ThunderPlunger Publisher's description
from David White
This add-on provides a few new ways to keep Thunderbird clean.
This add-on provides a few new ways to keep Thunderbird clean (hence its name).
I have personally tested version 2.x of this add-on only in Thunderbird 2.x/3.x and only under XP Pro. Earlier versions worked under 1.5x/2.x releases of Thunderbird and I have been informed by users that this add-on appears to function on other platforms. Let me know what you find.
Marking News and RSS Servers Read
Two of the things I like about Thunderbird are the built-in RSS and News clients. While Thunderbird, by default, provides a context menu item for each individual folder within an RSS or News account that marks that folder read, it does not provide one at the account level that recursively marks each folder within the account as read. If you monitor a large number of newsgroups and RSS feeds (as I do), having such a feature would add some convenience. So here it is!
Removing "Phantom" Messages in Newsgroups
I have also noted that Thunderbird's News Client will occasionally show that there are new messages to be read (newsgroup displayed in bold followed by the number of messages in parenthesis) for a group when there are really none available. I call these 'Phantom' Messages. There are already some official bug reports related to this behavior (see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=71728https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=24592) but there is little sign of action being taken to fix this in the near term.
In this bug report (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=294754#c3), a responder describes a work-around to this issue but the technique requires stopping Thunderbird followed by manual editing of newshost.rc files. This is something of a pain. So in keeping with the cleaning theme of this add-on, I have added a feature that will automate this process on user demand. A restart of Thunderbird is required to complete the task but that seems a small price to pay. To access this function, bring up the context menu for any individual newsgroup folder and choose "Remove 'Phantom' Messages". Once you restart Thunderbird, bogus new messages should no longer be shown for that newsgroup folder.
Removing "Orphaned" News Files
Unless you are way too fastidious about such things, you may not have not have noticed that Thunderbird will leave files on disk for newsgroups from which you have unsubscribed. The size of these files may not be large but they serve no purpose. This function will remove these files from your disk. Access this function from the context menu for any news account folder by selecting "Remove 'Orphaned' Files". Once you restart Thunderbird, any such files will be removed for that account.
When you remove a POP3 email, RSS, or News account Thunderbird seems to leave many of the account's files lying around on disk. This may be to assist in a future "un-remove" or archival process. But the disk consumed by some accounts can become quite large and sometimes you really just want to permanently and completely remove an account. This function helps keep your computer clean by removing folders that are determined to be "orphaned" from any known current account. Select "Clean Accounts" from the menu available from ThunderPlunger's status bar icon. At the next Thunderbird restart, this add-on will check the following to identify probable "orphaned" folders for removal:
* Thunderbird's default POP3 email storage location
* Thunderbird's default NNTP (News) storage location
* A historical log, established and maintained by this add-on, of past and current accounts
Before a probable "orphaned" folder is removed, you will be prompted to confirm the action. Please carefully consider each prompt before responding as results cannot be undone.
Remove Email Addresses From Address Books
A net newsgroup user recently stated that she would like to be able to easily remove the email address associated with a bounced email message from her address books. By default, a user must copy the e-mail address from the bounced mail, search each address book, and finally delete any matched items.
This function simplifies that process. You simply right-click on any email address link shown in a message and choose the menu item "Remove From Address Books" that ThunderPlunger has added to the popup menu. You will be prompted for permission to process each local address book. In each address book, if an address book card is found that matches the email address, you are prompted to confirm its deletion. If not, you are notified that the email address is not on file in that address book.
Note: it is possible to have more than one card in an address book for the same email address. So you may be prompted multiple times to approve card deletions within an address book. Responding to these confirmations with the Cancel button will prevent that card from being deleted and you will be given the opportunity to cancel the entire operation (with no items deleted) for the current address book
Also Note: This function also removes entries that reference the email address from mailing lists. However, it does NOT delete the mailing list if the deleted entry should leave the list empty.
Validate Email Addresses
Over time, most of us discover that some of the email addresses in our address books have gone stale - i.e., they are no longer valid. We generally detect this only once we have sent an email and it is bounced back to us. In those cases, the Remove Email Addresses From Address Books (above) will help you to easily remove that card.
However, you may not want to wait until your email bounces to discover that an email address is no longer valid. For this reason, ThunderPlunger now offers a Validate Email Address function:
* Right-click on a card shown in the address book window to invoke this function. A request is sent to a specially-written ThunderPlunger web service which will do its best to verify the validity of that card's primary email address. This is done by directly communicating with the mail server for the email's domain.
* Right-click on an address book shown in the address book window to invoke this function against all cards in the address book. This may take a while depending upon the number of cards in the address book. But you can continue to work in ThunderBird during processing. All cards determined to be suspect are then displayed in the results window. From here you can review the results and select those cards you wish to have removed from the address book.
Note: Due to the variations in mail server configurations and other factors beyond our control, this function cannot be considered 100% accurate. It is possible that some email addresses that are actually bad can be reported as good and vis-a-vis. So use care when interpreting the results and deciding to delete a suspect card.
Also Note: Some potential users of this function may be concerned that it is a nefarious attempt to "harvest" email addresses from their address books. Nothing could be further from the truth. No information of any kind is retained by ThunderPlunger's web component. The web component is written in standard PHP and the code can be found here and reviewed for content and purpose. I urge anyone with doubts to do so.
Final Note: Upon release, only one instance of the ThunderPlunger web component will be supported. It is suspected that, with increase in usage, a single instance will not suffice. So more locations will have to be added. If you are able to support ThunderPlunger by hosting an instance of the web component, please contact me. As more instances become available, their URLs will be posted on the add-on's web site.
Copy Email Address From Address Book Card
Right-click on a card in the address book window and choose this function. The primary email address for that card will be placed into the clipboard for your use elsewhere.
I recognize that this function is not exactly in-keeping with ThunderPlunger's general theme of keeping your ThunderBird environment neat and tidy. But I have been seeking this ability for some time now and since I was working in the address book, I decided to do it here anyway. I do not understand why it is not built-into ThunderBird but now users of this add-in will have it.
Clear All Expired for News
Depending upon your newsgroup retention policy settings, Thunderbird may retain newsgroup information for articles which are no longer available on the newsgroup server due to time expiration. When this occurs, Thunderbird displays something similar to this:
newsgroup server responded:no such article number in group
Perhaps the article has expired
Click here to remove all expired articles
This function performs the same action as clicking on the link in the above message. Access this method at any time from the folder pane context menu for any newsgroup folder by choosing Clear All Expired. This will cause Thunderbird to remove information for articles which are no longer on the server for that newsgroup. Clear All Expired is also available on the context menu for newsgroup server folders. In this case, all newsgroup folders associated with that server will be similarly processed.
Compress Sqlite Files
Starting with version 3, Thunderbird uses Sqlite to store some of its information. To prevent unbounded growth in size, these files should be compressed on occasion. This function can be triggered manually from the menu on ThunderPlunger's status bar icon. Or it can be performed on each startup via an option setting.
This add-on offers a few simple options which control its behavior. These can most easily be manipulated via the built-in add-on options dialog. To easily access this dialog, select "Options" from the context menu available from ThunderPlunger's status bar icon. No options require a restart of Thunderbird to take effect.
As I become aware of additional functions in keeping with this add-on's theme of sustaining a tidy Thunderbird environment, I will try to add them. Contact me with your suggestions. No warranty that I will include them but if I do you will be credited as a contributor to the add-on
System Requirements:- Thunderbird: 1.5 - 3.1.*
Program Release Status:
Program Install Support: Install and Uninstall