On some Computer My Thunderbird Profile is still the same as from the first version of Thunderbird from 2006. It contains a lot of strange files and is much larger than a new profile.
Please develop a full migration of the Thunderbird profile into a new profile.
Beside my I'm also Family admin of several PC with Thunderbird. Most of their Profile has the same age like my profile. It would be nice If I could migrate these profile as easy as possible. I do not wish to set up new mail clients and may forget settings or add-ons.
I suggest following behavior.
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If they can automate the "migration" or "cleanup", your senior profile wouldn't be cluttered with "strange files" in the first place!
Export all the mails in local folders (or also mail account folders if running POP3). Export all the address book contacts. Check out all the add-ons currently in use and mark them all down. Check out all the passwords stored and write them down on paper (or in temporary text file). Check out all the mail account settings and write them down too. Create a new profile, switch to it, than import everything back in.
I agree with @Mannshoch .
Who wants to do all that? (But thanks for the instructions 😉
My reccomended flow is
In my opinion Thunderbird could do this all 10 Major version on his own. (In that case a backup e.g. tar.xz would be important)
In my opinian Thunderbird should do that all 10 Major Version on it's own. (Backup as e.g. tar.xz is Important)
Totally agree with this. Over the years I've had a number of email address which have come and gone and the profile file pref.js has got remnants of the old identities (id and server numbers) hanging around in the code. In the file, I can also see these old email addresses too so that implies the 'removal' process didn't work properly either.
So a neat little function to parse through the accounts/identities in the file, asking the user what to keep and what not to, checking consistency of the email/accountID/Identity/Server items, and removing the 'left hanging' items - code lines that are no longer used, would be a great idea.
I've been suggesting a *settings* Export/Import utility for quite a while. Right now the only E/I utility simply backs up your entire profile as one blob, and copies it to a new system. No edits, cleanups or changes.
This needs a more granular system, that can feed your settings out to JSON or something similar, with the option of tarring/zipping up your mailboxes, or skipping the message archive if you're on IMAP (and you trust the host server to reliably restore your mail). This would let you restore just the bits you want to keep. It also would be useful for migrating profiles between operating systems (to/from Linux and MSWindows, etc). I expect this needs to be a separate utility, as integrating it into the main application would be a lot more work than a standalone solution.
Now the thing is I know there's a major renovation in the works, so maybe by this summer it may be in place anyway. (is there anything that currently converts a prefs.js file to json, yaml or even xml?)
Yes, Thunderbird really needs a more simple option to update, clean, and/or move to a new computer. Thanks for requesting this. You get my vote! But please also keep the ability to just copy the profile folder.
I use Thunderbird since many years and it's my daily driver. I also want to have some overview and a tidied up Thunderbird installation and meaningful settings.
But I think this is not the way to go. You as a user should know what are the information you care about (Email accounts, local folders, spam configuration, filter, RSS, etc) and then clean this up, export and take it into a new profile/thunderbird installation.
To let the thunderbird devs handle the complexity of n-years of old configuration combinations to a proper state sounds like a huge task. As a dev I wouldn't like to do that. It is easy for you to do that but for a dev it's a big task.
Although I kinda agree more with SenileOtaku in this thread regarding improved export functions.
On Debian there are many config files, all in different formats. - Like FF/TB.
There is a directory with files (/etc/default) that have a similar and or simpler format.
These files are processed into the config files that the programs on the system can use.
An export/upgrade option would take certain settings, create a new profile, and the user would be happy as a peach that things are going so well.
A simple concept, I don't know if I explained it right.
The old profile can auto-expire or lock or whatever.