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ineffective filters in Thunderbird

Discussion of bugs in Mozilla Thunderbird
CMcD
 
Posts: 43
Joined: January 1st, 2007, 5:10 pm

Post Posted April 18th, 2007, 11:18 am

As someone who decided to migrate from Eudora to Thunderbird when Qualcomm announced they wouldn't be developing Eudora further, I've found working with the Thunderbird filters very disconcerting - to keep this civil. I have hundreds of email folders and five or six email addresses/accounts. Filing my email can take me large parts of a day. Thunderbird's filters simply don't measurably relieve me of the task. Reading comments over the years, my impression is that I'm not alone in this concern. Thunderbird filters have a long way to go before they're prime time.

The major problem is losing emails that have been filtered because, unlike Eudora, Thunderbird does not open the folder into which the email is filtered. This is the same problem one has with Outlook rules. The filter moves the incoming email. But where???!!!

Losing an email today can have catastrophic consequences. You cannot use a filtering system that does not effectively identify an incoming email and tell you that you got it. Merely bolding the folder title in an email hierarchy that may have 500 or more folders doesn't cut it. Nor does the little icon Thunderbird employs to identify a folder with new email in it. That means you need to endlessly scan you're entire folder hierarchy that may be three or four tiers deep to check to make sure you haven't lost an incoming email. I've tried every kind of work around, including "copying" all filtered messages into a holding folder before "moving" the email to the destination folder. Doesn't work for some reason. The point is Eudora had the answer. Open the folder and show the user by bolding the incoming message, hey, you just received an email from X and here it is. Very simple.

The overwhelming percentage of the entries discussing filters in Thunderbird on the web concerns its SPAM filter. Guess what. You're never going to beat SPAM completely. Every system devised to defeat it will have its imperfections or, at a minimum, a lot of work to do. We all hate SPAM. But if you don't want to intensify the level of SPAM filters at your ISP and then go to the trouble of White Listing the folks you want to receive emails from - a massive undertaking for someone with multiple accounts and many electronic conversations going on - you're going to get SPAM to your email client you don't want. Even if you go to all this trouble, you'll get SPAM.

Why don't we concentrate on making the Thunderbird filters work first. Not clearly identifying - not unmistakably identifying - an incoming email is inexcusable.

But other problems also exist. For instance, without manually intervening a filter works on only the Inbox of an account. But what about the Sent folder or, if you've created one because your ISP makes it possible, a SPAM folder. I have to manually run the filters on those folder for each of my different accounts/addresses individually. Why??? This is equally unnecessary and poorly designed.

I have no idea who writes Mozilla code. I came to Mozilla not because I don't want to pay for software but because I don't want to use Outlook or anything more than the minimum necessary of Microsoft product. Moreover, Outlook's rules were pretty much what I see in Thunderbird filters now ...... half thought out. So now I'm in Thunderbird and stuck with its lack of development. But the world I live in hasn't changed and like most professionals today I live by email. Those of us who have complex personal and business lives and live by email know that effective filters (or, if you prefer, "rules") are the essential element of a great email program.

Can't we do something to make Thunderbird filters at least as effective as Eudora - or even better?
Curtis M. Dowds

rifleman2
 
Posts: 3
Joined: March 9th, 2004, 10:23 am

Post Posted April 30th, 2007, 3:16 pm

I concur, the filters should at least have an option to open windows of folders with newly filtered messages and they should also work on all folders, not just the inbox. Server side tagging and filtering can route emails to other imap folders which then require some additional filtering on the client. Right now this can only be done manually, almost eliminating the benefit of filtering in the first place.

My 2 cents.

CMcD
 
Posts: 43
Joined: January 1st, 2007, 5:10 pm

Post Posted April 30th, 2007, 5:27 pm

Not to beat a dead horse but to beat a dead horse. These filters are almost worthless, more work to use than it's worth taking the time to create. Whoever is writing this code, buy a copy of Eudora, configure a mailbox hierarchy, then write filters for it, then go back to Thunderbird and send yourself some emails for those filters in Eudora. You'll immediately see that someone was thinking when they designed Eudora's filters. They work, meaning they increase your productivity once you've gone to the trouble of creating the mailboxes (i.e., folders) and their associated filters.

chew
 
Posts: 1
Joined: May 4th, 2007, 9:28 am

Post Posted May 4th, 2007, 9:41 am

1) Allow the filters rules to be drag up and down or implement a form of sorting or a priority system. I have over 1000 filters and as much as I like to keep things orderly by naming the filters alphabetically, it's getting to be a tedious task when I have to click >1000 times to get a newly created filter that starts with Z to the bottom of the list.

