I'm rather angry!

K-9 Mail is hardly the only open source project that changed its user interface. There are always users who hate such a change. If you believe the app was written for users just like you, it’s not hard to see why you believe the developers are destroying the app. But what if the app wasn’t written for you? What if the old version of the app just happened to work very well for you and now the new version doesn’t? Why should your opinion on what the app should be matter more than the opinion of the people actually building the app?

Again, you’re ignoring the fact this change was a regression. The user interface wasn’t just changed in visual appearance, the behavior and workflows completely broke. And it’s not just my opinion. The feedback is near unanimous. Many of the UI aspects that made K-9 standout from the rest of the clients are gone and accessibility is greatly diminished. To say you don’t care about this is anti user.

Realisticly, you can’t have both versions of the UI. So no matter what decision you make, it’s always a “no” to the other option.

That doesn’t mean you need to completely ignore existing users and not even attempt to make the new UI function like the original UI.

When we started discussing the UI overhaul there was mainly one person who was very rude and whose main argument was “Material Design is stupid”. On the other hand, there were many people excited about the change, and quite a few people actually contributing design mockups and/or code for the new user interface.

There was more than one person, and there were some very specific examples about what was stupid about material and what was liked about the existing interface. On the other hand, I have seen zero attempts on your part to find out what the long standing user base liked about the old UI which is evidently clear by you flat out saying 6 years ago that you wanted to get rid of the overview screen and yet huge backlash resulted from it. Actually most of your list in that thread is exactly what everyone is complaining about.

Going by your own advice, if K-9 really didn’t suit their needs due to the UI, they (or you) should have forked it.

The initial negative feedback after the release was mostly “I hate it. Bring back the old version”.

Yup, that kind of feedback sucks. That doesn’t invalidate their opinion nor excuses you from ignoring the rest of the feedback that is there.

I tried to elicit more constructive criticism and asked Why was the account overview screen useful?. A couple of people were actually helpful so a plan could be formed.

Which you closed within 24 hours. By the time I saw the thread it was already closed and my points weren’t addressed anywhere in the thread. The github thread is locked, which directs discussion to the forums which the thread about it is locked. And anytime people bring it up on IRC you dismiss the conversation as being pointless. So where the hell am I supposed to give feedback to try and get what I need? It’s hard to tell by your short description on the github thread but it still sounds to me like you still don’t get it.

The same situation occurred 6 years ago when this all started. Where are people supposed to give you feedback when you dismiss it, discourage it and outright block it?

And as for it coming back, where is the communication on that? We have a thread with a very arrogant tone from you that sorta maybe suggests you are gracing us with the contemplation of it, but nothing clearly stated. Other than one of your mods rudely replying in a separate thread that it’s coming in 6.2.
“Locking this issue because in cases like this there’s always a handful of people who believe their comments are so valuable they have to ignore the request to take discussions elsewhere.”
I get it. Users are an annoyance to you. But come on now.

But mostly people felt they were entitled to “their” UI and they weren’t particularly polite about it. If anyone wants to know why I didn’t make bringing back the account overview screen the top priority, I suggest reading some of the comments. Think about how motivated you would feel in light of all the hostility.

Your focus is on bug fixes right now after a significant release. I’ve never once questioned that.

As for hostility, I know exactly what that feels like since hostile is exactly how you are to your users when they give feedback.

I admit that my comment was bad communication and can be read to mean I only build the app for myself. But I wrote “having the app work for me is my primary goal”, not that it’s my only goal. I spend a significant part of my week answering support requests, reviewing pull requests, and thinking of ways to make the app easier to use for other people. If you honestly believe that I don’t care about users at all, you have not been paying attention.
Surely, there’s much that I could improve when it comes to communicating with users. But it’s just like with working on the app, never enough time to do a perfect job (or when it comes to communication even a decent job).

So do I care about users? I’d like to think so. Why else would I spend so much time trying to make K-9 Mail work better for others?
Do I think users have a right to the app never changing in a way they don’t like? No. I will do what I think is best for the app. Of course my decisions are influenced by what users want. But in the end it’s my decision. And there will always be users who disagree. I think you will find this is the case for many open source projects. I’d even say it’s unavoidable given enough users.

The way you portray your self on github, the forums and IRC begs to differ. Outside of support/bug fixes you shoot down and dismiss anything that even remotely goes against your vision of the app.

And if you care about making the app easier to use for other people, then why are you dismissing our UI feedback to make the app easier to use?

You say you think of donations as money given for previous use of the app. Yet you actively seek and are receiving near full time money to work on the project for continued development. That’s a contradiction. Regardless of what you think, that does make K-9 a product to a point and does bear on you a responsibility to your users whether legally required or not. To continue on without acknowledging that or being upfront with your intentions is unethical.

Can you make every user happy? No, that is impossible. But you can make changes without causing intentional regressions and make most of them happy.


This is what I found where cketti is announcing it officially - at least the way I read it.


Many users are not geeks and do not wish to become one.
A phone is a tool chosen and used among others by professionals who don’t have time to waste in subtleties like unchecking things in the gogol space. An installed application is forgotten until it no longer provides the expected service.

GNU, free or other does not release the creator from respecting the users.
An update, even if it is automatic, has to be able to warn the user about what is going to happen and give him the choice to accept or reject these update.

The idea of imposing things to users of computer means has been insidiously imposed by the big computer companies and the arrival of myriads of more or less serious programmers in the android world makes it look like a very suspicious cesspool.

1 Like

Still largely buried.

Communication is poor, attitude towards it on behalf of the maintainer is clear.

In no way do I expect it to be their primary focus or given priority over bugs introduced by 5.8+, but communication on the direction of updates and expectations/intent is very unclear and lacking.

I’m also rather unhappy with the “new” ui. (Hasn’t it been this way for quite some time? I install from f-droid). It went from very attractive imho to bland and very unintuitive. It seems like the type of UI design that is geared towards being “user friendly” for dumb people that ends up just being less usable, like m$ windozeee…

During the beta development, the developer wouldn’t listen to the users when they tried to explain how the initial UI was better and more convenient, he simply brushed them off with their suggestions altogether.
I think he just wanted to show off with his flashy “superduper” ineffective sliding menu.
Had never seen such a conceited developer in my life.