Combined From/Recipient column ("Correspondents") in thread pane - What do you think?

Tanstaafl tanstaafl at
Fri Apr 10 12:15:18 UTC 2015

On 4/10/2015 4:38 AM, Jörg Knobloch <jorgk at> wrote:
> thanks to Neil a long-standing (15 years!) enhancement request has 
> finally been implemented in bug 36489.
> A new column is available which combines the "From" and the "Recipient" 
> columns.
> This new column has become the default, so new folders (and therefore 
> new users) get to see it. It is also used when resetting the columns to 
> the default. We should publicise the feature in future release notes, 
> most likely for TB 45.

First - I just wanted to say that I am extremely pleased to see movement
on some of these long standing bugs. Seriously, when Mozilla announced
it was eliminating the vast majority of developer resources for
Thunderbird, I was worried that Thunderbird would wither and die.

Amazingly, the opposite seems to be happening, so thanks to all - and in
this case Neil - for making Thunderbird the best fat IMAP client bar none.

> My question is this:
> As currently implemented, the new column automatically replaces "From" 
> and "Recipient" columns for any existing folder when the user visits the 
> folder in Thunderbird 39.

Please, please, PLEASE do NOT force this on people without giving them a

I'm remembering the massive fail when this was done for the Offline
Folder settings when Gloda was introduced in version 3. This was the
most negatively impactful experience I ever had with Thunderbird,
because I have many (15+ IMAP accounts, each with tons of folders, all
heavily customized, including with the Offline settings (and view
columns), and when the update just reset all of my carefully customized
offline folder settings for the hundreds and hundreds of folders I have...

Well, if there had been a half decent alternative to Thunderbird when
this happened, I would have changed. In fact I searched for a couple of
months, looking, but there simply isn't a decent alternative IMAP client
that is as customizable and (otherwise) user friendly as Thunderbird, so
I stayed, after venting massively on bugzilla and the lists (in fact
this cause me to get kicked off of and.or moderated on more than one
mozilla list).

So, if you force this on people who have a lot of folders and customize
their view settings... well, can you say 'wailing and gnashing of teeth'
five times fast?

Please do not make the same mistake again.

> Personally, I find this "hard sell" of the new feature a little too 
> aggressive. I would not upgrade existing folders to use the new column 
> automatically. I would leave it to the users' choice whether or not they 
> want to use the new column.

I agree... in fact, I tried out the Show In/Out Addon

I didn't hate it, but I ended up uninstalling it, because there were
some issues with it. I can't remember exactly, but there were cases
where it didn't work as expected - maybe dealing with certain mailing
lists? - anyway, unless this new feature works much better than the
Addon did, I'd be against forcing it on people automatically.


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