Apple Mail fail



  • Okay, so many of you will say that I am TRWTF for using Apple Mail (or perhaps Apple products in general). To summarise, I personally find OS X the least irritating of the main choices for OS, and their products to be "OK" value considering the academic discounts and resale value (perhaps it's more accurate to say I'm passing on the bad value to whoever I eventually sell it to). Apple Mail may not be the best but unlike Gmail webmail at least it doesn't keep changing layout and behaviour in unnecessary and damaging ways...

    ...

    ...Right?

    It turns out that at least one of the "100s of new features" included with Mavericks applies to Apple Mail. Chances are you wouldn't notice it in day-to-day use. Well, less of a feature, and more of a remapping. The backspace key used to archive messages if you were using a Gmail account. This new feature saves you the trouble of keeping a searchable record of all your emails, and simply sends them to trash instead. Y'know, Gmail trash, where things are purged after 30 days.

    Strangely this new feature didn't get a lot of coverage for the first 30 days after Mavericks was released. Then at some point people started to notice that their emails were being deleted forever. This change is completely undocumented by Apple and unacknowledged. There have since been software updates to Mail that claim to improve compatibility with Gmail, but don't change this behaviour. A search on the Apple community forums uncovers the usual dross ("did u guys try clearing some HDD drive space and upgrading yor memories?") but no sign of any sensible way to go back to the old behaviour.

    Is there a shortcut for "Archive"? Sure, a three-key one by default. But hitting the backspace key to archive is ingrained in my muscle memory at this point.

    I'll kick off the suggestions for features for the next major OS X release. Get this: The power button used to just switch off your computer, right? What if it cleared all those files you obviously don't need anymore (since you're switching your computer off) so that next time you switch it on it's as good as new? This way you'd never run out of hard drive space and you'd never have to worry about searching your computer for a file you'd lost. All your files are lost! Go outside and enjoy the sunshine - we all live in California and smoke so much crack that nothing matters anymore...



  • With OS X being based on Unix, I thought it would be some kind of law that you couldn't change anything for decades if ever at all.



  • @DrakeSmith said:

    With OS X being based on Unix, I thought it would be some kind of law that you couldn't change anything for decades if ever at all.

    The graphical user interface changes, however once you start up the terminal window even an old professor in his 70s will feel right at home. My father switched from PC to Mac and was thrilled he finally got a "workstation" (although he couldn't find the 8-inch disk drive). Many I know use macs for the same reason.

    Personally, I use Mac because I at first got one for free, and then because I find it refreshing to use one OS at work and one at home. Gets kind of boring to have the same everywhere. However, it should be noted I'm probably one of the few people that thought it was fun when they inverted the scroll wheel.



  • @jmap said:

    The backspace key used to archive messages if you were using a Gmail account
    So now the delete key does what it should now - delete messages, and the way to archive messages is to press #? As it has been for ages?



    Please tell me you aren't one of those who stores important messages in your Outlook Trash folder and gets surprised when your sysadmin/helpdesk clears it out occasionally?



  • @PJH said:

    the way to archive messages is to press #

    1. Doesn't work for me, and I haven't changed any defaults of that nature
    2. # is alt-3 on my MacBook keyboard. Forgive me for wanting a single key to carry out the most common operation I perform in Mail.

    @PJH said:

    Please tell me you aren't one of those who stores important messages in your Outlook Trash folder and gets surprised when your sysadmin/helpdesk clears it out occasionally?

    I would have thought my original post made it perfectly clear that I'm not that kind of person. I'm talking about archiving the vast majority of my mail, which is one of the founding principles of Gmail and was supported perfectly by Mail until they silently changed this behaviour.



  • @jmap said:

    @PJH said:
    the way to archive messages is to press #

    1. Doesn't work for me, and I haven't changed any defaults of that nature
    2. # is alt-3 on my MacBook keyboard. Forgive me for wanting a single key to carry out the most common operation I perform in Mail.
    Oops - my error - the shortcut to archive in Gmail is 'e', not '#'' - the latter is for delete. So yes - you do have a single key to carry out 'the most common operation [you] perform.' At least in Gmail.


  • @jmap said:

    I would have thought my original post made it perfectly clear that I'm not that kind of person. I'm talking about archiving the vast majority of my mail, which is one of the founding principles of Gmail and was supported perfectly by Mail until they silently changed this behaviour.

