No Software is without trouble.

We try to publish software with less of trouble for you but if you have some, we highly recommend to install the Console² Add-on first.
Thunderbird 60 and earlier: Please install the patched version here for contemporary builds of Thunderbird (45 and higher - now compatible with Thunderbird 60.4.0).
Console² has more detailed options for the logging process than the default error console of Thunderbird. If you do want to use the built in error console, be aware that it may be a little harder to set up what it actually displays. By default it may not give you what you need for Add-on troubleshooting.

Thunderbird 68 and later you have to use the built in Javascript error console, which cnan be invokled from the Tools menu: Select Developer Tools / Error console or press Ctrl+Shift+J

Console² Configuration - Thunderbird 60 and earlier only

1. Click on "Options" in the top right corner of Console² Window and select the following options:

2. Click the "All" button on top left of Console² Window to see those entries inside the Log Window only

3. Disable the "Content" logging using the 5th button on the second toolbar below. This will make sure to remove any "noise" introduced by errors in the emails themselves. Usually we do not need these error messages as they only muddy the waters

4. Often it is necessary to provide more context - you can tell SmartTemplates to log more information of what it does.

Investigating the Error Log

So once you have the error console set up, what can you do it? Remember you have to always open the log window to start logging errors / activity so make sure you do this with Tools / Devloper Tools / Error Console just before you do the trouble shooting.

STEP 1 - Setting up the Investigation

If you want to start a fresh clean log it is always good to click the "Clear" button at the top immediately before you carry out the actions you investigate. Also make sure to not repeat the action do it once until the problem happens.

STEP 2 - Saving the Error Log

Then you need to copy the error log into a text file or email. Simply use the console right-click menu and choose "Select All". Then "Copy". Do not take a screenshot of the error log as it is much harder to investigate - text is nice as you can search and order it! You can always send us error logs in an email if you are having problems.

A note on typical Error messages: If there is a problem somewhere in Thunderbird code or an Add-on then warnings and errors usually provide a location of where this happened. If the location starts with "chrome://" you will know this happens in Thunderbird or and Add-on and not in a web page or within an email. The line number is also very helpful in tracking down particular issues.

Any messages that we generate during "debug" logging typically look like this:

SmartTemplates {FUNCTIONS.INSERTTEMPLATE} 14:2:39.705  [0 ms]	 
Add Signature... 

As you can see we start all our debug logs with the name of the addon (SmartTemplates). This can be followed by an optional {OPTION} which shows which additional area we are debugging. This is then followed by a time stamp (14:2:39.705) and a time measurement [0 ms] since any previous operation. This makes it possible to pin point any operations that take unusually long. Underneath we show additional information about what smartTemplate is doing at the moment.

STEP 3 - Looking for Particular Problems

When you have completed the logging phase, you can now use the "Errors", "Warnings" and "Messages" buttons to filter out particular problems. You can also use the Search box if you like, e.g. you could type a keyword like "smarttemplate":

Note however this might actually hide the real cause of the problem so this is only for advanced users. If you decide to send us a log, do not remove anything from it. To help us, just follow the initial instructions above and disable content logging and start with an empty log (only test one thing at a time).

Now you get error entries inside Log Window listed like this example
⇒ This example shows a warning "yellow triangle" as result of JavaScript strict mode ("use strict"; ⇒ ECMAScript5) which we use

TIP: By selecting Edit ⇒ Paste, these log entries can be inserted directly from your clipboard into your e-Mail to us or into a bug report on Bugzilla.

ATTENTION: Please try not to send screen shots of error logs, but just the plain text messages (console has select all / copy entries in it's right--click menu). It is likely that messages not constaining with "chrome://smarttemplate4/.." are probably unrelated, but if they are errors or warning close to one of our own operations they may still be helpful.