Papercuts discussion - Composer related enhancements

Magnus Melin mkmelin+mozilla at
Wed Jul 18 20:39:36 UTC 2012

Hi Axel, I'm on the list (though i haven't had the time to be 
particularly vocal).


P.S. Yes, this is the email i use for mozilla related activities.

On 17/07/2012 04:14 PM, Axel wrote:
> I would also like to involve Magnus Melin (:mkmelin)[*] and whoever 
> wrote (could have been John or Jonathan N, but I could be wrong - not 
> sure) some prototype code on Composer replacement in this discussion.
> If you know who I mean, can somebody forward this to them on behalf of 
> Tb-Planning?
> Axel
> [*]Magnus' email link is on the Modules page, but it is broken or 
> beyond my understanding
>> /Following up: /What's the status of papercuts?
>> /
>> /
>> Since replacing the complete composer is probably to big a task for 
>> the scope of papercuts I would like to discuss a number of 
>> enhancements to enhance the current (html) composer functionality:
>>       Color Selection
>> *Bug 453853* <> 
>> -Unable to set hex value for background color in the color picker
>> I would like to rename this to (upgrade color picker to allow more 
>> color selections). Unfortunately I do not have Thunderbird bugzilla 
>> admin rights, and maybe there is another bug on this elsewhere [I 
>> searched for Tb/Compose + {color picker} and for Tb/Compose + {colors} ]?
>> A quick way would probably be if we could include rainbowpicker into 
>> the core code (obviously after asking its author)?
>>       Format Painter
>> "A copy format" function is badly needed. One problem currently is 
>> that a lot of the built in formatting tools actually insert tags 
>> (such as <big> <b> <i>) rather than styles, so a more fundamental 
>> problem must be addressed first:
>>       CSS Property Editor
>> Image > Advanced property editor Enhancements
>> I wonder if this could be generalized to apply CSS properties to all 
>> sorts of tags (not just img). Ideally I would like the possiblity to 
>> select a paragraph (which we should be able to turn from a 
>> <br>....section...<br>  into a <p>..</p> pair, and then select 
>> something like a "layout" option.
>> As a starting point we could use the "Inline Style" tab of the 
>> "Advanced Property Editor" and add a dropdown to the Attribute field. 
>> The tricky bit is to select the correct tag (probably the nearest 
>> enclosing tag) and to visually represent this  in the Editor window.
>> For this particular purpose (increasing style expressiveness in the 
>> WYSIWIG editor, via inline styles) I would chose to remove the tabs 
>> "HTML attributes" and "Javascript Events" and focus on css styles 
>> alone. ONe thing that Thunderbird does very badly at the moment is to 
>> expose the current expressive power it has via CSS3 to the ordinary 
>> user. Most other rich editors have some sort of a "x-ray" mode where 
>> special (meta-)characters such as tabs, line feeds, section breaks 
>> etc. are displayed; what I would like to have is something generic 
>> that shows enclosing tag pairs (or an outline around html constructs) 
>> so that they can easily be spotted and manipulated. This is actually 
>> the hard part of this enhancement, but I think discussion of this 
>> would be fruitful.
>> Rationale:
>> Currently, the only way to create an email with  "clean markup" is by 
>> using extensions that expose HTML source, which works for me, but not 
>> most ordinary users. As /first step/ we could make it easier to add 
>> inline styling via the method above; this will make it easier for 
>> users to discover layout features of Composer. As a /second/ /step/ 
>> we might then later encapsulate the interface so it can be used by 
>> users who do not know CSS.
>> I would love to be involved in such composer improvements, but I 
>> would also like to assess as to what other ideas or maybe code 
>> fragments are already out there. Therefore I am currently holding off 
>> on filing new (or re-appropriating existing) bugs on this and adding 
>> them to the papercuts list, until I have a feel for what the opinions 
>> on the list on this are.
>> I would also hope that we can spend some time during MozCamp to 
>> discuss the composer piece in order to devise a short term strategy 
>> for pulling this thing back into the 21st century.
>> regards
>>   Axel
>> *Axel Grude*
>> Software Developer
>> Thunderbird Add-ons Developer (QuickFolders, quickFilters, 
>> QuickPasswords, Zombie Keys, SmartTemplate4)
>> AMO Editor
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> *To: *"tb-planning"<tb-planning at>
>> *From: *"Chris Ilias"<tb-planning at>
>> *Sent: *Saturday, 09/06/12 06:49:37 06:49 GMT Daylight Time +0100
>> *Subject:*What's the status of papercuts?
>>> In late March, Blake sent an email listing UX priorities, including 
>>> papercuts. If I do a search for TB and mailnews core bugs with 
>>> [UXprio] that are fixed since March 24, I only get one bug (508776). 
>>> Has there been any priority given to those bugs?
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> tb-planning mailing list
>>> tb-planning at
>> _______________________________________________
>> tb-planning mailing list
>> tb-planning at
> _______________________________________________
> tb-planning mailing list
> tb-planning at

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