I’m exploring some of Thunderbird’s new features and like some of them. First up, when you have a threaded mail box and don’t feel like expanding the thread, Thunderbird shows you a “snippet”-preview of the thread in its preview pane (seen here on the right in Vertical View layout).

Another new feature is content tabs, which enable Thunderbird to display remote content in a tab – sort of like a browser in an e-mail tab. To create a content tab for this site, for example, copy the text below as a single line and paste it into the Code line in the Tools->Error Console window.


As soon as you click on Evaluate, a new tab should open with the desired Web content. Nice: clicks in that tab are handled by your default Web browser, and tabs remain there even through restarts until you explicitly close them. Thunderbird sets up indexing of messages, and searches appear to me to be much faster than if I rely on the back-end IMAP server to do the search. Furthermore, I can drill down in the search result pane, refining my search to include particular messages or dates. Useful is the (read-only) integration with Mac OS X’s address book, though not all fields are populated in Thunderbird’s view (for example, a contact’s photo isn’t shown). Last but not least, setting up Thunderbird for the first time is easier than ever before: it attempts to find your POP3 or IMAP server by querying the DNS for a record of pop3.your.domain or imap.your.domain (regrettably in that order) when you enter your e-mail address: Thunderbird then attempts to auto-configure itself: If your environment has a POP3 server and an IMAP server, and you wanted to use IMAP in preference over POP3, I recommend you ensure auto-configuration fails by entering an impossible e-mail address. You can then set up Thunderbird’s accounts manually.

Mail, IMAP, and thunderbird :: 28 Dec 2009 :: e-mail