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Re: Last Call: draft-ietf-imapext-sort (INTERNET MESSAGE ACCESS PROTOCOL - SORT AND THREAD EXTENSIONS) to Proposed Standard

2008-03-03 09:24:06
Speaking as email client user:

Dave Cridland wrote:

On Mon Mar  3 15:03:20 2008, Cyrus Daboo wrote:

--On March 2, 2008 11:07:50 PM -0800 Dan Karp <dkarp(_at_)zimbra(_dot_)com>  

The purpose of sorting in mail clients is so that users can find
messages they're looking for.

Actually you need to look at your use cases in more detail because  
a lot of times searching is a much better solution than sorting.  
e.g. the case of trying to find email from a particular person - a  
search is much better. Yes you do have to do a little more work to  
setup the search (type something in) rather than the single click  
sorting requires, but on large mailboxes you will usually see what  
you want immediately without having to scroll through the sorted  
list looking for what you want.

I don't think Dan's saying that using SORT for searching is a good  
idea, but it's certainly what people do based on my observations,  
too. (In some clients, the sorted list is scrolled to whichever  
message was previously selected, so it's a fast way of finding other  
messages by the same person).

Yea, I do this frequently in Thunderbird.

For the most part I question why anyone would really want to sort  
on any of the text fields. The only sort I have found useful is  
sort by size - and then only to help in culling large messages when  
my quota-limited mailboxes get full.

My client does no sorting at all, so I'm hard pressed to give any  
alternative use-cases. Generally, people seem to like sorting by date  
fields, though again not a text field. I've also seen people who like  
to sort by subject, essentially as a grouping thing - better done  
with threading, but still.

I frequently sort by subject, because many clients still don't support 
proper threading (threads can become broken due to lack of the 
References header).

I also sort by IMAP flags (i.e. I want to see all important messages), 
size and rarely by date.

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