Open Bug 148744 Opened 19 years ago Updated 11 years ago

"Show Replies to My Messages" option in the news reader

Categories

(MailNews Core :: Backend, enhancement)

enhancement
Not set
normal

Tracking

(Not tracked)

People

(Reporter: djst, Unassigned)

References

(Blocks 1 open bug, )

Details

(Whiteboard: [gs])

Attachments

(1 file)

From David Tenser (david.tenser@telia.com):
BuildID:    2002060108

It would be very nice to be able to view only replies to my posts on a
newsgroup. This option should be located in "View->Messages->Show Replies to My
Messages".

Outlook Express has this feature in the View menu, if you want to take a look at
what I mean.
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true
QA Contact: olgam → laurel
The Right Thing for this is a feature I saw in an online conferencing system.

Basically, when you add a message to a discussion thread, that message and all
replies and so on are flagged as being relevant to you. They also change colour
in the thread pane UI. There is then a key which takes you to the next
"relevant" message.

This is a brilliant way of skim-reading newsgroups when you don't have time but
don't want to miss conversations you are in.

Obviously the "relevance" is a per-message toggle so if a thread's got boring
you can switch it off for that thread.

seth: thoughts?

Gerv
> Basically, when you add a message to a discussion thread, that message and all
> replies and so on are flagged as being relevant to you. They also change colour
> in the thread pane UI... Obviously the "relevance" is a per-message toggle so
> if a thread's got boring you can switch it off for that thread.

So basically, all messages in threads that you have contributed to get what
amounts to (essentially) a special type of message label?

> There is then a key which takes you to the next "relevant" message.

As well as short cut key, it would be good if 'Next > "Relevant" Message'
appeared in the Go menu (come to think of it, it would be nice if all message
labels appeared in 'Go > Next' and 'Go > Previous' so you could easily skip to
the next, say, 'Important' message - but that's another RFE).
> So basically, all messages in threads that you have contributed to get what
> amounts to (essentially) a special type of message label?

I didn't realise labelling worked in News but, having checked that it does, yes
- exactly. It would be a form of auto-applied labelling - whenever a new message
is added, if the parent has the label, the message gets the label.

You could use flags for this, but the colour change is very important - it helps
you scan down the list. So I think a label-based mechanism would be appropriate.
We could either have a special label, or have a UI which asked you which label
to apply to "relevant" threads (we need a better name.)

Gerv

> Basically, when you add a message to a discussion thread, that message and all> replies and so on are flagged as being relevant to you. They also change colour> in the thread pane UI. There is then a key which takes you to the next> "relevant" message.This requires a 'unusual' step for each relevant messages you want to read.Namely the clicking of the special button.Why not click 1 time a button.Then only all the relevant messages will appear in the headers list window.Then you go from message to message in the normal way.When you are done you click the special button one more time, and all other messages appear again.This needs only 2 unusual button click.In stead of one for each message.Beauty is in simplicity :-)And why not flag the newsgroup in the newsgroups list window if there are relevant messages in this newsgroup. ?You would not have to enter the newsgroups without relevant messages.Or is this info not yet loaded when you do a new messages check there ?> Obviously the "relevance" is a per-message toggle so if a thread's got boring> you can switch it off for that thread.Good point :-)But keep the switched off thread visual, you might change your mind.
Sorry about the formating of my previous message.
I do not know how this happened..

> This requires a 'unusual' step for each relevant messages you want to 
> read.Namely the clicking of the special button.

Not really. Instead of using the 'N' key (Next) to advance to the next message,
you'd use a different key. I'd have to consult Aaron to find which one ;-)

> Why not click 1 time a button.Then only all the relevant messages will appear 
> in the headers list window.Then you go from message to message in the normal 
> way.When you are done you click the special button one more time, and all 
> other messages appear again.This needs only 2 unusual button click.In stead 
> of one for each message.Beauty is in simplicity :-)

That would be an alternative; the reason it's not as good is because it makes
the interface modal, and hides information. If I'm skipping through my
"relevant" messages, I might well decide to read other messages in
closely-related parts of the same message thread. Under your scheme, I couldn't
see if there were any or not, and if I wanted to check, I'd have to toggle it 
to "View All" and then back to "View Relevant" afterwards.

> And why not flag the newsgroup in the newsgroups list window if there are 
> relevant messages in this newsgroup. ?You would not have to enter the 
> newsgroups without relevant messages.

Well, in the same way that the "Next Unread Message" function skips groups with
no unread messages, the "Next Relevant Message" function would skip groups with
no relevant messages.

Gerv
>> This requires a 'unusual' step for each relevant messages you want to 
>> read.Namely the clicking of the special button.

> Not really. Instead of using the 'N' key (Next) to advance to the next 
> message,you'd use a different key. I'd have to consult Aaron to find 
> which one ;-)

knode newsreader uses in both cases the space bar.
Very pleasant.

