sending the first message interface

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sending the first message interface

Postby josh » Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:29 pm

This thread is for discussing the UI for sending the first message. I think explaining this will be the most challenging part of the entire UI, since it'll be easy to give the unitiated user the impression that disposable email addresses are created on the site, rather than automatically.

Anyway, here's what I'm thinking:

Somewhere, there'll need to be a link to a special page that lets you get a special email address to use for sending the first message. It'll have a form:

Code: Select all
                    recipient address: _____________
                    disposeable address to use: [list box with all non-hidden addresses]
                    or create a new address:  __word__  __number__ [listbox with all supported domains]

                             [submit]




submitting these would show a screen that contains a mailto: link with the new address that the user can use to send the first message to the recipient.
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Postby SysKoll » Tue Jan 27, 2004 5:31 pm

Josh,

Agreed, provided that the "create new address" line makes a mention of the user name:
Code: Select all
 or create a new address:  __word__  __number__  . username @ [listbox with all supported domains]


Also, in the page where you can edit a disposable addresses, you should have a "Send email from this address" button that allows you to send a message from that address.
-- SysKoll
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Re: sending the first message interface

Postby vellire » Fri Jan 30, 2004 7:16 pm

josh wrote:submitting these would show a screen that contains a mailto: link with the new address that the user can use to send the first message to the recipient.


How does the mailto: work for someone using webmail?
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Postby SysKoll » Fri Jan 30, 2004 7:56 pm

Vellire,

This would be an address to cut-and-paste in the To: field of any email program.

Josh, maybe we could also have a text box and a "send" button so that people could send the first message directly from the SG web site?
-- SysKoll
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Postby Guest » Mon Feb 02, 2004 3:14 am

I'm moving slower than I'd hoped -- there's this football game on tv...

You can see what's there at:

http://spamgourmet.com/index2.pl?languageCode=ZZ

I added the "send a message from this address" link to the form you use to update a disposable, and that's the only way to get to it right now. Also, you have to use and existing address -- there's no way to create a new one yet.
Guest
 

Postby SysKoll » Mon Feb 02, 2004 5:59 am

Absolutely beautiful, Josh -- apparently you were so caught up in that barbaric US game of yours that you forgot to logon. :D

I tested the "send messages" link and they seem to work perfectly. I tested a few disposable in recursor.net and yep, that works to.

So great job. I like it. I'll think of a way to make this new page easier to understand for first time users.

Now, for ease of use, we should really also provide the interface you proposed, i.e., a "to" address and a box to enter the disposable (possibly new). Then 2 buttons: "send an email from here" and "send an email from anywhere". The former gives you a page with a text field to type your message and a "send" button, the latter will give you an email address to cut-and-paste in your email client, just like the page you just created.
-- SysKoll
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Postby josh » Mon Feb 02, 2004 4:55 pm

I'd like to hold off on the "send message from here" functionality if we can. The reason for this is that currently all mail sent through spamgourmet has to originate at another mail server, so there's an audit trail that preserves and shows the sender's relationship with their ISP or mail provider. Sending the mail straight of the sg server (although it can certainly be done through port25 telnetting) removes that layer.

It's more a matter of policy than anything -- In the few dispute triangles we've been dragged into it's always been a great help that we were merely acting as a middle man.
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Postby SysKoll » Mon Feb 02, 2004 7:04 pm

A valid point, so I'd just add the interface described in the first 2 messages of this topic namely a page where you have:

Code: Select all
 recipient address: _____________
disposeable address to use: [list box with all non-hidden addresses]
 or create a new address:  __word__  __count__  . username @ [listbox with all supported domains]

                             [submit]


along with the required explanations that I'll be glad to supply.
-- SysKoll
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Postby josh » Tue Feb 03, 2004 6:06 pm

