Annoying Error Messages #84234767

Posted by on Jul 25, 2008 in Geekery, rants | 4 Comments

I like Spanning Sync. I like its ability to sync my Mac’s iCal calendars with Google Calendar. I especially like it since the fiasco that is MobileMe has stopped me even viewing my calendars from my Windows machine at work, for no readily-apparent reason.

But sometimes I hate it. Mostly when I see the oh-so-helpful error message above, which I have come to dread.

Here’s a couple of translations of the above error message:

  • Spanning Sync wants to delete 9 events on the calendar “Matt Gibson” in Google Calendar. But it’s not going to tell you which ones. Do you want to lose some of your data?”
  • Out of the thousands of events on your Calendar “Matt Gibson”, Spanning Sync, for no discernible reason, because you certainly don’t remember deleting anything recently, is going to delete nine. Do you want to lose 9 random events, or do you want to “cancel”, whatever that means?”
  • Do you feel lucky, punk?”

Honestly. It’s not rocket science, is it? Surely, if it’s planning on deleting nine events from my Calendar, it must know which nine? So why not tell me which nine? Why not tell me what the hell’s going on so I know whether these nine events are unimportant crud from 2006, or important medical appointments from next week? Or at least give me the chance to look at them, if only to write their details down just in case…

This is a very vexing experience. But still, it’s better than .Mac, which didn’t let you add new events from the web. And it’s better than MobileMe, which so far just plain Doesn’t Work. So I’ll sigh, and spin the cylinder, and press this dialogue box to the head of my Calendar events, and choose a button to click, and stick with Spanning Sync for now.

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  1. Charlie Wood
    July 25, 2008


    You’re right – the Delete Protection dialog box in v1.x is missing some of the most important information: *which* events are about to be deleted. We’ve fixed this in v2.0 (now in beta, available at by adding a log window that shows you exactly what’s going on, and which events are being affected. (Click Advanced > Open Log Window).

    Hopefully this will solve the “Do you feel lucky, punk?” problem. :-)

    Spanning Sync

  2. gadfly
    August 5, 2008

    Thanks for the excellently-fast response, Charlie. I will have a look at trying the 2.0 beta, when I get a spare moment! Looking at how well MobileMe’s going so far, I think many of us will be continuing to delight in third-party solutions, especially when their betas generally work better than Apple’s full-on releases :(

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