2) By far, I will still say Eudora has the right concept of opening each folders that has new mails automatically in a tab. Please consider implementing this.

Thanks.

CMcD
 
Posts: 43
Joined: January 1st, 2007, 5:10 pm

Post Posted May 4th, 2007, 9:57 am

Yes, by all means. Give us the option to move the filters by dragging. The ordering of the filters matters, especially if you use a SPAM filter from your ISP.

And no change in your filters soon and this is one Thunderbird user who will go back to Eudora even if it won't be supported by Qualcomm now. Soon is now not a year or years from now. Your filters are worthless. As many have testified.

Biscuit3.14
 
Posts: 21
Joined: August 7th, 2006, 1:59 pm

Post Posted May 9th, 2007, 6:00 pm

Amen, and 'add me too, please'!

I too am a/an Eudora refugee. It's an adjustment to live without have the folder automatically open when an email comes in, because unlike Eudora TBird doesn't use folder tabs and there's nothing to open.

But I'm not even getting the folder bolded with or without the " (3) " next to the folder name, unless I click on the folder itself. Ummmm....you've GOT to be kidding me!!!!!

filter feeder
 
Posts: 62
Joined: April 27th, 2007, 10:47 am

Post Posted May 14th, 2007, 11:44 pm

hello fellow filter-frenzied ones,

I agree that the filters can be a lot of work and sometimes don't function well. (They can be made to run much better, however -- Dan Raisch is very helpful on this; I'm too new to this forum to know how to hail him to advise you and way too new a user to advise you myself).

BUT I am coming from Netscape 7.2 Mail (pretty rudimentary compared with Eudora, I think) and when I discovered those little arrows
(side-lying triangles) on the bar just below the "reply" "reply all" and "forward" icons, I thought I was in heaven ':D'

These might help you with your email jungles. If you haven't discovered them, check them out.

The default is "All Folders" but another is "Unread Folders". If you leave your email on this sort, you will see which folders (even if they're sub-sub-folders) contains new emails. Only these folders show in the tree. If you get 500 emails a day and your filters don't work, this may not be a huge consolation, but I have most of my filters working now and great spam filtering and so only have to attend to a dozen or two dozen emails.

I love the fact that I will hear my email alert, and the file containing the new email appears -- all alone -- in the window. I know immediately who it's from and whether I want to open it. For me, this particular feature is a big breakthrough. ... Now, if only the filters could be made fool-proof! (I think I'm getting there but it will be a long time before I trust them completely.)

Filter feeder :D

kiwitonita
 
Posts: 17
Joined: November 12th, 2004, 11:40 pm
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Post Posted May 18th, 2007, 2:49 am

chew wrote:1) Allow the filters rules to be drag up and down or implement a form of sorting or a priority system. I have over 1000 filters and as much as I like to keep things orderly by naming the filters alphabetically, it's getting to be a tedious task when I have to click >1000 times to get a newly created filter that starts with Z to the bottom of the list.Thanks.

I too have over 1000 filters but can quite quickly put a filter where I want it by clicking the (say) down arrow once then just holding down Enter. The filter quickly travels down but not so fast that you can't read the others whizzing by. A quick way to get to a filter is to click one then type the first letter or number of the filter name you want - at least it gets you to the right area for a search.

I can't believe how basic the filers are - though they have improved. For example, if creating a filter from a new incoming mail it automatically provides the From ... Is ... options but why on earth does it not also automatically provide the To ... is .. condition as well??

And yes, the bolding of unread mail is totally unreliable - often I need to run a search on the 1000+ customer folder on (for example) Date = today to make the bolds show up.

By the way, using Mailwasher (at www.mailwasher.net) is a very easy way to see the mail on the mail server before it gets anywhere ner your hard drive. I've used it for 6 years and never had a spam mail on my PC - I can delete them from the mail server. Mailwasher also allows you to pre-read the mail - even with the free version.

