There's a lot of people who are very careful to never delete a single line from an e-mail they are replying to, always quoting the complete history. There's also a lot of people who believe that it wastes time to eyeball such long, useless texts. One of the fancy features introduced in this release of Trojitá, a fast Qt IMAP e-mail client, is automatic quote collapsing. I won't show you an example of an annoying mail for obvious reasons :), but this feature is useful even for e-mails which employ reasonable quoting strategy. It looks like this in the action:
When you click on the
... symbols, the first level expands to reveal the following:
When everything is expanded, the end results looks like this:
This concept is extremely effective especially when communicating with a top-posting community.
Starting with Qt 4.8, WebKit ships with support for the
:checked CSS3 pseudoclass. Using this feature,
it's possible to change the style based on whether an HTML checkbox is
checked or not . In theory, that's everything one might possibly need, but there's a small catch
-- the usual way of showing/hiding contents based on a state of a checkbox hits a WebKit bug (quick summary: it's tough to have it working without the
~ adjacent-sibling selector unless you use it in one particular way). Long story short, I now know more
about CSS3 than I thought I would ever want to know, and it works (unless you're on Qt5 already where
it assert-fails and crashes the WebKit).
Speaking of WebKit, the way we use it in Trojitá is a bit unusual. The
QWebView class contains full
support for scrolling, so it is not necessary to put it inside a
QScrollArea. However, when working with
e-mails, one has to account for messages containing multiple body parts which have to be shown separately (again, for
both practical and security reasons). In addition, the e-mail header which is typically implemented as a custom
QWidget for flexibility, is usually intended to combine with the message bodies into a single entity to be
scrolled together. With WebKit, this is doable (after some size hints magic, and I really mean magic -- thanks
to Thomas Lübking of the KWin fame for patches), but there's a catch -- internal methods like the
which normally scroll the contents of the web page into the matching place no longer works when the whole web view is
embedded into a
QScrollArea. I've dived into the source code of WebKit and the interesting thing is that there
is code for exactly this case, but it is only implemented in Apple's version of WebKit. The source code even says that Apple needed this for its own
Mail.app -- an interesting coincidence, I guess.
Compared with the last release, Trojitá has also gained support for "smart replying". It will now detect that a
message comes from a mailing list and
Ctrl+R will by default reply to list. Thomas has added support for
saving drafts, so that you are not supposed to lose your work when you accidentally kill Trojitá anymore. There's also
been the traditional round of bug fixes and compatibility improvements. It is entertaining to see that Trojitá is
apparently triggering certain code paths in various IMAP server implementations, proprietary and free software alike,
for the first time.
The work on support for multiple IMAP accounts is getting closer to being ready for prime time. It isn't present in the current release, though -- the GUI integration in particular needs some polishing before it hits the masses.
I'm happy to observe that Trojitá is getting features which are missing from other popular e-mail clients. I'm especially fond of my pet contribution, the quote collapsing. Does your favorite e-mail application offer a similar feature?
In the coming weeks, I'd like to focus on getting the multiaccounts branch merged into master, adding better
integration with the address book (Trojitá can already offer tab completion with data coming from Mutt's abook) and general GUI improvements. It would also be great to make it possible
to let Trojitá act as a handler for the
mailto: URLs so that it gets invoked when you click on an e-mail
address in your favorite web browser, for example.
And finally, to maybe lure a reader or two into trying Trojitá, here's a short quote from a happy user who came to our IRC channel a few days ago:
17:16 < Sir_Herrbatka> i had no idea that it's possible for mail client to be THAT fastOne cannot help but be happy when reading this. Thanks!