Mozilla screws me again

So I’ve been using Mozilla mail again, since it’s a little more powerful than Plus, this way I’m using the same client on Mac and PC (no way in hell I’m using Outlook Express, especially after my friend’s PC got a virus just from reading a message in OE).

Now on the PC version of Moz Mail, SHIFT+ALT+Enter sends the message you’re composing. I’ve gotten quite in the habit of using this, since I’m all about the keyboard shortcuts, dontcha know? So naturally, when I start using Moz mail on OS X, I attempt to do something similar with SHIFT+CMD+Return. Everything looks fine, although I do find it odd that if I hit CMD+Return, it appears to also send, except it asks me first if I really wanna send a message. I don’t like ther computer second-guessing me, so I avoid using that shortcut and stick to my tried-and-true triple keypress.

Lately, a few people who I sent email to said they haven’t been getting it. I poke around in my Sent folder, and sure enough, the messages aren’t there. I check my preferences to make sure sent mail is getting copied to the Sent folder, and everything looks okay. I decide to send myself some email; it never arrives. What the hell?

So I get all scientific and send two messages. One I send with the SHIFT+CMD+Return command, the other with the CMD+Return command. Guess which one shows up?

So now I realize that probably the last 30 emails I “sent” didn’t actually go anywhere. But they’re not saved in my drafts folder or anything like that. As far as I can tell, SHIFT+CMD+Return is a shortcut for a hidden “fuck this noise” command that immediately destroys your message.

Then I notice this option under the File menu called “Send Later.” Now there isn’t a key shortcut listed next to this command, so one would think that there wasn’t a shortcut for it. One apparently would be wrong for thinking this, because once I hit “Send Unsent Messages,” Mozilla starts sending about 3000 messages, all the while saying over and over “damn, you are a dumbass, aren’t you?” Because God forbid Mozilla ask me if I really want to instantly hide my message deep inside its poop chute where I’ll never find it, instead of sending it immediately.

So if you just got 10 messages from me, now you know why.

  • Ed
    04/26/2003 03:49:57 PM

    You know, while you’re on the mac, you might want to get down with the menu system. I’d been reading up on it and the whole “menu vs. keyboard shortcut” issue is really interesting. Those top-of-screen mac menus gain about a zillion usability points over windows menus cause of the increased screen real estate, and they did a ton of tests back in the day that showed that…

    1) using menus feels slower than using keyboard shortcuts

    2) using menus is virtually always actually faster than using keyboard shorcuts

    They eventually figured out that it takes more brainpower to remember a key combo than to look through a menu, and therefore you concentrate harder when using your keyboard shortcut, and you actually are amnesic for the time it took to remember the shortcut. You think it was instantaneous, but it wasn’t,a nd the time it took was longer than the time it would have taken you to hit the menu item.

    Those little half-seconds of concentration can hose you.

    I’ve been trying going with the menus rather than key combos lately and it’s been working well for me — feels slightly slower but my work flow is still smooth.

    And you never get hosed by the old “what are the keyboard shortcuts for THIS app?” phenomenon.

    Just an idea.

  • Ed Finkler
    04/27/2003 12:06:38 PM

    I’d like to read those studies.

    My initial thoughts are that it’s definitely the case that menu systems are faster if we’re talking about exclusively using either menus or keystrokes. My personal experience, though, is that it is definitely worth the time investment to learn keyboard shortcuts for things you do a lot. A couple examples:

    • Switching to the object or point selection tool in Illustrator
    • Inserting a “” tag in BBEdit

    I end up doing those things SO frequently that I’ve found that it really pays off.

  • mand
    05/10/2003 03:25:01 AM

    Keyboard shortcuts are defininetly faster, the only time you notice a concentration break is when you switch software. Im sure that the part of your brain which manages shortcut keys is not the same as the one your using to code or whatever. The drawback is finding myself wanting to hit undo when Im sketching on paper.

    Imagine going to a menu every time you wanted to cut and paste or change tools in Photoshop.

    By the way if you have a problem with Mozilla why don’t you post a bug report / enhancement request, I have found the Mozilla team to be incredibly responsive.