Anonymosity
 
Posts: 8693
Joined: May 7th, 2007, 12:07 pm

Post Posted May 18th, 2007, 11:40 pm

For the Macintosh, there is Mypopbarrier to do much the same thing as Mailwasher. It does not have as many bells and whistles as Mailwasher, but it does allow some filtering, and can remove mails off the server. I was very happy to find it.

milt2007
 
Posts: 1
Joined: May 25th, 2007, 3:51 am

Post Posted May 25th, 2007, 4:23 am

cmd9999 wrote:As someone who decided to migrate from Eudora to Thunderbird when Qualcomm announced they wouldn't be developing Eudora further, I've found working with the Thunderbird filters very disconcerting - to keep this civil. I have hundreds of email folders and five or six email addresses/accounts. Filing my email can take me large parts of a day. Thunderbird's filters simply don't measurably relieve me of the task. Reading comments over the years, my impression is that I'm not alone in this concern. Thunderbird filters have a long way to go before they're prime time.

The major problem is losing emails that have been filtered because, unlike Eudora, Thunderbird does not open the folder into which the email is filtered. This is the same problem one has with Outlook rules. The filter moves the incoming email. But where???!!!

Losing an email today can have catastrophic consequences. You cannot use a filtering system that does not effectively identify an incoming email and tell you that you got it. Merely bolding the folder title in an email hierarchy that may have 500 or more folders doesn't cut it. Nor does the little icon Thunderbird employs to identify a folder with new email in it. That means you need to endlessly scan you're entire folder hierarchy that may be three or four tiers deep to check to make sure you haven't lost an incoming email. I've tried every kind of work around, including "copying" all filtered messages into a holding folder before "moving" the email to the destination folder. Doesn't work for some reason. The point is Eudora had the answer. Open the folder and show the user by bolding the incoming message, hey, you just received an email from X and here it is. Very simple.

The overwhelming percentage of the entries discussing filters in Thunderbird on the web concerns its SPAM filter. Guess what. You're never going to beat SPAM completely. Every system devised to defeat it will have its imperfections or, at a minimum, a lot of work to do. We all hate SPAM. But if you don't want to intensify the level of SPAM filters at your ISP and then go to the trouble of White Listing the folks you want to receive emails from - a massive undertaking for someone with multiple accounts and many electronic conversations going on - you're going to get SPAM to your email client you don't want. Even if you go to all this trouble, you'll get SPAM.

Why don't we concentrate on making the Thunderbird filters work first. Not clearly identifying - not unmistakably identifying - an incoming email is inexcusable.

But other problems also exist. For instance, without manually intervening a filter works on only the Inbox of an account. But what about the Sent folder or, if you've created one because your ISP makes it possible, a SPAM folder. I have to manually run the filters on those folder for each of my different accounts/addresses individually. Why??? This is equally unnecessary and poorly designed.

I have no idea who writes Mozilla code. I came to Mozilla not because I don't want to pay for software but because I don't want to use Outlook or anything more than the minimum necessary of Microsoft product. Moreover, Outlook's rules were pretty much what I see in Thunderbird filters now ...... half thought out. So now I'm in Thunderbird and stuck with its lack of development. But the world I live in hasn't changed and like most professionals today I live by email. Those of us who have complex personal and business lives and live by email know that effective filters (or, if you prefer, "rules") are the essential element of a great email program.

Can't we do something to make Thunderbird filters at least as effective as Eudora - or even better?


I agree totally!
I add that it is very difficult (when one want to forward a mail with filter) add email/s that you want, because you can't choose it from the address book but you have to add it, every time, manually! This is a very boring thing, and some times is very easy to make a mistake or forget to add an address. I like Thunderbird very much and I hope that, very soon, the filters' tool comes optimized.

Mensh

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Post Posted June 4th, 2007, 12:53 pm

Not being able to filter outbound mail in the send box is very, very annoying. It means that all the mailboxes I've set up have only the questions, but not my answers stored in them.

That and the fact that I can't seem to make any stationary templates so that I have a consistent subject line and beginning paragraph data make it difficult to manage the groups I manage.

Looks like I'll be returning to Eudora. Thanks Thunderbird, but it's not quite good enough yet.
If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
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Synthezoid
 
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Joined: July 24th, 2013, 6:18 pm

Post Posted July 20th, 2021, 1:00 am

Sorry to necropost but it's amazing to me that switching to Thunderbird in 2021, 15 years after this issue was posted, I have most of the same exact frustrations. In fact the reason I found this old thread was searching the forums today for a solution to this same issue.

I've been beating my head against FiltaQuilla for months trying to get it to open folders as emails are filtered into them, because it seems like at this point that will never be native in Thunderbird, but even with FQ I can't get it to happen reliably at all and I continue to have to hunt for new emails, and often miss them, 15 years after users started complaining about it.

If any modern-day or feature readers have a solution to this, it'd make my day.

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Post Posted July 20th, 2021, 4:17 am

Locking due to very old age.
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