Re: [Evolution] Evolution display / usability issues

From: Patrick O'Callaghan
What has top-posting got to do with threading? Top-posting is a quoting
issue. It seems to me that business users top-post because they (or the
people they correspond with) don't understand threading and feel the
need to reproduce the entire state of the conversation in each message.

I absolutely agree, business users are not familiar with how threading
works, and I don't hold out much hope of educating them to a different
way of managing email chains.

As for the connection between top posting and threading, I'd say it is a
question of visual consistency - if you top post emails, and have your
message list displayed newest message at the top, then everything reads
top down: newest message at the top of both the list and the business
styled email.  Toggle to threaded view, and suddenly the order of the
conversation is reversed.  If you have the message preview pane open
alongside the list, then any inconsistency of direction becomes
immediately apparent.  To be consistent I propose the thread direction
should be the same as the message list order.

I realise that some users prefer not to have that behaviour on toggling
the threaded view, but I don't think it should be a problem if threading
direction were made into an option setting.  That way business users
could have it their way, and people accustomed to newsgroups and email
lists could have it the more traditional way.

As a domestic user I find a lot of messages I get are short
conversations of message-reply, later message exchanges with the same
person will usually have a new subject.  It is not common to have a very
long conversation with entries coming in at different points in the
thread like in a newsgroup.  So almost all new messages arrive at the
'new end' of the message list even when threading is turned on.  To
achieve the visual consistency described above, but still be able to use
threading to group related emails in the right order, I have to sort
with new messages arriving at the bottom of the screen.  This is
ergonomically bad, I have to keep peering down to the bottom of the
screen.  It is generally accepted I think that eye level should be close
to the top of the screen for good ergonomics.  Given that I am more
likely to have to read the new messages than the old, it makes sense to
me to have new messages arrive at the top of the screen.


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