[RCD] New look of compose and message screens

A.L.E.C alec at alec.pl
Mon Sep 10 08:44:32 CEST 2012

On 09/09/2012 08:30 PM, Thomas Bruederli wrote:

> I really don't see an improvement in the new
> expand-all-options-and-headers-at-once solution you're proposing for
> the compose screen.
> There are several levels of "expansion" in the current compose screen
> (so as they where in the old skin). It's common that one wants to add
> a CC or BCC field when composing a new message. This level of
> extensibility is perfectly covered with the (+) Add ... links we now
> have. More advanced options are hidden in the area between headers and
> the body. I use them way less than adding a CC. Therefore it makes
> sense to me, to have them in a different location and hidden by a
> separate Options button. Since they mostly affect message headers, the
> location of this options palette is IMO just right.

In my opinion in the old skin (and larry) the "Add CC" and others links
were added because lack of vertical space, but ok. We can add these
links back and keep new design. No problem.

> You now propose to expand everything on one click and smash a shitload
> of options into a dummy user's face who just wants to add a CC line.
> That's a regression and not an optimization to me.

Hey, it's less clicks in the end. Why we can display all options at a
time? Because now we have a scroller, so displaying big area of headers
+ options doesn't make the body textarea smaller. And I think this is a
big improvement. Body textarea height is unlimited. In old skin when you
use (show) all headers, the textarea field becomes too small. So, this
and unification with the message preview was the main reason for the change.

> As a side note, the two-step header expansion in message (pre)view
> isn't perfect either. I was confused by the up/down arrows appearing
> when I expanded the headers in message preview. Showing all headers is
> again a very power-user feature and should not use the same element as
> to just show the regular headers. 

But you didn't proposed a solution, you just removed the feature.

> And there's no way to hide them anymore. 

I don't see this as a big problem, if you wanted to see them once, then
there's a good chance you want to see them again. And really, user will
learn very quickly how does it work.

> Furthermore, I don't exactly understand why in full message
> view mode the headers are collapsed by default. There we have enough
> space and all basic headers should be show right away. The reason to
> hide them in preview mode was because they're redundant to what is
> displayed in the message list above and vertical space is limited.

Answer is simple: unification (and lazyness), but we can improve this.

> Overall, I'm not very happy with the changes you're suggesting or
> which you already committed to git master. But I'd very much like some
> more persons to speak up on this. Otherwise we'll end up in a Thomas
> vs. Alec fight here.

Yeah, I don't wanna fight, No. However I have a strong feeling I'm right
;) Please, look at my proposal as a concept not a complete solution. How
does it look like when you add "Add CC", etc. buttons back and keep "the
new look with the expander"?

Here's a list of changes:
1. Use one big scrollable area for right side of compose screen to
provide "unlimited" body textarea (and headers area) height.
2. Use design unified with the message preview - expander for compose
3. Move Send, Save, Cancel buttons to the toolbar.

ps. Did you notice that my changes to message display screen fixed three
tickets: #1488590, #1488538, #1488642? So, it's not just my freaky
ideas, there's a background.

Aleksander 'A.L.E.C' Machniak
LAN Management System Developer [http://lms.org.pl]
Roundcube Webmail Developer  [http://roundcube.net]
PGP: 19359DC1 @@ GG: 2275252 @@ WWW: http://alec.pl

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