Thunderbird support extension

Roland Tanglao ryttb2 at
Tue Jun 1 15:28:18 UTC 2010

  great discussion
i have a document (yet to be published) about solving user problems 
(primarily support issues) from a user point of view, i would like to 
review that document and then this extension this week at the Messaging 
All Hands and then publish the result
On 10-06-01 6:21 AM, Bryan Clark wrote:
> 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 
> folders.
> 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 server.
> 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.
> Cheers,
> Bryan
> On May 31, 2010, at 9:23 PM, David Bienvenu 
> <bienvenu at <mailto: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 <mailto:tb-planning at>
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