Open Bug 1678856 Opened 6 months ago Updated 22 days ago

Improve wording of compact dialog pop up "The messages you have deleted can be purged from disk....."

Categories

(MailNews Core :: Backend, enhancement, P2)

Unspecified
All
enhancement

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(Not tracked)

People

(Reporter: anjeyelf, Unassigned)

References

()

Details

(Keywords: ux-control, ux-jargon)

There are complaints and worried people in Support Forum regarding the pop up message that says "The messages you have deleted can be purged from disk. Select the option to let TB do this automatically"; with a check box.
followed by two button: "proceed" & "cancel".

The wording of 'purge' is causing concern that it has nothing to do with 'compact' which users understand and it is the wording used in the Options/Preferences and also in all the help Articles and user Question threads, Thunderbird Support Forum and http://kb.mozillazine.org and other places you can find via Google.
'Purge' might be a word familiar amongst developers, but it is not a term used by the general populous of Thunderbird users.

The users say:
The popup message is misleading. It should say something like "Your Inbox can be compacted, which will free up XX MBytes of disk space. Compact now?"
Then it is understood what that message actually means and it also matches the option selected in the Options Disk Space section.
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1308222

One person says "I compact all the time...... If I select 'proceed' my trash is permanently lost." They do not want their 'Trash' folder emptied.
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1312686

The "The messages you have deleted can be purged from disk" may mean the 'marked as deleted' and 'hidden' emails, but it seems to also mean the deleted messages currently in the 'Trash/Deleted' folder. This is clearly causing real confusion and with unexpected results.

quotes from concerned people:
"I read 'Deleted Messages' as my deleted messages folders and the wording worried me."
"I have the same problem with this window that appears: "the messages that you have deleted ....". It is not very precise: is it the messages in the trash that will be deleted?"

"On Thunderbird I keep seeing a message that asks me to purge deleted messages. Does this mean that if I check this I will lose all messages in Trash, which I do not want to do. If yes how can I stop the purging message?"
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1317606

"'How do I stop Thunderbird from proposing to purge trash automatically every time I delete an email"
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1317607

As you can see from these comments, people do not assume this has anything to do with compacting. They often have little or no knowledge about the need to compact files to tidy them up, and even those who do and who compact on a regular basis, still get that message and are confused. They see the pop up as a message to purge/empty their Trash folder which they do not want.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1319292
"Message asking if I want to delete emails in Deleted folder"

"The first time I delete an email in a session I get the message shown in the attached image asking if I want to purge deleted emails. I have set a 30 day retention policy for my Deleted folder so I don't want or need to do this and there seems to be no way to suppress this annoying message. It has only been happening recently so must have been introduced in an update. "

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1317882
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1319678

Yet more confused users.

I was about to enter this as a bug -- glad that others have reported it too...

My main concern is the word "deleted". For me, the pop-up usually occurs after I've MOVE'd something, which triggers the popup when appropriate. But... Although MOVE is actually a COPY / DELETE operation, I do not deliberately or explicitly "delete" anything. So not only am I worried about "purging", I'm concerned that the MOVE might have been a deletion and maybe I'll lose something.

Simply because of the wording used, I juat flat-out DO NOT TRUST the operation and refuse to bide by the popup! Please revert to something like the previous text, which simply prompted "Compact now?"

Actually I did report this bug a couple of months ago -- see my Bug #1677751.

(I'll let you guys decide who dups who. My original description is perhaps a little better, but there is more general support in THIS report.)

Flags: needinfo?(anjeyelf)

(In reply to Dan Pernokis from comment #4)

My main concern is the word "deleted". For me, the pop-up usually occurs after I've MOVE'd something, which triggers the popup when appropriate. But... Although MOVE is actually a COPY / DELETE operation, I do not deliberately or explicitly "delete" anything. So not only am I worried about "purging", I'm concerned that the MOVE might have been a deletion and maybe I'll lose something.

