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Old 10 Jan 2017, 06:55 AM   #46
David
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brong View Post

(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)
There has been a perception (for a long, long time) that the classic interface would one day go away, And that even if it did not, it would no longer be fully supported, is the reason that many have already left the classic interface, methinks. Also, a few knowledgeable (influential) EMD users here have continually reminded us of that, and have touted the new interface as God's gift to all wo/mankind
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 07:04 AM   #47
BritTim
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All my customers have now moved from Classic to the current interface. This is partly based on my advice because I expected the Classic interface to be disappearing. We still sometimes switch back to Classic to accomplish tasks that are difficult to achieve in the current interface. Overall, everyone has adapted to the current interface within a few days without too much trouble.

I still believe the older interface works better for a certain category of power users. However, the current interface mostly works better for those trying to get routine work done. Both classic and the current interface are fast, but (for routine work) the current interface has these advantages:
  • It is easy to see when new messages arrive in the mailbox without wasting time continually checking.
  • When composing new messages and replying to messages, the behavior is more predictable. It is easier and quicker to produce good looking results on a consistent basis.
  • The Undo feature is occasionally a lifesaver when rushing to complete work against a deadline
  • For some, conversations represent an easier way of working.
My major concern with loss of Classic is that some functions, not used incessantly but still needed, will become extremely difficult to achieve. In the past, I would have had other concerns. At one time, enabling JavaScript was fraught with security risks. Selective enabling no longer worries me. One argument I do not accept is the one that people are using an ancient browser on an ancient operating system that cannot be upgraded to support the current interface. Use of such systems on the open Internet is pure folly, because of the unpatched (and unpatchable) security holes. Second hand hardware able to run supported operating systems and browsers costs about US$50. Fastmail aside, people who want to use the Internet should not be running seriously vulnerable operating systems and browsers to do so.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 07:06 AM   #48
Grhm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brong View Post
[CITATION NEEDED]
(1) Accessibility
The new interface works on fewer browsers than the Classic interface.
Do you dispute this?

(2) Speed
In addition to the obstacles to workflow introduced in the interest of a 'clean look' [see (4), below], whenever I use the new interface I seem to spend most of my time looking at an animated graphic and waiting for things to happen.
This doesn't happen nearly so much with Classic.
[And it never used to happen at all with the original 'Old' interface, back in the days when Fastmail lived up to its name.]
I haven't quantified this slowing-up on lower-spec computers, but if you doubt my word, I will do... just as soon as I find time to get onto the public computers in the library.
[I am unable to do this at home owing to point (1), above]

(3) Stability
The new interface crashes more often than Classic.
Do you dispute this?

(4) Ergonomics
Many controls that are in constant view and therefore instantly available on Classic are hidden away in the new interface behind menus and links.
This means much more mouse navigation and clicking is entailed in the new interface than when doing the same things on Classic.
Do you dispute this?

(5) Functionality
Not counting the functions that formerly worked in Classic but have been deliberately removed,
the number of functions that are available in Classic but not in the new interface is significantly larger than the number of functions that are available in the new interface but not in Classic.
Do you dispute this?

Last edited by Grhm : 10 Jan 2017 at 07:11 AM. Reason: Minor typos
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 07:19 AM   #49
brong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grhm View Post
(1) Accessibility
The new interface works on fewer browsers than the Classic interface.
Do you dispute this?
As BritTim pointed out, the new interface works on every browser that has current security support and is safe to use on the internet.

Quote:
(2) Speed
In addition to the obstacles to workflow introduced in the interest of a 'clean look' [see (4), below], whenever I use the new interface I seem to spend most of my time looking at an animated graphic and waiting for things to happen.
This doesn't happen nearly so much with Classic.
[And it never used to happen at all with the original 'Old' interface, back in the days when Fastmail lived up to its name.]
I haven't quantified this slowing-up on lower-spec computers, but if you doubt my word, I will do... just as soon as I find time to get onto the public computers in the library.
[I am unable to do this at home owing to point (1), above]
Perhaps you don't notice the time between you performing an action and the next page loading in classic. Many actions in the new interface happen in the background and you don't have to wait for them. Every action in classic requires a full roundtrip to the server. On a fast network in New York, classic still feels snappy to me when I switch back to try it. From the other side of the world, not so much.

Quote:
(3) Stability
The new interface crashes more often than Classic.
Do you dispute this?
Sure, classic can't "crash" in your browser because it doesn't do anything there, so any crash counts as more. That said, I have very rarely seen crashes, and they're usually in new features. You should have seen how many things "crashed" in classic when we were actively developing there. Just you saw them as a server-generated outage message or error.

Quote:
(4) Ergonomics
Many controls that are in constant view and therefore instantly available on Classic are hidden away in the new interface behind menus and links.
This means much more mouse navigation and clicking is entailed in the new interface than when doing the same things on Classic.
Do you dispute this?
This is a somewhat legitimate claim. Hiding advanced navigation vs having it visible is a matter of fashion as much as anything, and current fashion is clean interfaces with advanced features hidden. If you use keyboard shortcuts, you have tons of power at your fingertips without mouse navigation.

