integration - surely that's just a matter of a decent IMAP setup?

      Not that I use Gmail or any other G-apps so I couldn't care less, but such marketing irritates me.

      As for calendaring, I found a different solution. I use an iPhone which syncs to a secured Zimbra setup, so my calendar lives on both the iPhone and on a web page and handles invites from others just fine, which works for me.

      So I don't need extra plug ins. However, it is a fact that Outlook has been having the edge over just about every Open Source app just because it integrates everything. That's about the only reason I see it being used, because I personally find that it sucks as software goes - that's why I use Thunderbird.

      Let's see how v3 works.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Thunderbird 3

    The best email client, nevermind Microcrap outlook,.

  16. Piloti
    Thumb Up

    Desk top or Cloud.

    Desk top, everytime.

    I think most users have no idea what the cloud is until they have no access to a web connection, then the questions start 'where is my mail, why is not 'on my computer'...

    Cloud is ok as a back up perhaps, but there really is no substuture for actually having your email on your machine....


  17. Klaus
    Thumb Down

    What did they do to the headers???

    Just installed TB 3, and I have to say: "What the hell have they done to the headers????" They're huge, and you can't minimize them at all. Somebody sure made a stupid design decision

  18. Jaffa Cakes

    Better than TB2, but

    I'll stick with Alpine.

  19. Alan 43

    Lost emails /folders on upgrade

    Just upgraded as well and there are 3 or 4 folders missing. Like yourself I had GB of emails going back perhaps 5 years over 8 email accounts and perhaps 40 folders including filters that moved some emails from one account to a folder in another account. Haven`t found the emails yet although I suspect they are still there and TB3 just isn`t picking them up!! ( Running Windows 7 )..and I`m not the only person this has affected:-

  20. Blubster

    Be nice

    if the Linux version had Windoze based PDA synchronization built in instead of having to use Synce and other third-party add-ins.

  21. DanM

    Beta quality at best

    This is possibly the poorest quality "release" I've seen the boys and girls at Mozilla produce. Crashes on first runs, display bugs in dialog boxes, LDAP certificate dialog boxes that go nowhere - all in the first 5 minutes of running. Certainly below the standards usually set by TB releases.

    A real shame, looks like I'm stuck with Outlook for now.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, but no...

    Installed Thunderbird 3, spent a full day struggling with it.

    Just re-installed v2, with which I'll say for the time being, thank you very much.

    Lots of changes in Thunderbird 3, but nothing I actually wanted or needed and too many drastic changes to want to re-enter the learning curve for a client with which I was fairly happy.

    When support for v2 dries up then I'll need to look elsewhere, assuming a more usable v4 isn't available by then.

    1. Mike Green 1

      Not so good....

      Some stupid questions....

      Why don't replies or new messages open in a tab? Still popping open a new window...

      Why doesn't the Address book open in a tab?

      I would have though they were an obvious option for tabs... Big doh!

      Also, if I double click a name in my address book, all the fields in the contact window (again, not opening in a tab) are blank, it's not picking up any of the values already in there.

      Not the best release by a long way....

  23. Eddie Johnson

    Still Missing the Point

    I've been using Thunderbird since the Mozilla suite days and there has been just about no improvement but I can give you a list of regressions. And they still won't get the damn calendar extension working decently. Just look at the comments here and on the TB article last week, its the most needed feature but they refuse to work on it. A paranoid person would think they were bought off by Google to focus on crappy gmail oriented stuff so they can help Google take over the world, not just the web.

    And as someone pointed out in the last TB article, the developers are more interested in deleting bug reports out of Bugzilla than in actually fixing them - its become a huge whitewash.

  24. Phil Koenig

    You meant Outlook EXPRESS, right?

    Yanno, I'm not exactly a MS fanboy, but I really don't know why you journalists keep acting as though Thunderbird is a "competitor" to Outlook.

    First of all, Outlook costs money.

    Second of all, Outlook is a full-fledged groupware client, with an integrated group-shareable calendar, shareable contact lists, and other collaboration features. NONE of that stuff comes with Tbird, even with the not-very-well-integrated Lightning add-on.

    There are all sorts of free and/or open-source groupware clients (ie Zimbra, Scalix, Open Groupware, and the standalone Evolution client which is now owned by Novell) which really do compete with Outlook. Tbird doesn't.

  25. BikerLad

    Went back to thunderbird 2

    On my OpenSuse 11.2 system, the thunderbird upgrade to 3 was fine. Different story on my Vista system. Thunderbird 3 came back with the dreaded Blank Screens Of Death: no mail folders, no content displayed at all (BTW, account dialogs which cannot be resized with buttons half-obscured is very annoying). On windoze, as on Linux, I have my mail folders set to specific locations rather than the defaults. I downgraded on Vista to the latest version 2 release to see all my email again. No excuses for piss-poor quality control and crappy screens. Was TB3 actually tested at all?

  26. Anonymous Coward

    runs smoothly, but...

    They removed teh folder counters from the (@#)(%* thing and that may force me back to 2.0 since i depend on that for constant cleanup reminder as folders fill up...some are more important than others and i want that number of read/unread.... at least it should be an option. the add-on for it doesn't work. sad...

  27. Alex 3

    Makes me laugh

    People say "was this software tested at all?" - and it was an open source release. Also they had a beta release to two.

    Now who was going to test it? Next door neighbours cat, Fred, Bert, Wilma.... or the person saying "Who tested this?" who paid £0.00.

    1. BikerLad

      I don't expect customers to be testing a final release

      What I find laughable is software that is released as a final version when in actual fact it is of alpha or beta quality. It's not just Thunderbird that this applies to. There have been a few questionable releases of OpenSuse over the years (broken printing or CD mounting etc.) and of KDE. All software has bugs. However, when bugs are highly visible or quite detrimental to the most basic functionality then you do have to question the quality control process. Who is going to test the software? Well, as a professional developer and architect I don't expect my customers to be testing the software for me (to any extent) unless it is an agreed alpha or beta release trial. I expect developers and the QA dept to be responsible for that. Likewise I expect the Thunderbird team to ensure that moving from alpha to beta to RCs and to the final release has ironed out the showstopper bugs. Not being able to upgrade Thunderbird on Vista is a showstopper. If they'd tested this then they'd have eliminated it. If their test cases don't encompass doing an upgrade from version 2 directly then somebody isn't doing a decent job. Of course it's difficult, nay impossible, for test cases to cover every eventuality. But I'd have thought that upgrading from Thunderbird to version 3 via the GUI menu on 64-bit Vista with mail folders not in the default location is a completely obvious test case to try out.

      Thankfully version 3 works for me on OpenSuse 11.2 64-bit.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021