[Kde-pim] KMail Usability Issues

Ingo Klöcker kloecker at kde.org
Mon Nov 10 23:30:25 GMT 2008

On Monday 10 November 2008, Matthias Fuchs wrote:
> Hi,
> after a short period of using KMail (stopped using it many months ago
> after IMAP issues) I found some -- imho -- usability issues:

Please tell us which version of KMail you used. ... Okay, below you have 
written that you used "the latest factory packages of opensuse" which 
means you have tried KMail 1.10.x (plus whatever openSUSE merged back 
from the current development version).

> * is there an easy way to use the filters on all folders/or on
> certain folders? With that I mean I set up my account, downloaded a
> lot mails and set the filters _afterwards_, but did not find an easy
> way to filter the already downloaded mails --> in the end I marked
> all mails

Filters can only be applied to the selected messages.

> * what is the difference between a normal-filter and a pop-filter?

POP filters are applied before a message is downloaded from a POP 
account. This way one can get rid of spam without downloading the whole 
spam message.

Normal filters are applied to new messages in the IMAP inbox resp. to 
messages downloaded from a POP account (after the download of the full 
message) or a local mailbox.

> I think I know it though I think this extra menu-entry does no good

What do you propose instead?

> * wth are "Sieve"-scripts? there is no information provided there
> what that could mean, no help-button or whatever

If you don't know, don't bother. What do you propose? Hide everything 
some users might not know?

> * the text-area of the "mail-preview"-window is relatively small
> because of the large size of the header and the topic, an option to
> collapse it (Thunderbird, *hint*, *hint* ;) ) would be great

That really depends on your monitor. And please don't quote Thunderbird. 
I'm using Thunderbird on Windows at work and it lacks so many nice 
features KMail has and it has quite a few usability issues that get 
into my way of working that I regularly curse it.

> * changing the icon of my favorite folder: there are only a few chars
> under the pictures like "in..." or "a..."

I cannot reproduce this with KMail 1.9.10. Here the names of most icons 
are not truncated. Maybe it depends on the font size.

> * I think another very useful function of thunderbird should be
> introduced: an option to show messages grouped in the (hmm what is it
> called)-bar --> where you can sort the messages after title, date
> etc.

Something like this has been added to the development version on the 
last weekend.

> I tested that on the latest factory packages of opensuse, as I'm
> currently only running base and libs from trunk (in fact with another
> user).
> If you think the points I raised here are no issues or that I should
> have searched more, well then simply see this message as my user
> experience.

Some of your points might be valid, but if you do not make proposals how 
to fix those issues ...

> Btw. there are some features I *really* like, like when you search
> for a mail that you also see the parent mails of the discussion, that
> is really great and a lot better than the confusion thunderbird
> provides one with in that case!

Yeah. That's really one of the things I absolutely hate about 
Thunderbird. Another thing is that if grouping/threading is enabled it 
is not possible to sort the groups/threads because each click on one of 
the other columns immediately disables grouping.

> Also the favorites are a good idea, especially if you have many
> mailboxes + folders. 

Do you know the somewhat hidden Jump to Folder feature? Press j and then 
simply type an arbitrary part of the name of the folder. Move (m) and 
Copy (c) work similarly. Moreover, you can assign shortcuts to your 
most often used folders. Just to name a few more features for quickly 
switching between folders. :-)

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