Standardizing on Mozilla?

Thursday July 3rd, 2003

Slashdot today asked "Which Organizations Have Standardized on Mozilla?" A lot of good stories and ideas about trying to get an organization to switch to Mozilla based solutions.

#16 Re: Bugs that make Mozilla business-unfriendly :-(

by Ascaris <>

Friday July 4th, 2003 8:29 PM

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Don't forget the many problems with the Mozilla Mail editor. If you use the plaintext editor and use the customary two spaces after a period as you type, the people that read your email will see unwanted indentations in the middle of a paragraph, anytime a period happens to fall at the end of the line above. You won't see this as you are typing, but it will be apparent to your reader, no matter what email client they use. It looks really poor.

I post regularly on several email lists, including two of which I am listowner, and when I see what Mozilla has done to my emails, I wonder how any business could use Mozilla Mail. I like Mozilla... I have been a Netscape faithful since I started using the web in the Windows 3.1 days, and I will not use anything other than Netscape/Mozilla for browsing or email out of loyalty and inertia. However, there is no doubt that Mozilla's plaintext editor simply is not good enough for the business environment, or for anyone that is serious about email. It is not capable of producing professional quality output.

The bug that covers this is #91608:


This is such a big problem in my daily use of Mozilla... it amazes me that it only has three votes. I guess that most people that use the plaintext editor either do not use two spaces after a period, or else they do not see their own posts and realize how Mozilla munged them up. You people that use Mozilla mail with the plaintext editor... I suggest you go look in your sent folder and see what Mozilla does to your messages.

The other complaint I have about what Mozilla does to the email is that it adds a CR+LF after each section of cited text. I found that if I set the the pref editor.quotesPreformatted to false, that problem is fixed. There is nothing, though, that works as a suitable workaround for bug 91608. The only kludge I have found to work is to use the HTML editor, which had this same indenting problem, but that was fixed months ago.

Using the HTML editor is not a perfect solution, because it disregards the font choice the user has made when text is quoted (another Mail bug). I specify the default monospace font (Courier New) be used when composing mail, and it works when I hit the compose button... but when I hit reply, it uses whatever font is the default HTML font, which is the default serif font, which is Times New Roman. I like to compose with Courier New... the same font I have been using since Netscape first came with a mail client with 3.0 Gold. I'm a creature of habit.

Since I only send plaintext mail, I should be able to use the plaintext editor. I hate the graphical quotes that the HTML editor uses (I wish the pref for graphical quotes got rid of ALL of the graphical quotes-- this is IMO another Mail bug). Rewrapping the text gets rid of them, so I added a rewrap button to my toolbar in Mozilla (and in Thunderbird), but it is still a kludgy way to do it.

If I had even the slightest clue about how to fix any of these bugs, I would do so happily. I don't, though, so all I can do now is hope that they get fixed soon. These little glitches like this are not crashers or dataloss bugs, but they add to (cause) the rough, unfinished feel that Mozilla Mail has, and that prevents it (and its derivatives, like the mail part of Netscape 7.1) from being business-quality products. As it stands now, Mozilla Mail is not even close to being ready for prime-time. The browser is outstanding; I hope that Mozilla Mail/Thunderbird will benefit from more intensive development the same way that Phoenix/Firebird has.