Folder Pane

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Bryan W Clark

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Jul 20, 2008, 3:39:45 PM7/20/08
to
I just posted a new wiki page article [1] on the experimental view
folder pane changes I'm looking into, though like any of the
experimental changes could be worked into the current system. The wiki
page has a corresponding bug [2] for tracking implementation activity on
the folder pane.

The goal of the folder pane is to change from an account centric view to
a more message / mailbox centric view of the system. So what's an
account centric view? Currently the system gives a high precedence to
mail accounts by placing them at the top of the tree and parents of all
account folders. With a message centric view mailboxes like Inbox, Sent
Mail, and Drafts will take the highest precedence in the folder pane and
accounts will live as children of those.

Mailboxes would show the union of all accounts messages which are
children to them. This is true for the message list view as well as for
the the count of unread messages.

example:

[-] Inbox (3)
|-- Gmail (1)
+-- Mozilla (2)

There are going to be a number of gotchas with this new system and so I
think our best plan is to work incrementally towards a system that
performs most of the functions available to the current folder pane.
For now we're starting with just email and ignoring a number of other
important items like newsgroups and feeds.

One particular system that presents some questoins is how to represent
the local folders in this kind of layout. When local folders aren't
being used for a POP account it is often just representing the
meta-state of the system by holding local drafts and unsent messages.
An as needed system for showing local folders may represent it well but
could also cause confusion.

== One Account ==

For users with a single email account it won't be necessary to break out
the single account as a child of the mailboxes.

example:

Inbox (3)
Drafts (1)
Sent Mail

[+] Gmail


Not this

[-] Inbox (3)
|-- Gmail (3)
[+] Drafts (1)
[+] Sent Mail

[+] Gmail


Even the folders for the account can be represented in the main view can
be at the top level for a single account.

example:

Inbox (3)
Drafts (1)
Sent Mail

Folder 1
Folder 2


== Mailbox Sub-Folders ==

There are multiple places where we could place sub-folders of special
mailboxes such as Inbox and Sent Mail. There is nothing in the mockups
to express an answer, however I've felt that these folders should be
under the account, under the mailbox to keep their relationship relative.

example:

[-] Inbox
|-- Gmail
[-]- Mozilla
|-- Archived Mail
+-- Requires Attention


== Account listing ==

In the current mockups we are still listing the accounts by name after
all of the mailboxes. This provides a place to list each accounts
sub-folders which is helpful for drag and drop moving of messages to a
folder. However there might be other ways of presenting the other
folders that still allow for our drag and drop action.

example:

[+] Sent Mail

[+] Gmail
[-] Rogers
|-- Beaver
|-- A Boot
+-- Eh


== Breakouts ==

Some people probably won't want certain accounts listed in the unified
mailbox. We'll likely need an account preference for keeping an account
out of the main view. This would move the mailbox types for that
account under it's own listing. Instead of the account listing only
having folders besides the special folders it would contain all the
accounts folders in a similar way to how accounts are listed currently.

example:

[-] Sent Mail
|-- Gmail
+-- Mozilla

[-] Rogers
|-- Archived Mail
+-- Requires Attention


[1] http://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird:Folder_Pane
[2] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=446306

Joshua Cranmer

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Jul 20, 2008, 4:10:04 PM7/20/08
to
Bryan W Clark wrote:
> The goal of the folder pane is to change from an account centric view to
> a more message / mailbox centric view of the system. So what's an
> account centric view? Currently the system gives a high precedence to
> mail accounts by placing them at the top of the tree and parents of all
> account folders. With a message centric view mailboxes like Inbox, Sent
> Mail, and Drafts will take the highest precedence in the folder pane and
> accounts will live as children of those.

FWIW, I think it may be worthwhile to be able to organize these
mailboxes into a sort of pseudo account, like combining the mozilla.*
newsgroups and my mozilla email folders into a Mozilla "account", etc.

> == One Account ==


> Even the folders for the account can be represented in the main view can
> be at the top level for a single account.
>
> example:
>
> Inbox (3)
> Drafts (1)
> Sent Mail
>
> Folder 1
> Folder 2

This seems the best design to my non-UX ears.

> == Account listing ==
>
> In the current mockups we are still listing the accounts by name after
> all of the mailboxes. This provides a place to list each accounts
> sub-folders which is helpful for drag and drop moving of messages to a
> folder. However there might be other ways of presenting the other
> folders that still allow for our drag and drop action.

One feature that is probably going to be highly desirable is
drag-and-drop of accounts and folders, so that I could move my Gmail
account higher in the hierarchy, or move newsgroups to more appropriate
positions.

> Some people probably won't want certain accounts listed in the unified
> mailbox. We'll likely need an account preference for keeping an account
> out of the main view. This would move the mailbox types for that
> account under it's own listing. Instead of the account listing only
> having folders besides the special folders it would contain all the
> accounts folders in a similar way to how accounts are listed currently.

So this preference would be the best way of restoring the "Classic" view?

Robert Kaiser

unread,
Jul 20, 2008, 7:59:24 PM7/20/08
to
Bryan W Clark wrote:
> The goal of the folder pane is to change from an account centric view to
> a more message / mailbox centric view of the system. So what's an
> account centric view? Currently the system gives a high precedence to
> mail accounts by placing them at the top of the tree and parents of all
> account folders. With a message centric view mailboxes like Inbox, Sent
> Mail, and Drafts will take the highest precedence in the folder pane and
> accounts will live as children of those.

As long as people who want that still can have the account-centric view,
this sounds like an interesting idea.
We made the experience that SeaMonkey users tended to even not like the
"Global Inbox" stuff and we went and disabled it by default.
So please don't force people who like the account-centric stuff over to
something else - but it might be interesting for new people and for
manually switching over and/or trying it out.

Robert Kaiser

Ron K.

unread,
Jul 21, 2008, 2:55:19 AM7/21/08
to
Bryan W Clark keyboarded, On 7/20/2008 3:39 PM :

>
> The goal of the folder pane is to change from an account centric view
> to a more message / mailbox centric view of the system. So what's an
> account centric view? Currently the system gives a high precedence to
> mail accounts by placing them at the top of the tree and parents of
> all account folders. With a message centric view mailboxes like
> Inbox, Sent Mail, and Drafts will take the highest precedence in the
> folder pane and accounts will live as children of those.

I take it that is going to be added as a View > Layout > view list item.

> Mailboxes would show the union of all accounts messages which are
> children to them. This is true for the message list view as well as
> for the the count of unread messages.
>
> example:
>
> [-] Inbox (3)
> |-- Gmail (1)
> +-- Mozilla (2)

+2 I like this concept. Currently our space use is not efficient with
redundant folders per account. I will skip News, but want to say it is
my dominate use of Tb as I have only one mail account. I reserve the
privilege to revise my comments when News is addressed. Being a simple
home user I am not as effected as those who have lots of Identities or
sophisticated enterprise message filtering needs.

Why not make the +-- Mozilla (2), which hints at a sub-folder tree
needing three rows total be:
|-- Mozilla box 1
|-- Mozilla box 2

> There are going to be a number of gotchas with this new system and so
> I think our best plan is to work incrementally towards a system that
> performs most of the functions available to the current folder pane.
> For now we're starting with just email and ignoring a number of other
> important items like newsgroups and feeds.
>
> One particular system that presents some questoins is how to represent
> the local folders in this kind of layout. When local folders aren't
> being used for a POP account it is often just representing the
> meta-state of the system by holding local drafts and unsent messages.
> An as needed system for showing local folders may represent it well
> but could also cause confusion.
>
> == One Account ==
>
> For users with a single email account it won't be necessary to break
> out the single account as a child of the mailboxes.
>
> example:
>
> Inbox (3)
> Drafts (1)
> Sent Mail

Drafts (1)
Templates (12)
Unsent (2)
Junk (50)
Trash (25)

This pulls the Drafts, Templates, and Unsent out of the "Local Folders"
and increases there visibility leading to clearer visualization of there
current status. The folders have to keep there "Special" status.

> == Mailbox Sub-Folders ==
>
> There are multiple places where we could place sub-folders of special
> mailboxes such as Inbox and Sent Mail. There is nothing in the
> mockups to express an answer, however I've felt that these folders
> should be under the account, under the mailbox to keep their
> relationship relative.
>
> example:
>
> [-] Inbox
> |-- Gmail
> [-]- Mozilla
> |-- Archived Mail
> +-- Requires Attention

Here I see your thinking picks up on one of my primary uses of "Local
folders". I save mail in 6 folders which include family, newsletters,
online shopping, Web account confirms, and general archives. Thus this
idea which is expandable for added accounts and IMAP:

[+] Archived Mail
[+]- POP3
|-- Family
|-- Shopping
|-- E-Pay confirms
|-- Newsletters
|-- Web confirms
|-- Archive

> == Account listing ==
>
> In the current mockups we are still listing the accounts by name after
> all of the mailboxes. This provides a place to list each accounts
> sub-folders which is helpful for drag and drop moving of messages to a
> folder. However there might be other ways of presenting the other
> folders that still allow for our drag and drop action.
>
> example:
>
> [+] Sent Mail
>
> [+] Gmail
> [-] Rogers
> |-- Beaver
> |-- A Boot
> +-- Eh

+1 for addressing multiple Sent folders. This is where my setup branches
out with Sent folders for each of my News accounts. Permits selective
retention of past postings I might want to cut and past into future
posts. Been useful for support work for Mozilla. This is one of the
nice features of the Account Manager where Tb & SM really shine in MHO.

Over all this proposal seems to eliminate the need for the "Local
Folders" as a separate account in the Folder Pane View. As long as the
XUL keeps the proper account status flagged for each folder this should
work out as a great alternative to the Classic, Wide Message, and
Vertical views. I have added to those options with the extension by
Alta88, "MoreLayoutsForThunderbird", available @ mozdev.org. That
provides three more view options of Wide Thread Pane, Stacked, and Full
Screen (An F11 key toggle).

An other aspect of this as a View alternative is We can continue to
leverage the CSS which can be applied by Themes and userChrome.css and
ideally would not require new sets of rules to maintain chrome
consistency. It is here that I make use of a feature of the "Mail Tweak"
extension that opened up the option to set special icon swaps based on
account Name through exposure of the underlying JS.

example:
treechildren::-moz-tree-image(folderNameCol, isServer-true,
serverType-nntp, name-Annexcafe)
{list-style-image: url("annexcafe.png") !important;}

--
Ron K.
Who is General Failure, and why is he searching my HDD?
Kernel Restore reported Major Error used BSOD to msg the enemy!