Quote:
(5) Functionality
Not counting the functions that formerly worked in Classic but have been deliberately removed,
the number of functions that are available in Classic but not in the new interface is significantly larger than the number of functions that are available in the new interface but not in Classic.
Do you dispute this?
Yes, I totally dispute this. You are 100% full of **** on this point.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 07:57 AM   #50
brong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mballas View Post
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?
Between 1 and 2% of paying customers used Classic at least once in December 2016.

I would estimate that the overhead in terms of code complexity to keep classic running is at about 20% of all new development, but worse, it holds us back from making other technical moves like changing out Apache mod_perl (which is very unmaintained these days) for a newer, more efficient and debuggable web server engine. It's very hard to quantify the cost of those technical roadblocks.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 08:58 AM   #51
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Edit..........

Last edited by Terry : 10 Jan 2017 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 09:43 AM   #52
Grhm
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Hi, Bron.

Thank you for your reply.

You've provided some detail, and you've explained the reasons why you think things must be so, but it seems to me that you basically agree with me that the accessibility, speed, stability and ergonomics of the new interface are inferior to Classic.

The only thing you dispute (and vehemently so!) is that the new interface has less functionality than Classic.

This surprises me because I had expected it to be the other way round.

The fact that there is a net loss of functionality I thought was uncontroversial.

This thread, and a number of threads linked from it, are full of users lamenting the loss of functions that were important to them in Classic but that don't exist in the new interface.

Are you really saying that those users are all mistaken?

Last edited by Grhm : 10 Jan 2017 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 11:09 AM   #53
David
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grhm View Post

This thread, and a number of threads linked from it, are full of users lamenting the loss of functions that were important to them in Classic but that don't exist in the new interface.

Are you really saying that those users are all mistaken?
Perhaps you could list these out Grhm. I doubt that Bron has enough time to spare to do that.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 11:33 AM   #54
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If I find time I may do that, yes.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 12:35 PM   #55
Bamb0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grhm
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.
Ya its horrible..... Its intrusive and just what they want I guess... The most control over everyone.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by brong
As BritTim pointed out, the new interface works on every browser that has current security support and is safe to use on the internet.
Im sorry but ANY BROWSER can be secure if its setup right......... Dont believe the MSM stuff Brong please!!
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 02:15 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Bamb0 View Post
Im sorry but ANY BROWSER can be secure if its setup right......... Dont believe the MSM stuff Brong please!!
Unless you have the browser source code, a lot of time, and the skills to apply security updates, this is simply false. (I am not even assuming here that you want to selectively enable JavaScript.) Actually, you will often also need the source of the operating system to patch security holes there that cause the browser to be insecure.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 02:26 PM   #57
BritTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grhm View Post
The fact that there is a net loss of functionality I thought was uncontroversial.

This thread, and a number of threads linked from it, are full of users lamenting the loss of functions that were important to them in Classic but that don't exist in the new interface.

Are you really saying that those users are all mistaken?
If the current interface was withdrawn in favor of Classic, there would be a lot more users bemoaning the loss of functionality!

As Bron said, enable and learn the keyboard shortcuts in the current interface, and it becomes more efficient than Classic for routine operations. The fact that it is less efficient than Classic for less frequently used functions when using the mouse becomes irrelevant.

There are a few features that I consider important in Classic that do not exist in the current interface. To say Classic overall is better is mistaken IMHO, for most categories of users.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 04:05 PM   #58
BritTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
In the current UI

The show full header is missing
Poll Mail is missing
More actions like download to Zip is missing
In compose screen I like to see my address book
Log out button is not on the top bar
The from @ feature is missing
For routine use, the ability (present in the current interface but not in Classic) to show selected headers of interest is more useful than the show full headers option. In the case where a specific message must be troubleshooted, showing the raw message is a workable approach (sometimes better than just showing the headers, for instance when weird Microsoft HTML must be investigated).

Poll Mail is obsolete when new messages show up immediately instead of at each poll interval.

Download zip is still available for specific folders. I agree with you that loss of download zip for selected messages from a search is an occasional problem.

There are pluses and minuses when comparing the Classic and current compose screens. I have had several customers concerned about the non visibility of the address book, but they seemed to adapt pretty quickly once using the current interface routinely.

To log out (once you have enabled keyboard shortcuts which any power user should) get into the habit of logging out using Shitf-G followed by (lowercase) L. It is quicker even than a single movement of the mouse and mouse click.

The @ feature has been present in the current interface for some time. You just need the appropriate identity defined to enable it.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 05:03 PM   #59
Terry
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Edit........

Last edited by Terry : 10 Jan 2017 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 10 Jan 2017, 05:23 PM   #60
Berenburger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BritTim View Post
There are a few features that I consider important in Classic that do not exist in the current interface. To say Classic overall is better is mistaken IMHO, for most categories of users.
I'm one of them.
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