[quote]This was supposed to be a minor change. With the
distributed mail servers like they had, it would have been
very hard (impossible?) to migrate some users over for
beta testing as it probably would have required another
set of servers.
(a response to you, and a response to anyone who has concerns about the way this was handled)
As much as I’d like to say that was it, it really wasn’t. The back end of the system is largely the same as the old, albeit with some added information used to blur the distinction between mailboxes and addresses. The mail accounts, etc. are technically the same, it’s just we’re creating a new interface ‘paradigm’ with which to manage them. There was some migration involved, but I’m sure we could have figured our some way to do it.
The fact is, we pretty much dropped the ball on this transition, and didn’t test the migration tools as well as we should have prior to launch. We also really should have announced this well in advance of the change, as email is (as you all know) a core feature that people rely on.
If you are a business, to some extent email is almost more important than web service. Losing the latter prevents you from gaining new customers, but losing the former can result in harming the relationships you’ve already developed.
Luckily, while these changes definitely didn’t have the same thorough review/beta testing process that some of our other features have had (see the Beta Testing forum for an example of how we really should approach these sorts of things), and the “user experience” needs some serious polishing, the actual number of people whose existing email configurations were impacted was relatively small compared to the size of our customer-base. A lot of the general confusion has more to do with the “paradigm shift” Josh talked about, which could have been easily headed off in a clearly written explanatory email sent a few days prior to the switch.
In the long run, the new changes make a lot of sense in that they simplify the way email is exposed to our users, without actually taking away functionality for those who need it. Hopefully soon the distinction between “mailboxes” and “addresses” - which is extremely hard to explain to customers - will blur.
Anyhow, we’re very sorry that we caught everyone off-guard here, and appreciate your patience with us.
If you are one of the unlucky few who have had serious problems with addresses breaking, please please please send Support a message and we’ll pass it right along to our Dev/Admin team if necessary. Most of the fixes appear to be pretty quick to implement, and we can probably have everything back to normal for you soon.
For everyone else, please let us know how the new system works for you and - if some aspect seems counter-intuitive or complex - let us know. We know we have a way to go before the interface is perfect, and every bit of constructive feedback helps.
- Jeff @ DreamHost
- DH Discussion Forum Admin