Bryan W Clark

unread,
Jul 23, 2008, 3:20:06 PM7/23/08
to
Joshua Cranmer wrote:
> Bryan W Clark wrote:
>> The goal of the folder pane is to change from an account centric view
>> to a more message / mailbox centric view of the system. So what's an
>> account centric view? Currently the system gives a high precedence
>> to mail accounts by placing them at the top of the tree and parents
>> of all account folders. With a message centric view mailboxes like
>> Inbox, Sent Mail, and Drafts will take the highest precedence in the
>> folder pane and accounts will live as children of those.
>
> FWIW, I think it may be worthwhile to be able to organize these
> mailboxes into a sort of pseudo account, like combining the mozilla.*
> newsgroups and my mozilla email folders into a Mozilla "account", etc.
My guess is that you might use something like a saved search to do that,
but perhaps there is a larger UI piece that could be applied.

>> == Account listing ==
>>
>> In the current mockups we are still listing the accounts by name
>> after all of the mailboxes. This provides a place to list each
>> accounts sub-folders which is helpful for drag and drop moving of
>> messages to a folder. However there might be other ways of
>> presenting the other folders that still allow for our drag and drop
>> action.
>
> One feature that is probably going to be highly desirable is
> drag-and-drop of accounts and folders, so that I could move my Gmail
> account higher in the hierarchy, or move newsgroups to more
> appropriate positions.
Are you talking about moving the Gmail account above the special folders?

>
>> Some people probably won't want certain accounts listed in the
>> unified mailbox. We'll likely need an account preference for keeping
>> an account out of the main view. This would move the mailbox types
>> for that account under it's own listing. Instead of the account
>> listing only having folders besides the special folders it would
>> contain all the accounts folders in a similar way to how accounts are
>> listed currently.
>
> So this preference would be the best way of restoring the "Classic" view?
Right, to achieve the current account based setup you could turn each
account into it's own folder system and you'd have what we have today.

~ Bryan

Bryan W Clark

unread,
Jul 23, 2008, 3:43:57 PM7/23/08
to
Ron K. wrote:
> Bryan W Clark keyboarded, On 7/20/2008 3:39 PM :
>>
>> The goal of the folder pane is to change from an account centric view
>> to a more message / mailbox centric view of the system. So what's an
>> account centric view? Currently the system gives a high precedence
>> to mail accounts by placing them at the top of the tree and parents
>> of all account folders. With a message centric view mailboxes like
>> Inbox, Sent Mail, and Drafts will take the highest precedence in the
>> folder pane and accounts will live as children of those.
>
> I take it that is going to be added as a View > Layout > view list item.
I would assume so, it seems to make the most sense to create a whole new
layout. Though as we see fit we can use pieces in the current layout.

>
>> Mailboxes would show the union of all accounts messages which are
>> children to them. This is true for the message list view as well as
>> for the the count of unread messages.
>>
>> example:
>>
>> [-] Inbox (3)
>> |-- Gmail (1)
>> +-- Mozilla (2)
>
> +2 I like this concept. Currently our space use is not efficient
> with redundant folders per account. I will skip News, but want to say
> it is my dominate use of Tb as I have only one mail account. I reserve
> the privilege to revise my comments when News is addressed. Being a
> simple home user I am not as effected as those who have lots of
> Identities or sophisticated enterprise message filtering needs.
>
> Why not make the +-- Mozilla (2), which hints at a sub-folder tree
> needing three rows total be:
> |-- Mozilla box 1
> |-- Mozilla box 2
>
I'm not sure what you mean here. The +-- Mozilla (2) was just supposed
to indicate the last child in the tree, a |-- could have done the same,
but it has a trailing line.
Right, cleaning up vertical space at the same time.

Though as a side note. I was only planing on showing the Unsent/Outbox
as needed. Otherwise it becomes an often empty UI element and loses a
lot of the meaning it had. If the Outbox only appears bold and when
needed it can become more of a pending task for the person to take care of.

Interesting stuff! I'm going to have to take a further look at those
extensions.

~ Bryan


Joshua Cranmer

unread,
Jul 23, 2008, 3:51:47 PM7/23/08
to
Bryan W Clark wrote:

> Ron K. wrote:
>> Why not make the +-- Mozilla (2), which hints at a sub-folder tree
>> needing three rows total be:
>> |-- Mozilla box 1
>> |-- Mozilla box 2
>>
> I'm not sure what you mean here. The +-- Mozilla (2) was just supposed
> to indicate the last child in the tree, a |-- could have done the same,
> but it has a trailing line.

Do people like it better expressed thusly:
╟─╢ Inbox (3)
├─ Gmail (2)
└─ Mozilla (2) ?

Ron K.

unread,
Jul 23, 2008, 4:46:24 PM7/23/08
to
Bryan W Clark keyboarded, On 7/23/2008 3:43 PM :

> Ron K. wrote:
>> Bryan W Clark keyboarded, On 7/20/2008 3:39 PM :
>>>
>>
>> I take it that is going to be added as a View > Layout > view list item.
> I would assume so, it seems to make the most sense to create a whole
> new layout. Though as we see fit we can use pieces in the current
> layout.
>>
>>> Mailboxes would show the union of all accounts messages which are
>>> children to them. This is true for the message list view as well as
>>> for the the count of unread messages.
>>>
>>> example:
>>>
>>> [-] Inbox (3)
>>> |-- Gmail (1)
>>> +-- Mozilla (2)
>>
>> +2 I like this concept. Currently our space use is not efficient
>> with redundant folders per account. I will skip News, but want to say
>> it is my dominate use of Tb as I have only one mail account. I
>> reserve the privilege to revise my comments when News is addressed.
>> Being a simple home user I am not as effected as those who have lots
>> of Identities or sophisticated enterprise message filtering needs.
>>
>> Why not make the +-- Mozilla (2), which hints at a sub-folder tree
>> needing three rows total be:
>> |-- Mozilla box 1
>> |-- Mozilla box 2
>>
> I'm not sure what you mean here. The +-- Mozilla (2) was just
> supposed to indicate the last child in the tree, a |-- could have done
> the same, but it has a trailing line.

I intyerpreted Your ASCII Art above to be two accounts at Mozilla and
the + being a Twisty that when opened would show another level. That is
why I commented on use of vertical space and drew both accounts at the
Gmail folder level. Every time We sub-folder their is a loss of one
row to a lower impact item.

With CSS the (folderNameCol, isServer-true, serverType-special, unread)
selector would toggle either a Display or Visibility attribute to show
the Drafts and Unsent folders. At the same time font weight and color
would deal with the bold concept.

>>
>>
>> Over all this proposal seems to eliminate the need for the "Local
>> Folders" as a separate account in the Folder Pane View. As long as
>> the XUL keeps the proper account status flagged for each folder this
>> should work out as a great alternative to the Classic, Wide Message,
>> and Vertical views. I have added to those options with the extension
>> by Alta88, "MoreLayoutsForThunderbird", available @ mozdev.org. That
>> provides three more view options of Wide Thread Pane, Stacked, and
>> Full Screen (An F11 key toggle).
>>
>> An other aspect of this as a View alternative is We can continue to
>> leverage the CSS which can be applied by Themes and userChrome.css
>> and ideally would not require new sets of rules to maintain chrome
>> consistency. It is here that I make use of a feature of the "Mail
>> Tweak" extension that opened up the option to set special icon swaps
>> based on account Name through exposure of the underlying JS.
>>
>> example:
>> treechildren::-moz-tree-image(folderNameCol, isServer-true,
>> serverType-nntp, name-Annexcafe)
>> {list-style-image: url("annexcafe.png") !important;}
> Interesting stuff! I'm going to have to take a further look at those
> extensions.
>
> ~ Bryan
>
>

Mail Tweak is available at mozdev.org. At its core is the userChrome.js
extension which enabled use of short bits of JS to modify Chrome
scripts. The option I mentioned is written up in the MozillaZine KB.
However the userChrome.js extension is no longer being developed.

I will ammend my Local Folders observation and say it may still have a
role as a storage catagory and moved to below all other folders.

heribert...@gmail.com

unread,
Jul 25, 2008, 2:14:31 AM7/25/08
to
On Jul 20, 9:39 pm, Bryan W Clark <clarkbw+mozn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> The goal of the folder pane is to change from an account centric view to
> a more message / mailbox centric view of the system.

In my current setup I am handling four accounts that actually
represent two users (my wife and me) with two different accounts each.
(We are not users separate OS users for each person for various
reasons.) While I embrace the idea of a mailbox/folder centric view in
general, I would like to see each user's accounts as separated as
possible. Something like this:

Joe
[-] Inbox
|-- Gmail
|-- Mozilla

Jane
[-] Inbox
|-- Gmail
|-- Yahoo


Heribert

ovidiu

unread,
Jul 25, 2008, 7:17:52 AM7/25/08
to
Bryan W Clark wrote:
> The goal of the folder pane is to change from an account centric view
> to a more message / mailbox centric view of the system. So what's an
> account centric view? Currently the system gives a high precedence to
> mail accounts by placing them at the top of the tree and parents of
> all account folders.
Yep. But remember that is also the rigid behavior today that plays a
role in making it not ideal. Meaning per account is also filters, junk
settings and alot more (see acc settings :) ) I'm just saying that some
acc settings and features may have to fall under a global/unified/mail
centric whatsoever. As global settings vs per acc (vs per folder?)
should be optional.

imo, 'saved searches' and 'archive' are the first to think of that don't
fall correctly in old struct, cross acc not being threaded toghether etc.


> With a message centric view mailboxes like Inbox, Sent Mail, and
> Drafts will take the highest precedence in the folder pane and
> accounts will live as children of those.
>
> Mailboxes would show the union of all accounts messages which are
> children to them. This is true for the message list view as well as
> for the the count of unread messages.
>
> example:
>
> [-] Inbox (3)
> |-- Gmail (1)
> +-- Mozilla (2)
>
> There are going to be a number of gotchas with this new system and so
> I think our best plan is to work incrementally towards a system that
> performs most of the functions available to the current folder pane.

This is actually a great thing to move towards a more search based and
virtual mailbox management.
Pls add
+ unsent(later) to the list of inbox/sent etc with per account sublevel also
+checks aside to include or not in searches, in views or other
+

I'd say it's worth having more than just "a reorg of a view" to take
away the fear of new and eventual confusions. I mean that this could be
stuffed [a bit] with some other tiny clicks and indicators to "invite"
people to the advantages of this and to the new ease that comes to it. Like:

People could discover or rediscover saved searches as more natural than
today
One may manage virtual foders and views more often
One may see different data presented depending on the type of folder
(inbox, sent etc)
Management of searches and views may be visual by drag or check


> One particular system that presents some questoins is how to represent
> the local folders in this kind of layout. When local folders aren't
> being used for a POP account it is often just representing the
> meta-state of the system by holding local drafts and unsent messages.
> An as needed system for showing local folders may represent it well
> but could also cause confusion.