    "Archiving" is one of the most stupid features in Gmail's web interface. Quick: tell me how to search in or just look at just your archived mail...

    Unless they changed something, you can't...



  • @PJH said:

    So yes - you do have a single key to carry out 'the most common operation [you] perform.' At least in Gmail.

    You're in the wrong thread. This one is for hating on Apple's user abuse. As I read it, the OP is using Apple Mail as a client for Gmail and the way they changed their integration of the two to sabotage users into deleting their email due to changing the command that used to archive emails into the one that deletes them.



  • @Steve The Cynic said:

    Archiving" is one of the most stupid features in Gmail's web interface. Quick: tell me how to search in or just look at just your archived mail...

    Unless they changed something, you can't...

    In my list of folders or options or labels or whatever is the right term, I see an option for "All Mail." I guess that's not technically what you asked for, since it includes non-archived mail. As for searching...that just happens when you search. At least, it does for me.



  • @PJH said:

    At least in Gmail.

    @jmap said:
    unlike Gmail webmail at least it didn't keep changing layout and behaviour in unnecessary and damaging ways

    (FTFM)



    @Steve The Cynic said:

    tell me how to search in or just look at just your archived mail

    Searching for "in:all mail not in:inbox" should do the trick. Not claiming that's a particularly elegant solution by any means. Is your inbox so large that it makes a big difference it being included in your search results? (not judging, just curious about your use case)



  • @jmap said:

    @Steve The Cynic said:
    tell me how to search in or just look at just your archived mail

    Searching for "in:all mail not in:inbox" should do the trick. Not claiming that's a particularly elegant solution by any means. Is your inbox so large that it makes a big difference it being included in your search results? (not judging, just curious about your use case)

    Nope. The correct syntax for not-in-inbox is "-in:inbox" but when you change to "in:all mail -in:inbox" that searches in archived mail AND all non-inbox labels. I want just the mail with no labels at all...

    And yes, I have a lot of mail with at least one label.



  • @jmap said:

    @Steve The Cynic said:
    tell me how to search in or just look at just your archived mail

    Searching for "in:all mail not in:inbox" should do the trick. Not claiming that's a particularly elegant solution by any means. Is your inbox so large that it makes a big difference it being included in your search results? (not judging, just curious about your use case)

    Nope. The correct syntax for not-in-inbox is "-in:inbox" but when you change to "in:all mail -in:inbox" that searches in archived mail AND all non-inbox labels. I want just the mail with no labels at all...

    And yes, I have a lot of mail with at least one label.



  • @Steve The Cynic said:

    @jmap said:
    @Steve The Cynic said:
    tell me how to search in or just look at just your archived mail

    Searching for "in:all mail not in:inbox" should do the trick. Not claiming that's a particularly elegant solution by any means. Is your inbox so large that it makes a big difference it being included in your search results? (not judging, just curious about your use case)

    Nope. The correct syntax for not-in-inbox is "-in:inbox" but when you change to "in:all mail -in:inbox" that searches in archived mail AND all non-inbox labels. I want just the mail with no labels at all...

    And yes, I have a lot of mail with at least one label.

    Hmmm. Yeah, that sucks. "has:nouserlabels -in:trash -is:chat -in:inbox -in:sent -in:draft" seems to get close but I inexplicably still get a couple of messages labelled "inbox". Looks like has:nouserlabels is quite new.



  • This is all good and all, but the old behavior was demented. Why wouldn't Backspace put the email in the trash?

    Apple fixed a bug that a bunch of idiots got used to. Huh.



  • I just leave everything in my inbox.


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    @blakeyrat said:

    This is all good and all, but the old behavior was demented. Why wouldn't Backspace put the email in the trash?

    Apple fixed a bug that a bunch of idiots got used to. Huh.

    I'll just leave this here.


  • @jmap said:

    "has:nouserlabels -in:trash -is:chat -in:inbox -in:sent -in:draft" seems to get close but I inexplicably still get a couple of messages labelled "inbox". Looks like has:nouserlabels is quite new.
    I tried that and I'm seeing a few conversations with user labels too. One of the messages in that conversation (somehow) matched the filter, so the entire conversation is shown. Probably a side effect of Gmail's conversation threading. Maybe one of the messages in the conversation somehow didn't get tagged with the same label as the rest of the conversation.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    This is all good and all, but the old behavior was demented. Why wouldn't Backspace put the email in the trash?

