Open Bug 1482674 Opened Last year Updated 3 days ago
Thunderbird needs a persistent "new mail" indicator on Linux
User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0 Build ID: 20180621064021 Steps to reproduce: I have been a user of the FireTray add-on that is no longer working in Thunderbird 60. (The author has seized supporting their add-ons.) I have tried to replicate its basic functionality in TB 60 (Linux, XFCE) but there does not seem to be an option for it. I strongly believe that Thunderbird needs a persistent indicator showing that new mail has arrived (not unread mail in the mailbox, but new mail of the kind that lets the corresponding folder name turn blue in the folder pane). If a TB process is running (minimised) and I leave my screen for a while, or if I have been fortunate enough to really focus on some work, I now have to maximise the window and check if any of those folders that receive new mail have turned blue (a couple of accounts, several candidate folders in each due to filtering). That is both cumbersome and distracting. I cannot believe that TB developers want to force us to do constantly unminimise the window and inspect the folder pane. So I think that options should be added to show an icon for new mail, not just pop up a transient notification or play a sound. Actual results: Since TB 60, when running minimised, there is no way of knowing if new mail is waiting after I’ve been away for a while (physically or mentally). Expected results: Some icon should change or appear as soon as new mail has arrived, and disappear once I’ve been to all the folders that have new mail.
Component: Untriaged → Mail Window Front End
Summary: Thunderbird 60 needs a "new mail" icon → Thunderbird 60 needs a "new mail" indicator on linux
See bug 471772? Anyone is free to write an add-on. Why should Thunderbird core developers maintain even more code for the next years? :) On a general note, this ticket proposes a specific solution without explaining what the problem is and why the current behavior doesn't cover your use case.
The Ubuntu version of Thunderbird comes with an extension called, "Messaging Menu and Unity Launcher integration", which provides a visual indicator of new mail. I don't see it anywhere on the ATN site.
I don’t know why a “needinfo” flag was set when the only actual question in the corresponding comment was a rhetorical one. My description shows that I am aware of an add-on that is no longer working. It is not clear if the new add-on architecture will allow this kind of add-on, and in any case, I don’t have the resources to write one soon. In any case, I tried to convey that such a function should become part of the application itself. I also believe that I did describe the problem. I’m happy to paraphrase it again: The problem is the lack of a persistent indicator that new mail has arrived. The notifications that can be set through TB 60’s options are all transient. With the absence of a persistent indicator, the user has a lingering sense of uncertainty whether they’ve missed a transient notification. The process of dealing with that uncertainty is so tedious that the user experience becomes slightly annoying. Have a look at any current messaging service. You will have a hard time finding one that does not inform its users of new messages. Most of these use a changed icon and/or a number of messages. That should be enough evidence for a clear and problematic gap in what TB 60 offers.
> It is not clear if the new add-on architecture will allow this kind of add-on If the unity launcher still works, that should reduce uncertainty that others can make it work.
That’s just it – nobody has clearly said that it still works in TB 60. This add-on has been around for a long time (I didn’t know of it, but a web search yields several support questions). Given that TB 60 (even with legacy add-ons enabled) breaks a lot of existing add-ons, I highly doubt that it still works. Anyway, this bug report is about trying to convince the developers that this should be incorporated into the main app. I have tried to give reasons why. Dwelling about this or that add-on (especially one that probably only works on Linux or even just on some particular desktop) feels like an unnecessary distraction.
I think this is a fundamental feature. After years of usage of thunderbird as main mail reader in Linux I'll be forced to migrate to other app if this feature will not be available again in a short time :(
This report seems to duplicate https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=208923 which was closed with resolution "want fix" about an hour ago. The discussion there is pretty interesting. However non-destructive ways of notification about incoming e-mails and chat messages are quite important. So I hope that Thunderbird devs reconsider their position.
Thanks for the heads-up, dpolivaev. However I don’t think these two bugs are duplicates exactly. Both refer to functions that Firetray used to offer and that often go together. But my focus here is on the persistent indicator for new mail (usually but not necessarily implemented by changing a tray icon) and the other bug is about having a tray icon and making the task bar button disappear “to the tray” when the main window is minimized. [P.S. I thought it might be helpful to mention that you are mixing up the words “want” and “won’t”, as I have seen you do this twice now – here and on support.mozilla.org.]
Why status of this report is "UNCONFIRMED"?? All users in this thread confirm it. And many users have same trouble, but don't write here. Many of them (including myself) will be forced to migrate to another application. And I think that this feature has very high severity.
