Open Bug 1037986 Opened 6 years ago Updated 6 years ago

Inaccurate string for clearing browser history (also clears downloads)


(Thunderbird :: Preferences, defect)

33 Branch
Not set


(Not tracked)


(Reporter: alta88, Unassigned)


(Blocks 1 open bug)


Blocks: 1020339
Well, the question is if it's just the string that is inaccurate (which should do what it claims to do based on the code snippets copy-pasted from the Firefox implementation) or if there is some underlying issue that carries over clearing the browsing history to the download history (where Firefox may get away with it as they are clearing both at the same time anyway).

Thus, the two options here are (1) figure out why downloads are cleared as well in which cases and resolve the issue if we don't want this to happen; or, (2) copy-paste the "downloads" items from the Firefox implementation as well based on the code identified in the browser/ tree.

Just changing the string without understanding what's going on doesn't seem to be the right approach.
Summary: Inaccurate string for clearing browser history (also clears downloads) → Clearing browser history may also clear download history
Version: unspecified → 33
Here we go, it's a known issue in Firefox which has been around for a while:
Bug 465995 - can't clear history without clearing downloads.

(Quoting :Gavin Sharp from bug 465995 comment #9)
> I suppose it was decided to just use the nsINavHistory notifications in bug 251337,
> and then in bug 431729 it was decided that we wanted to tie the two histories completely
> because otherwise download entries for the cleared history items would never expire
> on their own.

This shouldn't apply to Thunderbird given that download history is cleared anyway when exiting.

> There are alternative ways to fix that that preserve the ability to clear each item
> separately, though. We could take attachment 318966 [details] [diff] [review] and schedule
> periodic cleanups of download entries that don't depend on history expiration.
The bug summary was exactly correct and as I intended; do not exhibit the poor etiquette of arbitrarily changing summaries.

There is no 'issue' here, other than the string in Tb (as opposed to Fx) is inaccurate to what it does, period.  This makes it meta data lossy.  It's extraordinarily straightforward and it's really unclear what you're struggling with here.
Summary: Clearing browser history may also clear download history → Inaccurate string for clearing browser history (also clears downloads)
And what's the point of getting rude? Please read the code.

As I said, Firefox is doing more with the downloads than Thunderbird does now, and the fact that downloads are accidentally cleared along with the browsing history (presumably due to the implementation in bug 251337) is indeed a bug in itself. As it's Toolkit, there may not be a solution for Thunderbird alone. Thus, if we accept the bug as is and decide to adjust the labeling as Firefox did, we also have to make sure that the backend is complete and matches whatever Firefox came up with (and these snippets are obviously missing).

On a side note, as said earlier, there are different defaults for the download history retention anyway, Thunderbird deleting it on exit. So, do we know why this default was chosen? Was it due to Places not being enabled, which it is now? Thus, should we change that default?

In summary, more things to discuss and potentially to take care of than just changing a label.
Blocks: tb-places
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