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Gmail, Please Sit Down, We Need to Talk  (View post)

Josue R. [PersonRank 10]

Saturday, March 8, 2008
12 years ago7,501 views

Hahaha, good way to start Saturday day with a little humor.

i tried talking once but that didn't help for me. i just tune it out.

hebbet [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

That alerts in Gmail are so annoying.

Bilal [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Yes still loving you! But we need to see new things too, folders for example to class our mails, i don't think those labels are sufficient. but i need only one message box: confirm send because sometimes i forget to attach files, sometimes i don't know how the message has been sent!!! the please only on message box:

are you sure you want to send this message?
don't you want to attach some files?

;)

funTomas [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Well, to solve this annoyance out, a geeky feature would need to be implemented in your browser, such as session XHR caching. I believe, with DOM storage, we're half way there. Future is promising.

ehartwell [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

You've got to admit, though, that the prompt for "Mark all as read" can be a lifesaver. On the other hand, if that button wasn't right beside "Refresh" it wouldn't be an concern in the first place ...

izzy [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

You're an [personal attack removed].

Mark M [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

>"You're an [personal attack removed]."

This isn't youtube.... Why am I seeing youtube-quality comments?

Gmail might have it's flaws, but I'll always stick by its side. Those flaws could never annoy me as much as the terrible, useless troll comments. :)

Kyle Wegner [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

This pesky message is starting to drive me crazy as well. I think it is funny how this started showing up after the latest gmail upgrade which increased the speed of most gmail actions. Maybe because of the speed upgrades I have gotten used to working in gmail faster, thus also leave the page faster, but this seems like something that can, and should, be handled better.

Varun [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

Being a geek..I can tell you one thing that this message actually comes if you code for close event of page on javascript.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]Kyle: it's not that you're leaving the page faster, it's that Gmail is doing more stuff "in the background" so that Gmail appears faster. Presumably, Gmail doesn't like having that background stuff interrupted.

But why should the prompt be necessary? The Gmail page (in your browser) should have sent your latest commands asynchronously to the Gmail server – which only takes an instant. Why should you be forced to wait for the response from the Gmail server before closing your browser?

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I've been getting this message a lot on my laptop a lot I assumed it was my laptop being annoying as usual, nice to know it's not just me :-)

Ervin [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

IMHO GMail should defer the closing of the page (window/tab) until the background job is finished. No popups. If the task gets too long (1-2 seconds?) then a page should appear with a warning. But no popups.

Voyagerfan5761 [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

The confirm dialogs are annoying, yes. What should happen (and this is only my opinion) is that Gmail should intercept the document.onunload and somehow cache what the user wants to do, then execute the user's command when it's done with its requests to the server.

Better yet, this business of displaying a message and _then_ actually performing the action is bogus. Gmail should display an indicator that it's working until the server response comes back. Not doing so leads users to believe the application is idling when in reality it's waiting on a reply.

I don't know if it's possible to catch and cache document.unload() and window.close() events, but it's what I would try to implement if I were in charge.

And yes, those are intended to be pseudo-code; I don't actually know that a document.unload() method exists.

Bryan Price [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

I don't normally see those, but since Thursday, Comcast is having issues, and while I've seen 333 download speeds with BitTorrent, I've seen website loads crawling. It didn't help that my router crapped out either (I happened to have a spare, lucky family...). And Comcast is evidently still recovering. I have had worse luck with keeping the electric on, so I'm not going to complain. Yet.

Adys [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

I noticed those too. Then when I started to notice them on other websites as well (exact same messages), even non-Google ones (like Digg), I figured it was a new feature of Firefox 3.

Are you sure this comes from Gmail?

Voyagerfan5761 [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]Adys: Yes, because I get them in FF2 when my network connection is really horrible.

Bryce R [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Those messages are seriously making me consider a change to Yahoo! Mail (already got an @y7mail.com addy lined up) – my network connection's not the greatest and having to wait a minute just to archive an email does not bode well with me.

Ian [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

You'd be complaining about losing e-mails and incomplete requests if GMail didn't show you this message. I'm sure GMail is sending these requests asynchronously, but to be sure that the request was successful it waits for an acknowledgment that the command was successful before continuing. You'll notice that if a command is not successful, you'll get a message telling you that GMail is attempting the command again. This is particularly useful if your internet connection is spotty.

In the end, these messages are GOOD. You'd be complaining if they weren't there.

Voyagerfan5761 [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

The issue for me isn't the message itself, it's the presentation. confirm()s are really annoying, especially since Gmail could just pop up a message at the top that it's busy and to either wait or force a close using a link.