So this one is NOT about minimizing to tray, but about an indication whether new mail has arrived since last interaction with TB. This can be indicated with a number on the existing TB icon (as in the screenshot), but the icon may be too small (not everybody uses Unity). Or it can be made via an additional icon in the tray, as Outlook does. Does TB on Windows have this, is this really Linux specific?
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true
OS: Unspecified → Linux
Hardware: Unspecified → All
Summary: Thunderbird 60 needs a "new mail" indicator on linux → Thunderbird 60 needs a "new mail" indicator on Linux
Yes, TB on Windows has it. However I do not know if TB on Windows has indication about new chat messages and calender events which would be at least as important as new mail notifications. Unfortunately I use chat and calender only at work under Linux and therefore I do not upgrade to TB 60 there.
Windows has a icon but no counter. Mac has a new mail counter on the launchbar TB icon.
On linux (Plasma) I have installed Mailnag. https://github.com/pulb/mailnag Still no mail caounter but at least I have new mail notification Pop Up and Plasma notification integration.
Using Preferences > Advanced > General > Config Editor, I toggled "mail.biff.use_system_alert" to "false" in my TB 60. I get notifications and can click an email in the notification which will go to TB with the selected email displayed. No mail counter appears on the TB icon though. Still no update from 52.9.1 to 60.0 from Ubuntu to see if the Messaging Menu and Unity Launcher integration extension ships with it. I think that is because there are no Thunderbird specific security fixes. https://askubuntu.com/questions/1066095/when-thunderbird-vulnerability-updates-will-be-available-for-version-52-9-1-in-u
This is the notification I now see with "mail.biff.use_system_alert" set to "false". It can be set to display for as long as the user wants in Preferences > General. Select Customize for "Show an alert" and set "Show New Mail alert for:" to whatever value works for you. My setting was 120 seconds for testing. I can click an email in the notification and Thunderbird will display that message.
Thanks for trying to be helpful. However, this is not what this bug is about. These notifications take up extra space and are more than an indicator that new mail has arrived. The same goes for the suggestion about mailnag, wich is an external program that would launch Thunderbird. In my scenario Thunderbird is present in the background all the time. By the way, if the desired indicator would be a tray icon then I do think it would also make sense to “minimise to it”, but that is a secondary thought.
Summary: Thunderbird 60 needs a "new mail" indicator on Linux → Thunderbird 60 needs a persistent "new mail" indicator on Linux
I just released the first version of Birdtray, systray email notification counter for Thunderbird. Only notification at this moment, no systray hidding. GPL v3, available at github: https://github.com/gyunaev/birdtray
Hi gyunaev. I thank you for your work on this extension and it/you may end up saving us in a near future. However, I don't think current situation (native new mail indicator on both Mac/Windows while Linux users have to use extensions) is good at all. We need feature parity there. What's the point of Thunderbird as cross-platform project if we don't ? So I'd very like to know the Thunderbird team's stance on this issue. Are "new mail indicators" obsoletes and should be removed in a future version ? Are they an essential feature of Thunderbird ? If they are, why is this bug report getting so few attention ? Honestly, the current situation is a mess and need to be addressed. Some users want "close in tray/persistent tray", other just want "new mail indicator". Some users think "new mail indicator" comes with "persistent tray". (I was one of them.) Some users have "new mail indicator" (Mac/Windows) but other don't (Linux). The bug reports and comments can't be clear if the situation isn't.
Minimizing TB to the tray, to me, seems like an extremely limited set of functionality and I am scratching my head wondering what could possibly have changed in TB 60 to make FireTray not be able to work. I suspect it would work but it's simply checking to see if the version number of TB is supported. One has to wonder why this is so hard and why people here will waste hours of time arguing the point when the fix is probably a one line change...
(In reply to gyunaev from comment #17) > I just released the first version of Birdtray, systray email notification > counter for Thunderbird. Only notification at this moment, no systray > hidding. GPL v3, available at github: https://github.com/gyunaev/birdtray Hi gyunaev, thanks a lot for this excellent piece of code! Are you aware about any packaging for common distros?
And, btw, there's also a new firetray release which seems to work: https://github.com/Ximi1970/FireTray/releases
Hardware: All → x86_64
Summary: Thunderbird 60 needs a persistent "new mail" indicator on Linux → Thunderbird needs a persistent "new mail" indicator on Linux
Version: 60 → 68
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