thunderbird-3.0: Please turn off global search by default

Bug #518336 reported by John Paul Adrian Glaubitz on 2010-02-07
32
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Mozilla Thunderbird
Won't Fix
Medium
thunderbird (Ubuntu)
Wishlist
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: thunderbird

Hi,

the new major version of Thunderbird (3.x) provides the new feature
"Global Search" which allows to search over all mailboxes that are managed
with Thunderbird. While this feature can be neat and handy for the
average home user with small mailboxes, it very soon becomes a major
drawback for users with large mailboxes or with Thunderbird installations
in corporate networks. With large mailboxes or corporate networks
it becomes obvious that downloading the whole mailbox which is necessary
for the global search will very quickly eat up all the space. I have
around 50,000 emails in one of my IMAP mailboxes and by downloading
all mails, Thunderbird 3.0 ended up taking several gigabytes of diskspace
in the home directory.

However, since this IMAP server resides in the same local network
as my machine, downloading all mails does not bring any improvements
in speed which would justify the waste of space. In corporate networks,
it is also often the case that users have limited quota and a Thunderbird
installation which uses alot of space in the home directory can easily
result in the users not being able to login anymore (because they
have exceeded their quota and no more files can be written
upon login as required).

I therefore suggest turning *off* global search and downloading of
emails from mailboxes by default. It might be neat to have a
check box to enable/disable "Global Search" in the setup dialog
of Thunderbird which allows to enter your mail account data.

Adrian

PS: Micah Gersten suggested me to report this as an extra bug in #314668

ProblemType: Bug
Architecture: i386
Date: Sun Feb 7 11:16:58 2010
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.04
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" - Alpha i386 (20100113)
Package: thunderbird 2.0.0.23+build1+nobinonly-0ubuntu1
ProcEnviron:
 LANGUAGE=en_US.UTF-8
 LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8
 PATH=(custom, no user)
 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
 SHELL=/bin/bash
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.32-12.17-generic
SourcePackage: thunderbird
Uname: Linux 2.6.32-12-generic i686

I can confirm that enabled Indexer made Thunderbird very slow, bordering with useless.

Additionally Indexer did not quit when large unused mail list folder was moved to the trash. It just continued to index trash items :)

Another effect which would be nice to have a warning about is search may return no results or partial results for some significant period of time. Not the same as this bug I know, and may be covered in another bug. But it's related in the sense that there may be some behaviors the user should be informed of.

*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 516884 ***

Ludo, I have to agree with bug 516884 comment #59:
> I'm the reported of the bug that got marked as a dupe of this in the previous
> comment. However in the new migration assistant I don't see anything about the
> "Global search and indexer", which was the particular feature that bug was
> about. So I'd request that my bug gets unduped [...] since it's not addressed yet.

Disabling the global indexer is not a part of the current migration assistant, thus not a duplicate. On the other hand, this could be possibly implemented for TB 3.1 only as it requires string changes, where it may be of limited value.

Anyway, reopening as a valid request to add this to the migration assistant.

Or perhaps an "Emergency Brake" icon on the status bar to stop indexing, and reset the pref.

Binary package hint: thunderbird

Hi,

the new major version of Thunderbird (3.x) provides the new feature
"Global Search" which allows to search over all mailboxes that are managed
with Thunderbird. While this feature can be neat and handy for the
average home user with small mailboxes, it very soon becomes a major
drawback for users with large mailboxes or with Thunderbird installations
in corporate networks. With large mailboxes or corporate networks
it becomes obvious that downloading the whole mailbox which is necessary
for the global search will very quickly eat up all the space. I have
around 50,000 emails in one of my IMAP mailboxes and by downloading
all mails, Thunderbird 3.0 ended up taking several gigabytes of diskspace
in the home directory.

However, since this IMAP server resides in the same local network
as my machine, downloading all mails does not bring any improvements
in speed which would justify the waste of space. In corporate networks,
it is also often the case that users have limited quota and a Thunderbird
installation which uses alot of space in the home directory can easily
result in the users not being able to login anymore (because they
have exceeded their quota and no more files can be written
upon login as required).

I therefore suggest turning *off* global search and downloading of
emails from mailboxes by default. It might be neat to have a
check box to enable/disable "Global Search" in the setup dialog
of Thunderbird which allows to enter your mail account data.

