How to recall New Account Setup screen?

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How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by context » 2024-02-13, 01:23

I'm setting up Epyrus on a new PC.

In doing so, Epyrus displayed an excellent summary screen of all the needed settings: New Account Setup [Advanced Config].

Unfortunately, I entered something wrong and would like to go back to this overview of the entire new account.

How can I do that?

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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by athenian200 » 2024-02-13, 06:59

I don't know exactly what you're talking about here, but I have a few ideas. I'm actually a little confused as to what you're looking for, because I don't remember a screen labeled what you're talking about. I've looked and I just don't see a "New Account Setup" screen with an Advanced Config button... anywhere. Are you sure you're using Epyrus?

You can select the e-mail account itself, the one with the @ sign that all the subfolders branch off from on the left pane, and you'll see a lot of settings for that account. Among the options you'll see a screen very much like the one you see when the e-mail client is newly installed. Under the Accounts heading, you'll see all the options you saw at the start for creating a new account, and if you want to see the settings for the existing account, those are under "View settings for this account." It's not ideal, but I think that's as close to accessing the screen you're talking about as you can get after an account is already setup.

But the quickest way to create a new account from among all the different types is this:

Click on the orange Epyrus button, go to New Message, and then look down the list until you see Existing Mail Account, Feed Account, Other Accounts, and Calendar. "Existing mail account" lets you add an e-mail account, "Feed account" lets you add a feed account, "Other accounts" lets you add a Newsgroup account, and "Calendar" lets you create a new calendar.

If you want to see the exact setup screen you had when first creating that account, unfortunately you can't get back to that screen... the dialog to modify e-mail account settings is a little different from the one used to create the account initially. Hopefully it's not too confusing.
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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by context » 2024-02-13, 14:24

Thanks for your response ... and for the information you provided.

The form I get for a new account is below. It's the best I've seen for any email package. If it's not available "after the fact" (setup), I hope it will become available in a future release.
mail setup.png

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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by context » 2024-02-13, 14:27

I don't know why the image didn't display; I'll try again.
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mail setup.jpg

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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by context » 2024-02-13, 14:32

Whoops. It was my adblocker blocking images on my screen. Sorry. JPGs and PNGs are both now shown.

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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by athenian200 » 2024-02-13, 16:34

Ah, I know what screen that is! It just isn't labeled "New Account Setup," which is what I was hunting around for.

Yeah, I never really thought about it before, but the screen you have to use to mess with your account after setup isn't nearly as nice.

Changing the IMAP/POP side of things is easy enough... you go here:
accountsettings.png
But the settings for the SMTP server aren't nearly as accessible. Those are off in another pane:
accountsettings2.png
And you're saying the ideal would be if all that could just be in one place like it is when you first setup the account, right?

I think that's not a half-bad idea. I honestly am not sure why that dialog is not reused. It seems like it would be an improvement.
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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by Bilbo47 » 2024-02-13, 21:17

My two cents, to agree that the UI for this stuff carries some baggage from the days of POP-only.

Regarding the two contexts where an account's config is being changed: first-time "Account Setup" versus later "Account Settings". They are inconsistent with how they conceptually present/frame the outgoing/SMTP server. The Setup form (as part of the "Add Account" wizard) looks like there is a one-to-one correspondence between the account and the server. But the Settings form allows only picking the server from a dropdown list. If you want to re-configure that server, you have to visit the "Outgoing Server Settings" dialog. This arrangement implies, but does not specify, that one SMTP server may be used by more than one account. Neither existing context is optimally designed to convey the fact of sharing servers among accounts.

Thinking about a potential new UI for this, Setup should allow picking an existing server OR adding a new one. Settings should make it clear that changing the server for the current account will also change it for any other accounts that use it. As long as we're in blue-sky mode, we might wish for a form with a two listboxes where selecting an account in one list will auto-select the corresponding server in the other list. Conversely, selecting a server in the second list will auto-select the corresponding account(s) in the first list. This dialog would allow easily viewing and changing those relationships.

