Bug#958418: thunderbird: Clicking links does no longer work

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Bug#958418: thunderbird: Clicking links does no longer work

dirdi
Package: thunderbird
Version: 1:68.7.0-1
Severity: important

Whenever I click on a hyperlink, like inside a message, or even at the
"Mozilla"-Link of the "Help > About Thunderbird" dialog, the link will not be
opened by my browser. Instead, "Verifying the feed..." gets displayed at the
taskbar, immediately followd by "https://mozilla.org/ is not a valid feed."

It seems that Thunderbird handles all links as if they were feeds.

Error Console (Ctrl+Shift+J) dump:

> ML Parsing Error: syntax error
> Location: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/
> Line Number 5, Column 1: en-US:5:1
> 2020-04-21 21:36:50 Feeds INFO FeedParser.parseFeed: - XML Parsing Error: syntax error
> Location: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/
> Line Number 5, Column 1:
> <!doctype html>
> ^
>
> 2020-04-21 21:36:50 Feeds WARN downloaded: updates disabled due to error, check the url - https://www.mozilla.org/
>
> 2020-04-21 21:36:50 Feeds INFO downloaded: Subscribe: Feeds -> https://www.mozilla.org/ is not a valid feed.

Not being able to open links by clicking on them but being forced to copy them
over into the browser is a major usability issue.

I am able to reproduce this bug with a fresh profile.

-- System Information:
Debian Release: bullseye/sid
  APT prefers testing
  APT policy: (500, 'testing'), (50, 'unstable')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)
Foreign Architectures: i386

Kernel: Linux 5.4.0-4-amd64 (SMP w/8 CPU cores)
Kernel taint flags: TAINT_OOT_MODULE, TAINT_UNSIGNED_MODULE
Locale: LANG=en_US.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8), LANGUAGE=en_US:en (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /usr/bin/dash
Init: systemd (via /run/systemd/system)
LSM: AppArmor: enabled

Versions of packages thunderbird depends on:
ii  debianutils               4.9.1
ii  fontconfig                2.13.1-2+b1
ii  libatk1.0-0               2.36.0-2
ii  libc6                     2.30-4
ii  libcairo-gobject2         1.16.0-4
ii  libcairo2                 1.16.0-4
ii  libdbus-1-3               1.12.16-2
ii  libdbus-glib-1-2          0.110-5
ii  libevent-2.1-7            2.1.11-stable-1
ii  libffi7                   3.3-4
ii  libfontconfig1            2.13.1-2+b1
ii  libfreetype6              2.10.1-2
ii  libgcc-s1                 10-20200411-1
ii  libgdk-pixbuf2.0-0        2.40.0+dfsg-4
ii  libglib2.0-0              2.64.1-1
ii  libgtk-3-0                3.24.18-1
ii  libgtk2.0-0               2.24.32-4
ii  libicu63                  63.2-3
ii  libjsoncpp1               1.7.4-3.1
ii  libnspr4                  2:4.25-1
ii  libnss3                   2:3.51-1
ii  libpango-1.0-0            1.44.7-3
ii  libsqlite3-0              3.31.1-4
ii  libstartup-notification0  0.12-6
ii  libstdc++6                10-20200411-1
ii  libvpx6                   1.8.2-1
ii  libx11-6                  2:1.6.9-2
ii  libx11-xcb1               2:1.6.9-2
ii  libxcb-shm0               1.14-2
ii  libxcb1                   1.14-2
ii  libxext6                  2:1.3.3-1+b2
ii  libxrender1               1:0.9.10-1
ii  libxt6                    1:1.1.5-1+b3
ii  psmisc                    23.3-1
ii  x11-utils                 7.7+5
ii  zlib1g                    1:1.2.11.dfsg-2

Versions of packages thunderbird recommends:
ii  hunspell-de-de [hunspell-dictionary]  20161207-7
ii  hunspell-en-us [hunspell-dictionary]  1:2019.10.06-1
ii  lightning                             1:68.7.0-1

Versions of packages thunderbird suggests:
ii  apparmor          2.13.4-1+b1
pn  fonts-lyx         <none>
ii  libgssapi-krb5-2  1.17-7

-- no debconf information

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Bug#958418: thunderbird: Clicking links does no longer work

Carsten Schoenert
Hello dirdi,

Am 21.04.20 um 21:48 schrieb dirdi:

> Whenever I click on a hyperlink, like inside a message, or even at the
> "Mozilla"-Link of the "Help > About Thunderbird" dialog, the link will not be
> opened by my browser. Instead, "Verifying the feed..." gets displayed at the
> taskbar, immediately followd by "https://mozilla.org/ is not a valid feed."
>
> It seems that Thunderbird handles all links as if they were feeds.

yes, seems to be the case.
This setting is nothing that the packaging is modifying, this is always
done within the user context, so your bug report is strictly spoken not
a Debian related issue. But this "problem" is a common issue with
Thunderbird running on a Linux system.

> Not being able to open links by clicking on them but being forced to copy them
> over into the browser is a major usability issue.
>
> I am able to reproduce this bug with a fresh profile.

That indicates mostly that it's not a miss configuration of Thunderbird.

Setting file type associations on a Linux system works different as it's
designed for Windows systems. It's not only done by detecting a file
name extension but more relying on detecting the MIME type. So the
reason why Thunderbird is trying to open http or https links with the
feed-reader is grounded on the association that these links need to get
opened with the feed-reader.

To solve this you need to find the file were this association is done.

Unfortunately there are two places within your $HOME you can add or
modify MIME associations.

  /home/$HOME/.config/mimeapps.list
  /home/$HOME/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list

And there is one more place were MIME association can be done for
Thunderbird.

  /home/$HOME/.thunderbird/$profile.default/mimeTypes.rdf

But this shouldn't be relevant as you say you have the same problem with
a new profile.

While the transition from Icedove to Thunderbird people have reported
similar issues, we added a helper to detect any associations made to
icedove. This was only done for the the file mimeTypes.rdf within user
profiles.

So back to the mimeapps.list files.
You should keep an eye an the date of these files, probably the one with
the more recent date is the culprit. Make copies of these files before
you modify them!

Your will find for sure something like this:

 text/html=foobar

Remove any of these lines and restart Thunderbird.

There is a lot of information available in the internet about MIME type,
their setup and usage. Your problem is based on some non useful made
association for html file types.

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP/Basics_of_HTTP/MIME_types/Common_types
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/hyperlinks-in-messages-not-working


--
Regards
Carsten Schoenert

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Bug#958418: thunderbird: Clicking links does no longer work

dirdi
In reply to this post by dirdi
Package: thunderbird
Followup-For: Bug #958418

Hi Carsten,

thanks for your fast response and detailed instructions! Indeed, it turned out to be caused by misconfiguration. I updated thunderbird and firefox at once and therefore can not tell which of both was responsible for messing up my config files.

However, thanks again and this can be closed now.