Thunderbird support extension

Bryan Clark clarkbw at
Tue Jun 1 13:21:11 UTC 2010

I like it a lot!  I wanted to go over them here to make sure i  
understand them. I'll add more random ideas inline as well.
 > an extension that helps deals with the top few support issues,  
solving them if possible, giving more diagnostic information if not  
possible to solve.

Would a use case for this idea be: person opens a tab to find the top  
10 GS issues listed (possible quick search on some more). Each issue  
has an embedded "solution" which could be a workaround or a small  
script that makes the necessary changes.

Beyond just finding issues and solutions I like the idea of trying to  
help people enter better GS issues even if it just means we could give  
better tags.  We could also have an alternate site that accepts TB  
config dumps and a URL to the related GS issue in case GS doesn't have  
a good way to accept the info.

Somewhat related I was using the dreamhost issue tracker and it  
required you to read a couple issues and tag them before you can enter  
yours. I wonder of we could try something like that.  Use case working  
like: at a certain point we inform people that this is user supported  
support and we'd like them to read over 3 other issues to see if they  
can comment or tag it. When I used this it madee take a small amount  
of time to see the other requests and issues people were having and I  
think it changed my expectations for how soon I would be getting an  
answer. Sometimes you think customer service is seeing everything and  
it's not really true.

 > Message send/receive issues - reprobe settings, username, etc.

If I understand this it sounds like it could be built into the top  
issues some how. A static one that always is around. Or we could just  
try to attach it to connection errors and it's completely separate.  
Either use case doesn't matter right now, I'm just trying to  
understand it a bit more.

 > Profile discovery/import.

Matbe a use case is: on startup if we are having profile errors we  
open a support tab that helps the person find their profile and  
restart. A person could also go manually into this page to import and  
old profile, perhaps from a backup.

 > Easy way to clear the disk cache, and rebuild indexes/offline stores.

Maybe a use case here is just having this be a static issue in our top  
issues page with a solution having these options.

 > Turn on folder compaction, if not already turned on, and/or compact  

I don't really understand this. At first I thought a possible use case  
might be something that lists all your accounts and folders with the  
currently used size of the folder and allows you to compact them and  
change the compact settings.

 > Check for virus checkers known to cause issues, especially ones  
that intercept the communication between Thunderbird and the mail  

This made me think that we could have something that looks for  
extensions known to cause issues from the GS forums. I'm not sure if  
those virus checkers use extensions our not and that might be a  
separate idea.

If we could somehow detect the installation (and usage) of the virus  
checker I could see a use case where we open up a notification bar  
that warns them and maybe takes the person to a issue / solution page.  
I see this similar to when gmail started detecting firebug running and  
alerting people that it really slowed things down.

 > Check for non-default settings the user may have accidentally  
toggled and gotten confused

I like this one a lot. The "where did this go?" helper.  I'd see the  
use case as perhaps: opening the support page with the top support  
issues. It could be broken out into individual issues or one "pieces  
are missing" issue which has buttons to try changing the settings. If  
we listed the common settings and highlighted the changed ones people  
could click "restore" to get back to the default setting. A "restore  
all" button could also be at the top to just revert all the common  
custom settings. A further piece might then help them enter a GS issue  
if those items didn't fix it.

Also a related idea I had was a "lock settings" checkbox that we could  
add to those common items. This could lock down the sort of the  
message list so people have to unlock and then change the order.  
Similarly for the folder pane collapse.


On May 31, 2010, at 9:23 PM, David Bienvenu  
<bienvenu at> wrote:

> I was thinking that an interesting and useful extension to write  
> would be one that helps with the top Thunderbird support issues -  
> I've written down some initial brainstorming ideas here. It would be  
> great if others could chime in with ideas for things to put in the  
> extension.
> thx, - David
> _______________________________________________
> tb-planning mailing list
> tb-planning at
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