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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by athenian200 » 2024-02-13, 22:35

Bilbo47 wrote:
2024-02-13, 21:17
My two cents, to agree that the UI for this stuff carries some baggage from the days of POP-only.

Regarding the two contexts where an account's config is being changed: first-time "Account Setup" versus later "Account Settings". They are inconsistent with how they conceptually present/frame the outgoing/SMTP server. The Setup form (as part of the "Add Account" wizard) looks like there is a one-to-one correspondence between the account and the server. But the Settings form allows only picking the server from a dropdown list. If you want to re-configure that server, you have to visit the "Outgoing Server Settings" dialog. This arrangement implies, but does not specify, that one SMTP server may be used by more than one account. Neither existing context is optimally designed to convey the fact of sharing servers among accounts.

Thinking about a potential new UI for this, Setup should allow picking an existing server OR adding a new one. Settings should make it clear that changing the server for the current account will also change it for any other accounts that use it. As long as we're in blue-sky mode, we might wish for a form with a two listboxes where selecting an account in one list will auto-select the corresponding server in the other list. Conversely, selecting a server in the second list will auto-select the corresponding account(s) in the first list. This dialog would allow easily viewing and changing those relationships.
Honestly, though, I think the simplest thing to do if I were going to do anything, is just make it so there IS a one-to-one correspondence between SMTP server and IMAP/POP server, so all the settings can be changed in one place for each "account." I think any loss in ability to reuse SMTP servers would be more than made up for by simply having all the configuration a single e-mail account relies on, in one centralized location.

I mean, my view on it is... so what if a couple of SMTP server entries have to be duplicated once in a while? I really doubt eliminating that potential redundancy improves people's workflow much.

How many people are reusing one SMTP server for 10 accounts in 2024 anyway? And why would only the SMTP server be reused, why wouldn't the POP or IMAP server be used more than once? It doesn't make much sense.

The "classic" Account Wizard (that Interlink used but I don't) did indeed match up better with the underlying Account Settings window, but it did so at the cost of being really annoying and slow... you had to enter one piece of info in each window and keep clicking "Next" rather than being able to enter it all at once, so it did do the job of priming users to expecting an annoying interface with all the account settings split between multiple panes and treated as their own separate thing.
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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by Bilbo47 » 2024-02-14, 22:47

athenian200 wrote:
2024-02-13, 22:35
Bilbo47 wrote:
2024-02-13, 21:17
"Account Setup" versus "Account Settings" are inconsistent how they present the outgoing server: one-to-one versus picking from a list.
The simplest thing is make it so there IS a one-to-one correspondence between SMTP server and IMAP/POP server
Yes the usability improvement would be worth the de-normalized (in relational database terms) thus possibly duplicated SMTP config data. Many Epyrus accounts sending through one username+password on one server would behave the same as now.
athenian200 wrote:
2024-02-13, 22:35
why would only the SMTP server be reused, why wouldn't the POP or IMAP server be used more than once?
Probably because the "server" definition actually defines a user-account *on* a mail server. So even though many Epyrus accounts receive mail from only one mail-server machine, they all log in to IMAP using different usernames - so they access different mailbox-accounts on that mail-server. Further, one Epyrus account canNOT log in for receiving as more than one user-account. So the IMAP config items that could be shared among several accounts are ServerName/IP address, connection security, and authentication method. Username and password *must* be defined per-account. All the other items would remain per-account, to retain the back-end flexibility that made TB special in the beginning.
athenian200 wrote:
2024-02-13, 22:35
The "classic" Account Wizard (that Interlink used but [Epyrus doesn't])
Yeah it's a tradeoff. So-called ease of use for beginners versus speed of use for power users. Again, blue sky wishes for a pref to choose between a wizard or a single form.