What is and was the purpose of Local folders? If not used for one
account. If drafts and unsent are presented like Inbox and sent in this
new structure those are not a reason anymore. (For one thing, I use
drafts and templates for each acc, unsent being the only that is not
able to get per acc ..)

Couple of ideas:
1. This may just be another view of current stuff. As folderpane header
thing ..
2. Having those inbox/sent etc on top is basically another way of
dealing with global inbox, but a middle way.
3. Having this structure should result in more than reorg (said some
above ..):
-Click on inbox may just be a view with all msa in all acc in all etc
(like gmail all msg)
-Showing total/unread/new numbers cross acc is interesting too. But if
you can click on that number and have a view for inbox-unread would be a
handy thing
/Mail/ ---- new unread total ---
[-] Inbox [15] [245] [4235][O] <-click/hover/alttext etc
|-- Gmail [ 3] [ 45] [ 235][o] <-"o" is a magnifier ..
[-]- Mozilla [12] [200] [4000][o]
|-- /Archive/ (v)(adv)(8825) <-include in search/advanced/total
+-- Requires Att [ 8] [ 10] [4235][o]
[-] Sent [15] [245] [4235][O] <-click/hover/alttext etc
... same and so on
/general/
+[new search][contacts][tags]to search cross everything, view based on
contacts or tags (kinda seek ..)
+[advanced][backup] :different pane/view as FF3 library, see
further..

better than selecting view or search criteria (contextual, visual..)
generate views from here naturally
4. searches may be generated from aside folder for a folder or from top
folder for all or from bottom for allall or based on AB or other etc

*FF3 Library like*:
* FF3 Library like "Advanced" may just be a correct way to further
unload this pane.

for this approach, Archives seams to be a thing for a separate
panel/window(or tab ,ok ) opening when you wanna manage something there.
But not only archive. Like to make a certain prj available for current
folderpane for a while or because is reopened. Anyway, the idea of
opening another window may be interesting cause:
-you can present a more complex tree view for management without
bothering current view
-it's not unnatural to have archives in another room if you wanna keep
clean workplace
-it may just behave like a more than archive structure with specific
quick search etc
-get users a "hands on" feeling not here today for managing i/o and backup
!may be similar to FF3 Library (history/bookmarks/tags) panel with
search, time intervals, tags, etc that will be Archives or Extended Mail
Management etc + with export/import, backup etc. And it could be
familiar ui already :) ..

* Backup. This could very well fall in the same Library like pane, where
advanced searches, time frames etc may make it easier for incremental
backup. Things may just be flagged as already backed up with respective
small icon. Not only archive, but all structure.

This is essentially about incremental backup that is also from TB and
easy to follow.

* Import-export/migration may just be better represented here [library],
where restoring previous data or migrating from older/different app
could be better.

Others:
-AB may have it's place around these, especially in a Library like thing
-Account mngm may just be part of that, showing there more visually
settings, filters, Id, etc
-This [Library] Advanced or Archive View may just unload other areas
and, just as in FF may be opened from various places, options, acc
settings, filters, folderpane etc

~
Uh, seams I got revolving around this Library like thing.
The idea is that this would be on the opposite part to data miner. And
Your proposal would allow then to work visually and on the surface of
things while this would be digging data.

Which may just present many other views, like the lovable graphical etc
but also like advanced search made visual


excuse the extensiveness, gather some of those after some posts and
decided to drop in one post

ovidiu

unread,
Jul 25, 2008, 7:24:49 AM7/25/08
to
ovidiu wrote:

> Uh, seams I got revolving around this Library like thing.
> The idea is that this would be on the opposite part to data miner. And
> Your proposal would allow then to work visually and on the surface of
> things while this would be digging data.
>
> Which may just present many other views, like the lovable graphical etc
> but also like advanced search made visual

** a *matrix* view of this new folder vs acc pane

\Fld:| Inbox |Sent |Starred|Drafts|Unsent| Junk Trash |
Acc:_\_ _| -sub1
+sub2
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Gmail [A]| (3) | (1) | (3) | (1) | (1) | (2) | (3) |
(3) 4
Mozilla [a]| (12) | (3) | (5) | (3) | (3) | (3) | (3) |
supermail[a]| (1) | (7) | (3) | (3) | (3) | (3) | (3) |
etc acco [A]| (4) | (n) | (3) | (3) | (3) | (3) | (3) |
-where [A] is archive included and [a] is not

**search -criteria being selected on screen
**time span (like seek ..)>select respective popup or drag or something
like a time frame stretch /zoom or
**calendar view - see msg in calendar grid, for month or week and show
msg with different color depending on acc like different calendars and
in/out like icons ..
this may mean to sometimes bring the folderpane near the calendar view
and indicate/highlight the corresponding placement of certain msg

(these would be visual criteria for searches actually)


A diversion, let's stick to folderpane..

Chris Barnes

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Jul 25, 2008, 12:10:43 PM7/25/08
to
heribert...@gmail.com wrote:
> In my current setup I am handling four accounts that actually
> represent two users (my wife and me) with two different accounts each.
> (We are not users separate OS users for each person for various
> reasons.)


With all due respect, I can't think of a single good reason why each
user shouldn't have their own account. The benefits aren't just in
email - it allows each user to have their own set of preferences
(background, files, etc) while still allowing full and complete access
to the stuff you do want to share.


Having each user sharing the same account is sort of like having a car
with 2 seats, but trying to have both of them sit in the driver's seat.
It just don't make sense.


--

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Chris Barnes AOL IM: CNBarnes
ch...@txbarnes.com Yahoo IM: chrisnbarnes

You always have freedom of choice, but you never have freedom of
consequence.

Andrew Sutherland

unread,
Jul 25, 2008, 4:16:49 PM7/25/08
to
Chris Barnes wrote:
> heribert...@gmail.com wrote:
>> In my current setup I am handling four accounts that actually
>> represent two users (my wife and me) with two different accounts each.
>> (We are not users separate OS users for each person for various
>> reasons.)
>
> With all due respect, I can't think of a single good reason why each
> user shouldn't have their own account. The benefits aren't just in email

Regardless of OS accounts, Thunderbird's profile mechanism seems like a
reasonable solution.

Heribert, what do you think about using a separate profile for yourself
and your wife?

Andrew

ovidiu

unread,
Jul 26, 2008, 10:11:35 AM7/26/08
to
Chris Barnes wrote:
> With all due respect, I can't think of a single good reason why each
> user shouldn't have their own account.
-waste time on switchin, especially when the tasks are rather small,
like "can I get my mail" and eventually less time on the action, more on
the switches or alike.
-kill apps where one is doing something for 1 minute of check mail or a
print
-sharing activities, working on same stuff etc
-have to be thorough to keep separate. Sometimes it just gets back
naturally to the 1 acc case.

anyway, I know I tend to take things as they are, not necessarily
understanding all.


> Having each user sharing the same account is sort of like having a car
> with 2 seats, but trying to have both of them sit in the driver's
> seat. It just don't make sense.
>
>

I wonder about the comparison .. kinda harsh

alta88[nntp]

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Jul 26, 2008, 11:34:55 AM7/26/08
to



---On 2008.Jul.25 10:10 AM, Chris Barnes wrote:
heribert...@gmail.com wrote:
In my current setup I am handling four accounts that actually
represent two users (my wife and me) with two different accounts each.
(We are not users separate OS users for each person for various
reasons.)


With all due respect, I can't think of a single good reason why each user shouldn't have their own account.  The benefits aren't just in email - it allows each user to have their own set of preferences (background, files, etc) while still allowing full and complete access to the stuff you do want to share.


Having each user sharing the same account is sort of like having a car with 2 seats, but trying to have both of them sit in the driver's seat.  It just don't make sense.


regardless of whether different profiles are a solution for this usage case (not necessarily as ovidiu has pointed out), the flexibility in Folder Pane to create a parent folder (per user's organizational requirement) for either account or mailbox centric folders is quite important.

Bryan Clark

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Jul 27, 2008, 1:38:28 AM7/27/08
to
I'm not sure this kind of setup will be easily achieved.  The current folder pane is not currently designed to solve this problem and it would require some additional thinking about the experience of multiple users and separate accounts in the same thunderbird instance.  We have to be very careful about adding features attempting to help a persons usage without designing a complete system around the whole use case.

This multiple users on the same system is common situation that many people work through.  I think it could be interesting to investigate how people do this with web mail systems and what problems are harder and easier there, then look at Thunderbird and how it could learn from that.

~ Bryan

alta88[nntp]

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Jul 27, 2008, 10:51:19 AM7/27/08
to



---On 2008.Jul.26 11:38 PM, Bryan Clark wrote:
alta88[nntp] wrote:



---On 2008.Jul.25 10:10 AM, Chris Barnes wrote:
heribert...@gmail.com wrote:
In my current setup I am handling four accounts that actually
represent two users (my wife and me) with two different accounts each.
(We are not users separate OS users for each person for various
reasons.)


With all due respect, I can't think of a single good reason why each user shouldn't have their own account.  The benefits aren't just in email - it allows each user to have their own set of preferences (background, files, etc) while still allowing full and complete access to the stuff you do want to share.


Having each user sharing the same account is sort of like having a car with 2 seats, but trying to have both of them sit in the driver's seat.  It just don't make sense.


regardless of whether different profiles are a solution for this usage case (not necessarily as ovidiu has pointed out), the flexibility in Folder Pane to create a parent folder (per user's organizational requirement) for either account or mailbox centric folders is quite important.
I'm not sure this kind of setup will be easily achieved.  The current folder pane is not currently designed to solve this problem and it would require some additional thinking about the experience of multiple users and separate accounts in the same thunderbird instance.  We have to be very careful about adding features attempting to help a persons usage without designing a complete system around the whole use case.

i would approach this quite differently.  we should not be designing around specific usage cases, in the Folder Pane case, as it is not possible for a designer to predict them all.  as in this OP's example.  we should be designing with the flexibility that will allow usage cases (ie folder organization) that we cannot predict.

the mere addition of a true tree in Folder Pane, ie a root folder and total ability to drag/drop/add/rename/copy custom folders and subfolders below root, and drag/drop *any* folder (system/special) anywhere should be the design goal.  this is not new ground, the hierarchical tree is old and well known.  you will find this flexibility will solve the usage case here as a byproduct.  while mailbox centric folder organization is good and maybe better than account centric, hardcoding it into Folder Pane is a mistake - the user should organize this themselves given a flexible tree.  at most it should be the default organization.



