Thunderbird Conversations & font issues

Jonathan Protzenko jonathan.protzenko at
Fri Jul 1 18:55:25 UTC 2011


A version of Thunderbird Conversations with a new option is available 
The option allows you to disable all modifications I make to the 
message bodies in the conversation view.

Please try this out. The option is in the addon's options, under the 
"advanced" tab. I take no responsibility for the resulting ugliness of 
the conversation view :-).


On Thu 30 Jun 2011 08:06:43 PM PDT, Jonathan Protzenko wrote:
> Hi,
> Thanks for chiming in and sharing your thoughts. After careful 
> consideration, I've decided to add an option to disable the scaling for 
> the message bodies only, and this is tracked as 
> <>. Making it 
> appear in the setup assistant is a good idea, I'll make sure users can 
> disable the scaling there.
>> The problem ultimately stems from wanting replicate exactly how G-Mail 
>> works in Thunderbird down to the pixel. It would be better if you 
>> replicated the *feel* of G-Mail's thread system, while using exactly 
>> the font sizes that Thunderbird itself uses. It makes no sense to 
>> ignore the user's choices of font sizes, and it makes Conversations 
>> really feel like a foreign part of Thunderbird rather than a 
>> well-integrated add-on that would one day hopefully become integrated 
>> in a later version.
> I'd like to remind you that I'm the only person working on this, on my 
> spare time, and I'm no graphic designer. Not one little bit. I'm swamped 
> with other issues, and I'd rather move the code forward than fight 
> design issues that I know I won't be able to solve in an elegant manner. 
> The designer helped me out last summer with a graphical mockup, period. 
> I've asked repeatedly for help 
> <!>, 
> no one came up.
> So yes, this does not integrate at all in Thunderbird. I agree. The 
> design is mac-centric, and 12px was hardcoded everywhere in the original 
> design! I had to re-work the entire CSS stylesheet to make sure it uses 
> a fraction of the default font size, so that if your font size is 20px, 
> then the conversation font size is 15px. Many wrong assumptions are made 
> (i.e. the user has a light theme). I talk about them all in the blog 
> post I mentioned above.
>> One of the biggest lessons in UI design is the principle of least 
>> surprise. It is very surprising when font options aren't actually 
>> being followed. As is the use of the "Minimum font size" option to 
>> mean "this is how big message text should be"; it took me a while to 
>> figure out why increasing the size of the proportional font didn't 
>> seem to have an effect.
> So this is a problem : increasing the size of the "Default font" in 
> Preferences > Display > Formatting should increase proportionally the 
> size of the conversation view. I've made sure users still have the 
> option of bumping the font size. Does this not work with you? (Please 
> continue by private email if you do have a specific bug.)
>> Maybe the installer should ask if you want your fonts reduced down to 
>> 12px, and if they say no, then make the fonts what they want them to 
>> be. This should be one of the switches the user can see at install 
>> time and choose to avoid if they so desire.
> Yes, I do plan on implementing this.
> Thanks for bringing this up.
> jonathan

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