If "Account Settings" were to contain one SMTP definition per client-account/incoming-server, then the whole "Outgoing Server Settings" list goes away. I'd be okay with that because who wants account-settings to possibly bother a different account by surprise? Every once in a while I consider having ALL outgoing mail submitted to one (local) server. The downside of that is the server can relay to only one upstream server, and that approach doesn't fly when needing to send via different email providers.

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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by athenian200 » 2024-02-14, 23:09

Bilbo47 wrote:
2024-02-14, 22:47
Probably because the "server" definition actually defines a user-account *on* a mail server. So even though many Epyrus accounts receive mail from only one mail-server machine, they all log in to IMAP using different usernames - so they access different mailbox-accounts on that mail-server. Further, one Epyrus account canNOT log in for receiving as more than one user-account. So the IMAP config items that could be shared among several accounts are ServerName/IP address, connection security, and authentication method. Username and password *must* be defined per-account. All the other items would remain per-account, to retain the back-end flexibility that made TB special in the beginning.
Actually, that makes sense, but it also shows that the current design is clearly intended for a legacy use of SMTP. Most modern SMTP servers DO require authentication, meaning they are tied to a specific username anyway, just like the e-mail account. In fact, it often requires the exact same user name as the IMAP/POP account to send mail. Unsecured SMTP servers aren't very common these days, it would be too easy to misuse them.

I had forgotten that people used to use SMTP servers without a password. But now that I think about it, even if you were using the same SMTP server with more than one e-mail account, you would have to use a different login for a different e-mail in many cases anyway, depending on the security settings involved. Which makes it seem even less useful than before to have that separation.
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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by Moonchild » 2024-02-15, 18:43

In many cases though, as long as one logs in with a known user account, relaying is permitted. Often it doesn't restrict from: addresses in that case as it's just assumed to be sent from the known user and they can use whichever from address they want (no egress restrictions).
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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by Bilbo47 » 2024-02-15, 21:39

Moonchild wrote:
2024-02-15, 18:43
[Under certain circumstances, SMTP sending/]relaying is permitted. Often it doesn't restrict from: addresses
Yep, the rules have evolved a lot since email was invented. My primary email provider now prevents spoofing by checking the from-addresses at submit time. The domain part of the address must match the domain of the logged-in SMTP user, whose username happens to be its real email address. The mailbox part of the address must be defined on the server in some way - either a real mailbox account, or a forwarder-address. They do not allow random FROMs like anythingHere[at]domain.tld, even though they do allow a catch-all incoming address, which receives mail sent to any address matching the regex pattern .*@domain\.tld

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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by back2themoon » 2024-02-16, 10:50

Not sure I understand this request fully. You cannot recall the New Account screen "after the fact" because it's not a new account any more, right? You can tweak/correct those settings in Account Settings. Perhaps you want a single window to quickly edit both password and server settings for an account? That could be handy but I guess it would require significant UI changes, which would be unnecessary work since you can still edit all settings afterwards, even if not in a single, "quick" window.

Personally, I never fully used the Wizard in TB/Interlink/Epyrus because I prefer configuring/verifying all settings BEFORE it starts retrieving messages. So, I either:

a) Use the Wizard, only enter basic settings (no passwords) and then switch to Advanced Config
b) Skip the Wizard entirely and use File>New Account (or Tools/Account Settings/Account Actions = same thing).

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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by athenian200 » 2024-02-16, 16:59

back2themoon wrote:
2024-02-16, 10:50
Not sure I understand this request fully. You cannot recall the New Account screen "after the fact" because it's not a new account any more, right? You can tweak/correct those settings in Account Settings. Perhaps you want a single window to quickly edit both password and server settings for an account? That could be handy but I guess it would require significant UI changes, which would be unnecessary work since you can still edit all settings afterwards, even if not in a single, "quick" window.
Well, actually the main problem is that IMAP/POP are in one settings pane, and SMTP is in another. When you first create the account, you can type in all the info for both ingoing and outgoing mail servers... but when you go in and try to change it, you have to deal with SMTP servers being stored as their own weird little thing separate from the account, and having to go back and forth to get everything setup.