This multiple users on the same system is common situation that many people work through.  I think it could be interesting to investigate how people do this with web mail systems and what problems are harder and easier there, then look at Thunderbird and how it could learn from that.

i highly doubt the OP and wife share a webmail system, but who knows.  again, i don't think we should be solving the  multiple users case in Folder Pane, i was merely saying that one should be able to create a parent folder to an account or mailbox, regardless of its purpose (which is not our concern).

Bryan Clark

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Jul 27, 2008, 1:16:49 PM7/27/08
to
alta88[nntp] wrote:


This multiple users on the same system is common situation that many people work through.  I think it could be interesting to investigate how people do this with web mail systems and what problems are harder and easier there, then look at Thunderbird and how it could learn from that.

i highly doubt the OP and wife share a webmail system, but who knows.  again, i don't think we should be solving the  multiple users case in Folder Pane, i was merely saying that one should be able to create a parent folder to an account or mailbox, regardless of its purpose (which is not our concern).

I don't think I explained this well enough, I wasn't talking about web mail in the Folder Pane.  I've observed people sharing computers who both have gmail accounts and log into them via a web browser.  What I've seen is that they go to mail.google.com and then log out the other person and then log in themselves if they aren't already logged in.  Obviously there are some deficiencies with that system that we wouldn't want to replicate, but at the same time it's easily understood who is logged in and what they need to do to change that and get their own mail.  Both people also understand that the web browser is how they get their mail, and when they are logged in all their new mail is presented to them; there's no need to log in and then start downloading the new mail (something split profiles would create for thunderbird users).

Trying to take a little bit from the web mail system and from what Heribert is doing, here's a projection of a random idea.  In the All Folders, Recent Folders, Favorite Folders chooser above the current folder pane we could replace it with each person's name in a combobox (Joe, Jane). The combobox (or swap with other switcher) would allow you to change the current Folder Pane to be a different set of accounts completely.  This gives one person the full view of their account and the other person a full view of their account.  Assume that the mail of both accounts are being sync'd by thunderbird.  A deficiency perhaps would be that the other person's new mail count isn't always visible, but there might be another kind of fix for that.

+----------------------------+
|  Joe                   | v |
+----------------------------+
| [+] Inbox (2)              |


~ Bryan

Michiel van Leeuwen

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Jul 27, 2008, 1:33:20 PM7/27/08
to
Bryan W Clark wrote:
> The goal of the folder pane is to change from an account centric view to
> a more message / mailbox centric view of the system.

Maybe I missed it, but _why_ do you want that change? What is wrong with
the current setup? It works quite well for me, where different accounts
mean different identities. But I'm sure there are usecases for the
folder centric view. Can you list some of them?
I hope we can find some setup that works for all the use-cases.

Michiel

Bryan Clark

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Jul 27, 2008, 1:56:03 PM7/27/08
to
First, there is nothing wrong with the current setup and does work well
for a lot of people. However it doesn't work well for many other
people, yet it is the only system available. Also, one of the designs
for this mailbox centric view is that it breaks down into account
centric pieces. Initially it would always assume that new accounts are
to be entered into the central mailboxes, but a person could choose any
account and mark it as separate - which moves it out of the special
mailboxes and into a more account centered view where it has it's own
inbox and other folders by itself. That might help in working for many
use cases, however it will be an iterative design process where we can
asses that as it makes sense.

alta88[nntp]

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Jul 27, 2008, 2:03:25 PM7/27/08
to



---On 2008.Jul.27 11:16 AM, Bryan Clark wrote:
alta88[nntp] wrote:


This multiple users on the same system is common situation that many people work through.  I think it could be interesting to investigate how people do this with web mail systems and what problems are harder and easier there, then look at Thunderbird and how it could learn from that.

i highly doubt the OP and wife share a webmail system, but who knows.  again, i don't think we should be solving the  multiple users case in Folder Pane, i was merely saying that one should be able to create a parent folder to an account or mailbox, regardless of its purpose (which is not our concern).

I don't think I explained this well enough, I wasn't talking about web mail in the Folder Pane.  I've observed people sharing computers who both have gmail accounts and log into them via a web browser.  What I've seen is that they go to mail.google.com and then log out the other person and then log in themselves if they aren't already logged in.  Obviously there are some deficiencies with that system that we wouldn't want to replicate, but at the same time it's easily understood who is logged in and what they need to do to change that and get their own mail.  Both people also understand that the web browser is how they get their mail, and when they are logged in all their new mail is presented to them; there's no need to log in and then start downloading the new mail (something split profiles would create for thunderbird users).

i think i understood..  but shared browser webmail isn't really the same as multiple accounts in Folder Pane, most importantly because there isn't a logoff/logon in FP.  in FP, those shared accounts are already authed elsewhere, password saved etc.


Trying to take a little bit from the web mail system and from what Heribert is doing, here's a projection of a random idea.  In the All Folders, Recent Folders, Favorite Folders chooser above the current folder pane we could replace it with each person's name in a combobox (Joe, Jane). The combobox (or swap with other switcher) would allow you to change the current Folder Pane to be a different set of accounts completely.  This gives one person the full view of their account and the other person a full view of their account.  Assume that the mail of both accounts are being sync'd by thunderbird.  A deficiency perhaps would be that the other person's new mail count isn't always visible, but there might be another kind of fix for that.


yes, this is exactly right.  but the "Joe" is just a view (i went on about this in the other recent post).  "Joe" is just a folder container that Joe has created, and drag/dropped his gmail Inbox or Yahoo inbox or any other folder he wants.  it could easily also be named "MyProject" with some other set of folders, system or custom or filtered or saved searches, etc etc.  a combobox/menulist (rather than cycler) would contain these named views for dropdown selection.

right now, we only have Favorites/Recent/Unread hardcoded.  these named views need to be user createable.  i would foresee these user defined views (folders and subfolders) as represented by an OS file structure within the profile.

note that this solution doesn't need to directly address multiple users, but handles it nonetheless.  as for deficiency, i don't think there's a problem at all, since when the other person switches into his view, updates would be there per account settings; ie that view doesn't need to be selected for updates to continue.

Curtis M. Dowds

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Jul 27, 2008, 4:45:01 PM7/27/08
to Bryan Clark, dev-apps-t...@lists.mozilla.org
In webmail, each user logs in to his or her own account.   We're talking here about a single instance of Thunderbird as an integrated client.   I've often wondered why TB couldn't be designed to permit multiple installations, each one an account.   I have a huge problem remembering what account I'm working with in writing emails, always sending emails from the wrong account.   This is admittedly a lack of discipline.   But if you had to actuall move from one account to another in a different instance of Thunderbird, I'd find that more sensible frankly.   A little more work.   But you'd know for sure where you were working (in which account)  It would also solve the multiple users on one computer problem.    Since no one has yet told me what a TB "profile" is and how I make one, I don't know if profiles would be another way to solve the same problem.   Possibly from what I understand from the conversation so far.

Bryan Clark wrote:
I'm not sure this kind of setup will be easily achieved.  The current 
folder pane is not currently designed to solve this problem and it would 
require some additional thinking about the experience of multiple users 
and separate accounts in the same thunderbird instance.  We have to be 
very careful about adding features attempting to help a persons usage 
without designing a complete system around the whole use case.

This multiple users on the same system is common situation that many 
people work through.  I think it could be interesting to investigate how 
people do this with web mail systems and what problems are harder and 
easier there, then look at Thunderbird and how it could learn from that.

~ Bryan
_______________________________________________
dev-apps-thunderbird mailing list
dev-apps-t...@lists.mozilla.org
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-apps-thunderbird


  

-- 
_____________________________

Curtis M. Dowds
1270 Via Escalante
Chula Vista, CA  91910
(619) 216-9897(h)  (619) 227-2753(c)
cmdtec...@renewableschoice.com

Ron K.

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Jul 27, 2008, 5:15:26 PM7/27/08
to
Curtis M. Dowds keyboarded, On 7/27/2008 4:45 PM :
> --
> Curtis M. Dowds

A profile is a set of files including personal configurations,
extensions, themes, address books, and passwords. With several
profiles, more than one person can share a single installation of the
Thunderbird program. The Profile Manager is used to create and select
profiles for Tb startup. It is not needed if there is only one
profile. For the case You mention here, You could have a separate
profile for each mail account. By setting up the desktop short cut like
this: "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" -p the
manager will display and prompt for a profile selection. I currently
use the profile manager to keep three profiles straight so the nightly
test version of Tb does not use my daily use profile.

Curtis M. Dowds

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Jul 27, 2008, 9:40:23 PM7/27/08
to Bryan Clark, dev-apps-t...@lists.mozilla.org
Ignorance again, I'm afraid.   But isn't this what others are referring to as a profile; and, if so, can't we already create them?   If so, I have no idea how and would appreciate being instructed.  Profiles look like a very interesting way to segregate users and/or accounts and to thus simplify the folder pane.  Also, know where you are in a multi-account world where you can easily find yourself sending emails from the wrong account since TB2 really never asks you, Is this the account you want this to go out on?

Bryan Clark wrote:
 and then log out the other 
person and then log in themselves if they aren't already logged in.  
Obviously there are some deficiencies with that system that we wouldn't 
want to replicate, but at the same time it's easily understood who is 
logged in and what they need to do to change that and get their own 
mail.  Both people also understand that the web browser is how they get 
their mail, and when they are logged in all their new mail is presented 
to them; there's no need to log in and then start downloading the new 
mail (something split profiles would create for thunderbird users).

Trying to take a little bit from the web mail system and from what 
Heribert is doing, here's a projection of a random idea.  In the All 
Folders, Recent Folders, Favorite Folders chooser above the current 
folder pane we could replace it with each person's name in a combobox 
(Joe, Jane). The combobox (or swap with other switcher) would allow you 
to change the current Folder Pane to be a different set of accounts 
completely.  This gives one person the full view of their account and 
the other person a full view of their account.  Assume that the mail of 
both accounts are being sync'd by thunderbird.  A deficiency perhaps 
would be that the other person's new mail count isn't always visible, 
but there might be another kind of fix for that.