When you 'Move' or 'Delete' an email from a folder eg: Inbox, that email gets 'Copied' to whatever folder you 'Moved' it into or if 'deleted' then it usually gets copied into the 'Trash'.
The original copy is still in the 'Inbox', but as the user no longer wants that email in that folder, the email has been 'marked as deleted' and 'hidden'. So the compact / purge from disk is refering to completely removing/deleting those original copies that are hidden and 'marked as deleted'.

I have spent so many hours of my time explaining what is going on when people get this pop up. If I was charging my time then it would be fast approaching a four figure number. There are many more instances in the Support Forum than mentioned and some of those questions have several people posting comments. This is not just a couple of people and not everyone gets loads of emails, so many people will not see this pop up in the first fews weeks. It will continue to cause confusion and concern.

The downside is that people are simply not compacting and this may lead to corrupted files in the long run, placing more questions of loss of email/recovery on the Helpers in the Support Forum. The impact of changing the wording in this instance is not just causing confusion and concern, it not just takes up so much of Support Helpers time when it is unnecessary; it may utimately cause loss of data.

This is an easy fix. Please do not ignore this request.

The wording needs to say something more on the lines:
'The threshold setting has been reached and folders need to be compacted. Please press 'Proceed' to compact folders now. Please do not exit Thunderbird and refrain from using folders until compacting has completed. Press 'Cancel' to not compact at this moment.

Flags: needinfo?(anjeyelf)

I agree 100%, Anje -- I'm just not a developer who can correct the problem.

First time I saw the message I flipped out and thought the program had messed up and deleted something that (by MOVE-ing), I explicitly intended to keep. Of course the wording is logically correct, given that a MOVE is the combination of COPY + DELETE (as I too mentioned) -- but Average User doesn't know that.

The wording should not have been changed in the first place without good reason, and the new wording should have been vetted to avoid exactly the situation we now find ourselves in. Fixing this issue needs to be a higher priority, given the confusion and squandering of support resources that it is causing (not to mention lack of confidence in the product overall).

But the wording needs to be bare-bones simple: "Compacting of folders is required. Compact now? Y/N" (or two buttons, "Compact Now" and "Later", instead of "Y/N"). That gets the point across without confusion, without excess explanations that Average User likely won't understand anyway, and in a manner that is straightforward and do-able. Pop it up EVERY time once the threshold is reached and it will get done eventually.

(Or maybe we should just force the issue and compact automatically if the threshold is, say, doubled -- but that opens another can of worms...)

BTW, given that email is a common way to distribute photos (either by attachment or by embedding), and given that typical photos today are MBs rather than KBs, then perhaps the default threshold needs to be raised. Doesn't take many moved or deleted photo messages to exceed the limit. I think the main deterrent to compacting is that it happens too frequently these days and takes too long (too many messages kept long-term in INBOX).

Depends on: 716412
Duplicate of this bug: 1677751
Duplicate of this bug: 1607994

(In reply to Dan Pernokis from comment #7)

...
But the wording needs to be bare-bones simple: "Compacting of folders is required. Compact now? Y/N" (or two buttons, "Compact Now" and "Later", instead of "Y/N"). That gets the point across without confusion, without excess explanations that Average User likely won't understand anyway, and in a manner that is straightforward and do-able. Pop it up EVERY time once the threshold is reached and it will get done eventually.

Long explanations will not get approved. So yes, Short is better.

(Or maybe we should just force the issue and compact automatically if the threshold is, say, doubled -- but that opens another can of worms...)

Bug 286888 is frankly a no brainer. We should just do it.

BTW, given that email is a common way to distribute photos (either by attachment or by embedding), and given that typical photos today are MBs rather than KBs, then perhaps the default threshold needs to be raised. Doesn't take many moved or deleted photo messages to exceed the limit. I think the main deterrent to compacting is that it happens too frequently these days and takes too long (too many messages kept long-term in INBOX).

Please file a new bug for this. You can model on the last increase which was done in Bug 1462666 - increase default autocompact threshold "mail.purge_threshhold" (Maybe bump to 1gb?)

