Leopard’s Mail: Escape key won’t work as shortcut to exit mailbox renaming

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Mail
May 22nd, 2008 • 2:00 pm

It is a pretty standard behaviour in Mac OS X. Take the Finder: You select an item—file or folder—in any window and click on its name once to make its name editable, and then you make some changes to the name.

Then you change your mind and want to exit the editable-name mode without saving your changes. So you press the Escape key, which is the universal shortcut for exiting without saving changes (except in Address Book, that is).

This works just fine in the Finder. Escape exits the editable-name mode and does not save the changes. It reverts to the name that the item had before you made its name editable.

Now compare this to the situation in Mail’s pane for mailboxes on the left-hand side. You click once on a mailbox folder to select it, and then you click once on the name to make it editable:

Editable mailbox name

You make changes, and then you change your mind and press the Escape key to exit the editable-name mode without saving the changes.

Oops. Nothing happens. Mail completely ignores the Escape keystroke.

The only way to exit the editable-name mode here is to validate the changes, either by pressing the Return key or by clicking elsewhere with the mouse. But then once you do this, the name change cannot be undone. You have no choice but to make the name editable again and retype the old mailbox name.

The only alternative is to use the Undo command with command-Z while the name is still editable.

It’s obviously not a big deal. Most of time mailbox names are pretty simple and can easily be retyped.

But it is unfortunately an illustration of how, somewhere along the way, Apple stopped paying attention to all the small details that it used to pay attention to. Either that, or my long-term memory is failing and there were just as many little flaws and inconsistencies in older versions of Apple’s software as there is today.

Sure, things were less complex back then. There were fewer things to pay attention to. But still, Apple has enough employees to take care of such things. And it also has lots of users who voluntarily submits bug reports about those things, through the Bug Reporter facility or otherwise.

So it really has no excuse. There are lots of bugs in Leopard’s Mail, some big, some small. We’re getting to version 3.3 and still these bugs are not getting fixed. What is going on? Is the Leopard Mail team working somewhere on an island cut off from the rest of the world? Hello? Is anybody there?

One Response to “Leopard’s Mail: Escape key won’t work as shortcut to exit mailbox renaming”

  1. massx says:

    Just checked this in TIger, Mail Version 2.1.3 (753.1). Same problem, so it’s apparently not new to Leopard…which makes your comments regarding flatfooted software engineers even more cogent in this case.

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