Closed Bug 532858 Opened 12 years ago Closed 12 years ago

Confusing (i.e. inconsistent) display, naming, and treatment of attachments


(Thunderbird :: Mail Window Front End, enhancement)

Windows XP
Not set


(Not tracked)



(Reporter: Ulrich.Windl, Unassigned)


(Blocks 1 open bug)


User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20091017 SUSE/2.0.0-1.1.3 SeaMonkey/2.0
Build Identifier: 

Being new to Thunderbird, but not to E-Mail, I thing these things are very confusing:
For a MIME message with an attachment of type "message/delivery-status" that part is displayed inline with no special indication that this is an attachment (there is some special line above).
In the list of attachments, that part of the message is displayed as "Part 1.2" without any further explanations. When double-clicking on it, Thunderbird offers to save that part to disk, or open it with an application the user has to select. Note that Thunderbird does not offer to _display_ it with its own viewer. At this point the user has no idea what "Part 1.2" really contains.

A first improvement would be to display some tooltip-kind-of-help showing the type and size of the attachment when hovering with the mouse over it.

Also note that the behavior is inconsistent: For an attachmant of type "message/rfc822" Thunderbird detects that as EMail which can be displayed by double-clicking.

The next inconsistent thing is naming the attachments: The first attachment is named "Part 1.2" (well, "Where is Part 1.1?" the user might ask), while the second attachment is named "ForwardedMessage.eml", even though _both_ attachments have no name.

Therefore I'd suggest to
1) display all parts in a unique way, i.e. "Part 1.1", "Part 1.2", "Part 1.3", independent of which part is actually displayed
2) The parts information should include the MIME type (like "message/rfc822", "text/plain"), (if present) the encoding ("base64", "quoted-printable"), charset ("UTF-8", "US-ASCII", "iso8859-15"), and the size (in user-readable units like "2Kb" (not: "12637236")
3) When displaying one or more parts of a multipart MIME message, indicate which parts are being displayed.

As a MIME message can actually be a tree of attachments (not just a list), it might be a good idea to try to have some tree control for expand/collapse the individual parts of a message.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
See description
Actual Results:  
The user doesn't like Thunderbird very much

Expected Results:  
The user should say "That's better than anything else"
Version: unspecified → 2.0
Ulrich you will be able to get thunderbird 3.0 in a few hours can you check that the behavior did not change ?
I just tried Thunderbird 3.0: No change; it's the same as Thunderbird 2
Version: 2.0 → 3.0
Closed: 12 years ago
Resolution: --- → DUPLICATE
Duplicate of bug: 436555
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