+----------------------------+
|  Joe                   | v |
+----------------------------+
| [+] Inbox (2)              |



~ Bryan
_______________________________________________
dev-apps-thunderbird mailing list
dev-apps-t...@lists.mozilla.org
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-apps-thunderbird


  

JoeS

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Jul 27, 2008, 10:14:28 PM7/27/08
to
Ron K. wrote:
> You could have a separate profile for each mail account. By setting up
> the desktop short cut like this: "C:\Program Files\Mozilla
> Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" -p the manager will display and prompt for
> a profile selection. I currently use the profile manager to keep three
> profiles straight so the nightly test version of Tb does not use my
> daily use profile.

You can take that a step further and set up a desktop icon to select the actual profile that you want to use.

"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" -p <the name of the profile>"

That way you don't have to select it each time you start TB.
Make sure you have a space between the -P and the profile name.

--
JoeS

alta88[nntp]

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Jul 27, 2008, 10:49:20 PM7/27/08
to
Curtis, what bryan and i are talking about (well at least i am) is only tangential to multiple accounts; it has more to do with Folder Pane tree organization in a generic sense, based on heribert's interesting (and legitimate) usage of the Folder Pane tree which happened to solve his need to organize multiple users.

for your usage, multiple instances of Tb with different accounts/prefs etc, profiles are the way to go.  Ron K and JoeS have explained the basics below.  if you google 'thunderbird profile' you will undoubtedly find knowledgebase article(s) on mozillazine.org which explain in greater detail how to set up profiles.

Curtis M. Dowds

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Jul 27, 2008, 11:37:15 PM7/27/08
to alta88[nntp], dev-apps-t...@lists.mozilla.org
Thanks.  Will do. 

I think the main point here is that simplification depends very much on the ultimate goal/strategy for simplifying.   In this folder discussion (and there are other discussion that I find easily as important which deserve more attention)  I, one, don't want to lose incoming email (that's an absolute crime in my world) and, two, within a multi-account world, I want to be able to know where I am at any one moment.   In the current TB2 folder pane your cursor might be on a folder in another account (the folder that's highlighted) but what you see in the folder window is where you've scrolled to (which may well be a different account).   So you think, I'm in this account   But you're not.  Very disorienting  unless you train yourself to look in the message window which shows you where you actually are in terms of accounts.   You have to check when you hit the write icon on the toolbar to make sure you're really where you think you are.   I want my accounts separated.   So intend to set up profiles once I learn how.   However, that's a very different question than knowing what emails have come in that you need to deal with but just haven't had time to yet.   That's crucial.    Some people find the clutter of Eudora abhorrent.   But I know a lot of Eudora users who learned to work with it very effectively.   I'm still a partisan of that approach.  If it's too visually upsetting for others, then give me another way of never losing an incoming email I need to deal with, even if it's already been filtered into a folder or subfolder.

Michiel van Leeuwen

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Jul 28, 2008, 3:15:00 AM7/28/08
to
Bryan Clark wrote:
> First, there is nothing wrong with the current setup and does work well
> for a lot of people. However it doesn't work well for many other
> people, yet it is the only system available.

_Why_ does it not work for those people? What is wrong? Can you give
use-cases?

Michiel

Chris Barnes

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Jul 28, 2008, 10:35:51 AM7/28/08
to
ovidiu wrote:
> Chris Barnes wrote:
>> With all due respect, I can't think of a single good reason why each
>> user shouldn't have their own account.
> -waste time on switchin, especially when the tasks are rather small,
> like "can I get my mail" and eventually less time on the action,

both users can be logged on at the same time (see "fast user
switching"). It's a function built-in since WinXP


> -kill apps where one is doing something for 1 minute of check mail or a

With fast user switching, apps do not need to get killed.


> print

Printing still works


> -sharing activities, working on same stuff etc

Sharing still works

Arvind Venkataramani

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Jul 29, 2008, 1:39:00 AM7/29/08
to

Sure. Let's look at people with more than one account.

1. each account has its own drafts, sent, and unsent mail folders.
sometimes they are local folders (pop, newsgroups), and with imap
accounts, they are remote folders. so, depending on which account they
are writing a message with, they have to locate the drafts/sent/unsent
folders appropriately every time. what if they could just go to one
single drafts folder and find all their drafts messages? why should we
make them hunt?

2. some people with multiple accounts often have one 'main' account,
which they use for most of their email, and other secondary accounts for
spam, website registrations and so on. these people will probably not
need to know most of the time which account they are writing from, so
long as the default is correctly set. in any case, why should we make
them rely on the folder pane view to make that determination? it was
never designed to indicate occupancy of a whole set of folders (unless
someone wants to write some fancy code that will dim the folders of the
accounts one is not "in"). the tree view is good for grouping, but not
much else. there are other idioms that can be used for indicating
occupancy and selection.

3. tree views are good, but static tree views can be plain irritating.
consider the case when gmail is accessed through imap. this results in a
folder view that contains the 'gmail' folder, which contains nothing but
the other mail folders. of course, the gmail folders are also labels,
so they're similar to search folders. but thunderbird places search
folders above the 'gmail' folder, completely the opposite of the way
gmail orders it in the browser view. of course, one cannot reorder the
folders. why make people learn two different views that are
functionally identical?

4. i'm searching for my username for this site that i registered a
couple of years ago. which of my accounts did i register it with? the
number of searches i have to make equals the number of email accounts i
have. it takes one click to change accounts, one to click into the
search field. depending on number of the search terms, that's at least
two clicks, and repeated typing per email account. is there any reason
we should put all users through this?

5. the top level of each account is a folder that is simply the account
name. this forces all the folders that are actually of interest (the
inbox et al) to be indented one level. for people who have a lot of
nested folders, that increases the width of the folder pane, also
increasing the amount of scrolling they have to do.

6. i really, really don't need to know which of my accounts all those
hundreds of junk emails were sent to.

now let's look at people with just one account. if they're using POP,
they'll probably be ok.

1. if they're using IMAP (which is getting quite common) they've got
this extra 'local folders' thing in the folder pane, which they didn't
configure, and doesn't seem to have anything to do with their email.
where did it come from? does that mean their email is not on their
computer? if they make any changes there, what's going to happen to
their email messages on the server? that's an extra 100% set of folders
to look at. while for you, Michiel, it might be obvious, for a lot of
people (way more than you suspect, i assure you) who are not so familiar
with computers, that language ("local folders") is as misleading and
confusing as the terminology on tax returns.

2. if they've got just newsgroups/feeds they subscribe to, there's still
this local folders thing sitting *above* the newsgroups. again, an extra
set of folders to visually scan or bother about.

3. try searching more than newsgroup at once. the quick, obvious method
of clicking on the toplevel newsgroup server folder, then clicking in
the search box doesn't work. why should there be this one exception to
the rule? after all, if i search a folder on windows, i also find files
from its subfolders...

those are just a few cases off the top of my head. i don't want to do a
full critique of the folder pane, which would have to be way more
systematic and careful than my points above. at any rate, i hope that
begins to show that there are deficiencies to this system that can be
corrected. some of them might even be to your advantage...

--
arvind

Arvind Venkataramani

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Jul 29, 2008, 1:43:16 AM7/29/08
to


oh, and i don't mean to harp on this, but clearly, nobody is clamouring
for trillian or gaim/pidgin to have separate buddy lists for each of
their separate instant messaging protocols and accounts. i don't have
statistics on how many people use the 'combine contacts' idiom that
pidgin provides, but that seems like a solution to a parallel problem.

--
arvind

Arvind Venkataramani

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Jul 29, 2008, 2:04:33 AM7/29/08
to

I would think that novice users would find that a little hard to
understand, at least as compared to the webmail logout/login method. it
would also mean that you have two identical icons, both of which start
thunderbird. unless you want users to choose separate icons for the
shortcuts. which is even more work...

i think that multiple users is a larger problem, and perhaps needs to be
addressed differently. the solution might not lie in the folder pane...

--
arvind

Arvind Venkataramani

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Jul 29, 2008, 2:26:13 AM7/29/08
to
Bryan W Clark wrote:
> The goal of the folder pane is to change from an account centric view to
> a more message / mailbox centric view of the system. So what's an
> account centric view? Currently the system gives a high precedence to
> mail accounts by placing them at the top of the tree and parents of all
> account folders. With a message centric view mailboxes like Inbox, Sent
> Mail, and Drafts will take the highest precedence in the folder pane and
> accounts will live as children of those.
>

bryan, thank you for bringing this important issue up. as the replies
show, we don't have a clear solution yet, but i'd like to summarise the
points raised.

1. determining which accounts to be combined and which to be left separate.
2. determining which folders to combine, and which to leave separate
3. clearly associating folders to their respective accounts, when
appropriate or desired (e.g. separate sent folders for different newsgroups)
4. allowing arbitrary folder ordering
5. enabling global actions across multiple accounts, such as search
6. clearly associating message composition actions with their accounts
7. showing certain folders only as needed (drafts, unsent)
8. increasing visibility of commonly used folders (drafts, unsent)
9. separating accounts belonging to different users
10. separating or combining different kinds of accounts (news, rss,
email) as needed

it seems we might have to design for at least 4 separate cases:
1. single user, single account
2. single user, multiple acccounts
3. multiple users, multiple accounts
4. multiple users, each with a single account

i would like to assume - given heribert's case - that people may choose
cases 3 & 4 despite knowing about separate OS users and the profile
mechanism. it is up to the community, of course, whether we want to
support multiple users in the same profile, but that is an open question.

it further seems that the folder pane issues are symptomatic of larger
message view integration issues. perhaps that is a separate discussion
that should be targeted first? (at least in terms of a critique). i for
one would be glad not to have to have 4 separate browsers (firefox,
flock, safari, internet explorer) permanently logged into each of my 4
gmail accounts... :)

may i also suggest that, as topics like these mature, they be bumped
into a getsatisfaction thread (http://getsatisfaction.com/), thus easing
the feature voting process, and opening it up to the larger thunderbird
user community?

--
arvind
design researcher | http://sensemaya.org/ | http://sonicrim.com/

ovidiu

unread,
Jul 29, 2008, 3:28:36 AM7/29/08
to
Accsess to profile manager from File menu, or like "exit and change
profile" would be far easyer to digest. Or an option to start with pm or
not ...

Ron K.

unread,
Jul 29, 2008, 10:16:23 AM7/29/08
to
ovidiu keyboarded, On 7/29/2008 3:28 AM :

Well for the Windows OS an additional item in Start > Programs >
Thunderbird could be Thunderbird with Profile Manager or simply an entry
Profile Manager, since it has a Start Tb button to use upon selection of
a profile.

