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Feature Request - Archive Thunderbird Mail Messages

Discussion of features in Mozilla Thunderbird
Old Ausdilecce
 
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 5:00 pm

Post Posted June 20th, 2005, 1:54 pm

Brian Conner wrote:With your proposed solution, would the Archive folder always be loaded when Thunderbird opens?


NO, the archive folder would *not* be 'loaded' when Thunderbird opens.. That is the big difference between Outlook and Thunderbird..

Folders in TB are 'loaded' when selected, where folders in Outlook are loaded on app open ( cuz, in Outlook, all messages and folders are contained in ONE file, as I mentioned already )

An archive folder, as I propose, would NOT impact the open time of Thuderbird at all

Sorry, I don't have any other way to explain this..


Wintogreen.. I am thinking that IMAP archived messages would be moved to an archive folder under local folders..

Sorry, regarding Global Inbox... wasn't thinking clearly..
When using Global Inbox, there would only be one archive folder in the 'Local Folders' account ( the only account that is visible )
When *NOT* using Global inbox, there would be an archive folder in every account ( just like there is an Inbox in every account )

You *would* be able to select a whole account for archiving if you select the top level account folder ( the one that *contains* Inbox, trash etc ) and right click on that - select archive...

Brian Conner
 
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Joined: May 15th, 2005, 7:54 am

Post Posted June 20th, 2005, 2:30 pm

OK, great. I can work with that. Thanks for taking the time and effort to explain it to me.

I can hardly wait to see it finished. ;-)

BellicoseSalamander
 
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Joined: June 15th, 2005, 12:23 pm

Post Posted June 20th, 2005, 2:31 pm

ausdilecce,

Another "it would be nice if" thing; the one thing that would totally sell me on this extension is the Autoarchive feature. Once certain folders have their archive attributes set, (older than, by subject or sender, etc.) then messages will be automatically archived on a schedule, be that daily, weekly, etc. I loved having Outlook doing that without me having to remember to right click each folder I need archived and select "archive".

Thanks,

Old Ausdilecce
 
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 5:00 pm

Post Posted June 20th, 2005, 2:45 pm

ThermonuclearGobstopper,

( great handle ! )

AutoArchive probably will happen *after* the initial extension has been proven to work..

Settings will have to be super simple to avoid confusion... The settings will *not* be like filters (initially).. Just too hard to implement..

For now, archive 'attributes' will be
older than XX days OR older than MMDDYYYY
Include subfolders (y/n)

Probably need to flesh out any possible 'gotchas' tho.. Like if you set a container folder to archive 'older than 20 days, include subfolders' and one of its subfolders has its archive settings as archive 'older than 10 days', then obviously the first setting would override the second setting.. so..

wintogreen
 
Posts: 3891
Joined: October 31st, 2003, 8:38 pm

Post Posted June 20th, 2005, 6:42 pm

ausdilecce wrote:You *would* be able to select a whole account for archiving if you select the top level account folder ( the one that *contains* Inbox, trash etc ) and right click on that - select archive...

Excellent. I guess it will be easy enough to exclude the Archive folder itself from being archived.

For archiving IMAP accounts, would each IMAP archive go into a folder named something like "Archive <account name>" and be at the same level as the Local Folders Inbox? If so, for people who are also using the global Inbox and archiving Local Folders, how will you exclude those IMAP archives from being archived?

Old Ausdilecce
 
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 5:00 pm

Post Posted June 20th, 2005, 7:01 pm

WOW,

I just completed a preliminary extension that does this ..

And I did it on my whole 'Local Folders' account ( which had approx 260 Mb of messages )
.. It completed in about 45 seconds
.. archive folder *was* excluded
.. all messages older than 30 days were thrown in the archive folder with all paths intact ( any folders that did not exist previously, were autocreated
.. Obviously.. I had to do a compact after the arcive operation.. that took about 10 secs.
.. NO MESSAGES were lost or corrupted..

Wintogreen,
IRT IMAP archiving..
..regardless of whether the user was using global Inbox or not.. archives would be placed in the 'Local Folders' account
......because creating folders on IMAP stores is async and would not work correctly..
..Yes, IMAP archives would be placed in a folder in Local Folders called "Archive <IMAP account name>" and would be excluded from the Local Folders archive process
.....basically ANY 'Local Folders' folder whose first 7 characters is 'Archive', case sensitive, is excluded from the archive process..

