Closed Bug 890683 Opened 11 years ago Closed 7 years ago

Show email address and NOT name in "from" and "recipient" column


(Thunderbird :: Folder and Message Lists, enhancement)

25 Branch
Windows 7
Not set


(Not tracked)



(Reporter: thoste, Unassigned)


(Depends on 1 open bug)


(Keywords: qawanted)

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/5.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center PC 6.0; .NET4.0C; .NET4.0E)

Steps to reproduce:

I started TB and marked one folder with messages inside

Actual results:

in the message list pane on the upper right side of the main window all current messages are listed.
The columns "from" and "recipient" contain (partially) the name and NOT the email address of the sender/recipient

Expected results:

The columns "from" and "recipient" should show (depending on a new users preferences) the email address and NOT the name.

Disabling the checkbox in menu:

Tools->Options->Advanced->Reading & Display->unselect "Show only display name for people in my address book".

....does NOT help.

1.) I always want to see email addresses for all people

2.) "Show only display name for people in my address book" is misleading because it implies that for all other people NAME + EMAIL ADDRESS is displayed (which is not the case)

TB should offer a real and gloabl "show email address" option for "from" and "recipient".

By the way: Using "from" and "recipient" in the same context is unlogic.
Either "from" and "to" should be used or "sender" and "recipient".

Mixing them is bad style.

Severity: normal → enhancement
The option you mention sets the pref mail.showCondensedAddresses. This pref is consulted when the values in the recipient column are generated. However, there is a cache of the values so once generated, they are fetched from the cache. It does appear to me that the cache is not refreshed when the value of the pref changes.
You can test this theory by setting the pref to the value you want (not-condensed = full emails) and then moving some messages to a new folder. When viewing that one the cache for that folder should be created with the correct values.

This could be looked at
Depends on: 522886
Flags: needinfo?(thoste)
I tested it like you suggested. 
mail.showCondensedAddresses = false

I created a new subfolder and moved some other mails to the new subfolder.
But only Recipients email addresses are shown.

The (more important) "From" column shows still the Name and not the email address.

So according to this its a bug.

BTW: Is there a way to flush all cache content at once?
Flags: needinfo?(thoste)
The "cache" for these values is in the .msf file corresponding to the folder where the message is stored (e.g. Inbox.msf). But before doing that, make sure to backup both the files. Then remove the msf file while TB is closed. If anything goes wrong (like deleted messages reappearing in the folder, or Read/Unread/Tag markings on message get lost) restore the msf from the backup.

I think this is a bug as the cache does not contain with what setting it was generating. If the setting changes, it should regenerate the values.
Ever confirmed: true
This bug still exists.  The cache is not getting refreshed when checking/unchecking the option described above.  Is there any progress on this issue?
Sad but true: Developers seem not to be able to fix this simplest issue.
As far as I can see this bug is still existing
Sad but true: Nobody here has contributed a patch to fix the issue. Instead people continue adding comments blaming other people for their inactivity, instead of themselves.
I can understand the issue, that if the Display Name is not selected to be used then you expect to see whatever was in the original message header. Email address or Name followed by email address.

After changing the mail.showCondensedAddresses = false
This alters what is displayed in the header FROM and TO field.
False shows any included header name or Display name and email address.
True shows just Display name or name included in message header.

In the Recipient column list:
False displays either full Display Name or full Name in Message header or if no name then email address.
True displays the Display name or email address.

So really this is only improving the header display.

If I want the FROM column list to display either email address or Message header name or Display Name then the facility is already available.

I use the option to 'Always prefer display name over message header' as appropriate for each contact.

If the person is not Family then I prefer to see the email address in the FROM column, so I add the email address in the 'Display Name' field and choose to use 'Always prefer display name over message header'.

Sometimes I prefer to use what they inserted in the message header, so I uncheck 'Always prefer display name over message header'.

But when it comes to family and friends I prefer to see the 'Display Name' I set such as 'Mum' or actual name. So I set that as the Display name and use the option 'Always prefer display name over message header'.

This offers me full control over what is actually displayed in the FROM column header.

So as I see it, the current setup faciliates all preferences. It just depends upon how you choose to use them.
Thomas St. (reporter), I don't have time for the details right now, but I just want to confirm that we definitely have UX design problems in this corner as you describe in your comment 0.

We must give the user options to have the Names/email addresses as found in the original message displayed *everywhere*. It's probably reasonable to assume that if user unchecks using display names from AB, he wouldn't want those in the message list, either. Things like that. Needs systematic analysis and some deeper thoughts.
Keywords: qawanted
(In reply to Anje from comment #7)
> I can understand the issue, that if the Display Name is not selected to be
> used then you expect to see whatever was in the original message header.
> Email address or Name followed by email address.


> If the person is not Family then I prefer to see the email address in the
> FROM column, so I add the email address in the 'Display Name' field and
> choose to use 'Always prefer display name over message header'.

That sounds like a very undesirable and error-prone strategy. Undesireable because you start to mix fields which should be separate. Error-prone because the email address in display name will still stay even when the underlying "real" email address changes. Users shouldn't have to resort to such abuses of contact properties.
There seems to have been no movement on this.  I'd just like to confirm that as of TB 45.4.0 this is still a problem (email address does not show in From column, regardless of "show only display name for people in my address book" setting).

As someone pointed out in another thread, there are lots of people called "sales" etc and TB used to show the display name followed by the email address, so something has happened at some point in the past to stop it working.
+1 "there are lots of people called "sales"."  A lot of Bobs, Johns, Marys, J.Smiths.

The discussion has centered mostly around if a display name or email address will show for contacts already in the AB.
I'm more concerned about spam / scam / phishing email - from new senders, that happen to use identical display names as friends & contacts. 

It is very basic concept to give users a *choice* to display From: email addresses - in all instances, and not rely on Addons.  There are several that do this, but more addons = potential problems.  Haven't used Outlook or MS's latest client in a while, but IIRC they used to offer this feature - for a reason.

If from a "Bob" I don't know, just opening the message may not be a huge security or privacy issue, - IF - "Allow remote content in messages" is disabled.  But it is a waste of time.  

Seems much easier to spot unfamiliar or "wrong" email addresses in the thread pane, than reading the header on every opened message.  I get spam / scam email *all* the time with faked display names, identical to friends & close contacts.  They turn out to be Nigerian Princes or Swiss bankers.
While ever-so-slightly different from bug 697031 (that one asks for the *full* address and name, whereas this asks for just the address), this is still largely a duplicate. Marking as such to help with tracking. I'll add a comment in the other bug about having an option to display the bare address.
Closed: 7 years ago
Resolution: --- → DUPLICATE
You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.