    Apple fixed a bug that a bunch of idiots got used to. Huh.

    Ok, I've got nothing better to do so I'll bite. Yes, the backspace key deletes text during input. It's also used as a hotkey in many situations, for example it goes "back" in most web browsers, at least in Windows. Is that a great use for the key? Debatable. Is it by design? Yes. Would people be pissed off if its behaviour suddenly changed from "back" to "open 1000 tabs of goatse"? Mostly.



  • @jmap said:

    [archiving is] the most common operation I perform in Mail.

    what

    My most common operation is reading and replying to email.

    @jmap said:

    I would have thought my original post made it perfectly clear that I'm not that kind of person.

    Yes you are, for thinking archiving is a thing.

     

    I do agree, though, that silently changing a demented button for a demented feature to something that is actually destructive is more demented than the original demented idea.

    And I do forgive you for wanting a single keystroke for a common operation.

    hugs and kisses



  • @anotherusername said:

    Maybe one of the messages in the conversation somehow didn't get tagged with the same label as the rest of the conversation.

    Seems likely, but I can't for the life of me find a way to check or edit the labels of an individual message rather than a whole thread without actually going into settings and disabling conversation view. Am I missing something or is it really that horrible?



  • @dhromed said:

    what

    Every message I receive will eventually be archived, whereas only about 90% get read and only about 40% get replied to. Admittedly, I get a lot of bacn that I really need to get around to unsubscribing from.

    @dhromed said:

    Yes you are, for thinking archiving is a thing.


    Archiving isn't a thing? Clearly I'm missing something.



  • @jmap said:

    Yes, the backspace key deletes text during input.

    Right. Deletion is what the backspace key does. So why would you expect it to NOT delete emails?

    @jmap said:

    It's also used as a hotkey in many situations, for example it goes "back" in most web browsers, at least in Windows.

    That use is also demented. Saying B sucks doesn't mitigate the fact that A also sucks.

    @jmap said:

    Is it by design? Yes.

    No it's not.

    @jmap said:

    Would people be pissed off if its behaviour suddenly changed from "back" to "open 1000 tabs of goatse"? Mostly.

    Right; because that change would move it even further from the key's purpose of "deleting things".



  •   TRWTF was indeed backing archival to the Backspace key. Such a brilliant idea only creates new users who archiver their messags in their Outlook trash!



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @jmap said:
    Would people be pissed off if its behaviour suddenly changed from "back" to "open 1000 tabs of goatse"? Mostly.

    Right; because that change would move it even further from the key's purpose of "deleting things".

    Would people be pissed off if its behavior suddenly changed from "back" to "close the browser window"? Mostly.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Right. Deletion is what the backspace key does. So why would you expect it to NOT delete emails?

    Because expectation is influenced by experience.

    @blakeyrat said:

    That use is also demented.

    Agreed.

    @blakeyrat said:

    No it's not [by design].

    In that case I'm interested how it came to be. It's certainly not widely considered to be a bug.

    @blakeyrat said:

    that change would move it even further from the key's purpose of "deleting things"

    Well, it deletes text in a textarea or similar. In terms of deleting other kinds of stuff I'd say there are more counterexamples than examples.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    @jmap said:
    Would people be pissed off if its behaviour suddenly changed from "back" to "open 1000 tabs of goatse"? Mostly.

    Right; because that change would move it even further from the key's purpose of "deleting things".

    Would people be pissed off if its behavior suddenly changed from "back" to "close the browser window"? Mostly.


    Clearly it should delete the web page from the internet. Except for CS, which it deletes twice.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @jmap said:
    It's also used as a hotkey in many situations, for example it goes "back" in most web browsers, at least in Windows.

    That use is also demented.


    BACKspace.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @jmap said:
    It's also used as a hotkey in many situations, for example it goes "back" in most web browsers, at least in Windows.

    That use is also demented.

    It's good.  What is your most intutive alternative? Alt-Left don't cut it. That's two keys in an awkward position.

    Backspace is the best key for the job, as far as I can see. 



  • @jmap said:

    Archiving isn't a thing? Clearly I'm missing something.
     

    If it's in the email database, it's already archived.

     



  • @dhromed said:

    If it's in the email database, it's already archived.

