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Old 9 Jan 2017, 01:51 AM   #31
rbeltz48
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A Huge Step Backwards

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Something that the vast majority of web developers in the world simply don't understand. Back in 2007, Fastmail was free. Then it was $5.00/yr. Now it is $10.00/yr. for those who already have a Lite account. For others it is now $30.00/yr. for a new user basic account! Is that inflation or what? A 3000% pricing increase in about 9 years or less!

The classic interface does rings around the new one. At the end of our billing cycle in Nov. 2017 I may well move to Hushmail or Safe-Mail. Enough is enough!
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Old 9 Jan 2017, 02:51 AM   #32
bipbop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbeltz48 View Post
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Something that the vast majority of web developers in the world simply don't understand. Back in 2007, Fastmail was free. Then it was $5.00/yr. Now it is $10.00/yr. for those who already have a Lite account. For others it is now $30.00/yr. for a new user basic account! Is that inflation or what? A 3000% pricing increase in about 9 years or less!

The classic interface does rings around the new one. At the end of our billing cycle in Nov. 2017 I may well move to Hushmail or Safe-Mail. Enough is enough!
Divide $30 by the number of days in a year, and look at the day price. If you can't stomach that, perhaps go for a free service, like GMail?`

Gee, I just looked at the prices for Premium accounts at Safe-Mail. Ouch.
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Old 9 Jan 2017, 03:04 AM   #33
chickadee
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Grhm, I agree with you. The original ("old") interface was, without question, the "crème de la crème." Oh, how I miss it!

As Jeremy Howard, one of the two co-founders of FastMail, said in these forums, Rob Mueller, the other co-founder, wrote most of the code of the original interface--an extraordinary achievement.
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Old 9 Jan 2017, 03:26 AM   #34
Bamb0
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Grhm, I agree with you. The original ("old") interface was, without question, the "crème de la crème." Oh, how I miss it!
Indeed -- Much better!!!

Why do things always get worse?
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Old 9 Jan 2017, 06:18 AM   #35
communicant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grhm View Post
If having a second, parallel web interface is a security risk and a drain on resources, why on Earth did Fastmail set up the new interface in the first place?
If they have to drop one of the interfaces then they should drop the new one.
It doesn't work at all on my device, and in my experience of it on library computers it is inferior to Classic in almost every way.
It is a failed experiment.
They have had several years working on it and it still falls well short of the standard of functionality, speed, ergonomics and accessibility of the 'classic' interface... which itself is inferior to the original 'old' interface it replaced.
To say it has 'a modern look and feel' is vacuous.
If Ford brought out a new car that was slower, harder to drive and less comfortable than the model it replaced, they would be laughed out of town for drawing attention to its 'modern look and feel'.
Computer technology seems to be the only area of life in which people meekly accept that 'modern' inevitably means worse.
It doesn't have to be this way!
Agreed, on all counts.

And here is another related point, from a personal perspective, if I may.

A family member of mine is happy using the classic interface. She is locked out of using the standard interface because her older browser is not supported. And before anyone asks why she doesn't simply update her browser, she couldn't further upgrade her browser even if she wanted to do so, because it is the highest version supported by her computer's OS, and further upgrading of her OS is not feasible. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that the only way for her to coninue using Fastmail after the classic interface is discontinued would be to buy an entirely new device, something she has no need or desire to do.

She doesn't need or use elaborate features and would be perfectly glad to use a 'basic' or 'minimalist' interface that provides simple access to her account without all the bells and whistles, but her browser is also incompatible with https://tiny.fastmail.com/, the 'minimalist' interface which previously afforded at least a basic login capability to users of older systems and browsers. (I'm not sure when this incompatibility took hold, but a test login using https://tiny.fastmail.com worked OK at some point during the past year, so some change must have been made fairly recently that now precludes this option, at least in her case.)

There is no intrinsic reason, either technical or economic, why such corporate decisions are inevitable. To cite several examples large and small, Gmail, EuMX, and VFEmail all make allowance for backwards compatibility which accommodate as many users as possible, including those willing to do without fancy features. Gmail offers a 'basic HTML interface' which will work with just about anything, and EuMX and VFEmail offer a 'basic' or 'minimalist' interface (available as a choice at the Horde login page). A number of other reputable and reliable providers offer similar or analogous options in connection with various webmail interfaces or as a stand-alone separate log-in option.

If providers at opposite ends of the size and resources spectrum can offer versions of this sort of simple user option, then why can't Fastmail do it? Clearly it is not economically impractical for VFEmail or EuMX to do this, and they are quite small operations, so a provider doesn't have to possess Gmail's bottomless resources to display this sort of flexibility. Why should my family member have to choose between buying a new device she does not need or sacrificing access to her Fastmail account?

I accept that backwards compatibility can realistically be taken only so far, and I acknowledge that eventually a time does come when older software and the technology that uses it must be retired and replaced. In this case, however, Fastmail has been disingenuous from the very beginning about its intentions regarding the 'old' interface, while continuously chipping away and redefining and degrading it.

