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bug#15095: 24.2; mail items in Tools menu confusing to new users

From: Carson Chittom
Subject: bug#15095: 24.2; mail items in Tools menu confusing to new users
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2013 14:49:57 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.2 (berkeley-unix)

Eli Zaretskii <eliz@gnu.org> writes:

> Another issue that might be confusing here is that you can start mail
> composition and send it without reading any email before that.  That's
> why there are 2 menu items instead of one.

I agree (of course) that that's what's going on and why there are
currently two menu items.  My contention, though, is that the kind of
people who are apt to be confused are the same people who don't want to,
or rather don't think to, send mail without going to the mail function.
Put another way, "Send a mail message while in the text editing mode"
sounds strange unless you already know how Emacs handles sending mail,
whereas "Take me to the mail functionality so I can send a mail message
(and maybe read some too)" makes more sense to a user without much
experience of Emacs.

> Finally, Rmail cannot send mail, it uses either message.el or
> sendmail.el for that.

I think that for purposes of the discussion here, that's a distinction
without a difference (though of course it's an important difference in
another context).  If I'm a new user, I start up Rmail to read my mail,
and then reply to a message, am I going to know or care that Rmail is
actually calling message.el?  I don't think so, any more than a random
user would care that sendmail on the current system is actually exim or

Incidentally, I didn't remember what came up, so I just tried (via 
emacs -Q and then going through Rmail) to send a message like a new user
would.  Emacs (presumably message.el) just prompts me to select "mail
client," "transport," or "smtp" to send my message; and there is no
indication that I've left Rmail.

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