Enabling/Disabling Message Sync in the per-account "Synchronization & Storage" screen should enable/disable "Disk Space" preferences

UNCONFIRMED
Unassigned

Status

MailNews Core
Account Manager
UNCONFIRMED
9 years ago
3 years ago

People

(Reporter: Saul Tannenbaum, Unassigned)

Tracking

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

9 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; en-US; rv:1.9.1.3) Gecko/20090824 Firefox/3.5.3
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; en-US; rv:1.9.1.5pre) Gecko/20091023 Lightning/1.0pre Shredder/3.0pre

The behavior of the "Message Synchronization" and "Disk Space" preferences on the "Synchronization and Storage" preference screen are unconnected and can result in confusion to users

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1.Navigate to Account Settings -> Sync & Storage
2.Toggle "Keep messages for this account on this computer"
3.
Actual Results:  
"Disk Space" preferences remain enabled and active.

Expected Results:  
If one has disabled Message Synchronization, the relevant "Disk Space" preferences should be disabled as well. 

As this is currently set up, one could have "Keep messages" disabled, but see an active preference set for "Synchronize all messages locally..." without any indication of which preference takes precedence. This confusing situation can be avoided by disabling the "Synchronize all messages locally..." preference when message synchronization is itself disabled.

Comment 1

9 years ago
Hi Saul, I assume that you are talking about the first block in the Disk Space group (the second one is for the retention settings and applies to both server and local offline copies). The checkbox "Keep messages for this account on this computer" itself may be less absolute as it sounds. Even if it is unchecked, you would still be able to activate offline synchronization in the Folder Properties dialog. So that by itself may be cause for confusion (and I must admit that I don't quite know myself what the difference is between checking the box and selecting folders from the advanced dialog versus enabling offline synchronization in the Folder Properties dialog). Thus I don't think those options can be just disabled when the is box unchecked, but I agree that there is still some source of confusion in that pane.

Updated

9 years ago
Component: Preferences → Account Manager
OS: Mac OS X → All
QA Contact: preferences → account-manager
Hardware: x86 → All
Version: unspecified → Trunk
(Reporter)

Comment 2

9 years ago
Yes, I'm talking about this first block.

I hadn't thought to drill down to the folder settings.

First, the good news. The "Advanced" button gets dimmed when you disable "Keep messages for this account on this computer", which, IMHO, is what should happen with that first block.

Second, as you point out, you can get to what I assume (hope, maybe) are the same settings via Folder Properties, where another layer of confusion gets added.

I'd also suggest that the "Keep messages for this account..." preference be treated as a "master switch" for this feature. If it's off, no downloading should occur no matter what other preferences get set. I would have thought that was the way it behaved, but you suggest otherwise.

It seems that, when "Keep messages for this account..." is disabled, you can still toggle the "Select this folder for offline use" selection. If you toggle it on, there's no feedback about whether this will actually result in the folder being download for offline use. 


I'd argue that one of two things should happen:

- The "Select this folder.." preference should not be able to be changed if "Keep messages for this account..." is disabled

- The act of changing one of those folder preferences when "Keep messages for this account..." is disabled should trigger appropriate feedback. For example, a "Thunderbird is not currently keeping messages for this account.... Do you wish to enable it now?" dialog could be presented.

Lastly, I think that the wording of the preferences could be cleaned up. For example, the "Keep message for this account..." preference doesn't accurately describe what's happening. "Keep" - to me - denotes that the messages are already on this computer. But enabling this preference activates a message download activity which would be less surprising if the preference was labeled "Download and keep..." or something like that.

(I've also filed bug 524684 about the lack of consistent wording in some of the text, which I think will add to the confusion.)

Comment 3

9 years ago
Aside from renaming the labels (I have to say "yet again" as we kept working on those throughout various bugs), I'd see two options for enabling/disabling the synchronization-specific Disk Space block:

 - Either go with disabling also folder-specific synchronization when "Keep"
   is not checked (thus implying to disable the Synchronization tab in the
   Folder Properties if disabled globally); this would be the least ambiguous.

 - Or, when "Keep" is not checked, loop over all folders to determine if at
   least one is flagged for offline synchronization in the Folder Properties,
   and disable the first Disk Space block only if no folder is flagged; this
   would allow some visual feedback to the user that somewhere offline copies
   are still held for specific folders.
FYI. Bug 537943 is for improvement of "Advanced" button. xref.
Depends on: 537943
Sorry, it was for bug 524684.
No longer depends on: 537943

Comment 6

5 years ago
Yes, I could disable what is needed in the account manager, but it seems there is still some discussion about what is actually needed.
I'd need Ian's word on this.

Also I'd like to make sure this is about the IMAP server settings, as that was never explicitly mentioned till now.

(In reply to Saul Tannenbaum from comment #2)
> First, the good news. The "Advanced" button gets dimmed when you disable
> "Keep messages for this account on this computer", which, IMHO, is what
> should happen with that first block.
This seems no longer be the case in current nightlies.
Component: Account Manager → Account Manager
Flags: needinfo?(iann_bugzilla)
Product: Thunderbird → MailNews Core

Comment 7

5 years ago
This should probably be coordinated with bug 582170 on the retention settings, though the IMAP synchronization is an independent thing. Some of the confusion my come from those tied together in a common "Disk Space" group, whereas the "Keep" box has it's own group. Thus, just visually grouping those better than they are now would help to reduce the chance of a mixup. 

> Also I'd like to make sure this is about the IMAP server settings

Yes, this block of settings only applies to IMAP accounts; you won't see it with any POP accounts.

>(In reply to Saul Tannenbaum from comment #2)
> > The "Advanced" button gets dimmed when you disable
> This seems no longer be the case in current nightlies.

It's not disabled in 10.0.12 ESR either, that was bug 569161 for 3.1 already, as it seems. It wouldn't make sense to disable that button (and the other options) just because the main checkbox is cleared, as the user may still have enabled synchronization in the folder-specific properties (see my comment #3 here).

Comment 8

5 years ago
(In reply to rsx11m from comment #7)
> Yes, this block of settings only applies to IMAP accounts; you won't see it
> with any POP accounts.

Confirmed:

> http://mxr.mozilla.org/comm-central/source/mailnews/base/prefs/content/am-offline.xul#59

<radiogroup ... hidefor="pop3,nntp,movemail,none,rss" id="autosyncSelect" ...>

Comment 9

5 years ago
I would say that it should enable/disable only the first part of the "Disk Space" preferences, as the second part refers to both local copies and originals on the server. Also as rsx11m says this should probably tied with bug 582170.
Flags: needinfo?(iann_bugzilla)
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