Mozilla Thunderbird 0.4 Released

Mozilla Thunderbird 0.4 has been released and is available for download. Highlights of the build:

The artwork Arvid (bullet no. 1, above) has landed on this milestone looks great. But don't take my word for it. Switch your theme to "Mozilla Thunderbird" (Tools > Options... > Themes) and check out the — quite noticeable — changes.

As always, check the Thunderbird Release Notes for more information and a further detailing of "What's New."

» posted by jonathan on December 10, 2003 at 09:05 AM


You didn't spell my name right.

# posted by Arvid

I'm still unclear whether Thunderbird is different or better than the mail client built into Mozilla. Comments?

# posted by K. G. Schneider

I echo K.G's comment. Mozilla and it's supporters have done a poor job of differentiating the Mozilla suite apps (Seamonkey) from *Bird apps.

They'll tell you "well, they're stand alone now" and "Their based on the XUL UI Language." Big whoop. Is it faster? Is it lighter? Does anyone have proof?

I use Firebird and Thunderbird, but mostly just because I like the look and feel better. But surely, they have to be something other than new themes... right.... right?

# posted by Derek

I'm seconding the remark Derek made. I use the *birds simply because I like the theme options. I don't think the Mozilla folks have really pointed out the advantages or disadvantages of using either application.

# posted by B. Dailey

I think that it would be generally safe to say that the *birds are different from the suite in the following ways:

1. Yes, the "look and feel" is different, and this is a difference that really aught not to be taken too lightly (meaning, that to a lot of folks, especially people new to the mozilla world, this makes a big impression)

2. Definitely, the *birds are designed to be lighter and faster. From the Firebird 0.7 release notes:

"Is Mozilla Firebird just Mozilla with a couple UI tweaks?"

"The 40,000+ lines of code already added or changed from Mozilla beg to differ."

There has been a lot of extraneous stuff stripped out or otherwise optimized.

3. There are some minor differences in terminology and menus etc: for example under the suite the preferences are located under the "edit" menu and are called "preferences; in Firebird they are under the "tools" menu and are called "options"... most likely to help provide some continuity for those folks switching from IE or one of the many browsers that copies IE's naming conventions. It's what people are used to seeing, and really, it makes no difference on functionality, so... why be different?

4. There does in fact appear to be a lot of functional differences as well, for instance Firebird enables a right click context menu within the bookmarks dropdown. I'm sure there are many more functional differences, and you're probably going to be seeing more and more as the *birds progress towards 1.0 versions.

Hope this helps.

# posted by komlenic

Well, that's a little bit closer, but it would be nice if the release of new versions of these important software programs included clear explanations of the "functional differences." I am an end user, and I don't want to know about your 40,000 lines of code. I just want to have enough information to make an informed decision about my e-mail client. Just a gentle hint... we want people to use the software, yes?

# posted by K. G. Schneider

I use Firebird because it is *really* faster than Mozilla, and includes the necessary features. They've done a wonderfull job selecting / filtering all those features in Mozilla.

I still haven't installed Thunderbird.. is it fast like Firebird?

# posted by SÚrgio Nunes

K. G.: I included a link in this post so that readers could find out changes made. Here you go, Thunderbird Release Notes.

SÚrgio: I've been extremely pleased with Thunderbird, having switched from Outlook Express. Unrelated, but any bugs/issues I've came across thus far have either been addressed or fixed.

# posted by Jonathan

Hi, I have w98SE, and IE6, and have had terrible crashing problems - new isntall, new hd too. Am I best to go for Mozilla 1.5, or Firebird as a better browser than IE6? Sorry to sound dumb, but I'm new to stuff outside MS, but getting really racked off with MS products fighting each other!

# posted by Simon

May be a little biased Simon, but Mozilla Firebird is better than Internet Explorer. I've heard a lot of good about how well the browser runs on older computers where IE doesn't (run well).

Let us know what you're looking for so that we can properly recommend either the Mozilla Suite or Firebird.

# posted by Jonathan

Jonathan, thanks for your reply. I'm looking for a stable computer! Since I upgraded to IE6, and OE6, Explorer crashes regularly, along with IE, as well as MSOffice and other apps, much more so than before. I really need to replace IE6 - I've gone back to IE5(.5?) that came with W98SE, which seems more stable at the moment, but I've heard good reports about Mozilla for a while, and only came across Firebird as an alternative yesterday; is Firebird just (!) a browser, or are there other tasks it covers? Which woud be best for W98SE - I have an Athlon 2000+, and 512mb ram, if that helps. Thanks again.

# posted by Simon

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