    "Archiving" as in the term used by Gmail for removing email from your inbox.

    I'd complain about your nitpicking, but on this forum that would be a slippery slope (my posts included).



  • Who the hell even "archives" mail anyway? What purpose does it serve, besides satisfying some neurotic desire to organize things?



  • @jmap said:

    @anotherusername said:
    Maybe one of the messages in the conversation somehow didn't get tagged with the same label as the rest of the conversation.

    Seems likely, but I can't for the life of me find a way to check or edit the labels of an individual message rather than a whole thread without actually going into settings and disabling conversation view. Am I missing something or is it really that horrible?

    No, you're correct, you can only add or remove labels on an entire conversation. Try removing all labels from the conversation (including Inbox), then re-add them. After doing this, the conversation disappeared from my search results after I clicked Refresh (Gmail's refresh, not the browser's refresh).


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    @db2 said:

    Who the hell even "archives" mail anyway? What purpose does it serve, besides satisfying some neurotic desire to organize things?

    I archive my mail because my workplace has 100MiB quotas, and I frequently need to call up months-old emails. So I archive mail to my local hard drive.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Would people be pissed off if its behavior suddenly changed from "back" to "close the browser window"? Mostly.

    And justifiably.

    You guys don't read my posts at all, do you?



  • @jmap said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    No it's not [by design].

    In that case I'm interested how it came to be. It's certainly not widely considered to be a bug.

    Well, who's design? I guess the browser maker might consider it "by design", but that just means they're shitty designers. It's definitely not "by design" for the guys who designed the keyboard.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    It's definitely not "by design" for the guys who designed the keyboard

    If everyone stuck to the original designers' intentions PC speakers would never have been capable of this.

    I rest my case.



  • Why would you not mention Wizardry VI!

    Your point is unmade via omission.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Why would you not mention Wizardry VI!

    They used that trick? I never noticed, but I was about four when I played it.

    There goes $6 and the rest of my day.



  • @jmap said:

    They used that trick?

    They used SOME trick to get digitized sound through the PC Speaker. It sounded like ass, ass after being run through a cheese grater. But it worked. (Seems to work in DOSBox too.)

    I just recently beat Wizardry 8, a game I've been playing off-and-on since it CAME OUT! So bow before me, after a full decade plus I have defeated the Dark Savant trilogy!


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    @blakeyrat said:

    @jmap said:
    They used that trick?

    They used SOME trick to get digitized sound through the PC Speaker. It sounded like ass, ass after being run through a cheese grater. But it worked. (Seems to work in DOSBox too.)

    I just recently beat Wizardry 8, a game I've been playing off-and-on since it CAME OUT! So bow before me, after a full decade plus I have defeated the Dark Savant trilogy!

    I loved Wizardry V on the SNES (since I didn't have a computer at that age).


  • @blakeyrat said:

    @jmap said:
    Yes, the backspace key deletes text during input.

    Right. Deletion is what the backspace key does. So why would you expect it to NOT delete emails?

    Because that's not what a backspace key is supposed to do @blakeyrat said:
    that change would move it even further from the key's purpose of "deleting things".
    The purpose of the Backspace key is not to "delete things". It's specific pupose is to delete the text immediately to the left of the cursor by going "back" one "space". Backspace. Clever name, eh?

    Expecting the Backspace key to do anything else is just stupid. Actually designing an application which uses the Backspace key for something else is insane.

    The only other use of the Backspace key which even remotely makes sense is using the Backspace key in a web browser to go back to the previous page. It allows a person to use a browser without a mouse, and it sort of makes sense because you are "going back", which is the whole point of the Backspace key.


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    @El_Heffe said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    @jmap said:
    Yes, the backspace key deletes text during input.

    Right. Deletion is what the backspace key does. So why would you expect it to NOT delete emails?

    Because that's not what a backspace key is supposed to do @blakeyrat said:
    that change would move it even further from the key's purpose of "deleting things".
    The purpose of the Backspace key is not to "delete things". It's specific pupose is to delete the text immediately to the left of the cursor by going "back" one "space". Backspace. Clever name, eh?

    Concur. In fact, before word processors (let alone PCs), backspace would move the writing head back one space without erasing it, allowing the typist to overstrike a diacritic or similar character.



  • But because of smaller keyboards and more functionality we do this now.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @jmap said:
    They used that trick?

