Opinion On Correct Behaviour
Date: 2/5/2006
One user asked in the forum about a particular behaviour that shows up in Scribe when you receive email from someone with a Contact record. Currently the behaviour is that if the incomming email has no name in the from field, the name from the matching Contact record is inserted, otherwise the name from the headers is used. In fact I had to force the code to do that with a flag, because originally it didn't do that, instead it overwrote the name part of the from address with the name from the Contact record.

So both systems would appear to have some surface benifits. Firstly:
  • a) Use the header name: you would see any change in the name the user supplies. If someone else uses the email address you'd see their name instead. (Believe it or not, but people share email addresses)
  • b) Use the contact's name: when sorting folder by the from address all email's from that contact sort into the same place because they are forced to have the same name.

Neither of these are more correct than the other, or at least I can't decide which is better. In fact I could live quite happily with either. But maybe you dear reader have an opinion or something I havn't considered, maybe a reason one way or the other that would sway the argument?

What I'm not willing to do is add another user visible option to let people frig with this. It's such a tiny part of the product I can't in good conscience add an option. There is nicely customizable and there is confusing. I would err on the side of nicely customizable and not add an option.

Your thoughts?
02/05/2006 8:19am
I opt for option a., for the reasons as mentioned by you, Matthew. Since people for one reason or the other share the same address, or change the name in the header (I know one person who uses an alias of his e-mail with a different header), I prefer to see the information provided by the sender.
02/05/2006 8:37am
Without adding a new option, we could simply let the user choose which column to display: either the 'header/mail name' or the 'contact's name'.

You only have to define the default, for which I propose the a) since it seems the more natural (the sender put a name in the header for a reason).

And if a user want the other functionality, he just have to change the default name column to the 'contact's name' column.

02/05/2006 12:20pm
I don't see the harm in adding another user configurable option. Just don't add the option where normal users will see it. Take a page from Firefox, here. The Edit->Preferences dialog is very simple, but Firefox is still very customizable through about:config for the users who crave configuration.
03/05/2006 10:40am
I liked the extra field option the best. So I've implemented that, it's called "From Contact" and will be available in the next release.
03/05/2006 7:22pm
\o/ ^^
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