Friday, December 5, 2003 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Without Confirmation

SpamSieve users can delete rules and words from table views by pressing Delete. I’d like to add an option to delete without confirmation by holding down a modifier key. Which should it be?

In many applications, such as the Finder and BBEdit, holding down Option removes the ellipsis from a menu command, so that you can use the command without confirming it or specifying any additional options. This is definitely the right behavior for menu commands, however even though SpamSieve aliases the Clear command in the Edit menu to the Delete key, I doubt most users think of pressing Delete as a menu command.

Internet Explorer’s Favorites window is more similar to the situation in SpamSieve. It’s a list/table that uses Delete to delete with confirmation and Command-Delete to delete without confirmation. However, I can’t think of any other programs that work this way.


The Finder uses Cmd-Delete to move items to the Trash. This isn't all that analogous to your situation, since the Finder doesn't allow for just plain Delete at all, and moving to the Trash isn't quite the same as deleting an item.

But still, I think Cmd-Delete is somewhat established as a shortcut that means "delete this".

Add multiple undo instead?

John: Thanks.

Chris: I've been thinking about undo for a while, but so far have rejected it for two reasons: speed and the fact that SpamSieve modifies the words and rules automatically in addition to what the user can do manually.

GraphicConverter also uses Cmd-Delete to delete pictures in browse mode without the confirmation dialog (Delete brings up the confirmation dialog).

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