Adrian

PS: Micah Gersten suggested me to report this as an extra bug in #314668

ProblemType: Bug
Architecture: i386
Date: Sun Feb 7 11:16:58 2010
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.04
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" - Alpha i386 (20100113)
Package: thunderbird 2.0.0.23+build1+nobinonly-0ubuntu1
ProcEnviron:
 LANGUAGE=en_US.UTF-8
 LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8
 PATH=(custom, no user)
 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
 SHELL=/bin/bash
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.32-12.17-generic
SourcePackage: thunderbird
Uname: Linux 2.6.32-12-generic i686

Draycen DeCator (ddecator) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. The "Global Search" feature in Thunderbird simply indexes all of the mail saved locally so that it can be easily searched within Thunderbird. A separate setting deals with how Thunderbird handles mail on a server, the default being to download a copy and leave the original on the server. This setting can be changed manually by going to Edit -> Account Settings -> Synchronization and Storage. This setting can be changed before the mail is downloaded by selecting "Manual Setup" during the account setup process. However, if you feel that Thunderbird should provide this option in the automatic account setup, or that it should warn users that the default setting is to download all emails, then we can see about submitting a feature request.

Micah Gersten (micahg) wrote :

Thank you for your bug report. This bug has been reported to the developers of the software. You can comment on it, if needed, as soon as the upstream comments are imported.
I'm going to mark it as Triaged and wait for upstream to work on this. Thanks for taking the time to make Ubuntu better! Please report any other issues you may find.

Changed in thunderbird (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Triaged
Changed in thunderbird:
status: Unknown → Confirmed

It doesn't work at all for large installations (continues indexing forever), so a quick test for > 2 GB files/folders total should turn it off by default. Heck, I'd say even > 1 GB total should be enough for a warning!

Maybe, I should be filing a new bug report. But after first upgrading I unchecked the "global search and indexer" option. However, this option doesn't stick between upgrades. After every upgrade I have to go back to preferences and while it is unchecked I recheck it then uncheck it to go back to my preference for this setting. I.e. every upgrade turns "global search and indexer" back on (although in the settings it stays unchecked.)

(In reply to comment #7)
> Maybe, I should be filing a new bug report. But after first upgrading I
> unchecked the "global search and indexer" option. However, this option doesn't
> stick between upgrades. After every upgrade I have to go back to preferences
> and while it is unchecked I recheck it then uncheck it to go back to my
> preference for this setting. I.e. every upgrade turns "global search and
> indexer" back on (although in the settings it stays unchecked.)

Which build are you using?

Hi Micah

I am running:

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.5; en-US; rv:1.9.1.9) Gecko/20100317 Lightning/1.0b1 Thunderbird/3.0.4

Problem started when "global search and indexer" was first introduced.

I can confirm this issue in:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-GB; rv:1.9.1.9) Gecko/20100317 Lightning/1.0b1 Thunderbird/3.0.4

It seems to happen intermittently between restarts of Thunderbird, although I can't confirm it at this stage (maybe there's been a few updates recently).

Bernd Porr (berndporr) wrote :

I've just installed Lucid on an X24 laptop (1.2GHz) and the indexing just kills it. It should be really off by default. I've got a work account with 10,000s of e-mails and subfolders and it slowed down the computer substantially down to the level that I had to quit thunderbird to continue to work. Thunderbird feels much slower anyway than 2.x and this makes it worse.
So, please disable indexing by default.

This problem recurs after EVERY update to Thunderbird on Mac. Furthermore, it appears that the only way to turn off Global Search after an update is to turn it on in preferences, restart, turn it off, and then restart again. This is driving me nuts!

Finally, when it is off, there is no x in the search box to clear it out, as there was before this nightmare started. The x should be restored.

Changed in thunderbird:
importance: Unknown → Medium

Is this problem gone when updating from recent versions of Thunderbird? Like updating from from current-version - 1 ?

Or are cases still happening like Ben's ...
> It seems to happen intermittently between restarts of Thunderbird, although
> I can't confirm it at this stage (maybe there's been a few updates recently).

I am currently running Thunderbird 13.0.1 on Snow Leopard. For several updates (I'm not sure how many) global search and indexer has not been turned on when I have upgraded. Also, the x in the search box now appears. So it no longer seems to be a problem.

would you agree we are well past the point where this is useful for the bulk of users, and now that we are 3+ years from initial release that the question of whether to do this won't be revisited?

Yeah, I'ld be in favour of a WONTFIX at this point…

Feel free to handle it any way you want. I have been out of Ubuntu for a couple of years now since I jumped backed to Debian and eventually became a DD. So I don't really want to have any influence here.

Cheers,

Adrian

Changed in thunderbird:
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
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