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Thunderbird on OS X: I give up. This is untested crap

The title says it all really; for whatever reason, the Thunderbird developers appear not to have tested TB on OS X. So much of the basic functionality doesn’t work in the latest beta – this isn’t even alpha-quality code (on OS X). I’m sure it works fine on Windows (or else you’d have thousands of people complaining long and loudly).

I had this suspicion with Shredder 2 (the last alpha), where basic features – like sending emails, and viewing messages in a folder – would regularly crash the OS X build. Even for an alpha that should have been unacceptable, or fixed very rapidly. Where’s the regression testing?

But I hoped I was just being cynical, and so I moved on, and forgot about all that. My experiences over the past couple of months with the beta have recreated that suspicion, and cemented it. For instance, I lost a couple of hours of work today because TB on OS X has major bugs in its synch code. I watched as it silently deleted all the changes from the activity manager. No errors. Nothing. Just … gone. Even without ever having read TB source code, I can think of two or three obvious coding errors that would cause such behaviour, and none are things I’d exepect to get into a project as popular and well-known as TB.

So … what gives? What’s wrong with the OS X builds of TB? Why are they so very, very bad? Why do they have so many dataloss bugs?

Sigh. At least I can fairly rapidly re-do all the work I lost. Time to start looking for a new email application. Maybe I can find a version of Mozilla Mail that still runs on OS X? (FYI: Mozilla mail was the thing that Thunderbird was based on / supposed to replace. Unlike TB, it actually worked. It was faster, had more features, but looked a lot uglier. I’ll happily sacrifice “good looks” if it gets me “supports basic email features from 10 years ago”)

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