I understand all the reasons given for their decisions, but their past record in this connection disinclines me to viewing their actions with much sympathy or approval.
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Old 9 Jan 2017, 06:48 AM   #36
Bamb0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by communicant
A family member of mine is happy using the classic interface. She is locked out of using the standard interface because her older browser is not supported..
Yes same with me.... I like my browser and do not wanna change to something I dont like....
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Old 9 Jan 2017, 09:47 AM   #37
chickadee
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What a beautifully written post, communicant.

Because of my browser, I, too, cannot access the standard interface, and for me to continue using FastMail, I, too, would have to buy a new PC, which I cannot afford.

(For years, I have admired your posts, because of their clarity, conciseness, and cogency. If you are not a professional writer, communicant, you definitely should be.)
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Old 9 Jan 2017, 02:25 PM   #38
brong
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Originally Posted by vivil View Post
a malfunction reported *AND* never corrected... hard to debug i agree but...
Looking at that I'd say hard to reproduce too, it looks like the browser is sending two touch events in quick succession. In which case it's indistinguishable to our software from you hitting delete again. Do you have the support ticket number from when it was reported?
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Old 9 Jan 2017, 04:26 PM   #39
Bamb0
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Originally Posted by chickadee
What a beautifully written post, communicant.
Yes he speaks for alot of us!!!

Thank you communicant!
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Old 9 Jan 2017, 04:47 PM   #40
edu
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I agree with communicant, but we have a solution: using an email client working with old operative systems or (if you like it) a smartphone. In my particular case I use the browser because I can be in many different places or in my job, but in your case, communicant, maybe it's a solution, I don't know. I love those simple interfaces without javascript only to send and receive emails and some other important functions, and some big companies are offering it yet.
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Old 9 Jan 2017, 08:22 PM   #41
walesrob
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Originally Posted by Bamb0 View Post
Yes he speaks for alot of us!!!

Thank you communicant!
Really? Got any numbers? 10? 20? 500? 50000? Are you saying the majority of FM users prefer the Classic interface? Got any inside information to back this up?
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 03:41 AM   #42
Bamb0
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Exclamation

Well they should -- IT IS MUCH BETTER!!!!!!

We wouldnt be in this matter if it wasnt for ppl who think WORSE IS BETTER!!

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Old 10 Jan 2017, 05:50 AM   #43
Grhm
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Originally Posted by walesrob View Post
Are you saying the majority of FM users prefer the Classic interface? Got any inside information to back this up?
I wonder how many of this legion of users who supposedly 'prefer' the new interface have actual practical experience of using Classic.
Very few, I imagine, considering the lengths Fastmail have gone to to conceal the very existence of Classic from new users; and considering the deliberate removal of much of its functionality.
I can tell you with complete confidence that among users who are in a position to make a fair comparison, the overwhelming majority prefer Classic.
I can say this with confidence because it is not a matter of personal taste or opinion: the new interface is objectively and measurably worse than Classic.
Objectively and measurably worse in terms of accessibility, speed, stability, ergonomics and, most importantly, functionality.
The only actual improvement that users have mentioned here is that it automatically updates when new mail arrives.
Personally I've never felt the need for such a function.
In fact I would prefer not to have it, because if it fails it fails silently, whereas if a refresh fails the failure is immediately apparent.
But even if this sole improvement wasn't so problematic, it would scarecly be worth all those development hours and user pain just to implement it and save a minority of power users the minor inconvenience of having to click on 'refresh' occasionally!
Of course, the other improvement that is always being cited is that it has a 'fresh, clean look'.
I can barely believe that anyone would put this forward as an argument.
A web interface is a serious tool with a serious function, not an item of interior decor!
All talk of 'aesthetics' in this context presumably comes from people who would base their choice of a new power drill on which one they think is the prettiest colour.
Risible.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 05:54 AM   #44
brong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grhm View Post
I can tell you with complete confidence that among users who are in a position to make a fair comparison, the overwhelming majority prefer Classic.
I can say this with confidence because it is not a matter of personal taste or opinion: the new interface is objectively and measurably worse than Classic.
Objectively and measurably worse in terms of accessibility, speed, stability, ergonomics and, most importantly, functionality.
[CITATION NEEDED]

(seriously though, I actually have the stats about users who have been around long enough to have had access to both interfaces, and I argued this originally, but I've seen the percentage that have moved, and there are very few left on classic)

Last edited by brong : 10 Jan 2017 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 06:46 AM   #45
mballas
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Originally Posted by brong View Post
[CITATION NEEDED]

(seriously though, I actually have the stats about users who have been around long enough to have had access to both interfaces, and I argued this originally, but I've seen the percentage that have moved, and there are very few left on classic)
Thank you Bron,

Count me as one who was present almost at the creation of Fastmail and who is happy and at peace with the current interface. My impression from the recurring waves of discontent is that the classic advocates are diehards who are in a small minority. Can you shed some quantitative light on this?
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