HTML by default in KMail

Aurélien Gâteau aurelien.gateau at
Tue Aug 10 08:39:58 BST 2010

On 10/08/2010 05:09, Yuval Levy wrote:
> On August 9, 2010 04:28:20 am Aurélien Gâteau wrote:
>> Turning HTML on for *displaying* email is something I have done every
>> time I introduced someone to KMail.
> You did one step in the process that Kubuntu/Kmail can't do (yet): you 
> analyzed "someone" and their situation.  You came to the conclusion that HTML 
> fits their needs best.  This conclusion can't be generalized.

That's the whole point of choosing good defaults. Trying to provide the
best setup out of the box for as much people as possible. Since we do
not have hundred of people running KDE in usability labs, we can only
guess what the best defaults are, based on our personal experience, on
how we see users use our products and on our intuition of what would be
best for them (and not necessarily for us, that's the hard part).

> Moreover, by doing this in front of them you taught them the ability to 
> customize further (or switch back), because they saw you navigate the 
> "preferences maze". 

I don't think they remembered this sequence. I think they just cared
that I fixed this thing so that it just worked.

>> If this option is not on then KMail
>> is perceived as less powerful than their previous email client.
> Unknowledgeable consumers perceive digital cameras with higher megapixel count 
> to be more powerful than models with lesser megapixel count.  Experts know 
> better.  Commercial interests cater to this misconception because it's easy 
> and more profitable than educating consumers and offering them real value.

We are not comparing a numeric value here. We are discussing whether we
should keep a one-click barrier between the user and the content he
wants to access.

> I would like to suggest a simple *principle*:  The default should work for as 
> many use cases as possible, i.e. represent the minimum common denominator.
> On top of the default, add a layer of customization.  Detect (hardware) or 
> query (user) capabilities at install time and/or on first log in and customize 
> accordingly.  This layer of customization is very crude at the moment: the 
> user must go into the settings of each application and configure it.  I can 
> imagine a day when a piece of software will take care of this, ask a few 
> questions and do the configuration work for you.
> In a third step things can be optimized further for a specific user/hardware 
> configuration.

Would be cool, but it's unlikely to happen soon.

> The number one fix for the security issues you mention is consumer education.  
> If these are your concerns, a startup tip (like we have in Hugin [1], enabled 
> by default) is the solution.

Startup tip are most often perceived as annoyance. While we, computer
enthusiasts, enjoy using a computer and enjoy learning about the way it
works, ordinary users do not care. They just want to read their email
and get back to real life.


More information about the kubuntu-devel mailing list