Woo Hoo

Brian Conner
 
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Joined: May 15th, 2005, 7:54 am

Post Posted June 20th, 2005, 7:04 pm

Do you need any beta testers? ;-)

Old Ausdilecce
 
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 5:00 pm

Post Posted June 20th, 2005, 7:10 pm

Brian Conner wrote:Do you need any beta testers? ;-)


Always...

BUT BE SURE TO MAKE BACKUPS ( like that needed to be said :roll: )

Old Ausdilecce
 
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 5:00 pm

Post Posted June 20th, 2005, 7:21 pm

Couple ToDos before I can release to BetaTesters

1) create UI for
...a) choosing XX days
...b) Archive if older than <date>
...c) include subfolders checkbox

2) make sure it works on accounts OTHER THAN 'Local Folders'

3) set up options for
...a) default date in 'Archive if older than <date> ( so date picker is defaulted to some num days ago )
...b) excluded folders (Initially Trash, Templates, Drafts, Junk )
...c) autocompact whole account following sucessful op..

wintogreen
 
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Joined: October 31st, 2003, 8:38 pm

Post Posted June 20th, 2005, 7:29 pm

In my last post above I was going to half-jokingly remark that, knowing your track record, we could all expect you to finish the first version of the extension within the next 6 hours... but it turned out to be only 19 minutes! 8)

hsummer
 
Posts: 61
Joined: December 29th, 2004, 7:33 pm

Post Posted June 21st, 2005, 4:19 am

Ok, could we back up a minute:
Outlook does, in fact, store in a PST file all current e-mail and their respective folders and layout.
It (the pst file) when opened, looks like the typical directory tree structure will full allowance to drag and drop to any other folder/sub folder in the presently opened pst file.
This includes dragging and dropping to "trash" if need be.
IT conforms to the typical tree-view in file managers.
Now, when you archive in Outlook, it basically saves under some new name, a new tree structure identical to the present one with what ever dated e-mail back. You can then go to File-open and re-open the archive pst file.
Now the left window has 2 with directory trees showing. The regular inbox w/tree structure and NOTHER ONE (TYPICALLY ABOVE IT) sorry for the caps lock, but the other one instead of saying Local folder or what ever, says "archive" with the name you chose.
You are then able to drag and drop freely between the archive folders and the present ones in either direction.
This allows a sort of-pick-what-you-want archive capability.
It also makes an easy method of syncing a laptop with a desktop because the PST files can be regularly copied and moved about. They are just files that can be opened or closed at any time.
But in all cases, the main pst file, similar to Thunderbird profile but different..... must be there so when you click send/receive, Outlook knows where to place things.
Now Thunderbird correctly sectionalises folders to files for faster work. Outlook has a major flaw in it that "forced" this archive feature to be needed.
Once the pst file gets over a gig, the system runs like a slug going up a salty hill. Occasionally it results in lock-ups too.
If you are like me, being required to save every e-mail you ever get for work, then that stupid pst file can cause system crashes.
After all, it gets opened up all at once upon loading, then when it's size exceeds the RAM plus the RAM-drive size, the entire system resources plumit and Windows crashes.
This is where Thunderbird takes over and far excels over the Microsoft monopoly.
But that's just my word on things, and I am just a dweeb....
I would like the "up-front functionality" of Outlook's archive ,especially to be able to open and close any pst at will with the drag and drop, but the technical memory usage side is a major thorn to deal with.

Old Ausdilecce
 
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 5:00 pm

Post Posted June 21st, 2005, 4:40 am

hsummer,

Sorry, I have no clue as to what 'up-front functionality' is..

Regarding being 'able to open and close any pst at will', this is impossible with TB as TB does not use a pst file arrangement.. As you clearly stated, TB 'sectionalises folders to files' and so therefore in TB, moving message stores from one machine to another requires the user to know *what* folders and files to copy from the source machine, and then *where* to paste them to the destination machine..

This is not that difficult... This extension *should* make things a bit easier since all the user would have to do is copy the 'Archive' file and 'Archive.sbd' from the source machine and paste them to the destination machine.. The whole folder structure under 'Archive' will be preserved.

