Example: Why I believe we need a new HTML editor

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at beonex.com
Mon Feb 22 01:45:09 UTC 2016


Matt Harris wrote on 20.02.2016 15:47:
> coloured quote levels, I like them, almost as much as I like 
> Thunderbird's block quoting with lines.  But we offer no customization 
> at all,  after all it is up to the user if they want to do something 
> stupid with the customization like white text on a white background, 
> or try and retrieve mail very minute.

I think we'd make a lot of users happy, if we optionally allowed all 
quotes to appear in colors - in the reader, not the composer.

In preferences, or even directly in the reader somewhere ("direct 
manipulation" mantra of UI), show quotes in colors. Different color for 
a different level.

Advantage: All messages would appear like this for that end user.

This would be a really nice feature. And it would be trivial to 
implement - it's merely a CSS stylesheet. We wanted to add this 15 years 
ago, but just never got around to it. There must be a bugzilla feature 
bug about it somewhere, too.

Relevant extensions:
https://addons.mozilla.org/de/thunderbird/addon/quote-colors/
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/smarttemplate4/

It can't be the default, because some people have difficulty reading 
text in certain colors. For the same reason, senders should not set that.



This illustrates my main point: Messages should be style-formatted by 
the reader, not the sender. I understand that this point eludes most 
users, but it's nonetheless valid. It only becomes evident when you 
think yourself into the reader.


Font sizes (standard size for base text and quotes) are another good 
example. Elderly people like to make big fonts when writing messages - 
because they find it easier to read for themselves - understandable. 
What they will be saying is that they want to make fonts bigger when 
composing. What they really want is to make fonts bigger for themselves 
- and for all messages: composer and reader alike, even while writing a 
message, but also while reading. At the same time, readers should not 
get their big fonts. It would make my eyes fall out.


Ergonomics dictate that all messages that I read should have the same 
base font and size and color, no matter who wrote it.

Ben


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