Missing deletion confirmation serious DEVONthink design bug!

Not difficult at all, korm. Just remember that these are only our opinions and points of view (which are sometimes admittedly short-sighted).

Neither Bill nor I have the power to decide what happens on an issue like this. But we also would not try and hide the requests because of our stances. Part of our job is to support the Users and the company by reporting things like this.

Also, please realize that none of us think our apps are perfect. If we did we’d stop working on them. There is ongoing discussion and listening about the hows and whys, including UI. That’s a big part of the need for these forums - to bring these things to light.


I agree with Korm and with the OP. This is a serious issue for me too. I have lost data in DTPO and also in Mail. If I try to delete an app in iTunes using the delete key I get an “are you sure” message and the option to switch off being asked again. That seems to me to be the right balance to address the different views on this matter. In iTunes I choose not to check the “Do not ask me again” box. Others may choose to do so. What is wrong with giving DTPO users a similar choice?

But again consider the situation… you haven’t lost data until you empty both trashes. This means that we are actually more diligently covering your “mistakes”. I am not saying this will not change, but that actual data loss requires more steps than your typical app.

Forgive me, but this misses the point made by Korm and others, that an item is effectively lost if we don’t know that it is in the trash as a result of inadvertently pressed the delete button. Perhaps you yourself have only a handful of items in the trash at any one time, and it is easy for you to check before emptying it, but in my workflow I often have hundreds of items in the trash that accumulate over a very short period. It is not possible, without a serious effort, to check through them to see that there is nothing there that shouldn’t be. Deleting aka Moving to Trash should not be something that can happen accidentally in my view.

Thanks for the feedback! We will probably add a warning to the next release. This will include a “Don’t show this again” option too of course.

Many thanks Christian for taking the comments on board.

Thanks Christian for acknowledging this problem.

I’ve been using DTPO for 3 years & still cringe that there’s no safety net for the delete key. This has been brought up before, but proponents of each side are equally strong-willed & vocal. Adding a single option either to add a warning or use Command-Delete seems a small price to pay. Comparisons to Mail are just comparing DTPO to another application with very poor design standards.

My thanks also for changing this; this was really important to me. I would have loved to see a ⌘-delete option in preferences, but the confirmation dialog serves the same purpose of keeping me from sending something to the Trash without realizing it when the keyboard focus is not where I think it is. I’m constantly replacing files with updated versions, and merging PDFs and deleting the pre-merged files. Enough files wind up in the Trash with the same or very similar names that scanning the Trash before emptying isn’t really feasible–that becomes a really tedious chore. I just didn’t want to knock files out of the database without realizing in the first place, which for some people like me I guess was too easy to do. I spend a lot of energy getting files scanned, OCR’d, and imported into DTPO, before shredding those documents forever. I wanted getting stuff out to require a conscious, deliberate action. Thanks for making that change.

I’d prefer ⌘-Delete to temporarily bypass the new Move to Trash dialog (which, perhaps a bug, doesn’t respond to any shortcuts I’ve tried for selecting/pressing its Delete button), plus my Trash-related suggestions in:

Re: Confirm deletion?

I still don’t like having to empty everything from system Trash to permanently delete Dt items.

Yes. It’s good that the option has been added but I still don’t think it’s an ideal implementation. Ideally, Command-Delete would bypass the dialog box. And the dialog box should be easier to use, with the default option being the Okay button to reduce required keystrokes.

I doubt that’ll happen but at least there could be a keyboard shortcut to select and/or activate Okay like is often possible in similar dialogs in other apps. Currently it’s increasingly tempting to permanently disable the dialog instead of leaving it enabled as a safety net.

Hmm, now that I just disabled it, I can’t seem to find the option to reenable it…

There isn’t an option to re-enable. When I raised this point at "Move to Trash" confirmation message I was told to delete the Preferences file, meaning that all my preferences would be lost and have to be re-set by hand. This isn’t considered to be an inconvenience apparently.

Sometime things seem “apparent” even when they’re not true. All this means is that we don’t have a mechanism in place yet.

As for a keyboard shortcut to be used with deletion messagebox I use:

TAB (to get focus on OK button) + SpaceBar (to “press” the button)

I’m on a Windows machine so I cannot test it to be 100% sure but I think that should be the right one.

I’d check the preferences file for a single property key to delete or modify. I didn’t spot it here, but may it’s created when the dialog’s been disabled.

Sounds like you have “All controls” enabled under System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard shortcuts. With it disabled here, Tab and Space keys do nothing in the dialog. And Escape doesn’t invoke Cancel.

The key is indeed created after suppressing the warning. Try this…

  1. Quit DEVONthink.
  2. In the Finder, do a Spotlight search for Terminal. Open it.
  3. Paste this: defaults delete com.devon-technologies.thinkpro2 “DontAskBeforeTrashing” and press Return
  4. Type: exit and quit Terminal.
  5. Relaunch DEVONthink and the warning is back on.


I now get an error in the Terminal when executing this command-did this break in Mavericks? Any suggestions to get it to work?

Gregs-MacBook-Pro:~ Greg$ defaults delete com.devon-technologies.thinkpro2 "DontAskBeforeTrashing"
2013-12-30 09:04:17.614 defaults[439:507] 
Domain (com.devon-technologies.thinkpro2) not found.
Defaults have not been changed.
Gregs-MacBook-Pro:~ Greg$ 

I do not know why the Terminal command is not working in Mavericks (confirming that over here it also does not work). But try this link – which over here restores the “are you sure” prompt. (Change “no” to “yes” to do the opposite.)