Author Topic: Symmetry in the message list  (Read 7643 times)

Galactic Fork

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Symmetry in the message list
« on: October 20, 2016, 07:25:37 am »
Hello,
I might be in the minority and feel free to ignore me, I'll still continue to keep using Aqua mail because it's great, but I do wish the message list was more symmetrical and consistent.  If you have the previews set to indent, you get the blank space under the picture, and when there's no text to preview, it makes that message space smaller.  So it looks less smooth than it could.
Compare how A-M looks vs this photoshop.
Original:

My image edit:


I like how even everything is in the one I made.
I know the contact icons scale when the font increases, so I think it'd look better centered when previews are indented.  Of course it wouldn't really work to keep having it scale when there are 2 or more preview lines.  Anyway, that's my thought, and I realize it might seem unimportant, but it doesn't hurt to post.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 07:27:50 am by Galactic Fork »

StR

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2016, 08:09:36 am »
I don't think anybody, including the developer, would mind your making this suggestion.

I understand the aesthetics of what you are proposing. But I see one shortcoming of that right away: If the image is scaled proportionally to fill in the space in the height, it becomes wider, and that would leave less space for the message preview line (length), which is already limited.
(Personally, I have these "chips" disabled completely, so, I don't notice and don't care for how it looks with the chips.) Just my 2 cents.

Galactic Fork

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2016, 10:18:05 am »
Yeah, but it's only one or two characters.  Not a huge price in my opinion.  And since it'd stop scaling after 1 line of previews (it'd just be centered), that's all you'd lose.

Since you have the contact pics off, do you have the check marks?  Do you think they'd look better centered?  (That is assuming you have the previews indented.)

StR

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2016, 03:27:48 pm »
Yeah, but it's only one or two characters.  Not a huge price in my opinion.  And since it'd stop scaling after 1 line of previews (it'd just be centered), that's all you'd lose.

Since you have the contact pics off, do you have the check marks?  Do you think they'd look better centered?  (That is assuming you have the previews indented.)

Yes, there is a check mark. The previews are not indented, they are using all the width the can.

As you pointed out before, - there are situations when there are 4 lines, - in particular, when you get an attachment, - that creates an extra line. What would you do in that case? make the chips even larger? That would take away even more characters.
I am not understanding why "it'd stop scaling after 1 line of previews (it'd just be centered)". If you want to be consistent, - it'd have to be scaled up to 4 lines in that case. And in that case the rest of the messages would also have to be loosing an extra line in the height, - as you have in the 3rd message in your example.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 03:29:37 pm by StR »

Kostya Vasilyev

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2016, 12:07:53 am »
Right, what do you do if let's say the user enables 3 lines of previews...

... and some messages have enough text for that, but some only have enough text for 2 or 1 lines of previews and some may even have none?

So that the different message list items will have varying, different height?
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Galactic Fork

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2016, 04:08:13 pm »
From my original post:
 
Quote
Of course it wouldn't really work to keep having it scale when there are 2 or more preview lines.
I said this about the image specifically because the contact pics would keep growing.  So it'd still be centered, but the same size as it was with one line.  Centering keeps it symmetrical, at least which was the main issue I had with the picture. And I think the size it'd scale to at one preview is ideal.

As for keeping the messages all the same size, as you said, after 1 line also becomes unwieldy, since not all mail would fill them.  Personally, I use 1 preview line and no filename for attachments, so I never have to worry about a 4th line, but I do get stuck with only 2 lines  when there is no preview.  I suppose those of who prefer a uniform message list would either have no filename, or have the filename count as the preview line.  So either way, it's fixed at 3 lines.  If there's no preview to display, a blank line (like in my photoshopped pic above) or "no preview available" would work (kinda like when there's no subject).

At 2 to 4 lines of previews, I think the person is more after having as much info displayed as possible than any sense of symmetrical aesthetic.


So I guess it's 2 issues.
1) The option for centering the contact chip and scaling it (with a set max so it doesn't go crazy) when previews are indented.
2) The option for locking message thickness at a set number of lines so the message list remains uniform.

StR

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2016, 10:18:10 pm »
@Galactic Fork:
My point is that your suggestion works only for a limited set of situations and configurations.
So, it does not solve universally the symmetric look problem that you raised.

Now, we a have a proposed change that (1) does not solve the problem, but (2) cuts down on the already very limited space for the preview. Does it make sense to implement it?

Irregularities (when they are present) do irritate me. But I favor functionality over looks. (And ergonomics over looks.) In this case, this "lack of symmetry" doesn't bother me at all (and I didn't pay attention to it until you pointed it out.)

Galactic Fork

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2016, 07:08:24 am »
@Galactic Fork:
My point is that your suggestion works only for a limited set of situations and configurations.
So, it does not solve universally the symmetric look problem that you raised.

Now, we a have a proposed change that (1) does not solve the problem, but (2) cuts down on the already very limited space for the preview. Does it make sense to implement it?

Irregularities (when they are present) do irritate me. But I favor functionality over looks. (And ergonomics over looks.) In this case, this "lack of symmetry" doesn't bother me at all (and I didn't pay attention to it until you pointed it out.)

Well no, as I said, it's two separate issues.
First the image being offset upwards when indenting is on.  From 1 to 4 lines, it'd look better (in my opinion) centered.  The scaling is already implemented to a degree.  Compare the image size to when you have no previews vs 3.  Compare when you have fonts set to max vs tiny font.  The image changes size to accommodate the size of the box.  And yes, it even removes a character or two when it happens.  Centered, the scaling would be slightly larger as it isn't as limited by the top, but I never suggested it always stretch from top to bottom, nor that each message stretch the image individually.  So for example, if you had 2 lines of previews set, the pic would be the same size as it would be if you had 1 line set, but it'd still be centered. And then if you had an attachment, it'd just have an extra line, but the image would still be centered and be the same size.  The symmetry of this is in the space above and below the pic always being equal.  This would work fine in all situations that have indented messages and would have about as much effect on the preview space as changing font size.

