Easy migration from IE/Safari etc. was a killer feature for Firefox 1,
massively lowering barrier to entry. Having recently been through an
attempt to set up an IMAP account with my father and with a friend (in
Evolution), it's entirely clear to me that this is a massive barrier to
even trying out Thunderbird. It's like asking someone to manually
specify their IP address, DNS server and gateway before using Firefox.
Whatever technical solution we end up with (shipping lots of ISP
Configuration files with a tweaked UI is the low-effort path), it's
clear that we need to collect the ISP data, and the longer we have been
doing that, the more comprehensive and the better it will be.
Has anyone done any work in this area?
If not, I suggest we try first to get the data off other companies which
have it but, if we can't get it, set up a system to collect it.
Nokia have it:
"Nokia claims the device is "built for messaging inside and out" with
the full keyboard and Nokia's revamped email software, which means users
need only enter their email address and password to set up email on
their device. "That's all the information you need," said Nokia's senior
vice president, Soren Petersen at this afternoon's London launch event.
"You're up and running before you leave the shop. We've set up and a
server that recognises the profiles of over a thousand ISPs.""
Has anyone seen evidence of anyone else having done this work?
If that doesn't work, what's the best mechanism for our collection
process? I want it to be really lightweight. Is a wiki page too light if
we get hundreds of entries? Would a shared spreadsheet be better?
I've also been investigating adding Autoconfig to the account wizard,
based on the work in
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=422814, which is a subset
of the general Autoconfig problem.
I know :-) But my question was more limited. Not "Has anyone done any
work on autoconfig?", but "Has anyone done any work on the specific
problem of gathering the data needed for whatever autoconfig solution we
come up with?".
I somehow suspect that we are unlikely to get decent coverage of ISPs
with a generic solution (you mean something based on DNS autodiscovery?)
before the release of Thunderbird 3. It's going to have to be presets.
One day, it might be both - try autodiscovery and fall back on presets.