Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

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NC Software
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Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

Post by NC Software » Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:40 am

I had a feeling this was going to happen as I've never been thrilled with the ancient HTML in the email templates. iOS 10 update yesterday, table issues in emails when viewing order notifications etc. Yes, I'm using 707 and soon to GOLD but the template HTML I believe is the same. I think it's time to overhaul these email templates for proper CSS and responsive design.
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Re: Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

Post by Katie » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:06 am

You are correct. The html within the email templates has not changed much since 7.0.x. It makes it easier to upgrade, but the code in them should be responsive and using proper CSS.
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Re: Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

Post by jguengerich » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:41 am

I'm curious which templates are not showing correctly for you. The Customer Order Notification (both the default and my customized one) are displaying correctly in iOS 10 mail (tried iPhone and iPad).

EDIT: Using AC Gold R12.
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Re: Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

Post by NC Software » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:47 am

Good to hear, hopefully when I move to GOLD in the next few months this will be resolved for me. It still needs better CSS and responsive design but I must have something wrong in my table based tweaks.
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Re: Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

Post by jguengerich » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:10 am

Just discovered something interesting: When I forward (or reply) a Customer Order Notification email on iOS (9 or 10), the table and other formatting is not preserved properly, even though the original email is displayed properly. Not sure what's going on there. I do remember that when I was customizing it, getting all the html, css, and nvelocity stuff working together correctly so that it looked good in Outlook for Windows, Outlook for Mac, iOS mail, and Yahoo mail (the only web mail account I have) was tricky. The only thing I never resolved was that Outlook for Mac double-line-breaks on some of my <br> tags; it wasn't anything obvious so I have up trying to figure it out.
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Re: Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

Post by NC Software » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:28 am

The emails could be restructured to a much better architecture. No reason to repeat header and footers on all emails. And this would also help upgradability and merging. Define email headers in one file, footers in one file, then in an email you have a variable for the header, content, and footer and each email has its own unique content. This would allow CSS and style info as well as other common HTML elements to be set once and used in all emails. It's never good practice to repeat code much less HTML and the email templates are no exception.
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Re: Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

Post by NC Software » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:38 am

I would also like to see email templates be served from the database and not the file system which I've suggested for years. Disk I/O is never good on performance and with a databased system you can have email template parts and also version them, do diffs, etc. etc.
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Re: Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

Post by mazhar » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:24 am

If I am correct then idea of having templates from database has been discussed before and I think at one point we had them this way in ac7. Its very hard to maintain large HTML contents in database specially when you release patches. Its also very easy to have them under version control with physical files, making changes and releasing patches is very simple if something changes in template.

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Re: Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

Post by NC Software » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:29 am

I agree "version control" except that templates are typically edited on the production site which is not the dev machine where local files are in version control. Many systems such as forums, help desks, etc. all use databased templates where they are versioned, can be restored or compared to defaults, etc. If you have a system such that a change you publish requires an email template updated you can mark it as revert required such as my help desk software does. There are ways. Any time you have things in the file system edited by the site it makes it much harder to maintain in version control. I'm just not a fan of this and web based (databased) systems offer a lot more control and functionality. Whatever, I just want much better HTML email templates with 2016 era HTML/CSS. My 707 templates are horrendous and I'm going over them now at least a few until I can get to GOLD.
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Re: Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

Post by NC Software » Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:24 am

With a little bit of time I was able to revise the CSS and HTML in my templates and cleared my issue up. Some of the CSS at least from the 707 code is just different from what I see in modern day. Such as use of table.email instead of table[class="email"] and other CSS handling. I suggest avoiding P tags, case sensitivity in class definitions in tables were bad in mine. A few iterations of monitoring email and I'm set. It would be nice if there was a good way to test each template without having to wait for orders to flow. But moral is, it's not a huge effort to fix and has huge payoffs. I really see a GOLD sprint/release cycle that is pure modernization bringing it up to 2016 as I see many areas still from when GOLD was first released. Leave the task of upgrade to the customers, as it's their choice, but I suggest every update that comes out should be up to date as of that date/time. .NET framework, nugets, whatever.
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Re: Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

Post by NC Software » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:56 am

When reviewing your templates realize too they are not designed for mobile in mind. Some templates have three column headers with two addresses and order summary info on far right. That really should be broken into order summary in the header and then two columns (left/right) for from/to addresses, then order information below that. FYI
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Re: Email issues in iOS 10 Mail App

Post by jguengerich » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:35 am

It sounds like you were able to resolve the issues, but just FYI:

The "About This Update" notes on iOS 10.1 say:
Fixes an issue that caused certain Mail messages to be reformatted with very small text.
Fixes an issue that caused some HTML email to be formatted incorrectly.

It does not fix the issue I mentioned when forwarding / replying (not specific to iOS 10). That seems likely to be an Apple issue, though; they must be doing something to the HTML when copying it for the new outgoing email.
Jay

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