[MlMt] Modal two pane layout?

Benny Kjær Nielsen mailinglist at freron.com
Wed Apr 4 07:43:12 UTC 2012

On 4 Apr 2012, at 5:11, Baron Fujimoto wrote:

> I'm evaluating MailMate as replacement for the venerable Alpine and 
> Mutt
> MUAs I've been using.  I apologize for what will probably be a slate 
> of
> basic or clueless questions as I try to map the workflows I'm familiar 
> with
> from those MUAs to MailMate.

Thanks for considering MailMate as a replacement. Questions are always 

> One preference that has become ingrained is their modality of these 
> older
> MUAs.  I like being able to navigate a mailbox message in a primary 
> screen
> or pane, then selecting a message and having its contents displayed in 
> place
> of the index.  Most GUI mail apps seem to use the three pane model for
> mailboxes/folders, index, and message.  The closest I've come with 
> MailMate
> to approximating the modal style is to "Hide Message View".  I can 
> sort of
> further kludge it by sizing and positioning a selected message's 
> window over
> the index, but that's far from optimal.  For example, the index 
> navigation
> keys don't seem to be active while the message display window has the 
> focus.

The mailbox window and the message window are completely separate and do 
not share any state. I guess it could be possible to somehow link two 
windows, e.g., making the mailbox window part of the responder chain of 
the message window, but it would not be standard Mac OS X behavior and 
it would also raise some questions with regard to GUI feedback and how 
to behave when multiple mailbox and message windows are in play. I could 
probably see how this could work, but since it all starts with a kludge 
(overlapping windows) then it does not really look like a promising 
solution for you.

> Is there a way to configure what I'm after here?  Alternately, would 
> this
> be a feature request candidate?  Or is this just too different from 
> the way
> MailMate works as to be infeasible and I just need to adapt to the new 
> way
> things work?

You cannot configure it as it is now. I've used Pine many years ago, 
which means I think I know what you are looking for. You want “Open 
Message” to hide the mailbox list and message list and then only show 
the currently selected message in the window, but all keyboard shortcuts 
should still work as if the message list was present. Pine also hides 
the mailbox list when going into a mailbox, but I guess that is not the 
important/relevant part.

If implemented this would require the GUI to include an indication of 
the current mailbox (and/or search) and some way to exit the message 
viewing mode. I cannot promise you such a feature any time soon, but it 
is a feasible feature which I'll keep in mind.


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