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Thunderbird roast their own developers


Most other e-mail clients are surpassing Thunderbird in terms of reliability. What has happened to Thunderbird version 3 when version 2 seemed to work just fine?

With the changes to the default settings in the new version 3 of Thunderbird, it makes the e-mail client gobble up more CPU and network resources making it act more like a resource hungry virus. How? there are a few things we have to consider.  One of them is it tries to download all of the IMAP folders in the client’s account by default. Although the settings could be changed to improve how resources are used.

Another issue with the new version is that it still uses an inefficient algorithm when it creates full text indexes unlike that of Gmail. When the algorithm is put to the test, Apple’s Mail application and even Outlook outperforms it while using fewer resources.

Thunderbird seems to be slowly cooking in its own juices

It seems that the slow pace of Thunderbird’s development is taking its toll. If you look at the current 3.1 beta version of Thunderbird, it runs faster than other e-mail clients but needs 1GB of RAM and 768MB of free memory space. Compared to the slower Mac OS X mail client which takes up gigabytes of space for its e-mails and related folders only uses 128 MB of RAM.

With this comparison in mind, it seems that open source developers are not focusing much attention to optimizing their code to use fewer resources. They are still using Mork, a database file format used in the 1990’s, for their message files. This greatly decreases Thunderbird’s efficiency.

Other e-mail client alternatives are Bat!, Claws, Pegasus, Livemail, and Opera. Although each has its own sets of pros and  cons.

The challenge now for Thunderbird is to restore its reputation. Maybe they should take a longer look at their development schedule and work harder on these stated development issues and tweak their e-mail client before its next release.  Taking the time to fix known issues and making those major long-term decisions now would be in their best interest. We wouldn’t want Thunderbird to get roasted to charcoal, would we?

 

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