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Bug of the moment 2007-06-06


I think this must be one of my favourite, yet most hated recurring bugs. One of those “just too stupid to be true” bugs.

I use IMAP to read my mail in Mozilla Thunderbird, and I store all my sent mail on the mail server. It’s useful to be able review sent mail from other computers. However, Thunderbird frequently misreports mail send status:

Thunderbird showing mail send success in the status bar and a send failed error dialog

Surely the mail either was, or was not sent? It cannot be both.

[Edit: On re-reading this, it seems very vague. I seem to recall that the problem was that after the SMTP transfer completed and the mail was sent, Thunderbird would fail to connect to the IMAP server to upload my Sent copy; however, this would be inconsistent with me receivening the same error with my POP3 account. Either way, it’s odd.]


I wanted to see if I could restore the maximised mail window itself (while still obscured by a dialog box), using Process Explorer’s window operations. However, this reminded me of Windows’s very peculiar window management. What I could do was maximise the program:

Asking Process Explorer to maximise Thunderbird's window

The irony is that that command really does work:

View full-size screenshot

Windows 2000 has a hard time keeping track of whether the taskbar is the topmost window or not; it appears to have a ropey implementation of controlled stacking order. Here, the maximised window has covered over the taskbar entirely. I am not sure whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing that this should be possible. After all, I was plagued with related problems at work with a badly-designed Visual Basic automation workflow that used Photoshop to do all the work.

Press the Windows key and the taskbar reappears:

View full-size screenshot

Posted 6th June 2007 – Comments and questions?