> If I'm skipping through my "relevant" messages, I might well 
> decide to read other messages in closely-related parts of the
> same message thread.

I fully agree.

> Under your scheme, I couldn't see if there
> were any or not, and if I wanted to check, I'd have to toggle it
> to "View All" and then back to "View Relevant" afterwards.

Little misunderstanding.
When i wrote 'relevant messages' i meant the complete thread with 
messages from me.
Knode calls it 'Threads with own messages"
Works great.

>> And why not flag the newsgroup in the newsgroups list window if there are 
>> relevant messages in this newsgroup. ?You would not have to enter the 
>> newsgroups without relevant messages.

> Well, in the same way that the "Next Unread Message" function skips
> groups with no unread messages, the "Next Relevant Message" 
> function would skip groups with no relevant messages.

Then i had to enter 'relevant mode' first.
I would like a little colorfull 'flag' next to the newsgroup with relevant
thread when i am reading in normal mode.
To remind me to go in relevant mode.
Let me clarify how I originally would like this implemented. IMO, this should be
a menu item under View|Messages, either named "Replies To My Messages" or, in
order to be consistent with the current menu items, "Threads With Replies To My
Messages". The latter may be too long though.

When you add a message to a discussion thread, any replies to your message
(either direct or "sub-level") would be marked as relevant to you. Also, the
whole thread would be displayed (similar to the "Threads with Unread Messages"
option), not just the replies following your message(s). Example:

Jenny's message
|
|---My reply
|   |
|   |---John's reply
|       |
|       |---Eric's reply (UNREAD)
|
|---Sandra's reply (UNREAD)

In the example above, Eric's unread reply would make the whole thread appear,
including Jenny's original message. However, if  Sandra was the only unread
message, the thread would not appear when selecting this view.

Gerv's suggestion about a different color is good, but in that case the whole
thread should be colored. This would allow you to see that you have
"contributed" to a thread even when viewing "All" messages or "Threads With
Unread", and even if the thread is collapsed. Note that a thread would only
appear with the "Replies To My Messages" view IF there are UNREAD replies (or
"sub-replies") to my message.
This is a lame example of how the menu would look like. Of course, there could
be a toolbar toggle button for this too, but not needed IMO. (It would
definitely be one of the optional buttons once customizable toolbars are
implemented.)
> In the example above, Eric's unread reply would make the whole thread appear,
> including Jenny's original message. However, if  Sandra was the only unread
> message, the thread would not appear when selecting this view.

Given the use of a "Next" button, where is the advantage in the modal interface?
Why do we need to hide any threads at all?

> Gerv's suggestion about a different color is good, but in that case the whole
> thread should be colored. This would allow you to see that you have
> "contributed" to a thread even when viewing "All" messages or "Threads With
> Unread", and even if the thread is collapsed. 

I don't think the whole thread should be coloured; this would reduce the
usefulness because your contribution may well be to some small sub-part of a
large thread. If you just colour messages starting at yours, you can see exactly
where and what your contribution was, and what messages have been placed in
reply to it. If you colour the whole thread, you are colouring messages that
aren't relevant.

Gerv
>> In the example above, Eric's unread reply would make the whole thread appear,
>> including Jenny's original message. However, if  Sandra was the only unread
>> message, the thread would not appear when selecting this view.

> Given the use of a "Next" button, where is the advantage in the modal 
> interface?
> Why do we need to hide any threads at all?

Pure technical your are right.
Hiding is not nessecary to find the relevant thread.

But mentaly(?) it makes a big difference.
Its a more relaxed, peacefull way of viewing.
The appearing relevant threads are like a summery to remind you what you have
been doing.
You see more whats to come..
I have used this, i like it very much.

>> Gerv's suggestion about a different color is good, but in that case the whole
>> thread should be colored. This would allow you to see that you have
>> "contributed" to a thread even when viewing "All" messages or "Threads With
>> Unread", and even if the thread is collapsed. 

> I don't think the whole thread should be coloured; this would reduce the
> usefulness because your contribution may well be to some small sub-part of a
> large thread.

I think your both right.

Showing only the decendents of your reply brings you fast to the replie you got.
Showing the whole thread, you have shown interest to the thread subject,
likely that there is more in it with your interest.

This leads to a possible tri-state button (oeps :-) )

state 1 : Normal, all threads shown.
state 2 : Show only decendents of your messages.
state 3 : Show the whole thread with your messages in it.

But if this can be made is a completly different question :-)

Ok, it can be done with a extra button and/or menu items..
> Given the use of a "Next" button, where is the advantage in the modal
> interface? Why do we need to hide any threads at all?

