Toolbars and buttons and stuff

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Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Benjamin Smedberg
I was updated last week to TB3B4 and I'm disappointed by the default toolbar
reorganization so that the most common actions are on the message pane
instead. I kept the default configuration over the weekend, hoping that I
would start getting used to it, but there are lots of technical details
which make me think that I won't ever be able to:

* The delete button is really tiny

I realize that you're trying to promote the "archive" button. And I'm not
opposed to archiving stuff which will be useful, but deleting is still my
most common activity (bugmail and other transient stuff). It's *really* hard
to hit the delete button with the mouse: it's a small target nestled against
a bunch of other targets.

* The targets move

I pretty regularly have to resize the panes in order to see more
message-tree or more message-pane. This means that the message buttons
(reply/delete) move around and there is no muscle memory for where to click
them. The big advantage of a toolbar is that it's always in the same place
and has pretty big click targets, which make it easy to develop muscle memory.

* The reply button changes size

Depending on whether there was more than one original recipient, the Reply
button changes size from "Reply" to "Reply All".

* The reply button defaults to reply-all

Don't we all have horror stories about a message which was supposed to be
private but which went to reply-all by accident? This default sounds like a
recipe for more of the same and intense user frustration.

* The reply button dropdown has no visual delineation

At least on mac, there is a dropdown menu attached to the reply/reply all
button. The drop target for this menu is not visually delineated from the
button, so it *appears* as if the entire button will bring up the dropmenu.
In fact, you only get the dropmenu if you click the right little bit of the
menu.

* The forward button *doesn't* have a dropmenu

Although you have a dropmenu for reply/replyall, you don't have a dropmenu
for forwardasinline/attachment. This seems weird.

* The tag filter is gone

Tagging is apparently such primary UI that it remains in the default
toolbar. For me at least, the primary utility of tagging was being able to
filter the message treeview to display certain tags. I can't find any
primary UI for that now. How are people actually supposed to *use* their
tags? The dropdown that comes with the search box doesn't have any tag features.

I realize that I can probably customize my toolbar back to its former
status. It would be nice if I could remove the message buttons again, since
they just take up space. But overall, the defaults in beta4 are so much less
productive than beta3 that I'm very disappointed, and vaguely concerned
about the overall UI direction.

--BDS
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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Mark Banner-2
I'm not really the one to comment on most of this, but I would just like
to clarify this point:

On 28/09/2009 14:28, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> * The tag filter is gone
>
> Tagging is apparently such primary UI that it remains in the default
> toolbar. For me at least, the primary utility of tagging was being able to
> filter the message treeview to display certain tags. I can't find any
> primary UI for that now. How are people actually supposed to *use* their
> tags? The dropdown that comes with the search box doesn't have any tag features.

The tag filter wasn't part of the default toolbar in Thunderbird 2 - so
you must have added it in Thunderbird 2.

A side effect of changing the default toolbar in Thunderbird 3 is that
you loose your customisation. We are however working on UI that makes it
easy to swap back to.

Standard8
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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Bryan Clark-7
In reply to this post by Benjamin Smedberg
On 9/28/2009 6:28 AM, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:

> I was updated last week to TB3B4 and I'm disappointed by the default toolbar
> reorganization so that the most common actions are on the message pane
> instead. I kept the default configuration over the weekend, hoping that I
> would start getting used to it, but there are lots of technical details
> which make me think that I won't ever be able to:
>
> * The delete button is really tiny
>
> I realize that you're trying to promote the "archive" button. And I'm not
> opposed to archiving stuff which will be useful, but deleting is still my
> most common activity (bugmail and other transient stuff). It's *really* hard
> to hit the delete button with the mouse: it's a small target nestled against
> a bunch of other targets.

The delete key has also been our horizontal space saver; other buttons
were tried with less success.  In the balance between using space in the
header and having larger buttons we kept this one small.  With the
customization of these buttons (text+icons, icons only, text only) it
might be good to have the trash button include text even though we
decided to keep it with the icon only for space reasons.

> * The targets move
>
> I pretty regularly have to resize the panes in order to see more
> message-tree or more message-pane. This means that the message buttons
> (reply/delete) move around and there is no muscle memory for where to click
> them. The big advantage of a toolbar is that it's always in the same place
> and has pretty big click targets, which make it easy to develop muscle memory.

Do you mean the whole window?  If you resize just the panels I don't
understand how that moves the buttons around.

