Data Loss resulting from Compacting

Unicorn.Consulting unicorn.consulting at gmail.com
Sat Sep 8 04:27:31 UTC 2012


I am bringing this issue to both the Thunderbird Support mailing list 
and Thunderbird planning in an effort to get the widest possible input 
into the issue. Data loss becoming apparent following compact has become 
pervasive in recent versions and while there are no steps to reproduce 
it is an issue that is severely affecting the perceived and in some 
cases real reliability of Thunderbird as a data store.  Roland has 
advised that it is the number one support topic.

Commencing around the Thunderbird 12 release (this is just a guess as to 
version numbers)  increased numbers of reports started appearing in the 
GS support forum complaining about data loss following compact. English 
version are not the only affected as users continue to appear on 
GekoZone as well. (thanks Cameleon)  I have so far only been able to 
make observations and collect some survey data from those affected. 
There is simply no recovering from a compact data loss and I feel like 
an aid worker after a disaster. People are quite attached to their emails

The only common links appear to be AVG anti virus,  while not reported 
in every case it appears in a very significant number, (in the region of 
90%). The folder is Inbox.  The other common type item is the user often 
reports that they were advised via dialog immediately before the 
incident that theinbox was full 
<https://getsatisfaction.com/mozilla_messaging/topics/thunderbird_delieted_all_mail_in_my_inbox>and 
they needed to compact the folder.

My understanding is that there is no such thing as a full inbox these 
days. To quote Bienvenu 
<https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=721925#c2><https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=721925#c2>"In 
TB 12, we got rid of the 4GB limit",  as such a full inbox message 
should not appear.  That it does is obvious.  If it is truly relevant or 
a red herring I do not know.

Is this a regression that has appeared from the work done in Bug 402392 
<https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=402392#c96> which landed 
in TB12, is this linked to the regression in Bug 750569 
<https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=750569> I have no idea and 
need input from those that might know.

What I do know is Compacting is now  Evil and whilst I have not suffered 
from data loss and do not use AVG I think twice every time that compact 
dialog appears.

What I do know is that we need to stamp out these errant compact issues 
and soon (maildir where are you 
<https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=58308>). I have read much 
discussion about brand and confidence in the etherpads from Warsaw,  
well I think in the users mind their confidence in Thunderbird to store 
their mail is currently shaky and getting worse..

Matt


-- 
  "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin

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