I have spent so many hours of my time explaining what is going on when people get this pop up. If I was charging my time then it would be fast approaching a four figure number. There are many more instances in the Support Forum than mentioned and some of those questions have several people posting comments. This is not just a couple of people and not everyone gets loads of emails, so many people will not see this pop up in the first fews weeks. It will continue to cause confusion and concern.

You don't need to do that/you shouldn't do that - it's not a good use of your time. Just improve the KB article and point users to it.

Keywords: ux-control
See Also: → 286888
Summary: POP UP message "The messages you have deleted can be purged from disk....." → Compact dialog pop up "The messages you have deleted can be purged from disk....."

(In reply to Wayne Mery (:wsmwk) from comment #10)

(In reply to Dan Pernokis from comment #7)

...
(Or maybe we should just force the issue and compact automatically if the threshold is, say, doubled -- but that opens another can of worms...)

Bug 286888 is frankly a no brainer. We should just do it.

BTW, many of the dupes of Bug 286888 (14 to date) state the confusion generated by this dialog as a reason for making it automatic.

Component: Preferences → Backend
OS: Unspecified → All
Product: Thunderbird → MailNews Core
Summary: Compact dialog pop up "The messages you have deleted can be purged from disk....." → Improve wording of compact dialog pop up "The messages you have deleted can be purged from disk....."
Version: 78 → 70

I still say there is not much wrong with the original wording, simply saying that "compacting" is required (not "purging", which is scary because it implies elimination of messages).

I don't object to going automatic either, but I have a few concerns.

(1) The process MUST be interruptible in its entirety -- "I'm quitting Thunderbird", so compacting should quit now as TB exits. Or "I'm shutting down right now", so compacting must stop. Likewise if a system operation requires a reboot or forces a restart.

(2) The process must be interruptible step-by-step -- "I'm moving files to or from a folder being compacted and I don't want to wait", or "I'm viewing/reading/printing files so they better not disappear as they do now".

(3) I'd like AUTOMATIC COMPACT to be an option -- with the default set to YES DO IT AUTOMATICALLY, but changeable by the user.

(4) There should be a time to do it (overnight, weekly, threshold size, or some other reasonable options) so it isn't running on whim nor at an inconvenient time (although "anytime" is reasonable in some circumstances).

(5) The process should be available on demand -- "I'm about to make an archive (rare, I know) and I want the files to be as small as possible".

I have faith in the programmers, but we all know this is going to be tricky to catch all the exceptions to get this right. Failing at the wrong time could lose an entire mailbox.

(In reply to Dan Pernokis from comment #12)

I still say there is not much wrong with the original wording, simply saying that "compacting" is required (not "purging", which is scary because it implies elimination of messages).

How about "processing"? Or "performing maintenance"? It doesn't really matter, as long as the user knows "something" is happening that might be helpful.

(In reply to Worcester12345 from comment #13)

Actually, the wording DOES matter. "Compacting" is fairly clear as to what is happening, and most users can grasp why it should be done -- some just don't want to be patient. "Compressing" might sound similar but may not be true and could be misunderstood. "Processing" is too generic, applicable to almost anything that happens (fetching, reading, sending, printing, etc.) And anything scary will, um, scare people into not doing the compacting.

Dan, you are overthinking this. Most people have no idea, and don't want to. Just tell them something is happening, or maybe better, don't even bother, and just do it.

I'm not sure what's happening with this (is there any rough timeline??), but as others have noted, this is causing serious confusion among users, and has the very real potential to increase the risk of causing corruption, due to users refusing to perform a 'mysterious' and 'dangerous-sounding' operation to "purge" their "deleted" items from "disk".

I must say, that this is not only for the general public. I myself am wary of this, and I do have reasonable computer programming knowledge — I have contributed code for application development before (unrelated to TB), although I would never claim to be a "software programmer" per se. Sure, I can understand the (purportedly) intended meaning after it's explained on the forums (e.g. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1308222 ). But without that, I would say the meaning was ambiguous at best.