I guess the next logical step for this extension is to be able to 'package' the archive folder(s) in a zip file, which could then be ported over to the new machine (which has this extension) and a function of the extension would be to 'incorporate' (apply? import? ) the contents of the zip file (maybe temporarily) into that profile...

Old Ausdilecce
 
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 5:00 pm

Post Posted June 21st, 2005, 6:12 am

OK so I
1) created UI for
...a) choosing XX days
...b) Archive if older than <date> ( with datepicker stolen from sendtools )
...c) include subfolders checkbox

2) made sure it works on accounts OTHER THAN 'Local Folders'
..IMAP has an issue where ti will NOT update the folder tree with the newly created folders until TB is restarted.. still trying to figure that one out.. Troubleshooting IMAP errors on Dialup sux !

3) set up options for
...a) default date in 'Archive if older than <date> ( so date picker is defaulted to some num days ago ) ( in the extension's settings )

Still ToDo
1) set up options for
...a) excluded folders ..
.......Trash, Templates, Drafts, Junk, and any folder that starts with Archive is automatically excluded
...b) autocompact whole account following sucessful op..

Get the xpi from >> www.supportware.net/mozilla/ArchiveTools.xpi

Brian Conner
 
Posts: 34
Joined: May 15th, 2005, 7:54 am

Post Posted June 21st, 2005, 7:03 am

Thank you for doing this. But it's not creating the sub-folders inside the folder that, in my Thunderbird configuration, is named Personal Folders. It creates the Archive folder, and it creates a folder named Personal%20Folders, but it doesn't created any sub-folders inside of Personal%20Folders. Then it pops up an error message for each sub-folder that says, "The messages could not be moved or copied to Folder '(sub-folder name)' because writing to folder failed." Then it suggests Empty Trash and Compact Folders. Just so you know, here is my folder structure:

Local Folders
Inbox
UnSent Messages
Drafts
Sent
Junk
Trash
Personal Folders
Email Address 1 (this isn't the actual name of it)
Email Address 1 Save
Email Address 2
Email Address 2 Save


<B>(The folder structure above did not format correctly. Personal Folders is directly inside Local Folders, each Email Address folder is directly inside Personal Folders, and each Email Address Save folder is directly inside its main Email Address Folder. Therefore, the folder structure for Email Address 1 Save is:

Local Folders > Personal Folders > Email Address 1 > Email Address 1 Save

I hope that makes sense.)</B>


Then, I have about 10 more email addresses with the same pattern. After that, I have one newsgroup with a sub-folder. I don't need to archive the newsgroup, but the folders ARE inside of Local Folders.

After running the Archive Extension, I now have a folder in Local Folders named Archive. Under that are these:

Inbox
Personal%20Folders
Save

Of these, Inbox and Save now have archived messages in them. So, the Archive Extension is working for those folders, but it just isn't creating sub-folders, even though the Include Sub-folders box is checked.

Am I doing something wrong, or does it need to be tweaked?

wintogreen
 
Posts: 3891
Joined: October 31st, 2003, 8:38 pm

Post Posted June 21st, 2005, 7:24 am

Here's how my first run went (single POP account NOT using the global Inbox/Local Folders, with about 100MB in 15 folders plus numerous subfolders). I archived for messages older than Jan 1 2005, all subfolders in the account.

1. After about 10 seconds, I got an error message "The messages could not be moved or copied to folder [foldername] because writing to the folder failed. To gain disk space..." etc. After I OK'ed it, I got the same popup for about 20 other folders/subfolders.

2. For some folders with spaces in the name (such as "Family etc"), the space got replaced with "%20" (e.g., "Family%20etc"). But not all of them. Doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to why some got %20 and some didn't. In two cases both folders (one with %20 and one without) were created.

3. All folders with %20 in the name are empty and have no subfolders.

4. Only one folder with subfolders got recreated correctly with subfolders.

5. In 2 of 4 cases where the folder name included parentheses, these got replaced with %28 and %29.

6. The message selection itself seems to have worked perfectly. Those before the cutoff date were moved, and those after were not. Great date-picker, by the way!

7. I haven't checked carefully, but judging from filesizes (before and after) there doesn't seem to have been any data loss, despite the error in 1.
Last edited by wintogreen on June 21st, 2005, 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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