Some Signature Updates

Some news for the Thunderbird signatures in email.  I’ve updated the Message Signatures wiki page with some new possible directions.

Signature Manager

One still missing piece has been adding a signature manager.  Previously I mentioned that we could create a new dialog window for managing signatures, however several comments posted and emailed made me want to look into other possibilities.

So here’s a mockup of a possible layout for the Signature manager to be in the Thunderbird preferences, under the Composition tab.  (tabs within tabs… whoo hoo!)

Script Signatures

I keep offering a possible script signature in different mockups and yet there hasn’t been any mention of how you’d add a script signature yourself.  My feeling is that we can leave script signatures up to extensions and extension developers.  It might be nice to offer a script signature by default and perhaps this would lead more people to try out extensions that provide script signatures, however I don’t have a plan to create a default interface for them yet.

Signature Add-ons

Here’s a pretty simple way to introduce signature add-ons specifically to the signature preferences.  There are some open ended pieces of this that need to be worked out.  What does the add-on manager look like when it opens up from a link like this?

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated as always.


Signatures in Email

Last week I was blitzed by being cc’d on a lot of email signature related bugs. 🙂  To remain calm and keep delusions of control active I started on a wiki page for Message Signatures in Thunderbird.  Right now the page contains lots of links to relevant areas and ascii art mockups for choosing a default signature for accounts; it’s meant to collect thoughts, research, and define direction.

Managing Signatures

I think a general improvement plan will involve simplifying the signature selection and creation process.  Here are a number of points that I think can improve the current aspects of signature management.

  • Each account is created a default signature (from the person’s name and organization)
  • Every signature can be edited with a built-in signature editor (created from the compose window)
  • Signatures can be imported from files, but are saved in the Thunderbird profile or preferences (see bug 324495)
  • A separate dialog is used for managing all signatures, with import, add, edit, remove actions as well as a link to see the signature extensions available from AMO.

Concept Mockup of Signature Chooser in Account Settings

Using Signatures

In the relevant extensions section of the wiki page I tried to list most of the extensions that are dealing with how to use signatures in the compose window.  There are a number of ways of solving this problem and lots of issues surrounding posting style that I am hesitant to battle with.

Several bugs (see bug 219197, bug 73567, and bug 37644) have suggestions that attack the problem from different angles.  New comments and suggestions are welcome!

ASCII Art Side Note

I think I’ve started to use Johan’s ASCII Art Mockup post as a reference for my own ascii art; it’s good to see some style written down somewhere.