Evolution Crash Detection

I’ve recently made the jump to the latest ‘n greatest desktop, GNOME 2.22. Altogether I’m quite happy with the software. Not so happy with all the Gentoo bugs. But that’s another story.

One of my favorite bugs is the crashes that Xorg keeps causing, which has made my computing experience similarly enjoyable to Windows 95 where the computer is no longer logical, and likes to crash in a multitude of ways with no warning.

However onto the subject: Evolution’s new crash detection feature. I won’t debate the merit of this feature. Just the dialog box that I had to squint at over morning tea for a whole minute before I understood what the hell it’s prompting me for:

evolution crash detection

I get what this feature exists for. They’re worried that certain types of emails are crashing Evolution upon viewing, so we have a feature to disable the preview pane in the rare case that this is the issue. I suppose. I’ve personally never once had this issue. But what the hell. I’ll play along.

I’m annoyed by this dialog. When my software makes me think, it makes me unhappy. I don’t like to think:

  • I don’t use the preview pane. Why am I seeing this dialog? There’s nothing to disable!
  • “…appears to have exited unexpectedly…” — how the hell else would Evolution’s data files be in a state indicating crash? Be assertive in your dialog messages, as your users appreciate it! This should read “Evolution exited unexpectedly the last time it was run.”
  • The text seems to indicate that “all preview panes will be hidden.” This tells me that the software will do what it says. But what options am I given? An Ignore and a Recover option. At this point in reading the dialog, I wasn’t expecting to be asked a question. I can make some assumptions about what these buttons do…but…what? I had to ponder about what button to push for a whole (admittedly sleepy) minute.

Bug 530345 filed. Hopefully not too grumpy in my bug report, I really do want this to get fixed. But it made me think so early in the morning so I’m allowed to be grumpy, right?

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