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What happened to editable TO: fields in email clients

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Mag748:
I though this was just an iPhone thing for a minute, but it happens in Outlook to.

After you type in an email address in the TO: field of an e-mail message and the hit enter, than e-mail address is set in stone. Locked forever. I CANNOT edit it. I do not understand this at all. Why is this a feature?

If I make a mistake in typing the e-mail address, I have to X it out (deleting it) and start typing all over again.

Even worse, if I copy and paste an email into the field, sometimes it has the "mailto:" tag still attached. And if I click enter, I can no longer edit the email address to get rid of it.

Please, someone explain to me why this is the case in both the iPhone mail client and the Outlook mail client, possibly others out there. Is this some kind of feature that has a benefit that I'm just not understanding?

Thanks,
Marcus

MikeK:
I use neither iPhone nor Outlook, so I can't give specific advice.  But my email client has similar behavior, but I can edit the email address by double-clicking it.  So try all the usual suspects: double-clicking, right-clicking, click-and-type, summon Zeus.

james_s:
I just tried the native client on my iphone and Outlook on my work computer and in both I'm able to backspace to delete addresses from the To line. I've never seen the behavior you're describing.

golden_labels:
What about the context menu or double-clicking? That works in Thunderbird.

As for the “why”, you must ask the developers. However, I myself see that as neutral or improvement. Of course any change may break one’s workflow, but that alone is not an argument. You may subjectively like it better,(1) and I may accept that, but that doesn’t mean that workflow is objectively better. In particular correcting errors is known to be flawed and rewriting the entire fragment happens to be superior. Avoiding writing email addresses by hand is even better. So in this case you may give it a try and see how you feel about that in a month or two.

(1) Not only may, but probably will. Interfering with habits usually produces reaction that is biased towards the old behavior.

Mag748:

--- Quote from: MikeK on September 29, 2022, 08:10:32 pm ---I use neither iPhone nor Outlook, so I can't give specific advice.  But my email client has similar behavior, but I can edit the email address by double-clicking it.  So try all the usual suspects: double-clicking, right-clicking, click-and-type, summon Zeus.

--- End quote ---

Thanks for checking! The Outlook client I use is the Web-based version. When I click or double-click the email address, a larger "contact card" box pops up. Right-clicking produces a context menu with the options "Remove", "Copy", "Cut", or "Open contact card" (which is the same as clicking).

On the iPhone's native mail client, clicking the email address highlights (selects) it. Double-clicking it drops down a list of email addresses allowing me to select one (which there is only one choice in this case). Clicking and dragging moves the email address around, allowing for changing fields, like TO:, CC:, etc.

None of these options allows editing the actual text of the email address. It's as if an immutable object is created once you are done typing the address.


--- Quote from: james_s on September 29, 2022, 08:18:28 pm ---
I just tried the native client on my iphone and Outlook on my work computer and in both I'm able to backspace to delete addresses from the To line. I've never seen the behavior you're describing.

--- End quote ---

Hey James, I'm able to delete the email address by backspacing. The issue is that I'd rather be able to edit the email address I've already typed out (but maybe with a typo somewhere). Rather than having to delete the whole entry and re-type it. I totally understand that this isn't really a big deal, I'm just trying to understand why this is programmed like this. What is the benefit of not being able to edit the email address. And the fact that this behavior is identical in both Output (Microsoft product), and iPhone Mail app (Apple), it seems to be an industry standard. So there must be a real good reason.


--- Quote from: golden_labels on September 29, 2022, 08:24:08 pm ---What about the context menu or double-clicking? That works in Thunderbird.

As for the “why”, you must ask the developers. However, I myself see that as neutral or improvement. Of course any change may break one’s workflow, but that alone is not an argument. You may subjectively like it better,(1) and I may accept that, but that doesn’t mean that workflow is objectively better. In particular correcting errors is known to be flawed and rewriting the entire fragment happens to be superior. Avoiding writing email addresses by hand is even better. So in this case you may give it a try and see how you feel about that in a month or two.

(1) Not only may, but probably will. Interfering with habits usually produces reaction that is biased towards the old behavior.


--- End quote ---

This is an interesting point. I was not aware of the theory that correcting errors is known to be flawed. Is there any reference to more information about this? I'm curious. But it could definitely explain this situation.

Thanks for allowing me to rant about this.
-Marcus

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