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Old 1 Feb 2011, 05:15 AM   #1
Skeftomilos
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Classic Fastmail interface supporter

Today I saw this message in my login screen:

Quote:
We highly recommend you use the new interface. The old interface is deprecated and will eventually be removed.
I am a happy Fastmail user over a period of 6 years, and a paying customer the last three of them. I hope I can continue to use the interface I have mastered and loved over the years, since the alternative one that appeared at 2008 only makes for a worse user experience for me. Today I was forced to change my bookmarks, which is not a big real. I was also forced to write a greasemonkey script to fix the messed up long term login feature, which was a bigger deal. Please keep the classic Fastmail interface up and running for the years to come. Thanks.

Theodor Zoulias (Classic Fastmail interface supporter)
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 08:21 AM   #2
Sherry
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[Moderator:]

Theodor, I have moved your post to a new Thread in the "FastMail.FM General Discussions" Forum. The thread you had put it in was for Gmail.

Welcome to EMD
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 09:22 AM   #3
Happydays
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Hey, I just wanted to agree with Theodor, the classic look was why I first used Fastmail, there was no Javascript junk, just email, which was quick, fast and so easy to use!
So why change it?
OK, if you want a new look that's fine, but what happened to user choice?!

I have to say many websites have 'upgraded' their look to what they assume to be an improvement (and maybe for some users it is) but for anyone using a mobile internet connection, popular with the growing use of 'connect anywhere' netbooks (like I have) if the page gets too complicated, then it either doesn't load properly, or worse ....it doesn't appear at all!

If I'm in a 3G/HSPDA network area, everything is just fine, no problem - but go into a GPRS only network ...or try using a 56k landline dialup at home (yes, MANY people living in rural areas still can't get any broadband service!)...then it gets complicated.
Very slow if a page is loaded down with javascript and other stuff.

PLEASE keep the simple old interface.

As it is I usually have to run my netbook with javascript disabled, no flashplayer installed and sometimes 'show pictures' also has to be disabled too, as I can usually only get GPRS and if the mobile network is clogged up with users (as it often is!), the download speed can drop to only 14kb/sec or even lower.... 860b/sec!

Half the websites I used before no longer work now after a so called improvement 'upgrade'.
I just get a blank page, my mobile modem is full on ....crunching data as fast as it can...but on GPRS or EDGE ...nothing appears, as it's just too much to download as the network can't handle it.

Sadly, I've just shifted my entire fastmail emailarchive over to another provider, just in case I can't access anything if the old interface gets switched off.
This was just a precaution on my part after the warning message Theodor mentioned aimed at all 'oldfastmail' users, but please don't go the way of other websites I can't access now - as I want to still use 'old' Fastmail and not get locked out due to an improvement that may not work for me.

Lastly, I wonder how many webdesigners actually bother to take their design and test it on a really SLOW connection?
Not many I suppose, as (wrongly) they assume everyone has a 1:1 megafast broadband connection, like them, and so they design whatever they want and expect all will be able to use it ...right?

Wrong!
Even in 2011, there are those still chugging along on 56k dialup, or overstretched mobile networks ....all increasingly unable to cope with the modern webdesigner's newest creations!

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Old 1 Feb 2011, 10:48 AM   #4
psyklic
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Try going to Options -> Account Preferences -> Style Sheet and change it to "None." I just did some benchmarking, and the size of the new Fastmail interface with this change is comparable to the old interface. So, it should download just as quickly. However, it does not look as nice.
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 04:23 PM   #5
Berenburger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happydays View Post
If I'm in a 3G/HSPDA network area, everything is just fine, no problem - but go into a GPRS only network ...or try using a 56k landline dialup at home (yes, MANY people living in rural areas still can't get any broadband service!)...then it gets complicated.
Very slow if a page is loaded down with javascript and other stuff.
Use on such occasions the mobile interface.
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 07:15 PM   #6
fwalther
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Classic - not old - was the reason I chose fastmail

I refuse to bow to their term "old" as that is how they are trying to shame us away from the "classic" interface. Classic was why I chose fastmail and now after all these years it would be like root canal to swtich email providers. SHAME ON YOU FASTMAIL for forcing us out of classic view, This enrages me to no end. Screw you fastmail
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 08:11 PM   #7
Pfolson
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Wow, such hostility over an e-mail service. Remind me never to discuss politics or religion with you.

As I've posted elsewhere, I understand people preferring the old interface over the new. We all get used to certain things. We get acclimated and comfortable. But in the world of technology, nothing ever stays the same. Operating systems, software, websites, the UI of web-based services -- it's always a constant process of upgrade and (hopefully) improvement.

Sometimes you can cling to a favorite old product and simply choose to give up certain functionality in order to keep using it. For example, as I've also posted in another thread, I know people who still use Windows 98. They suffer with diminished security and usability, the OS is no longer supported by the manufacturer, and they can't even install newer versions of their favorite programs. But they stick with it anyway because they love it. Other times, the change is forced on you and you have no choice but to upgrade or go elsewhere. With Fastmail, we've had a little of both. They kept the old ... sorry, classic interface around much longer than expected, allowing those who preferred it to keep using it. But soon it will go away altogether.

