Lightroom Classic CC: Large delete warning

  • 2
  • Idea
  • Updated 7 months ago
  • (Edited)
Add an optional warning when about to delete more than X (e.g. 50) images, from the main database, which needs something other than a default key press to action, e.g. type in the word YES.

Obviously not everyone will want this and the trigger number will depend upon your own usage. However it should be simple to code in to the software.

Scenario: I was creating some smart collections and needed them to additionally select from one normal collection.

In the ALL PHOTOGRAPHS tab I filtered and selected 60,000 images all taken with one specific lens. I then selected the normal collection and added these images. This starts a background process that takes two minutes to complete.

Meanwhile I got on with creating multiple smart collections (selecting specific focal lengths etc) whose criteria also only included images from this normal collection. These take a short while to fill up too.

Now I can rebuild the normal collection for different sub-selections, e.g. lens combinations or date selection etc and the smart collections will automatically reflect the new sub-selected images.

(A smart collection that can also filter based upon the images selected in another smart collection would have been a better solution for me but this is not an option.)

When changing the main criteria I delete the images from the normal collection before rebuilding it from the ALL PHOTOS filtered tab again (I could have created a series of normal collections and changed their name so only one matched the name in the smart collections but these are quite large collections so chose to re-use the same one.)

But during this flip flopping, time delays, background processing etc I managed to accidentally press delete for 60,000 selected images from the ALL PHOTOS tab (the original images were not deleted but all of the development work, virtual copies etc were gone).  No doubt there was the normal "delete files" warning window but either I thought it was talking about the collection or typing ahead during the slow background processing it could have been answered by a previously stacked key depression. The appropriate tabs (normal, smart, ALL PHOTOS etc) were not always being seen due to the heavy background processing slowing things down.

The previous evening's backup saved the day for me but an optional, more intrusive warning would have been much better.
Photo of Colink Technology

Colink Technology

  • 35 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes

Posted 7 months ago

  • 2
Photo of Johan Elzenga

Johan Elzenga, Champion

  • 1047 Posts
  • 401 Reply Likes
I understand your frustration, but I think that would be pretty useless. If you ignored the current very clear warning, you could have ignored a second one as well. So how many warnings are appropriate? Something like: Are you sure? Are you really sure? Don't say I didn't warn you! Last warning before I do this!
Photo of Colink Technology

Colink Technology

  • 35 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
That's true if you saw the current warning, but if, due to background processing, the warning does not appear for a while and your key strokes are queued which trigger an acceptance to the warning immediately when it appears, so quickly that you don't even see it happening.

When I developed software I was taught to always clear the keyboard buffer before asking an important question. That is no longer the case and now we often find we are answering a question for another app that is running concurrently.

Also you may think you have selected 1 image for deletion but actually have selected many thousands (the highlighting of selected and current images can be confusing.) Not everyone studies the details of an expected prompt every time it appears. Have you never selected one image to edit in PS and then, too late, found you had actually selected the entire folder or collection.

I would not expect everyone to want to use it so those who are perfect would not turn it on. Those who work a bit too quickly for their own good might find an extra, unexpected question very useful.

It's all down to each user being able to set the UX they prefer.
Photo of Johan Elzenga

Johan Elzenga, Champion

  • 1047 Posts
  • 401 Reply Likes
I understad your point, but I think it would be of limited use. Yes, if you want to delete one image but selected 100, then it probably saves you. But what if you want to delete 100 images? In that case you will probably not really read the warning and click OK because you do want to delete them all. And then you find that you had actually selected not the intended 100 images, but 1000... There is simply no way to safeguard against all possible user errors, and trying to do so anyway only results in bloatware that becomes as slow as a snail.
Photo of Colink Technology

Colink Technology

  • 35 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
I understand what you are saying Johan about feature bloat, although perhaps a bit exaggerated about this slowing LR to a snail pace.

The additional question is really just a way of saying "this is a bit out of your ordinary range of action, read this carefully then tick the box to confirm your action". The user sets it to whatever trigger value they want. Many would not switch it on, not even set it to 10,000, as they are confident they carefully read every message in detail. But for idiots like me it only pauses the action when we exceed our chosen count thus we will rarely see it.

The standard message (which is designed to pause your workflow anyway, although I found it does not always do this) is so familiar you treat it with contempt. The extra checkbox can appear within the standard message box and only when you try to delete more than your chosen amount.

As they say "What part of the car failed and caused the accident? Answer: the nut holding the wheel." Can we protect the idiot-user from themselves without causing everyone else a problem?

If I had to choose between this new feature and one of many others suggested I am sure it would be very low on my priority list. But I don't see that as the choice. Something so trivial can easily be added.