In your case you might want to add the buttons back to the toolbar if
you're resizing the window a lot.  I don't think there is a way for the
new buttons to hold a decent place other than the far right hand side.

A side question, why are you resizing a lot?  Is it the type of messages?

> * The reply button changes size
>
> Depending on whether there was more than one original recipient, the Reply
> button changes size from "Reply" to "Reply All".

We could make this always be a menu-button so it always has a drop down
but when we tried this the menu option looked odd only having reply as
the item.  At minimum we could try to have the reply button take up
about the same amount of space as the reply all button.

> * The reply button defaults to reply-all
>
> Don't we all have horror stories about a message which was supposed to be
> private but which went to reply-all by accident? This default sounds like a
> recipe for more of the same and intense user frustration.

We have a plan to create an add-on that helps prevent people from
reply-all incorrectly at compose time.  There is also a bug to create a
preference option for defaulting to the reply or reply all.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=511924

> * The reply button dropdown has no visual delineation
>
> At least on mac, there is a dropdown menu attached to the reply/reply all
> button. The drop target for this menu is not visually delineated from the
> button, so it *appears* as if the entire button will bring up the dropmenu.
> In fact, you only get the dropmenu if you click the right little bit of the
> menu.

We could look into having a visual separator between the button and the
dropdown.  I'm hoping that with the new toolbar button we'll have (at
least on windows) a much better looking button.  On the mac we may need
to draw something in there.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=465138


> * The forward button *doesn't* have a dropmenu
>
> Although you have a dropmenu for reply/replyall, you don't have a dropmenu
> for forwardasinline/attachment. This seems weird.

I'm not sure what would make the most sense to do here.  The only thing
I could think to offer would be forward as -> attachment / inline.
However the forwarding options are not an ones that many people really
grasp.  It's possible to create an extension that does this.

> * The tag filter is gone

I think Mark commented on this.  The migration UI is at
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=516884

- Bryan
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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Dan Mosedale-2
On 9/28/09 5:18 PM, Bryan Clark wrote:

>>
>> Depending on whether there was more than one original recipient, the
>> Reply
>> button changes size from "Reply" to "Reply All".
> * The reply button changes size
>
> We could make this always be a menu-button so it always has a drop
> down but when we tried this the menu option looked odd only having
> reply as the item.  At minimum we could try to have the reply button
> take up about the same amount of space as the reply all button.
Today, on the Mac, at least, reply is a menu with a single item in the
dropdown: "reply".  As you say, it looks odd.

>> * The reply button dropdown has no visual delineation
>>
>> At least on mac, there is a dropdown menu attached to the reply/reply
>> all
>> button. The drop target for this menu is not visually delineated from
>> the
>> button, so it *appears* as if the entire button will bring up the
>> dropmenu.
>> In fact, you only get the dropmenu if you click the right little bit
>> of the
>> menu.
>
> We could look into having a visual separator between the button and
> the dropdown.  I'm hoping that with the new toolbar button we'll have
> (at least on windows) a much better looking button.  On the mac we may
> need to draw something in there.
>
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=465138
As the person working on bug 465138, I've been trying to duplicate the
existing look-and-feel except for the cases where you've specifically
requested deviation from that.  I'm not aware that you wanted the
look-and-feel of that button to change.  What did I miss?

Dan

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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Bryan Clark-6
In reply to this post by Bryan Clark-7
On 28/09/09 5:30 PM, Dan Mosedale wrote:

> On 9/28/09 5:18 PM, Bryan Clark wrote:
>>>
>>> Depending on whether there was more than one original recipient, the
>>> Reply
>>> button changes size from "Reply" to "Reply All".
>> * The reply button changes size
>>
>> We could make this always be a menu-button so it always has a drop
>> down but when we tried this the menu option looked odd only having
>> reply as the item. At minimum we could try to have the reply button
>> take up about the same amount of space as the reply all button.
> Today, on the Mac, at least, reply is a menu with a single item in the
> dropdown: "reply". As you say, it looks odd.
>>> * The reply button dropdown has no visual delineation
>>>
>>> At least on mac, there is a dropdown menu attached to the reply/reply
>>> all
>>> button. The drop target for this menu is not visually delineated from
>>> the
>>> button, so it *appears* as if the entire button will bring up the
>>> dropmenu.
>>> In fact, you only get the dropmenu if you click the right little bit
>>> of the
>>> menu.

Oh actually it does this on windows as well and does look odd.  I'm a
bit confused about the question, is this about the text forcing a size
change?

