[MlMt] Modal two pane layout?

Baron Fujimoto freron.com at monkeybutt.com
Wed Apr 4 18:49:07 UTC 2012

On Wed, 4 Apr 2012, Benny Kjær Nielsen wrote:

> On 4 Apr 2012, at 15:23, Emory L. wrote:
> > > Is the above use of colon the default quotation style used by Alpine? I
> > > would consider it highly non-standard (correct me if I'm wrong) and kind
> > > of harmful :-)
> > 
> > pine/alpine/re-alpine let the user select a quote indicator.  I don't know
> > that it's non-standard, but differentiating quotes was historically a viable
> > method of keeping track of extended conversations via email/newsgroups.
> > 
> > If you've got some glue that expects '>' I'd find that more weird,
> > personally ;)
> Any code relying on identifying the number of quote levels relies on being
> able to parse prefixed quote indicators. Obviously, arbitrary quote indicators
> makes this impossible. In MailMate this breaks coloring of quote levels when
> displaying messages and editing messages, and it breaks the shortcuts for
> increasing and decreasing quote levels. And probably more than that.
> I understand the historical usage, but I believe it was/is a bad solution to
> the problem of keeping track of extended conversations. The receiving email
> application should be in charge of how a message is displayed. In MailMate,
> vertical bars and colored text is used (by default), but other email clients
> could use a mix of `:` and `>` if preferred. Just my personal opinion (which
> makes it the opinion of MailMate as well) :-)

Emory's got it as to the use of alternate quote indicator chars.  Convention
has made the use of ">" a de facto standard, but this is the first time I've
ever really had anyone raise it as a problem.  As Emory also noted, the use of
alternate quote chars is useful for distinguishing respondents in deeply
nested threads.

I understand that some of these choices hail from an earlier era though when
the user interface was generally monochromatic text.  I also get your points
on how the use of the alternate quote indicator may break assumptions made by
an MUA and features that rely on them.  The only thing I might quibble with a
bit though is that while the receiving application is responsible for displaying
the message, if it's substituting vertical bars for the conventional quote
indicators, then it's making a choice here to actually change the message
content and treat them as a quasi-markup language. I don't necessarily have
an issue with that though, and as you say, you're opinion, and by extension
MailMate's as well if you desire.

Somewhat apropos of this, is there a way to toggle the "raw" content for a
message?  Sort of the inverse of the WebView mode where nothing is rendered
other than the raw text as received in the DATA portion of the SMTP session?
With pine, for example, this mode is also toggled with the full header
mode - but they need not be bound to the same function.

> > > Noted. I can at least look into if I can easily make some kind of toggle
> > > between the two modes (list mode and message mode).

That would be spiffy!

> > The way I use mutt is with a mailbox preview [1] and I've found *pine's
> > method somewhat limiting because of that.

Interesting, that's a pretty close approximation of the the split pane
approach common to most GUI based MUAs these days.

> I'll end up with 100 different layouts in order to satisfy everybody ;-)
> > Is it possible Baron that using the keybinding facility in MailMate you
> > could get more comfortable with at least how navigation and common commands
> > are used?

Yes, I assumed I'd be making use of the keybinding options to map native
MailMate commands to those I'm more familiar with where necessary or during
a transitional period.

> I've also looked into mode-based layouts in MailMate just because I couldn't
> let it go. More specifically, I've just introduced a new layout class which
> can be used to define a set of alternative views which can the be cycled using
> a keyboard shortcut. A working example is something like what Baron needs,
> i.e., a shortcut key can be used to toggle between a mailbox/message list mode
> and a message mode. Experimental but it might be usable in the next update.

Double spiffy!


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