The 3rd Pillar to Save Your Ass

A controversial topic, to say the least, is what happens when you double-click a message in a Roundcube messages listing, while also having enabled the preview pane.

Two things to consider:

  • A regular way to use Roundcube is with a preview pane,
  • A regular way to give reading a message more vertical real estate is to double-click.

However, the “double-click” is hard-coded to wait for the second click, before the preview pane information request is issued, let alone be responded to and rendered.

It appears as if most users will want to continue to entertain the preview pane, as well as the double-click, despite the fact there’s now a three-column view — effectively no longer requiring the double-click to get a full-height view on the long email you’re reading.

Users some times need to be educated. Sometimes, there’s a better new way. Sometimes, users don’t deserve to entertain their own old ways. Maybe this is one of those crossways, maybe not. But considerate we must be.

Separately, there’s a legitimate reason to want to open a message in a new window;

Consider opening a message, that refers to something that isn’t the message you’re responding to.

A Super+Left and a Super+Right gives you the following:

Screenshot from 2017-08-03 19-44-20

Opening in a new window needs to remain a valid option — aside from the preference covering the point, which I’ve not used as such but needed to enable for the screenshot above — if not simply for the Alt-Tabbers among us, that can entertain the title of the window tile in order to be able to get back to that one message they wanted to get back to.

Most of these users will not actually use Alt-Tab, though. They may actually most likely use a mouse to entertain whatever awkward way it is to get to another window.

A three-column view may come to the rescue:

Screenshot from 2017-08-03 19-56-16.png

This would mean to select “Compose in a new Window” in your preferences. It’s otherwise unrelated to “Open in a new Window” — but it’s the second of a double-click that the interface is waiting for, that introduces a 0.5 second delay in rendering the preview.

I believe the three-column view (the third pillar, if you will) is a saviour. I recognize users are stuck to their M.O. — perhaps rightfully so. I think this can be made an option, despite 2 or 3 other options needing to be taken in to account, making things complex. Let’s take “slow behaviour” as it was as the default, and then let users say “hmm… speedy please!”.


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