Thunderbird prefs redesign (aka mega-prefs)

John Hopkins john.hopkins at
Wed Dec 29 16:49:32 UTC 2010

On 10-12-28 04:51 PM, Bryan Clark wrote:
> On 10-12-28 1:28 PM, Bryan Clark wrote:
>> * Final Thought! *
>> Something I'd like people to think about and I'll try include this in
>> my next rev of the mockup is creating a preference system that isn't
>> just static controls. For example the Screenshot of New Account
>> Central [1] uses simple graphs to help people understand the
>> information presented. One tab I'm trying to work on right now is a
>> "Disk Space" tab which helps people understand what accounts are using
>> what kind of disk space and allows them to turn off sync inside those
>> accounts. Things like this are a bit more work inside XUL than they
>> are in HTML just because most of the javascript graphing systems are
>> expecting HTML and not XUL; it's not impossible just awkward.
> Quick follow up with an update. I did a quick prototype of a disk space
> preference section to help describe what I was talking about.
> This isn't very interactive or functional yet but I can keep working on
> it to make it that way. There is a lot that could be done to
> interactively show how much space is being used by accounts and how much
> (roughly) will be saved as options are changed. I want to keep thinking
> of a better preferences system in this way while we're also merging the
> settings and preferences together.
> (now on source control)
> /Just want to note/ that I'm not arguing that this isn't possible in XUL
> because I believe it is, just that I can easily get this mock-up working
> in HTML but my XUL protovis experiment is having some errors to which
> there isn't much help out there online or otherwise to fix it.
> * Support Issues *
> Another good step in our process should be to collect some data about
> support issues with account settings and preferences. What are users
> having a hard time finding and what are they trying to work with the
> most. I added the Junk section because I see lots of support issues with
> people finding and changing the junk behavior from mark to move.

If preferences were searchable, that should make finding them fairly 


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