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italics in preview pane (and add-ons)

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
Snowland
 
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Joined: March 4th, 2014, 8:00 pm

Post Posted January 14th, 2021, 8:24 pm

Hi all,
I'm a long time TB user and generally happy with it. However, a couple of things are frustrating:
1) For a long time, certain messages display in italics in the preview pane (not in a spearate window or in reply), regardless of the settings I change in options. It might be connected to Thunderbird Conversations, which I want to keep using. Has anyone else experienced this? I do have a non-English font assigned in the options (Tibetan) but not in italics.
2) Very frustrated by my essential add-ons being disabled by major TB updates, This has happened about three times and this latest time is the longest that the add-on developers have taken to fix/re-write their add-ons. This slows down my productivity a lot...

tanstaafl
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Post Posted January 14th, 2021, 10:34 pm

1) What do these messages have in common?

2) This is due to a change from legacy add-ons (using XPCOM/XUL based technologies) to one using the WebExtension API. This is the same type of transition that Firefox went through, though in Thunderbird's case they spread it across three major versions. The problem is not just that add-on authors need to rewrite the old add-ons, the new API doesn't support many of the same features and there is no announced plan or draft specification to provide equivalents. A lot of the add-on authors state on their web pages/blog they won't rewrite their add-ons. Some of those add-ons have been adopted by other authors but it will take a long while to rebuilt the add-on author community.

How we got into this mess is due to internal politics. The "community driven project" doesn't seem to have many user advocates on the governing council, the project doesn't seem interested in trying to minimize the bad side effects of changes in Gecko such as the "dedicated profile per installation" feature, and everybody that matters believes its essential for users to always update to the latest version to get the latest security fixes, despite almost all of those potential security bugs not effecting Thunderbird because javascript is disabled in email accounts.

The main problem for the project used to be lack of funds/manpower. They have plenty of full time employees now. Now its direction and accountability.

There is a community manager, Ryan Sipes, at ryan@thunderbird.net . I suggest you give him some feedback by email. I'd be surprised if he replies though.

Snowland
 
Posts: 6
Joined: March 4th, 2014, 8:00 pm

Post Posted January 15th, 2021, 2:13 pm

Thank you @tanstaafl
I probably should have written two posts but thought that the cause of #1 might be #2.
Thanks for the explanation, though practically it doesn't help me. If TB wasn't a requirement of one of the systems I belong to I would consider other options as I find this kind of politicking that leaves users frustrated unacceptable. I consider some of the add-ons, such as the ability to write to my Google Calendar, sync my contacts, and colour my folders, as essential to a properly functioning email client :-(

tanstaafl
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Post Posted January 15th, 2021, 3:16 pm

"I consider some of the add-ons, such as the ability to write to my Google Calendar, sync my contacts, and colour my folders, as essential to a properly functioning email client"

You can use the tbsync and provider for caldav and carddav add-ons to synch calendars and contacts.

See viewtopic.php?p=14877538#p14877538 and viewtopic.php?f=30&t=3064381 for how to color folders while waiting for the Colored Folders add-on to be updated for version 78.

In many cases you need to find a replacement add-on (with a different name). I'm using compact headers, importexporttools NG, Provider for caldav and carddav , tbsync, quote colors and manually sort folders so the main add-ons I miss is a replacement for HeaderToolsLite (edit received message) and EmailPicky (email address crawler) and a update to the external editor add-on (broke with TB 78.4.3).

Snowland
 
Posts: 6
Joined: March 4th, 2014, 8:00 pm

Post Posted January 22nd, 2021, 5:37 pm

Thanks for the follow up. I have now got my Google Calendar working fully in TB (Caldav)!
I checked out both Phoenity Icons (from the link you gave) and tbsync. Unfortunately both add-ons bring up the message that states that they will have full unrestricted access to TB and my computer, which at face value, is unacceptable.
I emailed the Phoenity developer as there seemd to be no forum to ask questions on unless I was rating the app. But his reply (if he offers one) will not be subject to the scrutiny of others who knwo more than me about the way add-ons are coded. Any thoguhts?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted January 22nd, 2021, 6:50 pm

"bring up the message that states that they will have full unrestricted access to TB and my computer, which at face value, is unacceptable."

I believe all legacy add-ons could do anything that Thunderbird could, which means anything that your windows user account could. My impression is that WebExtension based add-ons (such as TbSync) have limits on what they can do unless they bundle and use a WebExperiment add-on (a way to access functionality that legacy add-ons could use). WebExperiments are a temporary workaround due to the WebExtension API not being fleshed out enough.

I wouldn't make too much of a poor choice of wording.

Snowland
 
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Joined: March 4th, 2014, 8:00 pm

Post Posted January 24th, 2021, 2:10 pm

Thanks tanstaafl. I did hear back and was directed to this thread which was somewhat reassuring: https://thunderbird.topicbox.com/groups ... ba6c1f9aa0

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