Tag the Bird 1.0 rc1

Tag the Bird enhances Mozilla Thunderbird with the crucial feature of tagging and tag based searching.

I hereby give rc1 for Tag the Bird 1.0 to the world!

Wow, it shines!

  • Tags are now stored in the X-Tags header of a message. This gives us truely searchable Tags!
  • The "Add Tag" dialog has been dropped and been replaced by a completely new "Edit Tags" dialog.
  • Dimensions have been dropped.
  • A couple of new Options.
  • Lots of bugfixes.
  • More lots of little tweaks and enhancements regarding speed, stability and compatibility.
Download: tagthebirdIcon Tag the Bird v1.0 rc1

Alternative download available in the SVN repository.

I recommend you uninstall your prior versions of Tag the Bird, restart your Thunderbird, and install v1.0 rc1 after that. It should not make any difference though.

Important notes:
  • Though this release has been carefully tested, it's a release candidate after all! I highly recommend you test it on some testaccount before using it with your normal emails.
  • Vis-à-vis Thunderbird rc1 already identifies itself as v1.0. Therefore Tag the Bird won't be updated once another release candidate or the final v1.0 is available (because it thinks you already got that version). If you install rc1 make sure to check this blog and/or addons.mozilla.org often for updates. If such are available, you have to manually uninstall rc1 and restart Thunderbird, before installing any other v1.0.
Known bugs:
  • Sometimes searches will return more results than you expected. The reason for this is, that when you command Thunderbird to search the 'X-Tags' header (or any other header) for a specific value, it will always search for that value in all headers. Therefore, for example, if you are searching for a tag called 'knallgrau', the search will return all messages tagged with 'knalkgrau' plus all messages that came from or went to somebody from that company, because the 'From' or the 'To' header (or even the 'Orgainzation' header) contain that string. This is a bug in Thunderbird, not Tag the Bird. I hope they fix it soon.
  • Sometimes searches will return no result altough they should. I could not find the reason for this yet, but I only encountered this behaviour right after Thunderbird started. My suspicion is, that the search engine somehow needs time to 'initialize'. Just do the same search again and it will return the right results. Help on this one is appreciated.
  • This is not really a bug: Tag the Bird uses a XPCOM method that has a comment about Mac OS here. I'd really appreciate if somebody could test Tag the Bird on one of the mentioned OSes.
If you find any other bugs, please help to make this a great extension and and report them here.

If you want to contribute by translating Tag the Bird from either English or German into your language please contact me.

Next steps after v1.0:
  • IMAP support
  • some minor enhancements in the UI
fmf (guest) - 8. Jun, 09:27

Hi Paul.
I'm trying new version and I have to admit the big improvement in user interface!
Three issues: first, I lose all my tags due to your change in philosophy, it's ok, but please, don't do it again, or I'll spend all my time to tag and re-tag my mails...
Second: after tagging an old message it moves at the top of my message pane (I keep my message ordered by thread).
Third: after tagging an old message it has junk status reset to unknown: I see the red question mark in the junk column, even if I still marked it as non junk.

About profiling, I mean somethings like del.icio.us: suppose I have a bunch of emails I'd like to tag with the same tag, I add custom tag for the first then iI have to add the same custom tag for the second and so on. If the extension could -let me use this word- learn my preferred tags it could suggest them automatically.

Ok, I'll go to tag my emails, will let you know any feedback after a while.

Paul Alexandrow - 8. Jun, 10:35

Sorry for the loss of your tags. I have to admit that this was something I didn't think about. But I'm very satisfied with the current solution, so it's very unlikely to change again.

About ordering in threads and junk status: thanks for the hint, I'll have a look.

Profiling: This is a very interesting proposal. Unfortunately, when thinking about it, the same problems as with the tag cloud occur to me (= where would we store that information without too heavy CPU usage?). I'll see if I can find a solution. For now, I think the "My Tags" feature is quite a good approximation for that problem.
Paul Alexandrow - 12. Jun, 11:10

hi fmf,

* The junk bug is fixed in the SVN now.

* There are two reasons for the thread-ordering bug: 1st, Thunderbird orders threads not by the Date headers of either the earliest or latest message in the thread (which imho should be the way how to do this), but in the same order messages have been added into TB's message database. 2nd, the only way to update a message's headers is to delete it and reimport it again.
For this I'm using the CopyFileMessage() method. The second parameter should allow to replace a message which might import the filemessage without setting a new timestamp in TB's database. However, using this parameter causes the function (and TB) to block until TB is restarted, without the changes being made.
I spent some time trying to fix this, but I couldn't find a solution, so I gave up for now. Any hints are welcome.

* At least I could manage to confine the thread-ordering bug to a thread's root message. If you edit the tags of any message below the root level, the order should be kept.

* Because of the increasing demand for a tagging extension for Thunderbird I decided not to publish a RC2 but to make the current version the final 1.0 and submit it to addons.mozilla.org. I'll let you know when it's online.
fmf (guest) - 14. Jun, 08:58

Hi Paul.
I can't understand how to reply to a comment in your blog platform, so I'm opening a new comment.

- the junk bug is ok.

- about thread-ordering bug: you said it's due to TB problems. Have you filed a bug against them in bugzilla?

Paul Alexandrow - 19. Jun, 10:39

No, because while I was searching for a solution I found lots of comments by other people who were already complaining about this. And it's not really a bug - it's just something I (and apparently some other people) would have done another way. But I'm pretty sure the Mozilla staff knows about it and it's completely up to them now, if they want to change it or not.
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