[kwlug-disc] General Thunderbird development ?

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Fri Dec 19 14:12:48 EST 2008

Is this another case of (a) wonderful functionality out there; (b) if 
you don't do it the 'one true way', or customize it, you end up with 
perpetual aggravation and irritation; (c) you must adapt to it, it 
will not adapt to you; (d) no, it / the flow / the interface / doesn't 
make sense, unless you sink yourself into the programmer's mindset, 
then back your way out to how the user has to do it?; (e) there's far 
richer functionality in there than you want or need, and you must 
degrade the user experience just because it's there.

Time and time again I see this.

E-mail, contact management, MICROSOFT OFFICE / Open Office, Firefox, 
Palm, support tickets, probably CRM and groupware too.

Paul Nijjar wrote, On 12/19/2008 12:48 PM:
> --- On Fri, 12/19/08, Insurance Squared Inc. <gcooke at insurancesquared.com> wrote:
>> What I'm trying to get is the simplest and least expensive way to
>> get the integration done.  I don't want to reinvent stuff that's in
>> thunderbird and I want to stay as far away from the complexities of
>> mail as I can.
> I think one issue with having a Thunderbird button is that your users
> have to remember to press the button for the database to see what is
> going on. For that reason you want to make sure you have to press the
> button as few times as possible for a client. 
> I respect your desire to keep as far away from the
> complexities of mail as possible, but in the long term you may have to
> twiddle with it a bit. 
> I am thinking along the lines of John's original solution of tagging
> the e-mails as they go out and having the mail server silently send
> them to the CRM server. Maybe Thunderbird's button could simply be
> "Mark as Customer". That would then trigger Thunderbird to do the
> following for all e-mails sent to/from the customer:
>   - Silently BCC the CRM system on outgoing e-mail
>   - Silently bounce a copy of incoming messages to the CRM system when
>     they come from the customer 
> This way the CRM system is never polling the mail server explicitly,
> and it has the data so that you can explore customer interaction
> histories (via the web interface, I am guessing). 
> Perhaps a more robust option would be to get the mail server to do the
> mail interception. When you press the "Mark as Customer" button on
> Thunderbird, Thunderbird sends a "register this user" signal to the
> mail server, which maintains a list of e-mail address interactions to
> intercept and silently forward to the CRM system. The advantage to
> this is that this approach is robust over many different mail clients,
> but the disadvantage is that you could be getting your hands dirtier
> with e-mail server configuration complexity. 
> That's all idle speculation, of course, but it is not that different
> from how other systems (I am thinking of RT or even Mailman) deal with
> e-mail input.

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