I am not sure anymore as it's been so long but I believe we kept the
single reply a menu-button because we assumed we'd get to
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=498448 which would possibly
add reply options to even a single reply.

>> We could look into having a visual separator between the button and
>> the dropdown. I'm hoping that with the new toolbar button we'll have
>> (at least on windows) a much better looking button. On the mac we may
>> need to draw something in there.
>>
>> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=465138
> As the person working on bug 465138, I've been trying to duplicate the
> existing look-and-feel except for the cases where you've specifically
> requested deviation from that. I'm not aware that you wanted the
> look-and-feel of that button to change. What did I miss?

A while back we had tried to make these buttons ( on windows and linux )
look more like it does on the mac.
http://clarkbw.net/blog/2009/05/11/question-dualbutton-css/  However it
seems that it wasn't possible.  I hadn't realized until that previous
message that with a toolbar button it might be possible to get the
buttons to look more uniform than they do right now.  Though I think
Benjamin has a good point that having a slight line to show the
separation of the menu and button would be good.  In Windows this line
is overdrawn in the toolbar but does give the effect that the button is
both a default option and a drop down.

- Bryan
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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Benjamin Smedberg
On 9/28/09 8:46 PM, Bryan Clark wrote:

>>>> Depending on whether there was more than one original recipient, the
>>>> Reply
>>>> button changes size from "Reply" to "Reply All".
>>> * The reply button changes size
>>>
>>> We could make this always be a menu-button so it always has a drop
>>> down but when we tried this the menu option looked odd only having
>>> reply as the item. At minimum we could try to have the reply button
>>> take up about the same amount of space as the reply all button.
>> Today, on the Mac, at least, reply is a menu with a single item in the
>> dropdown: "reply". As you say, it looks odd.
>>>> * The reply button dropdown has no visual delineation
>>>>
>>>> At least on mac, there is a dropdown menu attached to the reply/reply
>>>> all
>>>> button. The drop target for this menu is not visually delineated from
>>>> the
>>>> button, so it *appears* as if the entire button will bring up the
>>>> dropmenu.
>>>> In fact, you only get the dropmenu if you click the right little bit
>>>> of the
>>>> menu.
>
> Oh actually it does this on windows as well and does look odd.  I'm a
> bit confused about the question, is this about the text forcing a size
> change?

Yes. Depending on whether the original message had one recipient or more
than one, the button changes to say either "Reply" or "Reply All", which is
distracting an confusing and changes the size of the click target.

--BDS
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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Benjamin Smedberg
In reply to this post by Bryan Clark-7
On 9/28/09 8:18 PM, Bryan Clark wrote:

>> * The targets move
>>
>> I pretty regularly have to resize the panes in order to see more
>> message-tree or more message-pane. This means that the message buttons
>> (reply/delete) move around and there is no muscle memory for where to
>> click
>> them. The big advantage of a toolbar is that it's always in the same
>> place
>> and has pretty big click targets, which make it easy to develop muscle
>> memory.
>
> Do you mean the whole window?  If you resize just the panels I don't
> understand how that moves the buttons around.

No, the toplevel window is usually maximized and doesn't change position. I
typically resize the border between the message list and the message itself
depending on which task is more important to me right now: skimming messages
or reading them. And of course the buttons attached to the message header
move as the panes resize.

> In your case you might want to add the buttons back to the toolbar if
> you're resizing the window a lot.  I don't think there is a way for the
> new buttons to hold a decent place other than the far right hand side.

I have added them back to the toolbar; I just think that by changing the
defaults you've gone from big usable click targets to smaller more
error-prone ones.

>> * The reply button defaults to reply-all
>>
>> Don't we all have horror stories about a message which was supposed to be
>> private but which went to reply-all by accident? This default sounds
>> like a
>> recipe for more of the same and intense user frustration.
>
> We have a plan to create an add-on that helps prevent people from
> reply-all incorrectly at compose time.  There is also a bug to create a
> preference option for defaulting to the reply or reply all.
>
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=511924

Sure, but those addons/preferences don't address the core problem, which is
the default configuration that I and most other people will end up with. You
have a button location which ends up with two very different actions (reply
and reply all) depending on hidden context (whether the original message
went to one or more than one recipient).

>> * The tag filter is gone
>
> I think Mark commented on this.  The migration UI is at
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=516884

ok, but that doesn't answer the other half of the question: the tagging UI
is primary, but how would I use it without the tag filter, or some searchbar
UI? (Maybe there is searchbar UI, but I haven't figured it out yet). I don't
really *like* the tag filter, but it seemed to be the best thin available.

