Conversation view navigation helper
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It's currently not possible to see the exact structure of a conversation (thread) and therefore also difficult to navigate within it (it's currently just a flat list sorted by date).

It would be useful to have something that allows us to see where within a conversation we are, and navigate to other messages within the conversation.

One example mockup how this could look like is M31, but we'd have various problems to solve still.
The visualization would have to be always visible as we scroll down (I think), and given that branches and a linear view in the conversation view don't really match it could also be confusing (messages from various branches of the conversation are interleaved since only sorted by date).

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wozniak created this task.Apr 18 2019, 9:51 PM
cmollekopf closed this task as Wontfix.Apr 22 2019, 8:36 PM
cmollekopf claimed this task.
cmollekopf added a subscriber: cmollekopf.

While it is indeed not currently possible to make any sense of the thread structure in the conversation view (given it's just a flat timeline), I'm afraid having a tree view for mails is not among the goals for now. I contemplated having an extra visualization for the tree structure to complement the conversation view at some point, but have no concrete plans to pursue that further at the moment. M31 is an example mockup of such a solution. Something like in that mockup could be a nice addition if you'd like to work on it, but I'll close this ticket for now as the tree-view in the maillist (the center column), is not going to happen.

Thanks for your input

Regarding the mock-up, I feel it's a bit unnatural to add the thread visualisation widget in the e-mail message view. It would work better in the mail list view. Perhaps a git branch visualisation would work better here somehow? Like here:

It seems to have all the relevant features:

  • it's chronological
  • it can show branching in the thread
  • newest message (git commit, or in our case an e-mail message) is in top
  • has information on authors
  • the list e-mail remains a flat list, the visualisation is displayed *next* to it (also, easy to toggle on/off)

Of course it would need a lot of UI love, but I think this has a chance of being more intuitive than displaying the e-mail list in the middle column, and then the thread view additionally "inside" the e-mail. WDYT?

cmollekopf reopened this task as Open.Apr 23 2019, 6:48 AM

Git branch visualizations were indeed a major inspiration =)
Where we'd put it exactly is indeed up for debate, I think it would in either case have to be in a location that remains available as you scroll down the conversation.

In general the right-most pane makes sense, because that is where the information belongs. The middle column isn't a list of mails, it's a list of conversations (therefore flat), the right-most column isn't a mailview, it's a conversation view.
However, the middle column is also largely unused space when you're reading through the conversation so... I could also see a floating overlay working that becomes visible as you scroll down/up, and can be used for in-conversation navigation.

Anyhow, I don't think I'll find time to implement this anytime soon, but wouldn't be against such an addition in general.

I'll update the title of this ticket accordingly.

cmollekopf renamed this task from Tree/threaded e-mail list view to Conversation view navigation helper.Apr 23 2019, 6:54 AM
cmollekopf triaged this task as Normal priority.
cmollekopf updated the task description. (Show Details)