Example: Why I believe we need a new HTML editor

Axel Grude axel.grude at gmail.com
Tue Feb 16 15:35:57 UTC 2016

/Garrafrauns, 16 February 2016 15:23:43 /

  Here is a YouTube comment which is fairly typical for the types of difficult to 
answer quesitons I get in my work with users of the SmartTemplate4 addon. People who 
want to like the Composer and do not understand why fonts are not persistent. I don't 
think any of the grievances below can be classified as bugs; they are just grievances 
against a very outdated tool (Thunderbird composer) which is probably one of the 
weakest points of my beloved Thunderbird.


Highlights by me. I did also answer at YouTube, and I am pretty sure about 75% of my 
answers are only 25% correct, but  hey, at least I tried. You may skip the quote if 
you are short in time.
> On a different note, since you're an expert Thunderbird user and make add ons, I 
> thought you might have some advice about something. I love Thunderbird; but I hate 
> how it handles fonts.*Specifically, I keep losing my default font*. I have my 
> default font set to Verdana, and that comes up when I start a new message. However, 
> oftentimes if I paste a graphic into the middle of my message or do something else, 
> I lose my default font, and it goes back to the Thunderbird default font. A*t least 
> 50% of the time when I'm composing a message, I have to do Ctrl+A to select all, and 
> select my font to reapply it to everything.* Do you know of any way to fix this, or 
> an add-on that handles fonts better? Also (since we're talking about fonts), here's 
> another thing. *When I reply in-line to a message (which I do often), I want to 
> reply in a different color. *But there's no setting for that. I can change the 
> default font color temporarily (which is a pain to do); but then it also changes the 
> color of the text in the message I'm replying to, if the message contains a previous 
> message from me! So that doesn't work. So what I do is just change the font color 
> for each in-line reply (again, a pain); or I do it once, and then copy a single 
> letter from that colored text, and then just paste it at the start of each in 
> in-line reply (better; but, again, a pain). Do you know of an add-on that allows you 
> to set the color for in-line replies? Or, if you want to make one, that would be a 
> great help, and I'd gladly buy one. (This is a huge time-waster for me.) Last, 
> bulleting in Thunderbird.*I hate how bulleted items have no vertical space between 
> them.* Tried to set this under Format | List Properties | Advanced Edit, but was 
> unable to. Do you know of a way to do this, or of an add-on that allows you to set 
> vertical space between list items? (Right now I'm just doing Shift+Enter at the end 
> of each list item to insert a line break to add space. Again, a pain!) Thanks for 
> any tips!
  If you want to read as little as possible here are some core requirements:

*I keep losing my default font *
*I want to reply in a different color. *
*I hate how bulleted items have no vertical space between them.*

In a way each of these statements shows that there is a problem with configurability 
and persistance of styles; and this probably doesn't even address the changes the 
email will undergo once it is viewed on a different email system; this is just purely 
in the context of Editing and Viewing in composer. Even though the HTML markup of 
Outlook (that email addon for Microsoft word, you may have heard of it) may be 
atrocious, it is extremely good at one thing: Giving the user predictable and 
manageable layout with a minimum of pain. I think integration of customizable styles 
is something that is sorely lacking.

How would  you reply to the above requirements, other than "give up on HTML and only 
use plain text"? I have spentg many many hours explaining users how to insert CSS in 
order to achieve stuff like that.

Other email clients are able to do it. But Thunderbird would be able to /display it 
/using clean, standardized markup.

PS: thanks for fixing the Enter => <p> bug ! And now let me press [Enter][Enter] to 
get to the regards ...


*Axel Grude <mailto:axel.grude at gmail.com>*
Software Developer
Thunderbird Add-ons Developer (QuickFolders, quickFilters, QuickPasswords, Zombie 
Keys, SmartTemplate4)
AMO Editor Get Thunderbird!

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