--BDS
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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Peter Lairo-3
In reply to this post by Bryan Clark-7
On 29.09.2009 2:18, Bryan Clark wrote:

>> * The reply button defaults to reply-all
>>
>> Don't we all have horror stories about a message which was supposed to be
>> private but which went to reply-all by accident? This default sounds
>> like a
>> recipe for more of the same and intense user frustration.
>
> We have a plan to create an add-on that helps prevent people from
> reply-all incorrectly at compose time. There is also a bug to create a
> preference option for defaulting to the reply or reply all.
>
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=511924

It seems you guys are jumping through hoops and tolerating all kinds of
disadvantages, only to avoid the more sensible solution of having
separate Reply and Reply-all buttons.

See https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=516141

Also, keep in mind that:

- One more (essential) button would easily fit into the header,
especially in icon-only and text-only mode.

- most modern screens are wide

- The drop-down target to get to the "other" reply-type is tiny!!! A UI
nightmare.

- "Preventing" people from making a mistake *after* the majority of the
problem has already occurred is an inaccurate description. And it's
better to reduce the problem where it occurs: at the button(s).

>> * The reply button dropdown has no visual delineation
>>
>> At least on mac, there is a dropdown menu attached to the reply/reply all
>> button. The drop target for this menu is not visually delineated from the
>> button, so it *appears* as if the entire button will bring up the
>> dropmenu.
>> In fact, you only get the dropmenu if you click the right little bit
>> of the
>> menu.
>
> We could look into having a visual separator between the button and the
> dropdown. I'm hoping that with the new toolbar button we'll have (at
> least on windows) a much better looking button. On the mac we may need
> to draw something in there.
>
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=465138

Even with a separator, the drop-down will still be a tiny target. And
that bug is to be able to customize the buttons (i.e., icons, text,
icons+text buttons), but doesn't include any separator nor the ability
to have separate Reply and Reply-All buttons (let alone make separate
buttons the default).

>> * The tag filter is gone
>
> I think Mark commented on this. The migration UI is at
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=516884

That bug doesn't mention the "tag filter" (yet). I have heard mention of
adding it to the new super-duper-search bar (IIRC). That would be good.
--
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Peter Lairo

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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Bryan Clark-6
In reply to this post by Benjamin Smedberg
On 29/09/09 12:47 PM, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
> No, the toplevel window is usually maximized and doesn't change position. I
> typically resize the border between the message list and the message itself
> depending on which task is more important to me right now: skimming messages
> or reading them. And of course the buttons attached to the message header
> move as the panes resize.

You should try using the F8 key (fn-f8 on mac) which will show / hide
the message reader.  This allows you to keep it in the same place but
switch tasks like you are doing.  I can't say that the message reader
was designed to be constantly resized like that; it even moves the
contact addresses around so you don't have a standard target for that
either.

>>> * The tag filter is gone
>>
>> I think Mark commented on this.  The migration UI is at
>> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=516884
>
> ok, but that doesn't answer the other half of the question: the tagging UI
> is primary, but how would I use it without the tag filter, or some searchbar
> UI? (Maybe there is searchbar UI, but I haven't figured it out yet). I don't
> really *like* the tag filter, but it seemed to be the best thin available.

If you start typing the name of a tag in the "Search all messages"
search entry you'll get auto-complete helper which opens a search result
of all messages with that tag.  We also have a patch in
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=518690 for making tags
clickable and opening a search from there.

- Bryan
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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Benjamin Smedberg
On 9/29/09 4:07 PM, Bryan Clark wrote:

> You should try using the F8 key (fn-f8 on mac) which will show / hide
> the message reader.  This allows you to keep it in the same place but
> switch tasks like you are doing.  I can't say that the message reader
> was designed to be constantly resized like that; it even moves the
> contact addresses around so you don't have a standard target for that
> either.

I'm not sure what contact addresses you mean... you mean the From/To stuff?
I don't ever click those, so muscle memory isn't very important there. I
really would like that header pane to shrink or go away altogether, at least
in 3-pane view: the listview has most of the from/to information and the
rest is just screen clutter... but I realize that's personal preference, not
good default UI.

As for F8, that would involve switching from mouse to keyboard. Since I do
most navigation with the mouse, that sounds impractical.

