Thunderbird 2.0 beta 1 out - and I like it

, posted: 24-Dec-2006 16:47

Beta 1 of version 2.0 of the favourite - well, least sucky - email program, namely Mozilla Thunderbird, is out and I say... get it. Normally I wouldn't recommend people to use betas, but Tbird 2.0b1 seems completely stable. It's not actually that much of an upgrade from 1.5.x, but seems to be faster overall. I use Tbird as an IMAP client mainly, having long consigned POP3 to the scrapheap of computing history, and have quite large inboxes with several thousands of messages each. The IMAP server is Dovecot currently, running on FreeBSD, but I might go back to Courier-IMAP... that's another story though.

Tbird's interface has been overhauled and looks a lot nicer now:
Tbird Menus

Lovely new icons there. The tagging feature is the one that I think will be the most useful to everyone. It works a bit like the old coloured labels. In Tbird 2.0 you can create your own tags in different colours however and apply them to messages - this should make it a lot easier to organise your email. I use different folders a lot, but often find that one message belongs in two or more folders so to speak. By applying different tags, and searching for them, this problem is solved.

Other new features include:
  • Session History Navigation: Back and Forward buttons allow navigation through message history.
  • Folder Views: Customize the folder pane to show favorite, unread or recent folders.
  • Improved Support For Extensions: Extensions can now add custom columns to the message list pane in addition to storing custom message data in the mail database.
  • Improved Offline Management: Thunderbird (Linux and Windows) automatically adjusts the offline state based on current network connectivity.
  • Improved New Mail Notification Alerts:New mail alerts include information such as the subject, sender and message text.
  • Folder Summary Popups: Mouse over a folder with new messages to see a summary of the new messages in that folder.
  • Saved Search Folder Performance: Search results for saved search folders are now cached, improving folder loading performance.
  • Find As You Type
  • Improved Filing Tools: Recent folder menu items for moving and copying folders to recently used folders. Move / Copy again functionality.
  • Updates to the extension system: The extension system has been updated to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions.
The new mail notification alert with more detail is nice, but clicking on it won't take you to the new message - could be a bug that. Folder Summary Popups don't work for me either, but other than that, good work by the Tbird developers in beta 1.

Other related posts:
FreeBSD 6.2 released
Firefox 2.0 and Windows Vista niggles
OpenBSD 4.0 out

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