Last night I decided to tempt the fates and update both my email client and browser to the latest nightly builds… For whatever reason every so often I just get the urge to push things and this time I was very happy to find that both nightlies for Thunderbird and Firefox were nicely enhanced.
Junk messages now block images much more effectively than my previous runs. Thunderbird also gives a bit extra control to the number of connections happening within the advanced setting within an IMAP account. This is good to see since occasionally you might move faster than the computer is capable of keeping track of and you get a server disconnect error. Moving the default from 5 to 4 connections (I had subscribed to the bug in bugzilla and saw that was the suggested tweak) does change the frequency, but it still happens. This doesn’t change my view of Thunderbird… I really like using it a lot. My main gripe is the spam filter. I wish it had a much better method for learning. I’d also like better support for new message notification, which frankly has never worked for me – now on two machines. Works great on Windows but not Mac.
Firefox seems to have some nice UI enhancements in the latest builds. First, instead of getting a small and easy to miss icon in the bottom left of the browser window when a pop-up has been blocked, you now get a message in the window just above the page content. I have a feeling quite a few people are not going to like this change, but I believe it makes the browser more user friendly for more people. There is also a very cool new RSS orange icon in the bottom right of the window which notifies the user of an auto-detected feed. You can easily bookmark any of the feeds (my own site lists 3 versions) and after you save the bookmark, Firefox neatly creates a folder of the more recent posts. This folder maintains a current list, so people can easily stay on top of sites of interest right within the browser. (I personally have been using this feature to call attention to feeds I might not have added to bloglines)
A bonus of both apps is that on launch, any extensions loaded previously were detected and newer versions if available were downloaded. Moz made this very easy to do, I just clicked next and things worked.