Paco [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I was just frustrated by this message when I pressed y to archive, got the done confirmation and tried to close the window... then i clicked into GReader and read your post! Good start to the day.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Maybe we shouldn't close Gmail's window (or tab) anymore.

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Great post!!

Justin [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Looks like it's Gmail team's desperate move to make people think the new Gmail is "faster" than the older version.

Luka [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Gmail 2 interface is faster, but background task still take time to execute. And this time maybe difficult to compress.

Tom [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Meebo has a similiar plea to stay connected.

Patrick [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

This message is a Firefox-message about ajax-requests that are not yet finished. Nothing by Gmail. Only that Gmail is slowing down every day a bit more.

Microsofts Live Office has the same message and I got it when "navigating away" from flickr while doing some edit-stuff on a picture.

dsjkvf [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

also, dear Google Reader, please don't attack me with annoying "Are you sure" when marking more than 50 messages as read. please-please-please, my beloved Reader, either abandon those alerts, or add an option in preferences to turn them off.

David Hetfield [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Great post indeed... :)

Veky [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

dsjkvf, if you're really marking more than 50 posts as read so often that you don't want to expend an additional click, I really think you should revise your subscriptions. ;-)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> This message is a Firefox-message about ajax-requests
> that are not yet finished. Nothing by Gmail.

Patrick, IMO it's an interface and implementation issue by Gmail, not an Ajax or Firefox issue per se (though it may indeed point to over-eager use of Ajax). No, nobody would rather like their actions to be lost when they too clickly close their browser, as one of you correctly pointed it. But that's not the issue – the issue, as I tried pointing out in the post, is that Gmail *indicates* something is done already (check the orange message on top in the screenshot) instead of say showing a loading message*... and then when you react on that indicator by closing the window, it turns out there were still some background tasks running**. Surprise – the enemy of usability.

*In old school web apps, that loading message is shown by the browser natively during a page load. And even in Gmail, they sometimes *do* show a custom loading message in orange/ yellow on top, and that is fine – as you know something is working, you will wait some seconds until the message is gone before closing the window.

**And these background tasks aren't originally triggered by Firefox, but are implementation choices. Every Ajax request was originally triggered by Gmail, and Gmail can know which requests are finished and which ones are pending, and adjust the interface accordingly by e.g. showing loading messages.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I couldn't agree more. This post says exactly what I'm feeling too.

I usually just click "OK" and close the window/tab. I find that pretty much 100% of the time, Gmail has done what it needed to do anyway.

On very rare occasions, I've seen Gmail tell me something like "2 conversations have been archived" only to find that when I re-open Gmail, the conversations weren't archived at all. And I didn't get the annoying message tell me that there were still requests to the server pending.

I wish Gmail would stop lying to me.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Is that what happens on Internet Explorer Tony, or which browser are you using?

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Popup message is not like Google's style, and "Are you sure..." popup is more likely Microsoft thing.

According to Alan Cooper,
Camera+Computer=Computer
Alarm Clock + Computer = Computer
Car+Computer=Computer

I would say,
Google Web applications + Internet Explorer = Internet Explorer

So Mr "Are you sure" is with you.

dsjkvf [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Veky, at first it may looks that you are right :). but the point is that for me is usually enough just to look at the title of the post(i'm using list view).

so, marking as read is quite a usual operation for me personally :).

Phil Nash [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Have you seen the horrible error message AJAX calls fail with when they get interupted by you leaving the page too quickly? Wouldn't you rather your email was sent?

I thank Google for stopping me when I try to shoot away from the page too quickly.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> Is that what happens on Internet Explorer Tony,
> or which browser are you using?

Firefox 2.0.0.12

stefan2904 [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

damn, how true!

Motti [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Google Calendar uses a more subtle approach by re-colouring events once they've actually been confirmed by the server (after creating an event you get a solid colur for the event bubble, after it has definitely been registered, you get the two-tone event bubble).

I think GMail should adopt this approach, by (say) fading a message until the action is confirmed after which it would disappear (or the label would disappear, appear undimmed, etc. dependent on the use-case).

As it stands though, I agree with "lying" to the user to say the action has occurred instantly, in the unlikely event the user choses to close the page that quickly, a modal dialog is then necessary. Overall it encourages users to archive/label etc. and contributes to increased usage. Then again, I personally have never experienced this message so perhaps I don't appreciate how annoying it is!

Bilal [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Can anyone inside Gmail update this message :
  


lh5.google.co.uk/bilal.douas/R ...



You can see that if your trash is empty:

No conversations in the Trash. Who needs to delete when you have over 2000 MB of storage?!

[URL fixed – Tony]

Juan Pablo [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

I hate those alerts!!!!
I just want gmail to avoid this kind of js alerts and windows

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