Re: [PATCH 0/5 v3] reworked crypto toggle, plus a few other toggles

Subject: Re: [PATCH 0/5 v3] reworked crypto toggle, plus a few other toggles

Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2012 08:31:26 -0800

To: David Edmondson,


From: Jameson Graef Rollins

On Tue, 31 Jan 2012 08:09:08 +0000, David Edmondson <> wrote:
> On Mon, 30 Jan 2012 09:47:34 -0800, Jameson Graef Rollins <> wrote:
> > One thing I've noticed, which isn't actually part of this patch, is that
> > the long-line truncation doesn't respect the indentation, which makes
> > things look strange.
> Which lines are getting wrapped in a way that you don't like? The header
> line? The headers? The body?

Header lines, such as Subject, To, Cc, etc.

> > But honestly I still don't like our method of displaying threads as a
> > giant chain of concatenated messages with indentation.  But that's for
> > later work.
> It's inherited from sup, and is surely part of the "raison de notmuch"
> :-)

Inheritance is not a good justification for anything, much less
questionable UI choices (I seem to have inherited baldness from my dad.
Thanks dad).  Problems I have with the current approach:

- thread structure is opaque.  This is especially true with long
  threads, where it can be next to impossible to see which messages are
  replies to what.  This is by far my biggest pet peeve with the current

- navigation through the thread is difficult.  This is related to above.
  There's no way to simultaneously see the current message and the
  thread structure, which again, makes it very difficult to find
  children and parents.  This could possibly be fixed by having key
  bindings that would navigate through parents, children and siblings of
  the current message, but that might be tricky to implement.

- indentation of the entire message body is a really bad way to indicate
  thread depth.  I don't like how messages start to walk off screen as
  threads get longer, or how copying regions of the body brings the
  indentation with it.  Your indentation toggling will improve this a
  bit, though, but I still think it's a bandaid on the larger issue.

I must say that the approach I've been longing for is a modified version
of what mutt has: a top pain that is just the thread structure (with
nice branching lines), and a bottom pain that displays the current
message.  I think that would be a much cleaner approach.

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