Mail 2.0: Mailbox drawer selection weirdness

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Mail
May 18th, 2005 • 5:34 am

Mail 2.0 is better than Mail 1.x in that it is finally possible to bring the UI focus onto the mailbox drawer itself (or whatever it’s called now) using the Tab key, and then use certain keys on the keyboard to do certain things — like going up and down the list of mailboxes with the Up and Down cursor keys.

However, this new mailbox drawer also introduces weird new behaviours, some of which are radically non-intuitive.

For example, try this: Click on a mailbox to select it in the drawer. This will highlight it in some kind of pale blue, which is supposed to indicate a selection that’s half in the foreground and half in the background, I suppose. (In Mail 1.x, the selected mailbox was always highlighted in pale grey, which is the background selection colour.)

Then press the Tab key twice. Once will move you to the Search field in the toolbar, and twice will put the focus on the mailbox drawer itself. Now the selected mailbox is highlighted in bright blue, in order to indicate that it is in the foreground.

Now take your mouse and click once on the already selected mailbox.

What happens? The selection colour changes back to the pale blue. In other words, clicking on the mailbox while it is in the foreground actually puts it back in the background?

This is absurd. By definition a mouse click on something is supposed to bring it to the foreground. If it’s already in the foreground, then I expect something like the behaviour in the Finder, where clicking on an already selected item makes its name editable.

But certainly I don’t expect that clicking on a foreground item will put it in the background!

It does not make much sense.

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