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Status: New idea

When a filter has multiple "perform these actions" steps configured and the order in which they're about to be executed is different from the one they're shown in the GUI an additional note "Note: Filter actions will be run in a different order. See execution order" is shown. When someone clicks on the underlined text a new popup opens up showing the actual order in which these actions are performed.

However there is currently no button to just sort the actions into exactly this order (and have that note thereby also go away). Furthermore it is also not possible to just drag and drop actions into this order. Currently the only option is to manually reconfigure all of the listed actions into this order which is a bit annoying.

Therefore could we add an additional button either to that notification text or to the popup it opens to just have Thunderbird rearrange all of the filter actions into execution order?

The "Real action order" popup already has an "OK" button, it would be desirable to add a 2nd button "Apply real action order" or a check box with "Sort filter actions by real execution order" and apply it on save.

Code wise as we already have the real execution order anyway I don't see any big issues with having Thunderbird update the GUI to match it.

Alternatively we could just have Thunderbird directly save the filters in execution order and thereby silently rearrange the performed actions once the "Filter Rules" window is closed and show the actual execution order once it is reopened. This is probably the best solution because that tiny note that Thunderbird is currently showing is easily missed anyway (and I also don't see a reason for not to).

Status changed to: New idea
Community Manager
Community Manager

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New member

I think that the user should be clearly informed of the order of execution, as it could cause the filter to behave in an unintended manner.

For instance, take a filter like this:

  • If a message in this folder does not have the tag "Already Saved"
  • Copy it to A_LOCAL_FOLDER
  • Tag the message with the tag "Already Saved"

…But the real execution order is:

  • Tag the message with the tag "Already Saved"
  • Copy it to A_LOCAL_FOLDER

…Then the message will wind up being tagged as "Already Saved", though the intention was that only the message in the original folder (the target message for the filter) be tagged, and not the copied message. (This example just happened for me today, spoiling the way my filter was intended to work.)

So I think that, if there should be an override to the warning, that it be for a specific filter only, and that the checkbox "No execution order warnings" should always be checked with any new filter, so that the user is warned at least once.