[KDE Usability] Review Request: Add a confirmation window when emptying the trash

Diego Moya turingt at gmail.com
Wed Mar 31 10:57:09 BST 2010

> On Tuesday 30 March 2010, Tom Albers wrote:
> > The point is that the trash is the confirmation in fact. Normally on
> > a destructive action we do a kdialog get the confirmation and then
> > the destructive action is executed.

That would be true if the only possible use case for the trash would be
deleting files. But the trash can also be used to *recover* trashed files.

The key question to ask with destructive actions is "what happens if the
user misclicks just one time?". Undoable actions don't need to be guarded
because, well, they can be undone. This is not true for deleting

> >
> > For deleting files, we move it to the trash and then the user deletes
> > it from the trash, which is similar to the confirmation on a
> > distructive action. Giving these two actions a separate an
> > additional warning dialog, makes people have to 4 actions to
> > actually delete a file. Which is over-cautious in my opinion.

I have no problem with destructive actions being cumbersome, this provides
extra safety - which is never too much for user content. But I usually don't
like confirmation dialogs: they are accepted just by habit, without thinking
or reading - so they work more like nuisance dialogs, and don't accomplish
anything useful.

So we have two requirements:
- provide safety against unwanted deletions
- don't get in the way.

Why don't ditch the alert idea (which doesn't work anyway) and try something
completely different?

I can think of several solutions:

- Provide a 30 seconds Undo action (highly visible, passive). If the user
wants to delete the file, it's just one action; but if it was accidental,
she has a security net of 30 secs.

(This could be done also for the "Confirm moving to Trash" dialog, thus
reducing the "Really delete this file" case to just two actions without
reducing security).

- Make the Trash a dangerous place for files: everything in the Trash can be
deleted anytime if disk space runs low, and the Trash will be emptied
automatically once a day (just like the real Trash bin metaphor). This way,
users never need to delete files in the trash - the computer takes care of

Just my 2c.
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