EmailDiscussions.com  

Go Back   EmailDiscussions.com > Discussions about Email Services > Email Help Needed!
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Stay in touch wirelessly

Email Help Needed! Having problems with your email service, or with the email software you're using? Post your questions and answers here!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 3 Oct 2021, 07:25 PM   #1
filbert
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 103
Alternative to Thunderbird supporting tags

I'm a long time Thunderbird user and make extensive use of filters and tags to sort an categorise emails. Also, colour coding email accounts (no longer working in the current version, unfortunately).

However, I have a problem with lots of emails not displaying properly - the header is empty in the message pane and I just see bits of HTML in the message window. This happens with the latest version on my Windows box and with an older version on my Mac. I did send a support request but got no response. A similar question here also got no response, so I guess it doesn't happen for others. It doesn't happen in other emails clients either, I can see the messages without a problem.

Anyway, are there any other email clients available that would support Thunderbird tags. I've got many years of tagged emails and I'd like to be able to migrate to a new client without losing them. I know some other clients are based on Thunderbird so, maybe, I could get lucky?

Anyone any thoughts?
filbert is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 4 Oct 2021, 02:22 AM   #2
JeremyNicoll
Essential Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Scotland
Posts: 323
I'm not a Thunderbird user, but if it's like Firefox it may have optional extensions. Firefox problems are very often due to extensions (because their authors don't continually update them for newer versions of FF).

So, do you use any? If you do, do the problems go away, or change, if you temporarily turn off the extensions? Maybe TB has a "safe mode" that achieves more or less that?


For the problem that affects both a Windows & Mac machines, are they both seeing those mails held on a server somewhere, or do the separate versions of TB have local (ie on your PCs) copies of the email files?

If the mails are held on a server, are you able to see them properly using a webmail system (if the mail provider has one)?


If you export an example of a non-properly displaying email, to a text file of some sort, and inspect it (in a text editor) does it look as you'd expect - eg does it look in any way corrupt? (Clearly that's only possible if you know what emails' internal structures should look like.)

If you then import such a file, does the imported copy display properly?

If you have such a file, containing an email that has no confidential info in it, you could possibly put it somewhere - a file-sharing site or in the cloud - tell us where you put it, and let other people see if it displays properly for them. It would be handy also to see a screenshot of how the incorrect display looks for you. You might want to edit out your email address in the text file, and blur out that detail in the screenshot, though.
JeremyNicoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5 Oct 2021, 07:02 AM   #3
filbert
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 103
Thanks for the suggestions. All the emails are IMAP and theyíre OK in webmail or other imap clients. I donít really use much in the way of extensions, especially on the Windows system that uses the current version of Thunderbird but starting with them disabled (standard help menu feature) doesnít help.



Thereís a save feature that saves an eml file but itís still broken when I open it in, eg, Mail.

Thereís a screenshot here
filbert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5 Oct 2021, 08:32 AM   #4
JeremyNicoll
Essential Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Scotland
Posts: 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by filbert View Post
Thereís a save feature that saves an eml file but itís still broken when I open it in, eg, Mail.

Thereís a screenshot here
The lower half of the screenshot looks to be exactly like you'd expect the html (rich text) part of an email to look like if you viewed it in a text editor - ie normal html.

The upper part of the screenshot - with no Subject or From information for a whole set of emails either implies that the mails concerned don't have Subject and From: headers in them, or that they do but TB failed to spot them.

If you take one of the .eml files you mentioned and rename it to .txt and open it in your text editor (or Notepad if you don't have a better one) does it start with all the normal headers? If you don't know what normal looks like, try exporting a mail that TB displays properly and look at it.

Normally an email contains a set of headers, with no blank lines between them, then a blank line, then content. In the initial headers there should be one named "Content-Type:" which will say whether the mail contains only plain text, or only something else, or multiple parts (and if that, how they are delimited further on).

What you're seeing might be caused by some or all of the expected initial headers not being present at all, or them - especially Content-Type: not matching the format of what follows.

I've seen this sort of thing happen with email clients which receive a whole set of emails in one stream (or file) and have, as they read through that, to work out where each individual email starts and stops. If eg in one of your .eml files you see html contents followed by headers, that might imply that TB has at some point seen a stream of emails and got confused about where each one starts and stops. But if it's reading each one separately from an IMAP server I don't think I'd expect that to happen. The fact that you can view these mails properly via webmail suggests they're ok on the server(s).

If your problem was just that the display half of the screen showed html, but the Subject & From were set in the upper half, I'd suspect malformed mails, eg ones with no Content-Type, or one that says what follows is plain text even though that text is HTML.

