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Thunderbird 3 review – the first (and last) 12 hrs

So I got excited by TB3’s new search feature which is similar to the once great Zoe idea. However, after importing my Mail.app local files and letting it index overnight TB3’s not a replacement for Mail.app and Spotlight. TB3’s search feature presents the results in a more contextually useful way allowing the results to be refined further.


Many of the features of the TB3 search was already around in 2002. Have a look at the series of Zoe screenshots.


So I tried out the search with my current set of emails. I’ve got about 7 years of email on my Mac and after importing and indexing TB3 says its about 5GB on my Macbook. The “global-messages-db.sqlite” file is about 1.7GB.

The real problem is entering any email address in the search box makes TB3 spin for about 30 sec before any result begins to appear. With mail.app, the same search starts getting results back instantly. Sadly, “Syd says no” to TB3.

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