Need UI warning when deleting lots of messages at once

NEW
Unassigned

Status

SeaMonkey
MailNews: Message Display
--
enhancement
15 years ago
6 years ago

People

(Reporter: Michael Toomim, Unassigned)

Tracking

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

15 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.4b) Gecko/20030520
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.4b) Gecko/20030520

I think there should be a warning (an "are you sure?" dialog box) when a user
tries to delete a large number of emails at once (maybe 5 or more).

I just tried to delete a message from the top of my mailbox with shift-delete,
but my finger accidentally hit the "end" key at the same time as the "delete"
key (while holding down shift).  This caused my entire directory (containing
some 1800 messages) to be deleted.  That really sucked.

Luckily, I was able to recover my data.  However, it would have been REALLY nice
if mozilla asked me "Are you sure you want to delete 1869 messages from folder
Inbox?" before going through with the operation.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:

Updated

15 years ago
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true

Comment 1

15 years ago
Changing severity to enhancement.  

I think this is only desirable on SHIFT-DELETE, since otherwise messages are
easily recoverable from the Trash.
Severity: normal → enhancement
(Reporter)

Comment 2

15 years ago
The problem isn't that you can't get your email back (I used undo to get my
email back after shift-delete), but that it's a frightening and confusing
situation to be in when you delete a lot of your email by accident, you might
not notice that you deleted your email in the first place, and you can never be
sure that you restored your mailbox to its previous state.

  - If you went into the trash to recover your mail, you can never be sure that
you undeleted all the email that you just deleted accidentally and left the
email that you previously deleted on purpose.  Which was which?  If you have a
lot of email, it's impossible (or at least extremely non-obvious) to know if
you've gotten your mailbox back to its previous state.

  - You might not notice that you deleted a lot of your email in the first place
without a warning dialog-box.  For instance, when I pushed end-delete, my first
reaction was "I must have applied some type of display-filter to the mailbox
because my messages have all dissappeared."  I almost tried closing and
re-opening mozilla to refresh its display (which would have deleted all my
messages for good, of course -- and even if I used delete instead of
shift-delete, enabling "empty trash on exit" would have deleted all my email
permanently as well).  Alternatively, if you only selected a subset of your
inbox before pressing delete or shift-delete, you might not immediately realize
that you deleted multiple messages at all because your inbox won't go blank.

In all of these situations (which I've had personal near-encounters with), a
warning dialog box would have really helped.

Thanks!

Comment 3

13 years ago
IMHO this is a critical bug. An email client really shouldn't allow the user to
delete their entire inbox with a single key combination (and certainly not one
that is easy to hit accidentally). To me this bug is much more severe than a
memory leak or a crash. It can lead to major data loss and should be put in the
same category as security holes.

(I was hit by this bug, but fortunately had my inbox cached elsewhere.)
edit/undo delete messages?

the problem with alerts is that they're annoying most of the time...
OS: Linux → All
Hardware: PC → All
(Reporter)

Comment 5

13 years ago
1) People don't delete more than 5 messages often enough for a simple "are you sure" yes/no alert to 
be annoying.

2) Like I said in comment #2, the problem isn't that it's impossible to get your email back, but that it's a 
frightening and confusing situation to be in when you delete a lot of your email by accident, you might
not notice that you deleted your email in the first place, and (when restoring from trash) you can never 
be sure that you restored your mailbox to its previous state.

Comment 6

13 years ago
1. people complain about not being able to delete whole threads, which could
easily be 20 messages.
(Reporter)

Comment 7

13 years ago
Maybe 5 messages is too low a threshold. How about showing a dialog when deleting >75?

That's a lot of email. If you're deleting 75 messages at once, you're certainly doing major re-
architecting of your mailbox rather than incremental maintenance, and requiring confirmation of your 
actions seems prudent.

If not, is there a larger number that you would feel more comfortable with? I'd personally prefer a lower 
number.

Comment 8

13 years ago
i have no idea how to deal with this problem, if i had, i'd have proposed it.

Comment 9

13 years ago
Why not follow the approach of Outlook / Outlook Express? After all, a lot of 
the UI elements / key shortcuts for mozilla mail are already very similar.

  shift+end: selects to end of messages
  del: moves message(s) to trash with no confirmation (for IMAP the message is 
marked as deleted, but not actually moved)
  shift+del: deletes message(s) with confirmation

Personally, I don't find such alerts annoying in this context... admittedly I 
sometimes just press alt+y without actually reading them, but at least they 
provide some safety.

Comment 10

13 years ago
it happens to make absolutely no sense, but other than that...

Comment 11

13 years ago
Arguably, having three different methods for deleting messages (moving to 
trash, marking as deleted, and deleting immediately) doesn't make that much 
sense. However, it does make sense to ask for confirmation when deleting 
immediately. In my experience, with other programs, this scheme does work and 
isn't too annoying. Other people may disagree.

Another straightforward (but somewhat distasteful) way of resolving the 
particular problem with shift+end+del would be simply to disable the shift+end 
shortcut.

Comment 12

13 years ago
the whole point of shift delete is that you're sure you want to delete the
messages. Hence, confirmation would defeat the whole purpose.

Comment 13

13 years ago
(In reply to comment #12)
> the whole point of shift delete is that you're sure you want to delete the
> messages. Hence, confirmation would defeat the whole purpose.

I disagree. In other programs the purpose of shift delete is to delete the
selected items without sending them to the trash folder. I've just had a quick
look at a few other programs to see what they do. In all the programs which use
shift delete (Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Explorer, Konqueror) the default
behaviour is to ask for confirmation. IMO, this is entirely correct, and the
default configuration should always err on the side of safety.

Konqueror does have a preference to disable confirmation (this could be an
option for mozilla).

I also looked at Nautilus, which takes the purist Mac approach of only allowing
files to be deleted via the trash folder (it doesn't support shift delete at all).
Product: Browser → Seamonkey

Updated

13 years ago
Assignee: sspitzer → mail
Assignee: mail → nobody
QA Contact: esther → message-display

Comment 14

9 years ago
MASS-CHANGE:
This bug report is registered in the SeaMonkey product, but has been without a comment since the inception of the SeaMonkey project. This means that it was logged against the old Mozilla suite and we cannot determine that it's still valid for the current SeaMonkey suite. Because of this, we are setting it to an UNCONFIRMED state.

If you can confirm that this report still applies to current SeaMonkey 2.x nightly builds, please set it back to the NEW state along with a comment on how you reproduced it on what Build ID, or if it's an enhancement request, why it's still worth implementing and in what way.
If you can confirm that the report doesn't apply to current SeaMonkey 2.x nightly builds, please set it to the appropriate RESOLVED state (WORKSFORME, INVALID, WONTFIX, or similar).
If no action happens within the next few months, we move this bug report to an EXPIRED state.

Query tag for this change: mass-UNCONFIRM-20090614
Status: NEW → UNCONFIRMED

Comment 15

8 years ago
MASS-CHANGE:
This bug report is registered in the SeaMonkey product, but still has no comment since the inception of the SeaMonkey project 5 years ago.

Because of this, we're resolving the bug as EXPIRED.

If you still can reproduce the bug on SeaMonkey 2 or otherwise think it's still valid, please REOPEN it and if it is a platform or toolkit issue, move it to the according component.

Query tag for this change: EXPIRED-20100420
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 8 years ago
Resolution: --- → EXPIRED

Comment 16

6 years ago
Still valid.
Status: RESOLVED → REOPENED
Ever confirmed: true
Resolution: EXPIRED → ---

Updated

6 years ago
Status: REOPENED → NEW
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