    They used SOME trick to get digitized sound through the PC Speaker. It sounded like ass, ass after being run through a cheese grater. But it worked. (Seems to work in DOSBox too.)

    I just recently beat Wizardry 8, a game I've been playing off-and-on since it CAME OUT! So bow before me, after a full decade plus I have defeated the Dark Savant trilogy!

    Back in ye olden DOS days, my dad brought home a floppy (or it might've been a CD) with a demo of some multimedia presentation software that included some sort of driver that managed to push sound (sounded like ass, but sound) through the PC speaker. It included a handful of executables that displayed BMP images with a variety of reveal/hide transitions, delayed for a specified number of seconds, or played sound files saved in their own special format. You could make your own presentations which you'd save and execute as ordinary DOS batch files.

    My memory has faded since the mid 1990s, but I do remember a demo which began with a woman's voice announcing "Hello and welcome to $name" while an image displayed. It sounded like she was talking underwater over a bad telephone connection, but it was impressive considering that it was coming from the PC speaker, ran on DOS, and your entire presentation (batch file, whichever executables you used to display the images and play the sounds, and the images and sounds themselves) could be loaded onto a floppy and ran on any PC that ran MS-DOS. It came with some sample audio files for the numbers 0-9 and some other assorted phrases and sound effects, but I think they wanted you to buy some other application so that you could make your own sound files.

    I think it may have been Multimedia Plus, but like I said, my memory has faded somewhat... it might have been an earlier version of that which predated Windows.



  • We had a Mac at home, which was capable of 3 channels of 8-bit 11 kHz digitized audio from day one. Limited by the extraordinarily small disk size.

    The only reason I know about Wizardry VI is that at one point my dad bought a PC-compatible Quadra 610 Mac which had a 486 on an expansion board inside. It ran Windows 3.11. But you couldn't install a sound card because the expansion board didn't have its own expansion board (if that makes sense.) But it did have a PC Speaker.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    @El_Heffe said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    @jmap said:
    Yes, the backspace key deletes text during input.

    Right. Deletion is what the backspace key does. So why would you expect it to NOT delete emails?

    Because that's not what a backspace key is supposed to do @blakeyrat said:
    that change would move it even further from the key's purpose of "deleting things".
    The purpose of the Backspace key is not to "delete things". It's specific pupose is to delete the text immediately to the left of the cursor by going "back" one "space". Backspace. Clever name, eh?

    Concur. In fact, before word processors (let alone PCs), backspace would move the writing head back one space without erasing it, allowing the typist to overstrike a diacritic or similar character.
    Ah yes . . . the good old days when I would fire up the old Selectric to type up a witty post to mail off to Usenet.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @joe.edwards said:

    @El_Heffe said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    @jmap said:
    Yes, the backspace key deletes text during input.

    Right. Deletion is what the backspace key does. So why would you expect it to NOT delete emails?

    Because that's not what a backspace key is supposed to do @blakeyrat said:
    that change would move it even further from the key's purpose of "deleting things".
    The purpose of the Backspace key is not to "delete things". It's specific pupose is to delete the text immediately to the left of the cursor by going "back" one "space". Backspace. Clever name, eh?

    Concur. In fact, before word processors (let alone PCs), backspace would move the writing head back one space without erasing it, allowing the typist to overstrike a diacritic or similar character.
    Ah yes . . . the good old days when I would fire up the old Selectric to type up a witty post to mail off to Usenet.

    Who needs unicode when you can do Y^H=?



  • @jmap said:

    "Archiving" as in the term used by Gmail for removing email from your inbox.
     

    I cannot imagine what the point of that would be.



  • @dhromed said:

    @jmap said:
    "Archiving" as in the term used by Gmail for removing email from your inbox.

    I cannot imagine what the point of that would be.

    I cannot imagine not imagining the point of getting email out of your inbox.



  • @dhromed said:

    I cannot imagine what the point of that would be.

    Some people want two levels of "read" marker. The first of these is the actual "read" marker. The second is whether the email is still in the inbox or not. These people will say things like, "I need to clean my inbox," or "your inbox is sure cluttered." I refer to these people as "idiots".

    I could see moving emails from the inbox into, say, project-specific email folders. I could see deleting emails you're sure you won't need. But I don't see the point of moving them from the inbox purely so that they're moved from the inbox. (Which is what "archive" does.)


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