I do agree that a new option on the Tb File menu to open the Profile
Manager could be a useful option. What I would then suggest is the
Profile Manager add a "Restart" button to activate the new profile
selection.

Chris Barnes

unread,
Jul 29, 2008, 10:35:55 AM7/29/08
to
Arvind Venkataramani wrote:
> 1. each account has its own drafts, sent, and unsent mail folders.
> sometimes they are local folders (pop, newsgroups), and with imap
> accounts, they are remote folders. so, depending on which account they
> are writing a message with, they have to locate the drafts/sent/unsent
> folders appropriately every time. what if they could just go to one
> single drafts folder and find all their drafts messages? why should we
> make them hunt?

That is exactly the OPPOSITE of how I would want things. The current
method of each account using it's own set of Sent/Drafts/Inbox makes
*organization* infinitely easier. That is precisely the reason I use
IMAP for every email account I use (I currently have 12 imap accounts
configured).

Note that *organization* is the KEY to making it so that people do not
need to "hunt" for a message. Please do not attempt to force your ideas
of disorganization onto the rest of us...


> 2. some people with multiple accounts often have one 'main' account,
> which they use for most of their email, and other secondary accounts for
> spam, website registrations and so on. these people will probably not
> need to know most of the time which account they are writing from,

100% wrong.
See above - I have 12 accounts. I *absolutely NEED* to know which
account a message belongs to.


> 3. tree views are good, but static tree views can be plain irritating.
> consider the case when gmail is accessed through imap. this results in a
> folder view that contains the 'gmail' folder, which contains nothing but
> the other mail folders.

Trivial to fix. Of my 12 accounts, 2 are using Gmail IMAP.
In the account settings, Server settings, Advanced tab put:
[Gmail] in the "Imap server directory".


> 5. the top level of each account is a folder that is simply the account
> name. this forces all the folders that are actually of interest (the
> inbox et al) to be indented one level. for people who have a lot of
> nested folders, that increases the width of the folder pane, also
> increasing the amount of scrolling they have to do.

It also means they are collapsible - something VERY important to folks
with lots of accounts.

> 6. i really, really don't need to know which of my accounts all those
> hundreds of junk emails were sent to.

You are OBVIOUSLY not handling junk email properly.


> 1. if they're using IMAP (which is getting quite common) they've got
> this extra 'local folders' thing in the folder pane, which they didn't
> configure, and doesn't seem to have anything to do with their email.
> where did it come from? does that mean their email is not on their
> computer? if they make any changes there, what's going to happen to
> their email messages on the server? that's an extra 100% set of folders
> to look at.

It's 1 line (collapsed). BFD.


> 3. try searching more than newsgroup at once. the quick, obvious method
> of clicking on the toplevel newsgroup server folder, then clicking in
> the search box doesn't work. why should there be this one exception to
> the rule? after all, if i search a folder on windows, i also find files
> from its subfolders...

A search on a newsgroup hits the server, not the local cached copy.
For that reason, searching multiple newsservers at the same time would
be a REALLY BAD IDEA.


Searching multiple newsgroups on the same newsserver in a single search
is already easily accomplished (something you seem to be unaware of).

> those are just a few cases off the top of my head. i don't want to do a
> full critique of the folder pane, which would have to be way more
> systematic and careful than my points above. at any rate, i hope that
> begins to show that there are deficiencies to this system that can be
> corrected. some of them might even be to your advantage...

I'd suggest you simply go find yourself another email client and leave
TB alone. It functions EXACTLY like the vast majority of us want it to.

Chris Barnes

unread,
Jul 29, 2008, 10:38:17 AM7/29/08
to
Ron K. wrote:
> I do agree that a new option on the Tb File menu to open the Profile
> Manager could be a useful option. What I would then suggest is the
> Profile Manager add a "Restart" button to activate the new profile
> selection.

I would suggest that this only show up if there are multiple profiles
available...

Ron K.

unread,
Jul 29, 2008, 11:01:49 AM7/29/08
to
Chris Barnes keyboarded, On 7/29/2008 10:38 AM :

> Ron K. wrote:
>> I do agree that a new option on the Tb File menu to open the Profile
>> Manager could be a useful option. What I would then suggest is the
>> Profile Manager add a "Restart" button to activate the new profile
>> selection.
>
> I would suggest that this only show up if there are multiple profiles
> available...
>
>

I disagree for the reason that limits availability to access the PM to
create a new profile. However, if your commenting on the Restart Button,
then I would agree that it be invisible until a second profile exists.
To Show/Hide is a simple CSS markup, it's the XUL that has to make the
test for existence.

ovidiu

unread,
Jul 29, 2008, 1:23:14 PM7/29/08
to
Ron K. wrote:
> Chris Barnes keyboarded, On 7/29/2008 10:38 AM :
>> Ron K. wrote:
>>> I do agree that a new option on the Tb File menu to open the Profile
>>> Manager could be a useful option. What I would then suggest is the
>>> Profile Manager add a "Restart" button to activate the new profile
>>> selection.
>>
>> I would suggest that this only show up if there are multiple profiles
>> available...
>>
>>
>
> I disagree for the reason that limits availability to access the PM to
> create a new profile. However, if your commenting on the Restart
> Button, then I would agree that it be invisible until a second profile
> exists. To Show/Hide is a simple CSS markup, it's the XUL that has to
> make the test for existence.
>
Disagree also, as this seams to be a thing that users are unaware of.
Like an advanced thing.
As for the File menu item vs PM, it's a delicate thing. The PM may need
other UI or security measures so that one doesn't delete profiles.
Switch can be just a switch(implies restart ..), but the profile
selection should not be same as profile management (deletion ..)

but this is kinda OT ..

ovidiu

unread,
Jul 29, 2008, 1:39:17 PM7/29/08
to
Chris Barnes wrote:

> Arvind Venkataramani wrote:
>> ...
>
> I'd suggest you simply go find yourself another email client and leave
> TB alone. It functions EXACTLY like the vast majority of us want it to.
Or stick with it and see how in TB3 it will function better for all
cases (considering the op and other suggestions ...) :)
Now seriously, the beauty of it may just be the opposite cases thriving
on the same app. Which probably happens already. I subscribe to some of
your specific comments on this post, but not the last one ..

Arvind Venkataramani

unread,
Jul 29, 2008, 9:01:06 PM7/29/08
to
Chris Barnes wrote:
> That is exactly the OPPOSITE of how I would want things. The current
> method of each account using it's own set of Sent/Drafts/Inbox makes
> *organization* infinitely easier. That is precisely the reason I use
> IMAP for every email account I use (I currently have 12 imap accounts
> configured).
>
> Note that *organization* is the KEY to making it so that people do not
> need to "hunt" for a message. Please do not attempt to force your ideas
> of disorganization onto the rest of us...

i could say the same for you. i have 6 email accounts, each of which i
use with different frequencies for different reasons. each gets a
different mix of messages, based on my history of usage. for instance,
emails i get from friends end up in three different email accounts which
created at different points in time as i changed my work and my career.
what i'd *like* instead of having to keep track of 3 different sets of
folders under three different accounts is to have one folder called
'friends' that contains messages from friends irrespective of which
account they were sent to. what i *get* is your idea of organization:
which makes me switch accounts everytime i want to hunt for messages on
related mailing lists.

i could go on, but showing how something works for me or not is really
not a constructive direction for this exchange.

>
> 100% wrong.
> See above - I have 12 accounts. I *absolutely NEED* to know which
> account a message belongs to.
>
>

> Trivial to fix. Of my 12 accounts, 2 are using Gmail IMAP.
> In the account settings, Server settings, Advanced tab put:
> [Gmail] in the "Imap server directory".
>

> It also means they are collapsible - something VERY important to folks
> with lots of accounts.
>

> You are OBVIOUSLY not handling junk email properly.
>

> It's 1 line (collapsed). BFD.
>

> A search on a newsgroup hits the server, not the local cached copy.
> For that reason, searching multiple newsservers at the same time would
> be a REALLY BAD IDEA.
>
> Searching multiple newsgroups on the same newsserver in a single search
> is already easily accomplished (something you seem to be unaware of).

>

> I'd suggest you simply go find yourself another email client and leave
> TB alone. It functions EXACTLY like the vast majority of us want it to.

the issue is not whether TB works for you or me. i am well aware that
all of the "issues" i pointed out have "solutions" in the existing
design. i am also aware that each person has his/her own style of
working (or "idea of disorganization" as you put it [1]). what i
attempted to illustrate was that the existing design does have issues
for some people. please note that i am not arguing for whether TB works
for *ME* (i have been a long-time user, and only recently discontinued,
for reasons completely unrelated to the current discussion) or for
*YOU*, but that there are use cases where the current design produces
situations that *SOME* people will find inconvenient.

as for whether anything should be done for those people, i'm happy to
accept any *proof* that the current design does indeed satisfy most
people (hard numbers please, let's do a survey). i myself have no idea
whether people like you are in the majority, or these hypothetical
others are, and i make no claims either way. until then, it must seem
that the current design has scope for improvement. which doesn't mean
"dumbing" things down or taking power away, but merely being appropriate
to the range of users and their abilities and needs (so yes, allowing
you to create as many folders and trees as you need, and allowing others
to be lazy and let TB do the hard work of sorting through the
disorganization). again, i make no claims as what the solution is - we
are, at the moment, merely attempting to understand what the current
design does well and what it does poorly.

it might well turn out that this is the best possible design, in which
case i'm happy to leave well enough alone. but without empirical data or
analysis of a representative set (and i don't mean the people who are on
this newsgroup), the issue is undecided. in the end, it all comes down
to whom you want TB to be for: but please keep in mind that designing
for someone else is not the same as designing for yourself.

if you haven't already, please take a look at the remail and chandler
projects for some very different approaches to email. they might
interest you, in terms of arguing for alternatives. (for instance, i
suspect that a lot of what you do with your 12 separate accounts could
be accomplished easily with the chandler design - even if it is not
optimal [note: this is not an argument for turning TB into chandler])

--
arvind
design researcher | http://sensemaya.org/ | http://sonicrim.com/

[1] without getting technical, the idea that structure (anything that
organizes - a computer folder or a cardboard box) can supplant cognitive
effort is a well understood idea in the HCI and cognitive science
fields, as is the corollary that structures are also highly activity
specific (i.e. one person's mess is another person's order). if you'd
like, i'd be happy to point you in the direction of the relevant
literature. i'm also happy to cite real-life examples from my own
research where people have set up structures and discontinued their use
as their work changes, or who set up structures anticipating how they
think they work only to later discover that their setup was inaccurate
and they really didn't work the way they imagined

Bryan W Clark

unread,
Jul 30, 2008, 12:39:19 PM7/30/08
to
You must have been having a bad day, there's no need for you to continue
with this kind of attitude. Disagreement is excellent, being needlessly
rude on this list is not acceptable. I'll try to address some of the
things where it makes sense.