Another point that made me very worried was that the compaction size jumped up suddenly.
Come to think of it, I don't think I received the old (or new) "compaction" message for quite some time.
I used to regularly see it every week or two, and the size of disk space to be saved was typically in the range of 20 to 30 MB, because I had specified "Compact all folders when it will save over 20 MB in total" in the general Options.
The recent/new message I got was:
"[Compact Folders]
The messages you have deleted can be purged from disk. This operation will save about 235 MB of disk space. Select the option below to let Thunderbird do this automatically without asking you.
[tickbox] Remove message deletions automatically and do not ask me.
[Proceed] [Cancel]"
Emphasis added. The problematic words are in italic. More on that later. But the big concern I mentioned was that suddenly the amount of space that could be saved had jumped to ten times larger than what I was used to. Naturally this gave the impression that rather than (only) compacting folders, a much more extensive set of "purge" actions would be activated if I assented!

I have just now reviewed my settings in the general Options, and now they say "Compact all folders when it will save over 200 MB in total". I cannot at all remember changing this, and I therefore ask the question — during one of the recent updates, perhaps connected to the present bug, was a related new bug introduced whereby user's extant settings regarding the compaction threshold were ignored and overwritten with a universal default of 200 MB??
This is a query, because I have no way to go back in time and check whether I changed the setting despite having no recollection of it, but I wonder whether it's happened to anyone else? I imagine this is something that could be checked. Sorry if I should report it on another thread, but it seems strongly related to me.

My system: TB 78.7.1 (32 bit) running on Windows 8.1 (64 bit), on the "release" update channel.

OK, back to the wording of the message. There were two more words that I have highlighted above that were not emphasised by other correspondents:
"from disk" makes it sound like messages will be wiped forever, and this is mainly problematic because users don't ordinarily think (at first) of the messages being on disk, but rather in folders; can this be changed to something to do with folders?
"*automatically" does not make it clear that the action will be only taken after a threshold is reached; therefore I suggest either replacing this with "regularly without asking me" or "automatically when the specified threshold is reached (do not ask me)"

Rather than overcomplicating the discussion, I would also be happy to just go back to the old wording that (almost?) everybody seemed to be happy with.

I have just had a look at a separate system where I have TB installed, which is Windows 10 (64 bit).

Old version of TB:
Version = 78.7.1 x64
Threshold for compacting folders = 20 MB
Disk space used by "cache" (reported in options) = 71.4 MB

New version of TB:
Version = 78.8.0 x64
Threshold for compacting folders = 20 MB
Disk space used by "cache" (reported in options) = 49.2 MB

So it may be that the threshold was inadvertently changed manually on the first system, described in my previous post — and by chance this coincided with the changes reported for the present bug.
Although I do not know why the "cache" became quite a bit smaller after performing the TB version update.

cache has nothing to do with compact

When you use the words like 'purge deleted emails', many general users believe this means 'get rid of all items I have deleted', so basically empty my trash because that is where all my deleted emails are located. They have no concept about 'hidden marked as deleted' emails still lurking in original files. So they choose 'Cancel' and end up with repeated requests because a threshold for compacting has been reached. Many have no idea that there is a threshold or where the settings are located. Those who do know about compacting, still are confused by the message as it does not mention 'compacting'.
Auto compacting in the background might seem a neat idea, but there are times when you need to rescue 'marked as deletd' emails and the only way is via altering the X-Mozilla-Status. This method of recovery would be removed if compacting was a frequent occurance done in the background.
There are times when the eg: Trash has been emptied and a sudden need to recover an email, my first advice is do not compact any folder until checks have been performed to see if recovery is possible via 'X-Mozilla-Status'.

This compacting action needs to be the user choice. I compact at the end of each day prior to exiting Thunderbird and that time will vary, so auto compaction is not something that I want to automatic.

