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View Email Guy out of the office this weekGeneral

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Email Guy out of the office this week
Date: October 30, 2007 11:24 AM
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I'll be back on November 5 and will catch up the pending comments and questions at that time.

View What do the Forward options mean?FAQ

From: Email Guy
Subject:       What do the Forward options mean?
Date: October 17, 2007 10:54 AM
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Some users have been confused by the new control for forwarding messages.

When you click on Forward, you now see two choices for how you would like to forward your message. These choices have always existed, but you could only change them in the Preferences and then use the same selection all the time. This didn't meet the needs of many users, so we've exposed this option on the compose toolbar. For now you must make a selection each time you want to Forward a message. We will be improving this soon to give the best of both worlds, where you can change the choice inline, or use a single click to use your default choice.

Here's what the two selections mean:     forward-click.gif

Inline text - this means that the original message text from the sender will be copied into your outgoing message body, and you will see it below what you are typing. This allows easy reference to what the sender said when you are responding to it. This option is most appropriate for regular message correspondence.

As attachment - this is the default forwarding type used by some other webmail services. It means that the original message will be sent along with your message, but as a file attachment. The recipient will not see the forwarded message in your message body, but will need to click on the attached file to view the original message. And if that message was re-forwarded several times, the reader might see a common "nesting" effect where you have to click down through several layers to get to the original. This is all controlled by how each subsequent sender handles the message. In the case of complex HTML emails with formatting and inline images, particularly newsletters, jokes with pictures, and things copied from web pages, you are safest using the "As Attachment" option to make sure your recipient gets the exact original message displayed as intended.

In both cases, any file attachments that came with the message you received and are now forwarding, are resent along with the new message. Don't be confused by inline images that are actually remote links retrieved at viewing time only, those files are not included in the original message and not forwarded in your message. Depending on how the original sender set them up, they may or may not go through.

In most cases your selection of inline text or attachment has no effect on how attachments to the original message are handled. In some cases, depending on how well-behaved the email program used by the sender was, you may need to use "As attachment" in order to make sure all of the original content and files are included in your Forward. One major Web Mail service in particular seems to have this problem with their outgoing messages. So if you get reports of recipients not receiving your forwarded attachments, use the "As Attachment" option. Note that this potential problem only applies to forwarding a message already sent to you. When you create an original message and attach a file to it, that file will always be correctly sent to the recipient.

There have been a few reports from users with old browsers that the forwarding selector doesn't work for them. The oldest browsers we test on and support are IE 5.5, Safari 1.3, and Firefox 1.5. On all other browsers (plus these) we test the most recent versions. If you are having trouble with a supported browser, try clearing your browser cache (delete temporary Internet files) and then restart your browser. If that fails, see if there is an update to your browser available for your operating system.

View Web Mail 5.51 released October 12Releases

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Web Mail 5.51 released October 12
Date: October 12, 2007 3:00 AM
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We took your feedback and fixed a few things in the 5.50 release from two weeks ago (which you can read about in the two posts below this one) and got a new one out as quickly as we could. Here's the main things that changed in Web Mail today:

  1. The order of the Delete and Spam buttons has been switched back on all views. The Delete is now first, where you are accustomed to having it.


  2. The font used to display plain text messages is changed back to the familiar monospace font (the same one you see here, I switched this back to match).

  3. We adjusted a few of the toolbar button sizes and spacing that was causing width problems on smaller resolution screens.

  4. We made a change that will force an update of the style sheet file on browsers that were holding the old incompatible one in the cache, causing layout problems for some users.

  5. The sizes of the icon columns in the left part of the Inbox list (reply arrow, attachment paperclip, flag, etc) were reduced to allow more of the subject line to show in the list. Also, when there are no icons present, those columns will now collapse and not take up any room.


  6. The text on the Forward control is updated to show an ellipsis (...) as an indication that you must make a selection, to eliminate some confusion. This two-step control is still temporary while we work on one that will be a combination button and selection list, coming soon.


There were also a couple of minor bugs fixed. Thanks again for all the feedback, and we're still working hard on more improvements and will have another release in a few weeks.

View We're listeningGeneral

From: Email Guy
Subject:       We're listening
Date: October 2, 2007 10:20 AM
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We're listening.

Lots of you have provided good feedback on the 5.50 release, both here and through the feedback mailbox (click Feedback in Web Mail). Based on that feedback a few things have become obvious that we need to adjust, and we're working on that now. See the post below this one for details about the release.

The biggest thing seems to be the change to the order of the Spam and Delete buttons. People are accustomed to the Delete button being first and clicking it without looking is just automatic. We're going to put that back.

Another source of confusion is the new Forward control. The selector is a little confusing and there is no button for a one-click action to forward a message. Currently you have to click on Forward, and then make a selection for the way you want to forward the message. We're looking at what we can do to make this easier.

The other surprising thing that seems to affect quite a few users is that the updated style sheet which controls the layout of the page, sometimes isn't being automatically updated by some browsers. If the old cached copy in the browser is used (saved on your computer), the page layout is pretty messed up. This doesn't seem to occur on IE, but it is being reported by some Firefox users. We're not sure why this happens, but it is easily fixed by clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page. To do this in Firefox, click on Tools / Clear Private Data, check only the box for Cache, and click Clear. Then close the browser and reopen it. Other browsers will have a way to do this. Sometimes it will be called "Temporary Internet Files" instead of Cache, depending on the browser you use.

We're looking into how we can make sure all browsers automatically update the cached style sheet when it gets changed on the server.

We're also looking at a few other minor issues that have been reported. So thanks for all the good feedback, and keep letting us know how we're doing. We hope to have another release out very soon that addresses these issues.