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Thunderbird with IMAP annoyance

Since I moved over some mail accounts to IMAP, I've found that Thunderbird locks up the compose mail window, presumably it's doing some IMAP related work that isn't pushed into a background thread. That means I can't type for 3-5 seconds every so often when composing a mail, while I wait for Thunderbird to let me start typing again. Anyone else seen this, or have a workaround? Failing that, anyone recommend a windows mailer that plays nice with IMAP?

April 20, 2006 09:59 AM


Bill Seitz
(April 20, 2006 10:57 AM #)

I've actually found that Mozilla gives a better user experience than Firefox and Thunderbird running separately.

The downside is that there are some intensive operations in moz-mail that keep you from even using the browser, but those are rather rare. Thunderbird seems much more single-threaded....

Mark Little
(April 20, 2006 11:16 AM #)

Yes, I've seen this many times. It's not the only annoying thing with TBird: have you come across the problem with it trying to send messages as new messages arrive? On Windows, if you've asked it to save sent messages to a folder, it often locks up with a Saving Sent Message indication at the bottom and eventually times out saying the message couldn't be sent (ignore that, it has been sent, it just can't save!) I reckon this is a concurrency control problem: presumably they lock all of the folders whenever a single update occurs, so a write lock (or equivalent) is acquired when an incoming message is received and this blocks the outgoing message save. Very annoying! I've only seen it on Windows (not Linux or Mac OS X).

Then there's the problem with filters: have too many of them in Windows and it won't run any of them (or at least after 30 minutes it didn't appear to be doing anything)!

There are so many small and annoying issues with TBird that I'm thinking of moving to something else too. So I'll be monitoring this blog entry closely :-)

Jamie Lawrence
(April 20, 2006 11:28 AM #)

I'm using Thunderbird with two different IMAP servers and the compose window opens in under a second on both my laptop and PC (over WLAN and Ethernet). I guess it must be something specific to your situation

Bill de hOra
(April 20, 2006 11:50 AM #)

"the compose window opens in under a second on both my laptop and PC "

It's during compostion the window freezes, not on opening the composition window itself.

Bill de hOra
(April 20, 2006 11:54 AM #)


"have you come across the problem with it trying to send messages as new messages arrive? "

Yes I have. But the composition thing is really distracting me. On further inspection, it might be something to do with tbird copying the message to the drafts folder. I'm going to deselect the save for offline use option on the folder and see if it makes a difference

(April 20, 2006 04:36 PM #)

It's locking the window when it's saving a draft. I noticed that specifying a local folder for drafts makes it a bit quicker (but it still misses some keystrokes it you're writing at the time).

Mark Little
(April 21, 2006 11:05 AM #)

Hi Bill. To be honest, the more I use TBird, the more it makes me want to go back to Outlook Express :-( The number of times it max-es the CPU for simple things, like cut-and-paste from one message to another, or locks up, detracts a lot.

Brett Porter
(April 23, 2006 12:31 AM #)

I'd concur that it is draft saving - I always set my draft location to a local folder. You really don't need them on the server.

I've found the offline use has sped up the experience with TB and IMAP significantly, and have it on sent items. I did have problems with the spin on send problem with an exchange server, but have not had it recently. I think I found it was better to pick a sent folder already on the server as the location for them, rather than using the default.

David Coldrick
(April 25, 2006 11:27 AM #)

Interesting. I've been using tbird at Sun (IMAP) now since it was released, and I have never experienced what you describe.


Jamie Lawrence
(June 13, 2006 11:44 AM #)

Some 2 months on and I've just experience what you decribed. In fact, it's taking so long to save to the IMAP drafts folder that I had time to find this entry again, write this comment, and it's still not finished. I guess there's a server problem but Tbird really needs a way to cancel this or make it asynchronous. Did anyone find a bug report?

Jamie Lawrence
(June 13, 2006 11:57 AM #)

Replying to myself, this bug (307042) would appear to be fixed in TBird 2.0

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