Use words like : 'Thunderbird maintenance' perhaps as a heading and say 'The threshold for compacting folders as been reached as per settings in Options/Preferences > General, under 'Network & Disk Space'. Please do not exit Thunderbird whilst compacting is performed.'
'Compact now' 'Cancel'

Then people are informed that it is a basic maintenance - so normal action and that compacting needs to occur - many are familiar with that term and there is Help Article explaining compacting if required and why it needs to occur - threshold attained and where that threshold is set, so they can modify if desired. This is simple and informative. No mention of 'purge deleted emails' as this is scary and unnecessary. Users do not need to be told it saves disc space - as many think 'well I've got tons of space so it is not required'.

What is the objective ? Help to keep thunderbird healthy by performing basic compacting maintenance on folders to keep them tidy and therefore less prone to becoming corrupt and in the process reducing file size, which would save disk space as a nice bonus. Inform user and allow choice to compact and make user aware that they must not exit thunderbird during the process.
But the user only needs to told it is basic maintenance, a threshold has been reached so compacting needs to occur.
Keep it simple.

This doesn't need to be complicated for the user. Keep the messaging & warnings short and very simple.

First of all, three choices -- COMPACT NOW, CANCEL, and HELP (which explains a few details, including how to increase the threshold). Saying the user has "exceeded the threshold" is just as scary for some as "purging" -- oh my, I've sailed off the edge of the world! -- and causes paranoia regarding saving of old messages (and keeping any files & photos for that matter, even though totally unrelated).

Just say that compacting is required, with the choices. If the threshold level has been doubly exceeded, then we could look at a more drastic message explaining the threshold and indicating it is important to compact right now. If the warning messages come up at least every day and every time TB is started, they will eventually do it just to make the warnings stop. Or we could at this point force an automatic compact before allowing the user to do anything -- with a warning that it is in progress and an intermittent option to abandon.

If users trigger the compact, they would know it is running and probably act accordingly. TB could warn not to interrupt, and it should lock out attempts to get mail or send (I think it does this now, or at least warns that compact is running). On the other hand, if compact was run automatically and silently, the user doesn't know and could cause all kinds of damage. See my Comment #12 above regarding concerns -- plus the process MUST be interruptible if a device is going to sleep (or about to shut down because of a dying battery).

If it was a continuous background task and not a sudden time-consuming process, it would be much easier all around. There are two ways to compact a file:
(1) You can copy the good stuff to a new file and then either copy back or swap names. This takes time (the larger, the longer) and can cause data loss if the process is interrupted at certain critical points.
(2) You can continually copy the next good piece in place over deleted pieces, with appropriate pointer updates. This process is relatively much safer and, on a continuously maintained system, takes a lot less time. (I'm not advocating an immediate continuous compact every time a file is deleted. Deleting the oldest files leaves holes at the top of the file and would cause non-stop back-filling of the remaining messages as they move up. Just allow some time before starting...)

But still, leave a manual COMPACT NOW option available -- per file and per system, as now -- in case the user wants to archive their files right then, or simply wants to make sure it is done.

If it was a continuous background task and not a sudden time-consuming process, it would be much easier all around.

Compacting removes previously deleted data and there are occasions when you do not want compacting to occur. There needs to be at least a month time delay if this is an automatic process. People do delete in error. People do empty the trash and then need to find an email deleted in error. If the folder that held the original email has not been compacted, I can advise on how to recover it and I have done so on many occasions.
Compacting is something that helps to maintain files, but it also removes the ability to recover emails. It is important to compact but not vital to do it immediately. I compact when I know I do not need to recover anything.
Hence why I like Automatic compaction to be an option - which it is at the moment and it should stay that way.
It is important to know that compacting is being performed as it may impact in a way that some users would find frustrating if they did not have control or knowledge about it being performed with options to cancel/delay etc.

This this is going a bit off topic.....this bug is for discussing the pop up text specifically and not potential processes for compacting.

I feel there has been a good amount of input of ideas to come to some form of resolution on the wording of the text in the pop up.

What is needed, is this bug to be assigned and acknowledged as requiring an improvement with intent to get the task done, so it can be incorporated in the forthcoming upgrades.

I fully agree, Anje -- now and as I stated to you previously.

