Last Comment Bug 586364 - [autoconfig] Lead user to webpage, in case some action is needed to use IMAP/POP
: [autoconfig] Lead user to webpage, in case some action is needed to use IMAP/POP
Status: ASSIGNED
:
Product: Thunderbird
Classification: Client Software
Component: Account Manager (show other bugs)
: Trunk
: Other Linux
: -- normal (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Ben Bucksch (:BenB)
:
Mentors:
Depends on:
Blocks: 556272
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Reported: 2010-08-11 11:56 PDT by Ben Bucksch (:BenB)
Modified: 2014-11-15 08:48 PST (History)
1 user (show)
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Iteration: ---
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Description Ben Bucksch (:BenB) 2010-08-11 11:56:46 PDT
Some email accounts are only webmail by default and do not allow IMAP/POP access, unless the user switches some checkbox in the settings. Gmail is one example of that.
T-Online (one of the top10 ISPs for our users) has a similar pitfall: The password they use to register the account can only be used for the website and for webmail. The webmail password does *not* work for IMAP, you get "BAD invalid username/password". For IMAP and POP, the user needs to create a separate password. Nothing hints the user at that, I had to write t-online and wait a week for the answer, until they told me about this gotcha.

Particularly problematic is that there's no hint whatsoever at what the problem is. The servers react the same as if the password is wrong or they don't know that you exist at all. No way for the user to find out what the problem is, apart from calling hotline or googling.

This is exactly the kind of problems that the Account Creation Wizard was supposed to help users with. That's why the config file spec has, since the very beginning, an element <enable> (formerly <enableURL>):

    <enable visiturl="https://customer.example.com/settings/pop3.html"
      <instruction>You need to set up an E-Mail-Password. Attention:
         The normal password for the T-Online-Website does not work
         here.
      </instruction>
      <instruction lang="de">Sie müssen ein E-Mail-Passwort einrichten.
         ...
      </instruction>
    </enable>

The key here is the URL. If having email address and password is not sufficient, but the user needs to do certain actions to make the account work with IMAP or Thunderbird, we will put an <enable> element in the config file for that ISP, and Thunderbird will, during setup, show a dialog that shows the text here, and lets the user open that webpage where the change can be made. If that is somehow not possible, we would link to a page that explains the manual steps to be done.

Here's how it could look like:

+--------------------------------------------------+
| *Account Setup*                                  |
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
| To make your account work with Thunderbird, your |
| email provider requires you to take additional   |
| steps. Please click on the links below and       |
| follow the steps described below:                |
|                                                  |
|                                             Done |
| Create an "Email-Password"    [ Open page ]  [ ] |
|                                                  |
|                              [ Cancel ][ Next ]  |
+--------------------------------------------------+

When the user clicks on "open page" (or maybe we use a custom label), we open the URL either in a TB window or in the system browser, and make sure it's in the foreground. We also check the "Done" checkbox.

There could in theory be several pages, but typically there's only one.
Comment 1 Ben Bucksch (:BenB) 2010-08-11 11:59:16 PDT
I had an unfinished implementation of this in attachment 376633 [details] [diff] [review], but it has been removed before 3.0. I'd like to finish it now, if I may.

As mentioned at the start, several big ISPs need this, and it's a real "letting user run against the wall with full speed" problem, a real problem in practice for average users.

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