Chris Barnes wrote:
> Arvind Venkataramani wrote:
>> 1. each account has its own drafts, sent, and unsent mail folders.
>> sometimes they are local folders (pop, newsgroups), and with imap
>> accounts, they are remote folders. so, depending on which account
>> they are writing a message with, they have to locate the
>> drafts/sent/unsent folders appropriately every time. what if they
>> could just go to one single drafts folder and find all their drafts
>> messages? why should we make them hunt?
>
> That is exactly the OPPOSITE of how I would want things. The current
> method of each account using it's own set of Sent/Drafts/Inbox makes
> *organization* infinitely easier. That is precisely the reason I use
> IMAP for every email account I use (I currently have 12 imap accounts
> configured).
>
> Note that *organization* is the KEY to making it so that people do not
> need to "hunt" for a message. Please do not attempt to force your
> ideas of disorganization onto the rest of us...

The key element of a single "virtual drafts" folder is that it brings
all drafts into a single place; something I would argue is more
organized than having 12 places to look for drafts. Of course there are
problems that need to be worked through, but this doesn't make the
general idea bad. The account which you are sending from needs to be
saved with draft emails and that information (even in the current
implementation) needs to be much clearer.


>
>
>> 2. some people with multiple accounts often have one 'main' account,
>> which they use for most of their email, and other secondary accounts
>> for spam, website registrations and so on. these people will probably
>> not need to know most of the time which account they are writing from,
>
> 100% wrong.
> See above - I have 12 accounts. I *absolutely NEED* to know which
> account a message belongs to.

Indeed, however again this is a problem that can be solved in the new
folder pane and isn't solved well with the current implementation.


>
>
>> 3. tree views are good, but static tree views can be plain
>> irritating. consider the case when gmail is accessed through imap.
>> this results in a folder view that contains the 'gmail' folder, which
>> contains nothing but the other mail folders.
>
> Trivial to fix. Of my 12 accounts, 2 are using Gmail IMAP.
> In the account settings, Server settings, Advanced tab put:
> [Gmail] in the "Imap server directory".

The [Gmail] folders are bugs and need fixes to be put into Thunderbird
directly so it doesn't happen. The other point of labels versus
presents a difficult problem.


>
>
>> 5. the top level of each account is a folder that is simply the
>> account name. this forces all the folders that are actually of
>> interest (the inbox et al) to be indented one level. for people who
>> have a lot of nested folders, that increases the width of the folder
>> pane, also increasing the amount of scrolling they have to do.
>
> It also means they are collapsible - something VERY important to folks
> with lots of accounts.

Yes and the changes described are also collapsible. The special
mailboxes will always be visible and this really is a value to many
people. While it is helpful to collapse whole accounts the current
system allows for people to "lose their mail" because their inbox has
been collapsed and hidden under the account. For people with little
computer experience this can be extremely disorienting.

>> 6. i really, really don't need to know which of my accounts all those
>> hundreds of junk emails were sent to.
>
> You are OBVIOUSLY not handling junk email properly.

...


>
>
>> 1. if they're using IMAP (which is getting quite common) they've got
>> this extra 'local folders' thing in the folder pane, which they
>> didn't configure, and doesn't seem to have anything to do with their
>> email. where did it come from? does that mean their email is not on
>> their computer? if they make any changes there, what's going to
>> happen to their email messages on the server? that's an extra 100%
>> set of folders to look at.
>
> It's 1 line (collapsed). BFD.

...

Similar to my comment above this Local Folders is an often misunderstood
concept and yet another place where your inbox/email can be lost.

>
>
>> 3. try searching more than newsgroup at once. the quick, obvious
>> method of clicking on the toplevel newsgroup server folder, then
>> clicking in the search box doesn't work. why should there be this one
>> exception to the rule? after all, if i search a folder on windows, i
>> also find files from its subfolders...
>
> A search on a newsgroup hits the server, not the local cached copy.
> For that reason, searching multiple newsservers at the same time would
> be a REALLY BAD IDEA.

You have to try to assume a good intention. I think it's obvious that
no one would attempt a search that hits many newsgroup servers at the
same time.


>
> Searching multiple newsgroups on the same newsserver in a single
> search is already easily accomplished (something you seem to be
> unaware of).

...


>
>
>
>> those are just a few cases off the top of my head. i don't want to do
>> a full critique of the folder pane, which would have to be way more
>> systematic and careful than my points above. at any rate, i hope that
>> begins to show that there are deficiencies to this system that can be
>> corrected. some of them might even be to your advantage...
>
> I'd suggest you simply go find yourself another email client and leave
> TB alone. It functions EXACTLY like the vast majority of us want it to.

And this is completely unnecessary. If you feel like I'm being unfair
to you, feel free to email me privately however I'm not impressed and I
know you're capable of being better than this.

~ Bryan

Curtis M. Dowds

unread,
Jul 30, 2008, 11:49:57 PM7/30/08
to ovidiu, dev-apps-t...@lists.mozilla.org
I'm never sure who is speaking in these threads but if someone is claiming that Thunderbird is the end all and be all of email clients and doesn't need improving I'm having a hard time believing that the person has much experience with email clients and also wondering why he thinks he speaks for "the vast majority" of Thunderbird users who seem to be a very complaining lot from everything I've observed.   If the person who made the comment wants to live with TB2, nobody's opposed to that person doing so.   But for many of us, the current program is significantly deficient and needs major remedies.   The debate would seem to be what remedies exactly.  Why are we even talking about TB3 if TB2 is such a marvel.

ovidiu wrote:
Or stick with it and see how in TB3 it will function better for all 
cases (considering the op and other suggestions ...) :)
Now seriously, the beauty of it may just be the opposite cases thriving 
on the same app. Which probably happens already. I subscribe to some of 
your specific comments on this post, but not the last one ..
_______________________________________________
dev-apps-thunderbird mailing list
dev-apps-t...@lists.mozilla.org
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-apps-thunderbird


  

Curtis M. Dowds

unread,
Jul 31, 2008, 12:02:16 AM7/31/08
to ovidiu, dev-apps-t...@lists.mozilla.org
Not a programmer but I'm in the process of taking the advice from these threads and implementing several iterations of TB2 using the profile manager.   Strikes me as an excellent way, properly implemented, to disentangle the confusion between accounts and to significantly limit the overhead of wandering through multiple accounts with different levels of importance to find incoming email or sent email which you might want to review after its filtered.    Having said that, however, what's crucial is to know where your email is when you need it and that means an unambiguous and immediate way to identify all incoming email in a structured way (which would include filtered email sitting in tiers of folders by account).  I don't care how TB3 accomplishes this as long as it is simple and straightforward and works.   Eudora solved the problem one way.   It's not the only way to solve the problem of alerting the user to his incoming email.  But it was indisputably effective.   A lot of people found it useful.   They opened every folder that received an incoming email (and possibly also, don't remember, ones that received filtered sent email)

Naturally, if you break up accounts with the profile manager you would probably not want a global, overarching Inbox, Sent and Drafts folders, rather one set per account.

ovidiu wrote:
Disagree also, as this seams to be a thing that users are unaware of. 
Like an advanced thing.
As for the File menu item vs PM, it's a delicate thing. The PM may need 
other UI or security measures so that one doesn't delete profiles. 
Switch can be just a switch(implies restart ..), but the profile 
selection should not be same as profile management (deletion ..)

but this is kinda OT ..
_______________________________________________
dev-apps-thunderbird mailing list
dev-apps-t...@lists.mozilla.org
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-apps-thunderbird


  

Chris Barnes

unread,
Jul 31, 2008, 1:36:12 PM7/31/08
to

Are you seriously arguing that dumping everything together is more
organization than keeping things separate, according to their origin?

I suppose you install all applications and keep all of your documents on
C:\ ?

It's the same argument - "I don't have to keep track of where everything
is". It's nonsensical.

>> Trivial to fix. Of my 12 accounts, 2 are using Gmail IMAP.
>> In the account settings, Server settings, Advanced tab put:
>> [Gmail] in the "Imap server directory".
> The [Gmail] folders are bugs and need fixes to be put into Thunderbird
> directly so it doesn't happen. The other point of labels versus
> presents a difficult problem.

If it's a bug, it's in Gmail's imap configuration; not in TB. No other
IMAP server forces this onto the users. But as I said - it's trivial
for a user to correct on their own.

Chris Barnes

unread,
Jul 31, 2008, 1:40:55 PM7/31/08
to
Curtis M. Dowds wrote:
> I'm never sure who is speaking in these threads but if someone is
> claiming that Thunderbird is the end all and be all of email clients and
> doesn't need improving I'm having a hard time believing that the person
> has much experience with email clients and also wondering why he thinks
> he speaks for "the vast majority" of Thunderbird users who seem to be a
> very complaining lot from everything I've observed. If the person who
> made the comment wants to live with TB2, nobody's opposed to that person
> doing so. But for many of us, the current program is significantly
> deficient and needs major remedies.

I'm all for making improvements where they are needed. And there are
some serious places that need improvement (the addressbook &
scam/phishing filters to name just 2).


But that is not what this user is wanting. Recall that they are
enamored with Eudora - a program so archaic that it is a dead program
and has been for a couple of years now. He is wanting to make TB look
like Eudora. Something that would cause "the vast majority" of us to
immediately leave TB entirely and go looking for something else.


Email user since 1984...

Arvind Venkataramani

unread,
Jul 31, 2008, 2:11:52 PM7/31/08
to
Chris Barnes wrote:
> Curtis M. Dowds wrote:
>> I'm never sure who is speaking in these threads but if someone is
nor who is being spoken about... :) see below

> I'm all for making improvements where they are needed. And there are
> some serious places that need improvement (the addressbook &
> scam/phishing filters to name just 2).
>
>
> But that is not what this user is wanting. Recall that they are
> enamored with Eudora - a program so archaic that it is a dead program
> and has been for a couple of years now. He is wanting to make TB look
> like Eudora. Something that would cause "the vast majority" of us to
> immediately leave TB entirely and go looking for something else.

i'm going to presume you're speaking about me. for the record, i have
never used Eudora. i've tried it only once, in 1999, and hated it.
"enamoured" would not be my adjective of choice concerning it.

if you're not speaking about me, i apologise for the distraction.