Simple wording, as it used to be. Get rid of the scary "purge" stuff in the next release and immediately revert to the original message if nothing else. Then get a consensus on improvements to the wording (if any). Add a HELP button if any detail needs to be explained. Finally, and in a dedicated bug, let's discuss pros & cons of automated compact. Yes -- assign it, please, and get it done.

But while we're here...
The user should always have the current choices to run compact on demand (ie- "right now, when I click it"). I'm actually on the fence regarding automation, but having it automated should definitely be a user option. Automation should not be just Y/N but a length of time too. If compact happened on the first of the month, say, the user wouldn't always have a full so-many days since deletion to recover. Let the user say 30 days or whatever, and zero could signify immediately (ie- today or tomorrow some system-convenient time or user-defined time). Automation has advantages, but as I've warned a few times here, there are a lot of dangers too. (And of course a user who set "30 days" as their option will always call Anje on the 31st day to try and recover something that got flushed the night before. :)

I would also be happy to just go back to the old wording that (almost?) everybody seemed to be happy with.

The old wording https://bug716412.bmoattachments.org/attachment.cgi?id=668889 may have been simpler but it too had it's problems - users didn't understand "compact", and one language used the localization "compress".

Yes, we here in techno world probably all know what "compact" (and compress) means. But most users REALLY don't. That is partly what bug 716412 attempted to fix. And it took 4 months, so it's not necessarily dead simple to make what should be a simple improvement.

The wording must help the user trust that that they can click "proceed". Unfortunately, it's hard to convey trust here when :
a) the dialog popups up in perfectly ordinary circumstances - on startup, message deletion, message move, etc
b) users assume a pop up in software means there's an error, or they have done something wrong - imagine yourself a new user, know nothing about computers and email, and this pops up after you delete a message => reaction: "What did I just do?" (which goes to my argument for automating this dialog from the dinosaur age - 90% of the user population simply don't need it, don't care or are confused)
c) there is sometimes an incorrect value listed for disk savings (trust?)

Maybe a simpler starting approach is list the words we don't want in the dialog.

Also

Priority: -- → P2
Duplicate of this bug: 1702496
Duplicate of this bug: 1702639

This is another example of what happens with this terminology. The user was familiar with compacting, but they have no idea what purging is about. They are also apparently not aware that a move causes a deletion in the loosing folder, a not uncommon situation. The term is after all move, not copy and delete. Having deleted emails remaining from a move is actually counter-intuitive. Since the auto compaction bug in IMAP was fixed in V60 this issue is just confusing a whole new group of Thunderbird users.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1333368

(In reply to Matt from comment #28)

Exactly the point I made 'way back in my Comment #4 above. There has been plenty of time since then -- and several releases of TB -- to have restored the original message while we debate what should happen. (The original wording is not perfect, but IMO it's a lot better than the new phrasing.)

Compact is marginally better than purge. But no, we shouldn't be using compact either. No jargon.

At least most people understand what compact means, even if they don't know exactly what it does. And it does have longevity in TB.

A simple word like "clean" can also be jargon. What does it mean to "clean" or "clean out" or "clean up" files? Sounds like a "flush", possibly of something old/obsolete but not necessarily something I want to be rid of. In other words, I wouldn't trust either word no matter how it was phrased.

Anything with additional choices, buttons, options, functionality, etc, would require testing and release protocols. Correct me if I'm wrong, but reverting to the original wording should be just a simple text edit with minimal effort to piggyback on the next release. I propose we do this ASAP to resolve the confusion from the new wording. Then we can take our time to hash out proper wording to suit whatever it is we decide the compaction procedure should be.

It cannot be changed in version 78 because of localization. So as I said earlier, there is no rush.

How about "The Thunderbird program is performing internal self-maintenance." or something like that. I think you're better off not saying anything and just do it, as long as no negative consequences if they close out.

Well, those words work if the process starts automatically -- but right now, that's not the case. The user has to approve the operation, and the key is for them to be comfortable saying yes. I like that working, so maybe a prompt like "Perform internal self-maintenance? YES/NO" would be your suggestion. And then, definitely there should be a persistent popup (and not a transient status line or window) to say your phrase when the process is running.