As for me, I love the new interface. There are so many improvements over the old, so many additional bits of functionality that streamline and speed up my user experience, that I can't imagine ever wanting to go back. And I'm really looking forward to the future upgrades (i.e., Ajax) that are on the way.

But I do understand that my personal experience doesn't mean a thing to someone who's sad and angry about giving up their old beloved interface. I don't even know what to tell those people anymore. It's such a personal thing, it's pointless to even try. I do know that saying "change happens, deal with it" is the least helpful thing you can say, regardless of how true it might be.

I feel for those people; I really do.

Paul
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 09:08 PM   #8
B4its2L8
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Isn't it possible that some of the new features that Johan said Opera will be introducing this year (some of which may be FastMail related) will be made available before the removal of the 'classic' interface ? If so, perhaps those features will compensate for whatever Classic Interface users feel they no longer have with the present 'New' Interface.

(Just hoping out loud.....)
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 10:24 PM   #9
sflorack
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I work for the government, so I'm used to people fighting change and progression with every ounce of their being. But still.. come'on people. If the new interface degraded performance or function, I'd be on board with your concerns -- but it doesn't.

(And I really don't think people are trying to "shame you away" from using the old interface. Good lord..)
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Old 1 Feb 2011, 11:34 PM   #10
Pfolson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sflorack View Post
If the new interface degraded performance or function, I'd be on board with your concerns -- but it doesn't.
Those are fightin' words for some people on EMD. I know; I've stumbled into the fight a few times myself. There are people who claim drastically diminished performance from the new interface, with endless wait times for even the simplest functions.

I've never seen that myself. On my three machines, ranging from a five-year-old desktop running Windows XP to a new state-of-the-art Windows 7 laptop, in browsers ranging from Opera to Chrome, Safari and IE, and on networks ranging from sluggish to speedy, I've never seen anything but outstanding performance from the new interface.

It's impossible to know what accounts for the differences, but I've learned never to argue with someone who claims the new interface is slower, clunkier or less functional than the old. That way lies madness.

Paul
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Old 2 Feb 2011, 12:01 AM   #11
ellentk
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We can argue forever about which interface is better, but the main issue is user choice. Removing the classic interface significantly reduces user choice and removes functionality that many users highly value and signed up for.

Fastmail/Opera should continue to give paying customers a choice as to which interface we want to use. To do otherwise diminishes the value of the service.

BTW, how much does it cost to maintain the classic interface? Is Fastmail/Opera losing money by keeping it?

Just my two cents,

Ellen
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Old 2 Feb 2011, 12:17 AM   #12
Pfolson
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I wouldn't want to even hazard a guess on what the cost might be, but certainly there's a cost involved with any kind of software support. The time and developer talent spent keeping a deprecated product like the old FM interface alive has to be paid for with real money. It also diverts resources away from areas like maintenance, infrastructure improvements, new product development and user support.

I'm sure that's why FM decided quite some time ago to stop supporting the old interface, and why they will eventually phase it out completely. It's the same reason very few, if any, old and outdated software products are supported past a certain point.

Paul
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Old 2 Feb 2011, 12:38 AM   #13
David
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The battle of the old interface was lost, when it was vigorously pushed, but before it went mainstream (over three years ago) A withdrawal of support (at that time) might have made a difference. It is too late now methinks.
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Old 2 Feb 2011, 12:40 AM   #14
sflorack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfolson View Post
Those are fightin' words for some people on EMD. I know; I've stumbled into the fight a few times myself. There are people who claim drastically diminished performance from the new interface, with endless wait times for even the simplest functions.
IMHO, the overwhelming majority* of people make this claim to give their argument substance beyond stating the truth -- that they don't like the colors or button placement. Like you, I've never experienced anything other than smooth performance. If someone has a legitimate gripe beyond being stubborn, I'd love to hear it.

* I won't consider you part of the overwhelming majority if you're living in a part of the world where dial-up over a 56k modem is normal. I admit being spoiled by FiOS at home. Yet when I'm deployed to third-world countries and don't have the luxury of anything even equivalent to a 56k modem, I have noticed some email providers slow down due to "interface enhancements", i.e. Yahoo specifically.
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Old 2 Feb 2011, 12:48 AM   #15
sflorack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellentk View Post
We can argue forever about which interface is better, but the main issue is user choice. Removing the classic interface significantly reduces user choice and removes functionality that many users highly value and signed up for.
Please show me an email provider that is online today that has the exact same layout/design/interface that it had over 10 years ago.

Users who signed up back then (2001) for full accounts also had 50MB of storage (now they have 1000MB), yet I don't see people complaining about THOSE changes.
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