As I’ve mentioned before on my blog, occasionally I try out Thunderbird to see if it feels like a good fit to become my mail client. So far, the longest I’ve stuck with it is about two weeks, back during the later stages of development on Thunderbird 2.0.
With Thunderbird 3 teetering on the brink of beta, I thought I’d give it another try today.
By and large, Thunderbird has come a long way! The editor is improved, the look and feel is better, the tabs are a great addition, and it seems a lot nicer to use overall.
However, I ran into one frustrating hiccup and a few weird throwbacks that give me pause.
By “throwbacks,” I mean features that seem half-implemented compared to, well, every other mail client out there.
- In this day and age, having to write your signatures using an external editor and choose them using a file picker seems beyond quaint. I haven’t seen another email program that does this in at least a decade.
- The fact that there’s not only no built-in “new mail” sound effect, but that Thunderbird doesn’t support the standard sound file formats most commonly used on the Mac, seems very odd. At least on the Mac, it’s very easy to play back just about any type of sound file.
- In my opinion, there should be an “Edit this account” button in the account creation wizard. The default configuration is rarely adequate for my needs, due to quirks of most of the servers I use.
There are a few other things, mostly minor, along with me personally having some hard-to-explain issue with the design of the server settings user interface. I don’t know what it is that bothers me, but something does.
As usual, this sounds like a lot of whining, so I want to stress that I’m incredibly impressed by the progress made in Thunderbird 3, and I’m quite excited for its release. Even more so, I have little doubt that Thunderbird is on a course toward meeting my rather nitpicky personal preferences and eventually becoming my email client of choice.
Keep it up, folks!