torachan: (Default)
Travis ([personal profile] torachan) wrote in [site community profile] dw_suggestions2012-09-27 07:58 pm

Deleting the text of an entry should not delete the entry or should warn first

Deleting the text of an entry should not delete the entry or should warn first


Deleting the text of an entry should either not cause the entry to be deleted, or if it does, it should warn before deleting.

Back in the day, the only way to delete an LJ entry was to delete the text and then save the entry. Now, of course, on both LJ and DW, there is an actual delete button. Using the delete button gets you a "do you really want to delete?" type message before it deletes the entry. However, the old way of deleting still exists, and worse, it doesn't ask you if you really want to delete, it just does it.

There are many reasons why someone might delete the text without wanting to delete the entry. They might want to just keep the title and comments but no longer have the text of the entry there, or they might be testing something. (The case that prompted this post was someone getting weird whitespace issues and trying to see if they could get rid of it by saving a blank entry and then repasting in the text, but when they saved the blank entry, the entire post was deleted without warning.)

Now that a delete button exists, there's not really a good reason why deleting the text should delete the entry. If someone wants to delete an entry, there's a much more intuitive way of doing so: just click the delete button! So my suggestion is that if you delete the text, it should not delete the entry.

However, if that's not possible, at the very least there should be a warning before deletion just like there is with using the delete button. Users new to DW/LJ may not even know about the old way of deleting, and even long-time users may have forgotten it or assumed it was changed with the implementation of the delete button. There should always be a warning before something is deleted.

Poll #11752 Deleting the text of an entry should not delete the entry or should warn first
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 80

This suggestion:

View Answers

Should be implemented as-is.
56 (70.0%)

Should be implemented with changes. (please comment)
19 (23.8%)

Shouldn't be implemented.
0 (0.0%)

(I have no opinion)
5 (6.2%)

(Other: please comment)
0 (0.0%)

manifold: Rex quondam, rexque futurus. (Default)

[personal profile] manifold 2012-09-28 01:42 pm (UTC)(link)
We voted "with changes" just to clarify that we'd prefer a warning over fully eliminating the method.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2012-09-28 02:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Same here.
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

[personal profile] marahmarie 2012-09-29 12:40 am (UTC)(link)
Same here.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

[personal profile] kate_nepveu 2012-09-28 03:13 pm (UTC)(link)
What benefit do you see to keeping the delete-text-deletes-post method?
manifold: Rex quondam, rexque futurus. (point? we had a point?)

[personal profile] manifold 2012-09-28 04:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, for one thing, there might be users who make use of LJ-based software clients which may use the "empty entry" method for deletion, and these would be broken on Dreamwidth while remaining functional for other sites that still make use of the LJ way of deletion. There could also be unforeseen problems with the display and handling of entries with truly null contents.

Basically, I'm hesitant to permanently remove a very long-lived feature for reasons of personal preference, since it doesn't actually break anything, and in instances in the cited example, we've always tended to either HTML comment the content out, or replace it with the HTML entity for a non-breaking space. So it seems like a situation best addressed by a warning and perhaps a question in the FAQ, to us.
Edited (Damn typos!) 2012-09-28 16:18 (UTC)
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

[personal profile] kate_nepveu 2012-09-28 04:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for the thoughtful response; I appreciate it.
cmshaw: DC Comics: Kory cries "X'Hal!" (Default)

[personal profile] cmshaw 2012-09-28 08:10 pm (UTC)(link)
This makes sense to me, so this is my "with changes" as well.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)

[personal profile] triadruid 2012-11-05 01:18 pm (UTC)(link)
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

[personal profile] marahmarie 2012-09-29 12:41 am (UTC)(link)
Usability; for keyboard-only users used to the functionality, you probably don't want to take it away.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

[personal profile] kate_nepveu 2012-09-29 12:50 am (UTC)(link)
inthetatras: People planted in the ground like flowers sprouting in spring. (Default)

[personal profile] inthetatras 2012-09-29 06:18 am (UTC)(link)
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)

[personal profile] susanreads 2012-09-29 02:16 pm (UTC)(link)
+1 (changed my vote because of keyboard usability)
montuos: cartoon portrait of myself (Default)

[personal profile] montuos 2012-09-28 05:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Users new to DW/LJ may not even know about the old way of deleting...

You're absolutely right about that! I am not such a new user, but I had no idea this feature existed, and I am grateful not to have discovered it by accident! I have a couple of entries where I periodically radically change the text (but not the subject, date, security, or tags), and it is quite possible that someday I might clear out all the old content before having new content ready to put in.

Or in other words, I definitely support at least adding a confirmation step before deleting the post.

Edit: Changing my vote to "with changes" because I can see the utility of the method even though I don't want to use it myself.
Edited 2012-09-28 17:28 (UTC)
anatsuno: a women reads, skeptically (drawing by Kate Beaton) (Default)

[personal profile] anatsuno 2012-09-28 11:06 pm (UTC)(link)
I was the sad case unforeseen deletion and people lost comments. :(( I really think a warning that this will delete the entry is a mandatory step.
green_knight: (Default)

[personal profile] green_knight 2012-09-29 10:21 am (UTC)(link)
with changes: if people use it, I can see the point of keeping the method, but with the same 'do you want to delete' warning.

Been on LJ since 2003, and I didn't know about it. Thankfully, I never accidentally his select all-delete-save. (Done that with text documents... ouch.)
arethinn: glowing green spiral (Default)

[personal profile] arethinn 2012-10-01 06:28 am (UTC)(link)
Been on LJ since 2002 and had no idea that method even existed. O.o