Simply because it's much easier to get an overall view of the amount of unread
relevant threads. There can be literally thousands of threads in a newsgroup,
and the point is, I rarely use the Next button. Visual feedback is the most
welcomed feedback when it comes to UI. 

> I don't think the whole thread should be coloured; this would reduce the
> usefulness because your contribution may well be to some small sub-part of
> a large thread. If you just colour messages starting at yours, you can see
> exactly where and what your contribution was, and what messages have been
> placed in reply to it. If you colour the whole thread, you are colouring
> messages that aren't relevant.

Ok, I can see the benefit here. It may be a benefit to only color the relevant
replies, but I think it's important to make the collapsed thread colored in a
way. As it is now, unread messages are bold and when the thread is collapsed,
the title is underlined. The solution here could be to have unread "relevant"
messages bold and colored, and the collapsed thread would be underlined and
colored. I personally think that this color would always be visible for relevant
replies, even though you are using the "All" or "Threads with Unread" view. But
if you're selecting the "Replies To My Messages" view, only the threads with
relevant messages would be displayed.

IMO, there should *never* be an option to just display the relevant messages
without displaying the whole thread, but you are probably right in that the
color should only apply to the actual relevant replies, not the whole thread
(unless it's collapsed). Ok, if you're selecting the "Unread" view, all unread
messages would appear without the tree view, and then you would also be able to
find the relevant messages as they would still be colored.
> Simply because it's much easier to get an overall view of the amount of unread
> relevant threads. There can be literally thousands of threads in a newsgroup,
> and the point is, I rarely use the Next button. Visual feedback is the most
> welcomed feedback when it comes to UI. 

The thread pane window (at any sensible size) only shows about 10 threads.
Anyway, what you want it not the number of unread relevant threads, but the
number of unread relevant messages. I agree that the UI should definitely
include a counter which gives this total. I think you are solving the right
problem, but the wrong way :-)

> As it is now, unread messages are bold and when the thread is collapsed,
> the title is underlined. The solution here could be to have unread "relevant"
> messages bold and colored, and the collapsed thread would be underlined and
> colored.

I'll buy that :-)

>  I personally think that this color would always be visible for relevant
> replies, 

That too.

> IMO, there should *never* be an option to just display the relevant messages
> without displaying the whole thread, but you are probably right in that the
> color should only apply to the actual relevant replies, not the whole thread
> (unless it's collapsed). 

Well, it should apply to all ancestor messages from your until or unless you
toggle it off for a message, whereupon all ancestors of that message would be
not relevant.

<later>
I've just been investigating our "watch threads" functionality. I'd say that one
possible way of implementing this could be implemented as follows:

- Checkbox in prefs: "Automatically watch threads to which I contribute"
- New button (and menu item): Go | Next | Unread Message in Watched Thread

That would be a start. Then:
- Change watching to potentially apply to any subtree, not just an entire
thread. Make it possible to turn watching off again further down that subtree.
- Style all messages in watched trees differently.

Just for kicks, here's another way:
- Option in prefs: "Automatically label subthreads to which I contribute with
label [ Important |V]"
- New button (and menu item): Go | Next | Unread Important Message (I)

If the option is set, whenever a new message comes in, it gets the Important
flag if its parent has it, or if it was written by me.

Gerv
Linking this with bug 11048, which is similar but not identical.  Since there's
no "related" I'll just mark it dependent, but there's no reason one has to be
done before the other.
Depends on: 11048
Once we have bug 11048 dealt with, we'll mostly have the functionality as
described in comment 1, which makes perfect sense to me.

However, it's one of those that would want threaded view, which is currently
disabled for mailviews for no apparent reason (bug 135326).  Of course, we could
put it in View->Threads rather than View->Messages, but I'm not sure about this
- I definitely believe bug 207862 to be the way to go.
Product: Browser → Seamonkey
Assignee: sspitzer → mail
Blocks: 423488
Assignee: mail → nobody
QA Contact: laurel → message-display
MASS-CHANGE:
This bug report is registered in the SeaMonkey product, but has been without a comment since the inception of the SeaMonkey project. This means that it was logged against the old Mozilla suite and we cannot determine that it's still valid for the current SeaMonkey suite. Because of this, we are setting it to an UNCONFIRMED state.

If you can confirm that this report still applies to current SeaMonkey 2.x nightly builds, please set it back to the NEW state along with a comment on how you reproduced it on what Build ID, or if it's an enhancement request, why it's still worth implementing and in what way.
If you can confirm that the report doesn't apply to current SeaMonkey 2.x nightly builds, please set it to the appropriate RESOLVED state (WORKSFORME, INVALID, WONTFIX, or similar).
If no action happens within the next few months, we move this bug report to an EXPIRED state.

Query tag for this change: mass-UNCONFIRM-20090614
Status: NEW → UNCONFIRMED
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Is there a similar bug for Thunderbird?
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