The second issue was about a setting for locking it so the messages are always the same thickness.  If you have 2 preview lines locked and you have an attachment (and set to show the file name), the attachment will take the first line.  If you have a short mail that only fills up 1 line, the second line would be blank.  It would just be a preference.  I totally get this is unimportant to you, every setting having to do with a master mail folder, or clusters, or conversations seem superfluous to me, but the customizability of Aqua mail is why it's the best client I've found. 


>> 2) The option for locking message thickness at a set number of lines so the message list remains uniform.


Already suggested to Kostya. He rejected it.
Well, darn.   :(

« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 09:10:46 am by Galactic Fork »

Galactic Fork

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2016, 09:28:54 am »
Alternative: option in message list settings to change size of contact pic.  Very small, small,  average, large, very large.  This would fix the issue for me anyway...  (purely selfish, sorry.)

Kostya Vasilyev

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2016, 03:23:22 pm »
The font size in message lists can be adjusted using volume buttons.

And contact image size follows those adjustments, so it's lined up with text, top and bottom.

If you enable "indent previews" then there is more "guaranteed" empty space below the image, so it can and will be made a bit larger (this is based on older feedback "can I make contact images larger" -- yes you can, like this).

In terms of having blank lines when the preview is too small, I'm not crazy about this idea. And customization is something that can never be "done", even if I added a dozen new settings, there'd still be more again and again.

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Galactic Fork

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2016, 07:08:11 pm »
I know about the volume keys (though I turn that off), I only mentioned it to make it a point that scaling contact pics existed, but anyway, my original suggestion was too convoluted. 

Quote
If you enable "indent previews" then there is more "guaranteed" empty space below the image, so it can and will be made a bit larger (this is based on older feedback "can I make contact images larger" -- yes you can, like this).
Yeah, I noticed that, but the change is minor.  What my new idea is to be able to change the base size independently of font.  So with default settings and indenting "on", there would be an avatar size option, "Normal Avatar" would be as it is now,  and "Large Avatar" would be about the size as my photoshopped image without needing to max out fonts (the photopped picture actually uses the size it becomes if you max out font size).
 
Quote
In terms of having blank lines when the preview is too small, I'm not crazy about this idea.
  Yeah, I can see that being an issue for people with multiple lines of previews.
Quote
And customization is something that can never be "done", even if I added a dozen new settings, there'd still be more again and again.
Oh yeah, I just meant compared to other mail clients.  You have so many QoL customizations, other clients don't really compare.





Kostya Vasilyev

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2016, 09:08:33 pm »
Re: So with default settings and indenting "on", there would be an avatar size option, "Normal Avatar" would be as it is now,  and "Large Avatar" would be about the size as my photoshopped image without needing to max out fonts

Yes but what if the user enables "indent" and also "0 lines of preview"?

Or there happens to be a message with no content, hence, no preview?

The current increase in image size (when you enable intent) is calculated so that it's guaranteed to not overlap or extend past anything else.
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Galactic Fork

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2016, 05:25:40 pm »
Yes but what if the user enables "indent" and also "0 lines of preview"?
Same if they have indenting off.  Both not indented and 0 lines already have the same mini sized pics. Even if you get an attachment and have it set to show that as a preview (while having 0 lines of previews and "indent" enabled), it remains the smaller non-scaled pic instead of the size you get with 1+ lines of previews. 

So "large contact pictures" would behave just like the current slightly larger pics from indenting (and having 1+ lines), only you'd be able to make them even larger.  (It'd activate when indenting is on and you have at least 1 line of previews.)


Or there happens to be a message with no content, hence, no preview?
I actually dislike just ditching the preview line if there's no preview (and you have previews on).  It's like ditching the whole line if there was no subject.  So, like you have [no subect] when there's no subject, there could be [no previewable content] to acknowledge the lack of preview. 

I had actually made a third photoshopped pic with "no preview" instead of the blank line, but decided not to post that one.  Maybe I should've used that one instead.)

Kostya Vasilyev

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2016, 10:00:38 pm »
Re: I actually dislike just ditching the preview line if there's no preview (and you have previews on)

This is debatable. I believe iPhone mail app shows whitespace if there is no preview or it's too short. Maybe others.

But for as long as AquaMail continues with its current logic of "no preview -> no blank line"...

...there is no space into which the proposed "even larger" images could extend and not risk being clipped.
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Galactic Fork

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Re: Symmetry in the message list
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2016, 07:51:32 am »
Re: I actually dislike just ditching the preview line if there's no preview (and you have previews on)

This is debatable. I believe iPhone mail app shows whitespace if there is no preview or it's too short. Maybe others.
Yeah, I've seen that and place filler text, and your way, too.  Comes down to preference. 


But for as long as AquaMail continues with its current logic of "no preview -> no blank line"...

...there is no space into which the proposed "even larger" images could extend and not risk being clipped.
Would it clip?  I figured if there was no preview, the bottom would be based on the picture size.  Currently, when indenting is on and previews are set to 1 or more, if there's no preview to show, the bottom divider stops below the pic, leaving more white space below the subject than if you have previews set to 0 (just not enough to be considered a whole line).  So, I figured the contact pic would be the deciding factor if there's no content for the preview.  There wouldn't be a blank line added so much as there'd be whitespace the same size as if there was a blank line.   Maybe just put a note that says the larger pic can cause more whitespace if there's no preview to display.

But if it will clip and you don't want to add the blank line or placefiller text, that's pretty much that.  Thanks for taking the time to read and respond, and thanks for making Aqua mail, it's wonderful!