Following on from my previous post about message queue handling in Thunderbird, further research has turned up some interesting facts. The issue is that Previous and Next buttons (available in a customized menu bar) change the focus, from the current message in the queue, to the previous/next unread message, rather than to an immediately adjacent message. Interestingly, this was (first?) raised as a bug on February 26, 2004!
Will Sargent, in Bug Report No. 235666 stated: “I insert the next and previous buttons into the single message window. The buttons take me to the next and previous unread messages, when what I want is to have them iterate over the next and previous messages displayed in the window bar.”
There are postings to this bug report in every subsequent year, except for 2009, until finally (April 5, 2012), “aceman” states: “This is fixed starting at Thunderbird 13 (now in Aurora channel). Do you use that version? Also, you need to rightclick the toolbar, choose customize and choose the version of the buttons you want. It now offers both the ‘prev/next unread’ and also ‘prev/next (any)’ versions.”
As far as I can tell, right now (May 10, 2012), Thunderbird 13 is in beta; the release date for this version is scheduled for June 5, 2012.
However, for those who wish to try/use the beta version (I did – and the new buttons do work as advertised!), installation instructions can be found on OMG! Ubuntu! The two commands required are:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install thunderbird-trunk
Note that, in the last of the above commands, I have stripped out “firefox-trunk” in order to only install the beta version of Thunderbird, and avoid an associated update to Firefox.
This installs a package named thunderbird-trunk from a personal package archive (PPA). A program launcher can be constructed for this program; however, there doesn’t seem to be a default logo. A little searching reveals the availability of thunderbird-trunk.png in /usr/share/pixmaps. This is a cute image – a baby Thunderbird pipping its eggshell.
Now, I’m a happy camper – I just have to wait until early June when the chick successfully pips the egg, and the final version of Thunderbird 13 is released – with “real” previous and next buttons!
Bug 235666 – Next and Previous buttons should work on read messages
Instant Messaging Comes to Thunderbird 13, Speed-Dial to Firefox 13