--BDS
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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Bryan Clark-6
On 29/09/09 4:03 PM, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:

> On 9/29/09 4:07 PM, Bryan Clark wrote:
>
>> You should try using the F8 key (fn-f8 on mac) which will show / hide
>> the message reader.  This allows you to keep it in the same place but
>> switch tasks like you are doing.  I can't say that the message reader
>> was designed to be constantly resized like that; it even moves the
>> contact addresses around so you don't have a standard target for that
>> either.
>
> I'm not sure what contact addresses you mean... you mean the From/To stuff?
> I don't ever click those, so muscle memory isn't very important there. I
> really would like that header pane to shrink or go away altogether, at least
> in 3-pane view: the listview has most of the from/to information and the
> rest is just screen clutter... but I realize that's personal preference, not
> good default UI.
>
> As for F8, that would involve switching from mouse to keyboard. Since I do
> most navigation with the mouse, that sounds impractical.

This is where it would be nice to have Jetpack in Thunderbird.  I could
write up a toolbar button that does this in seconds but it takes at
least an hour or so to get an add-on going.

~ Bryan
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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

JoeS-3
In reply to this post by Benjamin Smedberg
On 9/29/2009 7:03 PM, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
>   I
> really would like that header pane to shrink or go away altogether, at least
> in 3-pane view: the listview has most of the from/to information and the
> rest is just screen clutter... but I realize that's personal preference,

Never have met that guy "default user" :) though I'm sure he is the target of these changes.
You can completely eliminate the header pane by using a userChrome.css file and placing it in a Chrome folder
under your thunderbird install folder to include the following:

  #msgHeaderViewDeck {
     display: none !important;
     }

If you want to revert to something similar to TB2, try this extension:
http://downloads.mozdev.org/compactheader/

--
JoeS Using TB3
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Thunderbird_3.0_-_New_Features_and_Changes
https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Thunderbird/Thunderbird_Binaries
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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Philip Chee
In reply to this post by Bryan Clark-6
On Tue, 29 Sep 2009 17:38:48 -0700, Bryan Clark wrote:

> This is where it would be nice to have Jetpack in Thunderbird.  I could
> write up a toolbar button that does this in seconds but it takes at
> least an hour or so to get an add-on going.

Why limit yourself to Jetpack?

<http://custombuttons2.com/en-us>

The Custom ButtonsĀ² Firefox extension provides the code base support
necessary to create, maintain, import, and export custom toolbar
buttons. The buttons can perform just about any task, with a large
number of buttons already available on the extension's forum.

Custom ButtonsĀ² extension buttons can be written to do various tasks
that the user may require. The buttons are coded in JavaScript. Many
bookmarklets can easily be converted to buttons.

Phil

--
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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Philip Chee
In reply to this post by JoeS-3
On Tue, 29 Sep 2009 21:02:39 -0400, JoeS wrote:

> On 9/29/2009 7:03 PM, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
>>   I
>> really would like that header pane to shrink or go away altogether, at least
>> in 3-pane view: the listview has most of the from/to information and the
>> rest is just screen clutter... but I realize that's personal preference,
>
> Never have met that guy "default user" :) though I'm sure he is the target of these changes.
> You can completely eliminate the header pane by using a userChrome.css file and placing it in a Chrome folder
> under your thunderbird install folder to include the following:
>
>   #msgHeaderViewDeck {
>      display: none !important;
>      }
>
> If you want to revert to something similar to TB2, try this extension:
> http://downloads.mozdev.org/compactheader/

Or just use SeaMonkey 2.0 which appears to have a UI that is closer to
what Benjamin thinks is ideal.

Phil

--
Philip Chee <[hidden email]>, <[hidden email]>
http://flashblock.mozdev.org/ http://xsidebar.mozdev.org
Guard us from the she-wolf and the wolf, and guard us from the thief,
oh Night, and so be good for us to pass.
[ ]ACRONYM: Abbreviated Coded Rendition Of Name Yielding Meaning
* TagZilla 0.066.6

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Re: Toolbars and buttons and stuff

Magnus Melin
In reply to this post by Benjamin Smedberg
On 29.09.2009 22:47, Benjamin Smedberg wrote:
>>> * The tag filter is gone
>>
>> I think Mark commented on this.  The migration UI is at
>> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=516884
>
> ok, but that doesn't answer the other half of the question: the tagging UI
> is primary, but how would I use it without the tag filter, or some searchbar
> UI? (Maybe there is searchbar UI, but I haven't figured it out yet). I don't
> really *like* the tag filter, but it seemed to be the best thin available.

Do you mean the "Mail Views" widget available through toolbar customization?

  -Magnus

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