I've got the functionality in place for adding a new address, sort of -- it needs to be "hardened" a bit, mostly as regards error handling:

there's the issue of when the user tries to create a new address, but actually already has the "word" for the address in an existing disposable. I suppose we should return to the form page with an appropriate error message, and perhaps the address SELECTed? Right now, I'm using the database primary key (number) as the value of the select options -- perhaps we could change that to the "words", then if the user inputs a word, we can use javascript to check it against the list of options and throw an alert if there's a match (I don't know how to do this off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure it's not too difficult -- if it is, we can just include all the words in a javascript array on the page and use that for validation). We'd also need to handle it on the back end for users w/o javascript. Also, I'm excluding hidden addresses from the list, so we'd need to work that out somehow, maybe by just including them.

I just hard-coded the list of (some of the) domains for now. There's a more "official" list of them in a config file, that I'll hit for the droplist. There are other domains -- some of which I don't even know about, I'm sure, that users have set up per the item in the FAQ. It would be nice to allow the users to use one of those domains, as well, but I can't think of a sensible way to validate them. Of course, if the users provide domains that don't work, and we accept them, they'll never hear back from the recipients of their messages.

Also, when I created a new address, everything worked when I sent the message, but when I received it, it was missing the Subject tagline -- a couple of other users, including Eugeny, the Russian translator, have seen this problem in other contexts, so maybe it's the same thing.
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Postby josh » Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:32 pm

josh wrote:Also, when I created a new address, everything worked when I sent the message, but when I received it, it was missing the Subject tagline -- a couple of other users, including Eugeny, the Russian translator, have seen this problem in other contexts, so maybe it's the same thing.


I was being a moron -- the message was sent *from* the sg address not *to* it, and so shouldn't have had the tagline. When I replied from the message back to the sg address, it did have the tagline.
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Postby josh » Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:43 pm

Here's the latest:

I added server-side handling of the situation where the user provides a word for a new address that already exists -- the script ouputs the form again with an error message and that address selected in the droplist (whether it was hidden or not). That auto-selection is kind of convenient, and would be hard to pull off with client side checking (assuming we exclude hidden addresses by default), so maybe we don't need to worry about client side checking.

I added a client side javascript check to make sure the "recipient" field is not blank -- it does not yet attempt to tell whether it's a valid address.

I made it so that if an existing address is selected, the script "unhides" it (if it was hidden) and restores the full amount of remaining messages to it.

I worked on the language a bit to hopefully make it more clear.

Remaining to be done:
+ the form still looks clunky, and, like Syskoll, I how have the problem of the domain droplist wrapping
+ the domain droplist still needs to be pulled from configuration -- it's hard coded
+ there may be a spameater bug that prevents the addresses from decrementing -- still not sure here, but I thought I noticed it.
+ the text in the mysendtoform.html template needs to be "dialog-ized" (after it's finalized, I suppose)
+ after that, the dialogs need to be translated


btw, I sneaked in a "remember me" persistent cookie feature that a few users had asked for
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Postby josh » Sat Feb 07, 2004 9:44 pm

- got the domains list from config,
- I can't reproduce the decrement bug.
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Postby josh » Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:59 am

Ok - I cleaned up the form a little bit, and I added extended domain support - that is, the domain is now in a text box, and selecting one of the domains in the list changes the value of the text box. You're free to type in another domain, but if you type one in that's not in the list, you'll get a javascript warning.

The reason for this domain thing is to support the users who have pointed their domains at sg, but haven't made it public.

There's more javascript than I like to use, but I tested it in both Firebird and IE, and it works in both.
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Postby josh » Sun Feb 08, 2004 5:09 am

I "dialog-ized" the text, and refactored mysendtoform to use only dialogs (so it can be removed from the other language template folders when we make the change -- I think it was pretty difficult to translate because of the all the HTML -- a bunch of translators missed stuff).

I also added the feature that Syskoll mentioned about turning on address masking if it's not already on when you create a sendfrom address.

So -- it's pretty much ready to go -- you all want to take another look?
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Postby josh » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:30 pm

so - what do you all think? Go live?
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