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Nitpick on Mail.app - interface oddity deleting from message pane - Mac Applications & Software

As a new Mac user, I continue to be delighted by a number of things on this platform. There is something I do a number of times a day that is an irritant, however, and I thought I'd post to see if anyone else objects to it, or if it's just a preconception from my pre-Mac experience that I need to adjust to. When deleting messages from the message-list pane in Apple's Mail.app, I usually use the "delete" key. Assuming there are a number of messages I want to delete, I am accustomed to the "selected" line not moving after ...

  1. #1

    Default Nitpick on Mail.app - interface oddity deleting from message pane

    As a new Mac user, I continue to be delighted by a number of things on
    this platform.

    There is something I do a number of times a day that is an irritant,
    however, and I thought I'd post to see if anyone else objects to it, or if
    it's just a preconception from my pre-Mac experience that I need to adjust
    to.

    When deleting messages from the message-list pane in Apple's Mail.app, I
    usually use the "delete" key. Assuming there are a number of messages I
    want to delete, I am accustomed to the "selected" line not moving after I
    hit the "delete" key. In Mail.app, after the "delete" key is pressed, the
    message being deleted disappears, but the selected line moves *up* rather
    than staying the same. This means the new selected message (the next one
    that would be deleted if I pressed the "delete" key again) is the one that
    was *above* the originally deleted message.

    This seems highly counter-intuitive. On all other applications I've used
    which offer a line-oriented delete function (spreadsheets, databases, text
    editors, mail programs, listboxes with deletable content, etc.) the line
    that is selected after a deletion is always the one that was *below* the
    deleted line.

    While I can train myself to do this, I must remember each time that
    deleting messages from Mail.app behaves *differently* than deleting
    line-oriented content from any other application I've ever used.

    My work-around is to start from the *last* message I want to delete,
    rather than the first. By doing this, each deletion moves the selected
    line *up* to the next message I want to delete.

    This seems counter-intuitive and un-Mac-like to me. Any others bothered
    by this?

    PLM
    Patrick Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Nitpick on Mail.app - interface oddity deleting from message pane

    In article <netcom.com>,
    "Patrick Mills" <netcom.com> wrote:
     

    Mine doesn't do this. After a delete, the next un-read message is
    highlighted, ready for deletion. My only guess of what could be
    different is that I don't use the preview pane (I don't want spam
    messages to open while selecting them for deletion, thus notifying the
    spammer that they've found a live address).

    --
    Art Gorski * Mac Integration Staff * Rice University * Houston, Texas
    Remember to remove NOSPAM from address when replying via email
    Art Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nitpick on Mail.app - interface oddity deleting from message pane

    On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 08:49:03 -0500, Art Gorski wrote:
     
    >
    > Mine doesn't do this. After a delete, the next un-read message is
    > highlighted, ready for deletion. My only guess of what could be
    > different is that I don't use the preview pane (I don't want spam
    > messages to open while selecting them for deletion, thus notifying the
    > spammer that they've found a live address).[/ref]

    Hmmm - I do use the Preview pane, but I don't see any way to turn it off,
    short of dragging the separator bar above it down to the bottom of the
    window. When I do that, the delete behavior doesn't change, though. I'm
    not sure it's a "read/unread" thing, since I can do this in a folder where
    *all* the mail has been read. I keep mail sorted by reversed recieve
    date, so that newest messages are at the top of the list.

    Here's my info:

    Powerbook G4 17", Jaguar OS 10.2.6 (6L60) Mail.app 1.2.5 (v552)

    I thought it might be my Powerbook's keyboard (it has one "delete" key
    which functions as a "del" key with the "fn" key pressed), but "delete"
    and "fn-delete" both do the same thing for me. It even does this when I
    select a message and choose "Message/Delete" from Mail.app's menu.

    Now I'm *really* curious about this, since you're not seeing the same
    behavior...

    PLM
    Patrick Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Nitpick on Mail.app - interface oddity deleting from message pane

    In article <netcom.com>, Patrick
    Mills <netcom.com> wrote:
     

    I just checked this out on my machine (G4 tower), and the highlight
    moves to the message _below_ the one I delete. I am using Apple
    extended KB; the "main" delete key and the "del" key above the arrows
    both move down the list.

    Cathy

    --
    "there's a dance or two in the old dame yet." - mehitabel

    C.Stevenson, M.D.
    net
    Cathy Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nitpick on Mail.app - interface oddity deleting from message pane

    In article <netcom.com>,
    "Patrick Mills" <netcom.com> wrote:
     

    If I sort my messages the way you do (newest on top), I can re-create
    the oddity you're describing. But when the sort order is reversed, with
    the oldest message on the top, deleting works properly (i.e., the
    selected line stays in the same place, highlighting the next-newest
    message).

    If I were you, I'd report it to Apple at the OS X feedback page.

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/feedback/
    Moe Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Nitpick on Mail.app - interface oddity deleting from message pane

    On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 21:23:50 -0500, Moe Szyslak wrote:
     

    Actually, I think I now understand the designed behavior, and I feel quite
    comfortable with it.

    Mail.app's behavior in this instance was more complex than I had imagined.

    Apparently, the designed behavior is to select the next item in the
    current sort order. This leads to the following behaviors:

    Sorted by ascending date: Next item will be the first one *older* than
    the deleted item (thus selecting *down* the list)

    Sorted by descending date: Next item will be the first one *newer* than
    the deleted item (thus selecting *up* the list)

    Sorted by ascending size: Next item will be the first one *larger* than
    the deleted item (thus selecting *down* the list)

    Sorted by descending size: Next item will be the first one *smaller*
    than the deleted item (thus selecting *up* the list)

    And so on...

    As a programmer, my guess is that the logic is working quite properly not
    with the *interface* (the list box and the items displayed in it) but with
    the *data* (probably some sort of ordered collection that is iterated
    through).

    Funny how understanding how something works can make it go from confusing
    to intuitive...

    Thanks to the other posters for leading me to a better understanding of
    this issue.

    PLM

    Patrick Guest

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