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SOLVED: Thunderbird 60.7 doesn't show relative dates anymore

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Apologies if this was covered somewhere else, but I've tried to search for the answer, and I can't find any.

I recently upgraded my OS, and I'm now using Thunderbird 60.7.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Before I upgraded, Thunderbird would show dates (for example, in the date column for emails) for dates that were yesterday in a format something like "Yesterday, 11:37 AM". (I'm not sure what version this was, but it could have been very old.)

But now, Thunderbird just shows the regular date (like "6/17/19, 11:37 AM"). Is there a setting I need to adjust to show relative dates?

Apologies if this was covered somewhere else, but I've tried to search for the answer, and I can't find any. I recently upgraded my OS, and I'm now using Thunderbird 60.7.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Before I upgraded, Thunderbird would show dates (for example, in the date column for emails) for dates that were yesterday in a format something like "Yesterday, 11:37 AM". (I'm not sure what version this was, but it could have been very old.) But now, Thunderbird just shows the regular date (like "6/17/19, 11:37 AM"). Is there a setting I need to adjust to show relative dates?

Modified by FlyingSaucrDude

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  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Ubuntu Chromium/74.0.3729.169 Chrome/74.0.3729.169 Safari/537.36

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sfhowes
  • Top 10 Contributor
1438 solutions 6814 answers

The only way I know to show mail received 'Yesterday' is to select View/Sort by/Date and Grouped By Sort.

The only way I know to show mail received 'Yesterday' is to select View/Sort by/Date and Grouped By Sort.
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Question owner

sfhowes said

The only way I know to show mail received 'Yesterday' is to select View/Sort by/Date and Grouped By Sort.

I appreciate the suggestion, but that's not what I'm asking for. I'm trying to figure out why the behavior of the text displayed in the date column changed.

''sfhowes [[#answer-1231247|said]]'' <blockquote> The only way I know to show mail received 'Yesterday' is to select View/Sort by/Date and Grouped By Sort. </blockquote> I appreciate the suggestion, but that's not what I'm asking for. I'm trying to figure out why the behavior of the text displayed in the date column changed.
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sfhowes
  • Top 10 Contributor
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TB generally applies the date format set in the operating system, although there are some Config. editor options. In the case of Linux, the change you see may be due to the changes made by the maker of the distribution, and not present in the version of TB provided on thunderbird.net.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Date_display_format

TB generally applies the date format set in the operating system, although there are some Config. editor options. In the case of Linux, the change you see may be due to the changes made by the maker of the distribution, and not present in the version of TB provided on [https://www.thunderbird.net/ thunderbird.net]. http://kb.mozillazine.org/Date_display_format
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Question owner

Do you know how Thunderbird gets that date format from the OS? Because AFAICT, Thunderbird isn't using any date format provided by my OS.

In particular, on Linux (or Ubuntu, at least--I probably shouldn't speak for all distros) running 'locale -k LC_TIME' on the command line lists all the date and time formats provided by the OS. On my machine, that gives:

abday="Sun;Mon;Tue;Wed;Thu;Fri;Sat" day="Sunday;Monday;Tuesday;Wednesday;Thursday;Friday;Saturday" abmon="Jan;Feb;Mar;Apr;May;Jun;Jul;Aug;Sep;Oct;Nov;Dec" mon="January;February;March;April;May;June;July;August;September;October;November;December" am_pm="AM;PM" d_t_fmt="%a %d %b %Y %r %Z" d_fmt="%m/%d/%Y" t_fmt="%r" t_fmt_ampm="%I:%M:%S %p" era= era_year="" era_d_fmt="" alt_digits= era_d_t_fmt="" era_t_fmt="" time-era-num-entries=0 time-era-entries="S" week-ndays=7 week-1stday=19971130 week-1stweek=1 first_weekday=1 first_workday=2 cal_direction=1 timezone="" date_fmt="%a %b %e %H:%M:%S %Z %Y" time-codeset="UTF-8" alt_mon="January;February;March;April;May;June;July;August;September;October;November;December" ab_alt_mon="Jan;Feb;Mar;Apr;May;Jun;Jul;Aug;Sep;Oct;Nov;Dec"

However, in Thunderbird dates are currently presented as, e.g., "6/18/19, 9:36 AM". That doesn't match any of the formats listed above. (Even Thunderbird constructing its own combinations isn't a valid explanation, since none of those formats contain the field specifier for a two-digit year, "%y".)

Do you know how Thunderbird gets that date format from the OS? Because AFAICT, Thunderbird isn't using any date format provided by my OS. In particular, on Linux (or Ubuntu, at least--I probably shouldn't speak for all distros) running 'locale -k LC_TIME' on the command line lists all the date and time formats provided by the OS. On my machine, that gives: abday="Sun;Mon;Tue;Wed;Thu;Fri;Sat" day="Sunday;Monday;Tuesday;Wednesday;Thursday;Friday;Saturday" abmon="Jan;Feb;Mar;Apr;May;Jun;Jul;Aug;Sep;Oct;Nov;Dec" mon="January;February;March;April;May;June;July;August;September;October;November;December" am_pm="AM;PM" d_t_fmt="%a %d %b %Y %r %Z" d_fmt="%m/%d/%Y" t_fmt="%r" t_fmt_ampm="%I:%M:%S %p" era= era_year="" era_d_fmt="" alt_digits= era_d_t_fmt="" era_t_fmt="" time-era-num-entries=0 time-era-entries="S" week-ndays=7 week-1stday=19971130 week-1stweek=1 first_weekday=1 first_workday=2 cal_direction=1 timezone="" date_fmt="%a %b %e %H:%M:%S %Z %Y" time-codeset="UTF-8" alt_mon="January;February;March;April;May;June;July;August;September;October;November;December" ab_alt_mon="Jan;Feb;Mar;Apr;May;Jun;Jul;Aug;Sep;Oct;Nov;Dec" However, in Thunderbird dates are currently presented as, e.g., "6/18/19, 9:36 AM". That doesn't match any of the formats listed above. (Even Thunderbird constructing its own combinations isn't a valid explanation, since none of those formats contain the field specifier for a two-digit year, "%y".)
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sfhowes
  • Top 10 Contributor
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Not being a Linux user, I can't say for sure how TB gets the date format. There is an option in Edit/Preferences/Advanced/General to switch from app locale to the regional locale, and other suggestions in the mozillazine article.

See also: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1670601&p=10417603#post10417603

Not being a Linux user, I can't say for sure how TB gets the date format. There is an option in Edit/Preferences/Advanced/General to switch from app locale to the regional locale, and other suggestions in the mozillazine article. See also: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1670601&p=10417603#post10417603
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Question owner

I ended up writing my own extension to do this--you can find it at https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/addon/enhanced-date-formatter/

I ended up writing my own extension to do this--you can find it at https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/addon/enhanced-date-formatter/
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