Curtis M. Dowds

unread,
Jul 31, 2008, 2:25:26 PM7/31/08
to Chris Barnes, dev-apps-t...@lists.mozilla.org
I'll try to keep this civil but you make it hard.  Most of the people in this conversation have been using email about as long as it's been around and probably on a daily basis. Whether Eudora is/was archaic is beside the point.   Unfortunately, it was abandoned by a company that had another business plan even though it still did many things very well and did them that way from almost day one.   It was workable and efficient but Qualcomm made more money doing other things.   Second, whether Eudora was a good program or a bad program, archaic, whatever, misses the point.  Let's stick to the issue:  Thunderbird functionality.  The question we're trying to grapple with is how to work with incoming/outgoing email in a complex folder system so that you know infallibly what you've recently received or sent.  Nobody's forcing folders on you or filters or anything else.  And if you want searches and tags, search and tag your heart out.  We're just looking for options.  I'm in complete agreement that there are many other areas where Thunderbird needs improving because it's really not a very good program yet.   I'm all for working on these other areas, too.   Better addressbook sure.  Ever worked with ECCO which has been dead ten years and is still the one of the best if not the best PIM out there?  How about outlining capabilities to annotate addressbook entries?   Thought of that one?  Synchronizing to a wide variety of platforms sure.  Don't open every folder every time you open the program so I can back it up in less than the five minutes or so it takes nightly.  The list goes on.   We're talking about Thunderbird functionality not Eudora.   Nobody's asking you to look elsewhere, even if you are the "vast majority," a claim you don't support with any data .  Whatever emerges should accommodate your needs.  I think everyone here is all for that.  It would be helpful, however, if you kept in mind that not everyone sees the world or organizes their view of it the way you do and they have every right to do so. 

Chris Barnes wrote:
Curtis M. Dowds wrote:
  
I'm never sure who is speaking in these threads but if someone is 
claiming that Thunderbird is the end all and be all of email clients and 
doesn't need improving I'm having a hard time believing that the person 
has much experience with email clients and also wondering why he thinks 
he speaks for "the vast majority" of Thunderbird users who seem to be a 
very complaining lot from everything I've observed.   If the person who 
made the comment wants to live with TB2, nobody's opposed to that person 
doing so.   But for many of us, the current program is significantly 
deficient and needs major remedies.   
    
I'm all for making improvements where they are needed.  And there are 
some serious places that need improvement (the addressbook & 
scam/phishing filters to name just 2).


But that is not what this user is wanting.  Recall that they are 
enamored with Eudora - a program so archaic that it is a dead program 
and has been for a couple of years now.  He is wanting to make TB look 
like Eudora.  Something that would cause "the vast majority" of us to 
immediately leave TB entirely and go looking for something else.


Email user since 1984...

  

-- 
_____________________________

Curtis M. Dowds
1270 Via Escalante
Chula Vista, CA  91910

Curtis M. Dowds

unread,
Jul 31, 2008, 2:57:30 PM7/31/08
to Arvind Venkataramani, dev-apps-t...@lists.mozilla.org
I don't think it's you, don't really know, but it doesn't matter.    The point is let's move Thunderbird forward so that all of us with different visions of how the process could/should work can get what we want from the program.   Options.   I lived on Eudora for more than a decade and loved it only because it solved the problem I can't get a handle on in TB2. I knew what was coming at me and what I'd dealt with and hadn't.   Not going back to Eudora because they killed it.  I also don't want to replicate Eudora in TB.   I just want this particular problem and a number of others solved in TB.

Arvind Venkataramani wrote:
i'm going to presume you're speaking about me. for the record, i have 
never used Eudora. i've tried it only once, in 1999, and hated it. 
"enamoured" would not be my adjective of choice concerning it.

if you're not speaking about me, i apologise for the distraction.
_______________________________________________
dev-apps-thunderbird mailing list
dev-apps-t...@lists.mozilla.org
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-apps-thunderbird


  

Chris Barnes

unread,
Aug 1, 2008, 10:53:16 AM8/1/08
to
Arvind Venkataramani wrote:
> i'm going to presume you're speaking about me. for the record, i have
> never used Eudora. i've tried it only once, in 1999, and hated it.
> "enamoured" would not be my adjective of choice concerning it.
>
> if you're not speaking about me, i apologise for the distraction.

No, not speaking of you. :-)
Glad to hear another person who hated Eudora. Fwiw, I have several
users in my dept who still use it. I am constantly encouraging them to
dump it for the garbage program that it always had been.


Another problem w/ Eudora - their inability to properly handle
self-signed certificates for use with pop3s or imaps.

Chris Barnes

unread,
Aug 1, 2008, 10:54:27 AM8/1/08
to
Curtis M. Dowds wrote:
> Let's stick to the issue: Thunderbird functionality.

TB is perfectly functional as is. Adding in old Eudora crap would make
it less so.

Bryan Clark

unread,
Aug 5, 2008, 6:37:32 PM8/5/08
to

Reductio ad absurdum [1], ftw [2]!

Taking the most extreme possible stance of any argument is an easy way
to make a non-point. I wasn't arguing that at all, but since I didn't
go into great depth about how I wasn't arguing a ridiculous point -
you're right - the ridiculous extreme variant of my argument is false.


>
> I suppose you install all applications and keep all of your documents
> on C:\ ?

Likely it's worse than that, so horrific I tried to get a movie deal
about how disorganized my hard drive is but those horror movie directors
are real critics when it comes to "scary". :)


>
> It's the same argument - "I don't have to keep track of where
> everything is". It's nonsensical.
>

Totally true, the most extreme case what I was saying is nonsensical.
Of course proof by induction of all features for Thunderbird is going to
be a slow method towards forward progress.

One of the problems I was alluding above was mailing lists. People
often talk about how they receive "so much mail" yet most of that "so
much mail" is not sent directly to them. Unless your circle of friends
runs like a myspace page where you have thousands of friends and they
are emailing you all the time, "Thanks for the add dude!", then odds are
you aren't actually really receiving that much mail. Mailing lists need
to be separated out from regular mail, they are like catalogs, news
papers, or magazines in the postal mail world; probably too much to read
and some of it you should probably stop getting. With postal mail you
can easy sort the news papers and magazines from the rest of the mail,
why is it so hard with email?

>
>
>>> Trivial to fix. Of my 12 accounts, 2 are using Gmail IMAP.
>>> In the account settings, Server settings, Advanced tab put:
>>> [Gmail] in the "Imap server directory".
>> The [Gmail] folders are bugs and need fixes to be put into
>> Thunderbird directly so it doesn't happen. The other point of labels
>> versus presents a difficult problem.
>
> If it's a bug, it's in Gmail's imap configuration; not in TB. No
> other IMAP server forces this onto the users. But as I said - it's
> trivial for a user to correct on their own.
>

I do hate using the "My Mother" arguments, but countless times I've told
her to file a bug with GMail to fix their IMAP configuration and yet
they continue to ignore her requests. We could follow the specs and
rfc's to letter and tell our users that the bugs and problems exist with
the implementations of the other services we communicate with; however
it's more than likely they will just stop using us as they are more
interested in actually communicating and not a clean implementation of a
spec.

~ Bryan

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum
[2] http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/for_the_win

Heribert

unread,
Aug 23, 2008, 10:21:32 AM8/23/08
to
Sorry, I was not able to follow this thread for a couple of days. I
had no idea what discussion I had started.

Chris Barnes wrote:
> With all due respect, I can't think of a single good reason why each
> user shouldn't have their own account.

It's mainly because that would require us to exit and restart the
application multiple times. Call us lazy but this method works fine
for us. So do the current folder views. I was just thinking of a
possible change that would be useful for me.

alta88[nntp] wrote:
> yes, this is exactly right.  but the "Joe" is just a view (i went on
> about this in the other recent post).  "Joe" is just a folder container
> that Joe has created, and drag/dropped his gmail Inbox or Yahoo inbox or
> any other folder he wants.  it could easily also be named "MyProject"
> with some other set of folders, system or custom or filtered or saved
> searches, etc etc.  a combobox/menulist (rather than cycler) would
> contain these named views for dropdown selection.

I think this describes best what I originally had in mind. I don't
really want to manage different profiles with their own settings etc.
(all settings work fine for both of us). It's just about grouping the
various folders that originally exist.

I already tried to use the "favorite folders" view for that. But that
does not give me any expandable/collapsable folders views at all.
Instead I see various inboxes with abbreviated names ("Inb... rt (15)"
and so on) which are hard to distinguish at first sight (need to
examine the tooltips).

Michiel van Leeuwen wrote:
> Maybe I missed it, but _why_ do you want that change? What is wrong
> with the current setup?

Reading all the thread I have the same impression. There is the wish
to make things differently or even to revolutionize things but no
clear vision what the benefit would be. There is no "one size fits
all". So some more flexibilty should be given to the user and a little
less judging what is "correct" usage.

Heribert

Bryan W Clark

unread,
Aug 24, 2008, 9:03:06 PM8/24/08
to
Heribert wrote:
Michiel van Leeuwen wrote:
Maybe I missed it, but _why_ do you want that change? What is wrong
with the current setup?
    
Reading all the thread I have the same impression. There is the wish
to make things differently or even to revolutionize things but no
clear vision what the benefit would be. There is no "one size fits
all". So some more flexibilty should be given to the user and a little
less judging what is "correct" usage.

  
There shouldn't be any judgment here, but there is a limiting of the scope of the changes suggested here.  The mutli-user use case is something that should clearly needs to be investigated more and likely will require changes to the Folder Pane.  However the multi-user case takes more thought than just a single change to the Folder Pane.   A more complete design is needed to indicate the changes required and consiquences faced to actually enable this use case.   We need to step back and examine the effect on the forest before starting to cut down a few trees in one area.

What needs to happen is a discussion on multi-user use case where we identify the challenges and goals of the people involved.  Once we have a written understanding of the scope of the changes required to support the multi-user use case we can then start adapting interfaces to accomidate.  The current changes suggested for the Folder Pane are being designed to make it easier to extend the folder pane, something that has traditionally been very difficult.  With these changes in place it will be much simpler to prototype designs for a multi-user case.

In general changes in the Folder Pane, Message Reader, and Account Dialog (to name a few) are all aimed toward a goal of simplification and common design patterns that are widely tested and used today.  When Thunderbird was first being created many of these design patterns weren't understood as well as they are today.  This doesn't mean that a single minded simplification against flexibility is underway.  On the contrary we should always be attempting to understand why things are the way they are before making any changes and only then simplify for the benefit of as many people as possible while not hamper