Sep 182006

I want to like Thunderbird. I really do. Every now and then I try it out and I give up after a day, maybe two, because of the things I dislike about it. Oddly, I can never remember specific reasons I don’t like it.

To that end, I’m going to try an experiment starting today. I’m going to install the latest version and try to use it, and I’m going to blog every single thing that bothers me about it.

Before I start, though, I’ll mention the two things that I already know off the top of my head annoy me.

First, I want to use the standard Mac OS X address book. I hate having apps that use their own address books, because it means my addresses wind up in different places, out of sync with each other. It drives me nuts when apps insist on reinventing the wheel in this respect.

Second, the inconsistency with Apple’s UI guidelines is frustrating. In particular, the subtle ways in which widgets don’t behave precisely the way you expect them to. This is a commonly-known problem in the Mac version so I’ll try not to dwell on it too much.

Anyway, I’ll blog ’em as I find ’em.

 Posted by at 11:06 AM

  8 Responses to “The great Thunderbird experiment”

  1. Sometimes I wonder if it would be better to just drop Thunderbird’s AB on Mac/Windows and use the OS included address book for better integration with the OS. Would then give us things like sync ability for the given OS’s, and other features that AB inherits.

  2. The only app I’ve used that tried to use the Mac OS X address book is iChat. The UI for adding an AIM user to my buddy list was horrible, and it seemed to be horrible because iChat uses the Mac OS X address book. Thunderbird should not switch to using the Mac OS X address book if it requires harming the UI as much as it did in iChat.

  3. On the other hand, when I use Thunderbird on Windows, I don’t use the address book feature at all. So maybe I don’t care.

  4. iChat’s interface to the address book sucks, but supposedly has been redone for iChat 4, which will come with Leopard next year. iChat doesn’t actually use the Address Book’s UI, but has its own really dreadful UI.

    Thing is, apps can have their own UI. Address Book can be treated as a database. You could keep the same address book UI you have in Thunderbird now, just storing the data in the standard OS X address book.

  5. Do you plan to open bugs also ?

  6. You want peterv’s bug 203927 (and some follow-ups, I’m sure) here, if you haven’t found it yet in your searches….

  7. Yeah, I’ve seen that. I just keep waiting for 203927 to actually land. Anywhere. :)

    I will go through all these articles in a day or two and submit bugs for anything that’s not already in Bugzilla.

  8. I fully agree with the address book. I’m thinking about offering peterv some assistance if it’s wanted because I would love for that to work.