I assumed what was being asked for, was a screen that shows you all the info right there and lets you change everything in one place. The main problem is that the underlying complexity in the implementation is there precisely because SMTP is a separate protocol from POP/IMAP, and you can't actually guarantee that the same username and password will be used for SMTP. 99% of the time it is the same, but in the rare case it isn't, then you would need a way to change that password independently of the account password.

I could always have two separate fields for the SMTP account password and username, but that's already bringing back a lot of the complexity I want to get rid of in the first place. I just can't think of an approach here that I would actually be happy with, because ultimately my beef is with the underlying implementation of SMTP as a totally separate protocol making everything more complicated than a unified protocol that does both sending and receiving, and I can't do much about that. I believe Exchange ActiveSync works like that, is just one protocol that handles authentication, sending, and receiving, but unfortunately the ones the Internet standardized on are... well, kind of junky piecemeal frameworks that are not very interoperable. OAuth2, IMAP, and SMTP... sigh. Note, Epyrus doesn't support EAS, but I always liked EAS better than the traditional stack and wished it would take off more as a personal preference, just as someone who used Outlook for ages.
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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by distantpluto » 2024-02-17, 11:41

I don't see the big deal here. After initial setup, on every account you can select which SMTP server you wish to use and in the "Outgoing Server (SMTP)" section you define/edit them - very handy and straightforward to me. Is there really a need to go to all the hassle of rewriting this?
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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by back2themoon » 2024-02-17, 11:50

athenian200 wrote:
2024-02-16, 16:59
Well, actually the main problem is that IMAP/POP are in one settings pane, and SMTP is in another.
Oh right, that too. If skipping the Wizard, the password handling is also a bit clunky. You actually need to send a message in order to initially enter the password, right? And passwords have their own weird, separate section.

In any case, I wouldn't worry about any of this. These settings are only meant for initial setup and if one needs to edit them later, they can be easily found.

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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by athenian200 » 2024-02-17, 15:57

distantpluto wrote:
2024-02-17, 11:41
I don't see the big deal here. After initial setup, on every account you can select which SMTP server you wish to use and in the "Outgoing Server (SMTP)" section you define/edit them - very handy and straightforward to me. Is there really a need to go to all the hassle of rewriting this?
Well, I am actually trying to gauge how much the current setup bothers people. I don't really have a strong opinion either way, and I'm sure that if I do change it I'll get an outpouring of complaints from people who liked the old way better. Like, intuitively, I don't particularly like the UI and can see how it seems "clunky," but I don't have a clear idea in my head of what I would want to replace it with. Plus, I usually enter my info correctly the first time in the wizard and don't have to mess with these settings, so I don't have a lot to gain from improving it for myself.

I'm thinking that it might better to leave the current approach in place for those that have gotten used to it, and work within the constraints that implies if trying to add anything else in. I might need to do a poll at some point and see if people mostly agree with OP that this could be done better, or if they are used to the way Thunderbird had it and don't want anything to change.

The thing about Epyrus is, a lot of the potential base of users don't like change. So caution is definitely the better approach here, even if I am now kind of annoyed with some aspects of the UI we inherited from Thunderbird.

EDIT: I did just notice something interesting, though... there's a drop down to select the SMTP server, but it's not on the same pane as the other server settings! It's on the first page, with a bunch of non-server related stuff. I feel like the UI would be a lot "cleaner" if that link were on the same page as the IMAP server settings. And really the big problem with the Outgoing SMTP Server thing is that it's way down at the bottom of the list where you won't see it if you have multiple e-mail accounts. But there are easier ways to make it more visible without rewriting the whole UI.

