Teacher, the Thunderbird ate my homework

I uninstalled Thunderbird today. It lasted six days.
Originally, I installed it because I wanted to keep my work mail totally separate from my personal mail (which I keep in Opera/M2).

I set up TB(Thunderbird) with one single IMAP account – the IMAP folder only containing four folders: Drafts, INBOX, Sent and Trash. I started composing the weekly update to my boss — mail that is by nature rather lengthy, and not usually composed in one go.
While editing, I did some cut- and paste from a @text/html@ mail I had received, and to my horror discovered that Thunderbird gladly wanted rich text formatting in some form, HTML(HyperText Markup Language) – I presumed. So, I saved the mail and closed it – because I wanted to see if I could locate how to force TB never to send html.
When I had saved and closed the mail, it was still visible in my drafts folder. I then configured TB to “Convert Mail to Plain Text” when the recipient wasn’t listed as being able to receive HTML mail.
Then, my phone rang, and I absent-mindedly closed TB, because I needed to reach something on my desktop. When I reopened TB, to continue the monstrous mail I had written, _it was gone!_
I looked through every single folder, _but the mail was and is gone!_
Whether this is because I made some error, or there is a bug in Thunderbird is irrelevant to me: The risk of running Thunderbird is simply too great.
_I now do all my work-related mail in Opera. It saves my drafts automatically. It doesn’t throw away my mail, and it doesn’t compose e-mail that may get eaten by spam-filters because the mail is html._

Leave a comment


  1. Hmm. Not good.
    Did you check the drafts folder under “Local Folders”? I don’t use the Drafts feature myself, but I think the Local Folders version of the Drafts folder is used for IMAP accounts.

  2. I checked _every single folder_ including both the server-side drafts folder, and the local drafts folder.
    The message was and is gone.

  3. Joel Mama

     /  2004-12-15

    Such a quick “test” sounds to me like you didn’t want to like Thunderbird from the get go. Can any email app be completely understood and tested in 6 days? I don’t think so.
    I understand your frustration, but I would be very surprised if it was deleted/lost by Thunderbird. I have used Thunderbird for years now and it’s *never* lost an email.
    Sounds like a case of self-fulfilling prophesy to me. Give it another shot, it’s a quality product. If you’re still hesitant, perhaps try it on a less important account?

  4. Joel, please leave your accusations at the door This was not a “test”. This was not a pre-determination to dislike Thunderbird (it’s interface has some nice qualities), and it was the only client beside M2 I _wanted_ to use. It lost mail on me, in a way I found rather nasty. That makes it unusable for me — all my e-mail is important to me.

  5. Interestingly, when I have scanned the Opera Mail support forum in the past, all I saw was people saying things like “M2 lost my mail!”. So it seems there are problems on both sides of the fence.
    When I don’t send a mail in Opera, it stays in my Drafts folder forever. Surely when closing TB down, it should do the same? I doubt it has an option to delete unsent mail when closing! Visit the “TB support forums”:http://forums.mozillazine.org/index.php?c=8 and see what they say.

  6. That is one part of M2 I really, really like: It autosaves my drafts as I write — it assumes that what I write is important to me.
    As for losing mail in M2: I have run M2 in _every_ Opera version since 7.0 beta 2, and I have _never_ lost a mail, and I have always performed dirty installs, and I have yet to lose mail.
    (However, doing this is not something I would recommend to the general public: I back up my mail, and I do know how to perform disaster recovery on the MBX files in Opera)

  7. Marcin

     /  2005-09-26

    Yesterday, my TB 1.0.6 lost ca. 10% of my important messages after so-called folder compacting. Instead of my mail bodies these messages had contents of these from Junk!