It's increasingly common for emails from large companies either to have no plain text part, or one that's out of sync with the html part. Sometimes some webmail systems, if you set them only to show the plain text part, will show not the plain text (if there is one) that's in the mail itself, but instead make a copy of the html part and strip out the html markup. I suppose it's just possible that your mails actually do contain html markup in their supposed plain text part ... but that wouldn't explain the missing header info.

Do the bad emails all come from one particular person / company?
JeremyNicoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5 Oct 2021, 08:23 PM   #5
JeremyNicoll
Essential Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Scotland
Posts: 323
You said you'd "sent a support request"... Where to?

I rather had the impression that Mozilla support is forum-based. I just had a quick look at the online support pages and did a search for

subject blank in message list

and found 19 hits, one at least appearing to be the same thing as the problem affecting the top part of your (message list) display. That's discussed at:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1294137


I also searched for

html displayed as plain text

and got 99 hits. I didn't read any of them because - not using TB - it's hard to interpret anything they suggest.

I think you should ask for help there; include screenshots from both versions of TB and tell the people there which versions they are. Ideally show the same email displaying properly in whatever webmail system you've also tried.


Also, the only mail clients I've ever used accessed email by POP3, which meant in practice that they downloaded email once from the server and kept it on my local pc. Some of these clients used separate programs to do the download, then the email client read the just-downloaded files. With those it was easy to keep many (months' worth) copies of the data downloaded from the server, so if a client later destroyed data one could find the originals again.

IMAP complicates things enormously (though also gives you access to mails from multiple devices). As far as I understand it, your TB might always be grabbing stuff from the server then discarding what it grabbed because it can grab it again. Or, it might be grabbing stuff and keeping a local copy and not grabbing it again. Your screenshot shows dates for the no-subject emails which are almost a year old, so /if/ those are mails grabbed just once nearly a year ago, then a problem in that process a year ago might be the cause, perhaps tricky to solve now. Maybe you need to tell TB to abandon local copies of those mails and grab them again (though I don't know how you'd do that AND be certain not to lose anything). Certainly backing up your TB files would be sensible first.

I'd urge you to have no add-ons/extensions active. I don't know if it's possible for any of those to modify emails' headers/contents as they are grabbed, but if it is possible it's a likely cause.
JeremyNicoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5 Oct 2021, 10:26 PM   #6
FredOnline
The "e" in e-mail
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 2,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by filbert View Post
Anyone any thoughts?
Have you considered creating a Thunderbird Portable (in a separate folder or on a flash drive) and duplicating the required information, and seeing if the problem also occurs in the Portable?
FredOnline is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13 Oct 2021, 08:56 AM   #7
emoore
Essential Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 261
A corrupted folder is one possibility. But you don't seem to have deleted messages being resurrected, message fragments or dates defaulting to the oldest possible date (January 1st 1970 at midnight GMT). They're common symptoms of a corrupt folder.

Another possibility is that there are problems in the MIME layout of the message that webmail and some other email clients tolerate, but Thunderbird doesn't. That can cause a HTML MIME section to be displayed as plain text, showing the HTML tags rather than interpreting them. Thunderbird has a history of being a stickler for standards. The same issue occurs with embedded images that incorrectly identify what they are but display fine elsewhere, but Thunderbird refuses to make a best guess as to what they really are.

MIME is a Internet standard used to let a email client workaround many limitations on what a message can store. Messages can have both a HTML version of a message body and a plain text version of the same message body. The client is supposed to display the appropriate one based on your settings. If it doesn't recognize where the start of the HTML version of the message body is (due to formatting/syntax errors) it could consider it part of the preceding plain text message body, and display the content as is, rather than interpreting the HTML.

You said this problem doesn't occur with other email clients. I suggest you post the source for a email message on the Thunderbird support forum and ask people to tell you if the message is the culprit. If you want to do that pick a short one and edit the message to replace the username in any email addresses with something generic like "username" to protect peoples privacy.

Thunderbird tries to store tags as IMAP keywords for IMAP accounts. If the server doesn't support that it falls back to storing them locally in the .msf file for the folder. That means that another PC can not see the labels. I'm not aware of any email client that supports Thunderbird's tags except for other email clients based on changes to Thunderbird, such as POBox or Betterbird.

If you don't have any luck at https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/thunderbird ask at http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewforum.php?f=39 . MozillaZine was the original support forum before Mozilla created a official one. MozillaZine has less traffic so you're more likely to get a response.
emoore is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +9. The time now is 11:08 PM.

 

Copyright EmailDiscussions.com 1998-2013. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy