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Preventing an accidental click from destroying data or causing an outage on a server is important.
There are three levels of problem here:
- Preventing an outage with a safety switch
- Clearly describing data loss before it happens.
This does not cover trivially undoable operations where no outage or data loss would occur. Those should simply never have a prompt or special handling. The action should just happen, and/or have an way to undo.
Preventing Outages: Safety Switches
Example use cases:
- Turning off a network card
- Destroying a network bond
- Unmounting a disk
No actual data loss occurs, but having a network outage as the result of a fat fingered click is not okay. We need a safety cover for the button here:
There are examples of this on the iPhone, see the weather app.
Explaining Destructive Operations
Example use cases
- Format a disk
- Delete a partition
- Destroy RAID
After clicking the button to delete a disk partition, or destroy a RAID, we should describe in detail what's going to be destroyed. Ideally this will happen inline and replace the item in question.