Maybe I can make a few "tweaks" and not do any radical changes after all... hmm.
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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by distantpluto » 2024-02-17, 17:09

athenian200 wrote:
2024-02-17, 15:57
Well, I am actually trying to gauge how much the current setup bothers people. I don't really have a strong opinion either way, and I'm sure that if I do change it I'll get an outpouring of complaints from people who liked the old way better. Like, intuitively, I don't particularly like the UI and can see how it seems "clunky," but I don't have a clear idea in my head of what I would want to replace it with. Plus, I usually enter my info correctly the first time in the wizard and don't have to mess with these settings, so I don't have a lot to gain from improving it for myself.
I'd have no problem with any changes you made and certainly wouldn't complain, I just don't think it's worth that much of your valuable time for, what seems to me, is something already easy enough to navigate.
athenian200 wrote:
2024-02-17, 15:57
EDIT: I did just notice something interesting, though... there's a drop down to select the SMTP server, but it's not on the same pane as the other server settings! It's on the first page, with a bunch of non-server related stuff. I feel like the UI would be a lot "cleaner" if that link were on the same page as the IMAP server settings. And really the big problem with the Outgoing SMTP Server thing is that it's way down at the bottom of the list where you won't see it if you have multiple e-mail accounts. But there are easier ways to make it more visible without rewriting the whole UI.

Maybe I can make a few "tweaks" and not do any radical changes after all... hmm.
Fair enough, it may be a bit "random" in the layout, a few tweaks would be sufficient. Either way, I'm happy :thumbup:
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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by jb_wisemo » 2024-03-16, 15:14

distantpluto wrote:
2024-02-17, 11:41
I don't see the big deal here. After initial setup, on every account you can select which SMTP server you wish to use and in the "Outgoing Server (SMTP)" section you define/edit them - very handy and straightforward to me. Is there really a need to go to all the hassle of rewriting this?
I know this is a 4 weeks old thread, but as a heavy Epyrus user and SMTP sysadmin, here are a few missing factoids:
  • At least on the authenticated SMTP servers I run, each authentication account is explicitly limited to a small subset of organizational mail addresses, for example, the login I use from Epyrus on my main office PC can send from multiple mail addresses whose incoming mail appear in different folders on the matching IMAP login (using Epyrus "identities"), this includes both my primary mail account and various role accounts such as Postmater@domain.tld. In particular, I cannot send from mail addresses of other users except by abusing mail server admin privs outside Epyrus.
  • Unauthenticated incoming mail has a different path through the system that set relevant Spam detection headers that I would love to integrate with Epyrus .
  • NNTP accounts in Epyrus are mentally associated with a mail address that exists elsewhere in Epyrus for the Reply to sender option, but are set to use a mangled mail address in public posts as a traditional antispam measure
  • The New account wizard in Epyrus 2.1.2 seems to have badly broken logging of its actions. In particular, setting the logging options from old Tb discussions will not log the initial undocumented HTTP lookups and do not say anywhere precisely what aspect of a non-california mail server account access failed to make the wizard block account creation.
  • I have seen rumors that this broken old wizard will be gone in the next release.

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Re: How to recall New Account Setup screen?

Unread post by athenian200 » 2024-03-16, 15:23

jb_wisemo wrote:
2024-03-16, 15:14
I have seen rumors that this broken old wizard will be gone in the next release.
That's not true, nothing is changing in the next release. Where did you hear such "rumors"? I haven't even begun to wrap my head around what would be involved in working on this.

I feel like a lot of things you bring to my attention that need to be done with Epyrus go way over my head and are just not things I know how to address. I'm realizing I am just not very knowledgeable about e-mail and I am in way over my head...

I barely understood your post, if I'm being honest. I felt like I kind of get it, but do not have the first clue to write or even modify something that interacts with the kind of systems you're talking about. In all honesty, it sounds like you probably need something maintained by more competent people than me if you're an SMTP sysadmin. I am mostly providing this for fans of UXP who just want an e-mail client built on it and are willing to tolerate a lot of compromises, you sound like you expect me to really know what I'm doing and work at making it good.

I'm at a skill level where I can probably keep what we have going, but it's going to be very hard for me to make it better in a meaningful way. Maybe one day I'll have the time or develop the skills, but what we have now is probably going to be what we have for a long time to come, in terms of core functionality.
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