[first time posting] thunderbird speed and file format

(First time posting here, sorry if this is not the right place for these sorts of questions)

I am an happy user of thunderbird but sometime I feel it is not as fast as I would like. I am wondering how much of the slowness is due to the file format used.
I see text files that are quite big (GB !). So the questions I have:

  • Can they be (partly) responsible for the speed ?
  • If the answer to the above question is ‘yes’, Is there any plan to use a different file format one day ?
    I have tried to look on the internet for answers but without success,
    thanks a lot,

Thanks for the question.

However, impossible to answer because you haven’t stated where you are seeing speed issues. Please describe in detail.

For example when searching messages … I understanding that searching in the body may take a while but sender, subject, etc. should be faster.
Also start up time (~10 sec on my machine with 3 inbox) could be faster,

10 second startup? Are you on an old school platter hard drive?

thinkpad x1 carbon 3rd generation (with SSD) running debian buster

I think that Thunderbird does some CPU intensive stuff on startup. I only run Windows, but that is my guess based on the fact that on a desktop i7-8700K system which is much faster than any laptop, Thunderbird starts instantly(<1s, maybe 200-500ms). I have roughly 5GB of mail with many tens of thousands of messages.

On an i7-7700HQ, it starts in about 2-3 seconds, and about 6 seconds on my HP Elitebook with an i5-8350U. If the Elitebook is plugged in or has turbo boost forced on, it cuts the startup time down to 3-4 seconds.

All these systems use NVME SSDs so I/O must not be the significant factor.

It is pretty much impossible to actually figure out if this can be optimized and how much other than by profiling the app a lot during startup, it’s much too complicated to reduce to something simple like file formats.

So what I’m saying is that that is probably normal expected performance on an old dual core U-series CPU, it matches my experience, and it’s unlikely that there’s any simple fix other than digging into a many-month-long task of performance optimization.

I am and have had to resort to offline startup. Otherwise I think the program start has failed it takes so long to put up a usable interface. Basically this is a place where Thunderbird really has issues. perhaps it has something to do with indexing. My Thunderbird spends minutes at a time determining what to index in updated RSS feeds for instance. Updates with 3 items in them sometimes. I could read the updates while Thunderbird thinks about IF it needs to index them.