[Users] [Bug 2939] make Sort By/Thread Date the default

Albert ARIBAUD albert.aribaud at free.fr
Wed Jul 2 09:51:07 CEST 2014

Hi Colin,

Le Wed, 2 Jul 2014 09:06:59 +0200, Colin Leroy <colin at colino.net> a
écrit :

> On Wed, 2 Jul 2014 08:31:06 +0200, Albert ARIBAUD
> <albert.aribaud at free.fr> wrote:
> > Long story short: we don't know if default settings are the best. We
> > don't know if they are being used. 
> Yes. But what we know, though, is that when we changed a few very minor
> things after a few more-vocal-than-average users made some interesting
> points, a much larger part of the user base (or at least, of
> subscribers) became very vocal in disagreement.
> So probably "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" applies there.

I agree that "vocal feedback" is the strongest indicator, and arguably
the only one available here. :)

I am less convinced about the conclusion: just because a given change on
a setting caused a stir does not mean *any* change should be given up.
Maybe the current default is perceived as "yeah well, I guess most
people are fine with it otherwise there would have been complaints,
and I know how to change it so there's no reason for me to complain".

Personally, I find the current default (display threaded, by date) to
be inconvenient for my common, non-technical use, because it does not
sort threads by most recent activity; however, it fits my less-common,
technical, use because it shows thread by order of first message, which
as I said already is what I want when processing patches.

Therefore, I mostly set the sorting order to "by thread" except for 
technical work, wher I have to switch between "sort by date" and "sort
by threzd date" according to which folder I'm in (hint: how about
each folder having its own sort order / display mode?) 

But I hadn't complained about it so far -- maybe I should have --
because it was A Nuisance that /I/ could easily find my way around to
make it Good Enough for me.

And maybe I am not the only one changing a setting from its default
value to fix what does not suit my taste or need, but not complaining
about the default itself because i) I have no authority to state
what defaults should be, and ii) after all, I have a local fix.

Ergo: since the next best thing to "user base" we have is the list
subscribers, how about polling them on which sort order (and display
type, threaded vs. non-threaded, which is linked to the sort order)
they prefer to use? At least, they would be unlikely to complain if
they get the settings that most of them said they want.

Full disclosure: my own vote would go to:

- keep the threaded display mode;

- switch from "sort by date" to "sort by thread date";

- make these settings configurable per folder;

- remove the "by thread date" sort option, and replace it with a
  separate, two-option switch "thread date is oldest message date" /
  "[...] newest message date", defaulting to "thread date is newest
  message date".

I am aware that this amounts to the same behavior as "make Sort
By/Thread date by default", that is, a change of default. And yes, I am
advocating this change of default.


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