[Maildev] ESC: (possible) conflict resolution #1 - bug 690644, was: Engineering Council or Engineering Steering Committee (ESC) - where art thou?

Jörg Knobloch jorgk at jorgk.com
Sat Aug 18 15:44:55 EDT 2018

On 18/08/2018 16:49, Ben Bucksch wrote:
> i completely concur with the tasks that ESC should take care of. can 
> you post these questions individually on maildev, please? then we can 
> discuss them there and decide.
> just one detail: UI questions are for Richard, not the ESC, which is 
> there for technical question and not competent in UI.

Hi Maildev,

Ben asked me to post "these questions individually on maildev", so here 

Ben, please note that this is not about a UI question, but about which 
HTML capabilities are desired when composing e-mail. So this makes an 
issue for the ESC along with the fact that there are two conflicting 
approaches, one with r+ from Magnus and r- from me along with ui-r- from 
Richard, and one with ui-r+ from Richard but opposition from Magnus (r- 
on the previous revision of the patch), currently awaiting Magnus' 
review of the final version.

Since writing up the story with screenshots, argument pro and contra, 
would take a considerable amount of time, I'll wait for Magnus' final 
review decision before taking the matter further.

Those interested can head to 
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=690644. In a nutshell:

We currently have two preferences, msgcompose.text_color and 
msgcompose.background_color, which determine which colour tags the body 
element will receive, like: <body text="#FF0000" bgcolor="#3333FF">. 
Both preferences are exposed in the preferences UI with colour pickers. 
Those body tag colours can be suppressed with a "per message" option 
"Reader's default colors (Don't set colors in page)" in "Format > Page 
Colors and Background".

Magnus proposal is to introduce a new hidden preference 
msgcompose.default_colors (defaulting to true) which will enable the 
"per message" option global whilst at the same time hiding the existing 
preferences by removing the colour pickers from the UI.

Richard and I are proposing to add the new preference to the UI (also 
defaulting to true) and disable the colour pickers when the "reader's 
default colors" option is selected.

Magnus can best present his arguments himself. As far as I understand 
them, he wants to remove HTML editor capabilities from the editor, 
quote: "Yack(sic) - too many things inherited from Editor :(" and thinks 
that users can mess up outgoing mail when choosing colours and default 
font size, and they are made to believe that the e-mail is displayed as 
the recipients end as it was sent.

It is true that Gmail ignores body colour tags, Hotmail ignores the text 
colour while honouring the background colour, whereas European GMX is 
honouring both. Richard's an my argument is that we shouldn't remove 
existing functionality (or make it mostly hidden) since we have no 
telemetry data on its use. Furthermore body colour tags are valid HTML 
and we can't dumb down our rather sophisticated application to the 
lowest common denominator. We also think that the proposed compromise to 
remove those body colour tags by *visible* default is an acceptable 
solution. As Magnus would ask: "What's not to like?".


More information about the Maildev mailing list