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Re: [eclipse-dev] Major data-destroying usability bugs

Comments inline. This is an important issue and should not be overlooked.

leon j breedt wrote:

1) Eclipse has no distinction between "delete from project" and
"delete file
from disk". Just because I don't want a file in my project doesn't mean
that I want it deleted from my file system. Often, there are
project-related files that are kept in project folders with code, such as
design documents, that Eclipse does not need to know about. I certainly
don't want that stuff cluttering up my Package Explorer when I'm trying to
get work done. In addition, many other dev tools make this distinction, so
the expectations of many developers will be that these are not the same
in the package explorer, if you click the downwards-pointing arrow, and
select Filters... you can specify name patterns you wish to hide from view.
if thats too sweeping (it applies across all projects), click the same
and select "Select Working Set..." where you can select the exact files
you want to see. nothing as drastic as delete required.
Perhaps there should be "Hide File" and "Delete File" options that are co-located in order to reduce confusion.
2) Eclipse does not make it clear that it will actually be deleting the
files from the disk when it pops up a panel. You see, when an app has an
action "do X" and the alert panel says "really do X" then in the user's
mind, they are confirming that they issued the command. If there is a
conceptual error about what X really means, then this panel does not leave
the user any better informed, such that they really *can* be sure
that X is
what they want to do. This panel should say, "Really destroy the files on
your hard disk?" and the buttons should be labeled "Destroy forever" and
i think its less confusing to to actually delete the file from the
than to leave it hanging around. and the file isn't really gone (although it
isn't in the recycle bin). select the project, right-click, and select
"Restore from Local History". your deleted files should be there. this is
documented in the (extensive) online help (search for "deleted", it'll be
there somewhere).
When this happened to me (quite some time ago) the files were not in local history. I had just created the project and was trying to un-clutter it. Since I had never changed any of the files none of them were in local history. Perhaps now deleting a file is now considered to be enough of a change to warrant a backup in local history. I certainly hope so.

3) Eclipse puts a window up during deletion, but the cancel button is not
responsive. What a cruel trick on the user. Once I realized what it was
doing, I wasted crucial seconds hammering on the cancel button, when I
should have been killing the app.
see my response to (2).
That response does not address this issue: The cancel button doesn't work -- it ought to either be fixed or removed. Frantically clicking on an inoperable control is not a user error (except maybe after the first couple of clicks).
4) Eclipse does not place the files it is deleting into the recycle bin,
like a well-behaved application, it just wipes them off your disk. In
combination with the above usability problems, this is deadly. There is
simply no excuse for this.
see my response to (2).
There really isn't any reason to erase a file from disk on operation systems that provide a trash can or similar mechanism. This follows the principal of least surprise. If you are going to claim compatibility with an operating system you ought to obey the behavioral conventions of that operating system. This goes way beyond being a look-and-feel issue -- this behavior silently circumvents protection mechanisms and permanently destroys user data. Most development organizations consider that kind of thing to be among the highest priority bugs.

Phil Goodwin, Java Software, Sun Microsystems, 408.276.7090, or x17090

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