I actually am not opposed to automating the compacting process, as long as there are, as you said, no negative consequences. (I listed some specific concerns in Comment 12.) And, does the process stop a person from using TB at the time? ("I want to write an email or download new messages RIGHT NOW!") That's part of the reason compacting is not done regularly -- takes too long and leaves the program somewhat unusable for the time. But I would expect the automation to work incrementally over time (so as to not suddenly take a block of time, but also to not degrade other windows) AND for it to be totally interruptible at a moment's notice. If it's not incremental, then there would need to be a manual method to trigger compacting -- in preparation for archiving, for example.

I will try my suggestion.
"The message storage database maintenance service needs to run to maintain the efficiency of the message store. This process may impact performance for a few minutes."

Then provide a Defer Configure and an Ok button.
Configure opens the appropriate options.... might a UI challenge with the searchable options, but it needs to be directed to the correct settings. If we have not worked out how to do that yet, then it is time to work it out.

And if I quit TB while this maintenance is running ??

(In reply to Dan Pernokis from comment #36)

And if I quit TB while this maintenance is running ??

The same thing that happens now.... you end up with nstmp folders if the OS quits, or the process completes in the background without a UI as occurs now. I am not proposing anything more than a change to the terminology in the dialog and calling the user approved process a service instead of a process.

(In reply to Dan Pernokis from comment #36)

And if I quit TB while this maintenance is running ??

This bug is specfically only addressing the wording in the pop up and not the compacting process itself.

Sorry, Anje -- It's just that the two go hand-in-hand -- too easy to think about how the wording may affect the process when it is developed (and vice-versa) and to think how a user might actually react to the text. I'm advocating (as you are) that the current bad wording get replaced as soon as possible, ie - "yesterday" -- but other thoughts keep coming.

And Matt -- After re-reading your Comment 35, I see now that there is no procedural change. My concern came from this: With original, current, or your proposed wording, the user approves the compact/clean-up run and must remember it is running. It's just that the on-going progress displays and the completion message are so fleeting. The automatic Get-Messages still run and their displays on the status bar overwrite any messages from the compact. The completion message should be in a persistent popup so the user knows the process is over. Otherwise (and presuming no type of crash) it could be a guess if the user wants to quit TB for any reason.

My point was that if this can start and stop automatically, with no user involvement and no ill consequences; why not just eliminate the dialog completely, and have one less thing for the user to act on or do, since nobody understands it anyhow, and not cancelling it would be an overall gain?

Compacting could also run "continuously" -- when DELETE or MOVE creates a hole, slowly back-fill it over time. There would be no need to ask permission, the maintenance would just run as & when it needed to. There would be no sudden drop in system performance, no need to involve the user, etc. Files would always be more or less in their most compacted state, ready for archiving, with no need for the user to manually trigger a compact (although it would be nice to run a full compact to completion right now, in case some major deletions just happened).

Best of all, TB would be fully functional all the time, as the process would know to work around the user. GetMessages (aka GetMail) -- manual or internally auto-timed -- would be able to work without lockup or popup warnings. Browsing mailboxes, opening/viewing messages, and moving/deleting stuff -- all would cause no harm and require no waiting.

Finally, closing TB -- however it happens -- would know to halt the process (not sure what happens now), while shutting down the OS usually asks/tells the apps to close off. Only a catastrophic TB or OS crash might be fatal -- which is also no different than we have now.

Let's not derail the conversion: there are reasons why it's not automatic - see bug 286888.

As a user, I was fine with the compact wording. I reasoned that it was just cleaning up it's disk space and/or indices and such.
It was the "purge" that concerned me. It sounded like it was going to empty my Deleted folder. I did not want to do that quite yet without taking a second visual scan.
I like this being under user control. I know when I don't care about the background task and that I will have TB up long enough for it to finish.

And BTW: I really do like TB. It is not perfect, but it is way better than any of the other email tools I have tried.
I wish it worked better on the MAC. My wife tried it for a while but it was too buggy. But that is a different thread...

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