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Gmail Adds 5 Second Send Rule 281

theatrecade was one of a few folks to note that Google Labs has added the five-second rule to email. Once upon a time this rule only applied to delicious foodstuffs dropped on the floor, but at long last you can change your mind on that email to your boss or ex. We shall see peace in our lifetimes.
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Gmail Adds 5 Second Send Rule

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  • by sohmc ( 595388 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:31AM (#27340991) Journal

    I understand the rationale on this but the hold time needs to be much longer...like 12 hours for it to be effective.

    Or it should be combined with the beer goggles add-on.

    Either way, this won't stop my ex-girlfriend from drunk-calling me...

    • by noundi ( 1044080 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:37AM (#27341103)
      12 hours? That seems a bit rough. The whole point is to maintain the perks of emailing, such as speed.

      But you're right, this won't stop your ex-girlfriend from drunk-calling me either...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rpmayhem ( 1244360 )
        Calls from an ex-girlfriend? You guys get calls from a girl? But we're on Slashdot. ...Oh, wait, I get it. It's a joke!
    • by Kelbear ( 870538 )

      This would still be handy, there's been plenty of occasions where I've fired off an e-mail and after the window closes I still have the after-image of the text fresh in my mind...and that's when I see the typo/missing attachment.

      I even send a correction less than a minute later, but when I hit send/receive and the message goes out, I simultaneously get an e-mail back pointing out my mistake.

      • by mea37 ( 1201159 )

        Right, I'm pretty sure that's what this feature is for -- correcting the mistakes you inevitably notice just as you hit Send. (Of course, a little discipline about doing a final proof-read would have nearly the same effect.)

        In particular if you hit Reply to All when you mean Reply, this is meant to let you recover; I don't guess any amount of proof-reading would help with that.

        I think TFS misses the point when it talks about "changing your mind" in that 5-second window. YMMV.

  • My Idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by potpie ( 706881 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:31AM (#27340999) Journal
    My idea for preventing the submission of blank e-mails or e-mails lacking that attachment you were going to remember:

    put the recipient address field below the message field

    would that be helpful for anyone besides me? y/n
    • Re:My Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dfm3 ( 830843 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:58AM (#27341421) Journal
      It could be handy for those times when you _accidentally_ hit the send button instead of some other UI button, as has happened to me before.

      Thunderbird for one places the address book button right next to the send button (at least on my system) and I've never bothered to change it. Same thing with the dropdown box that lets you choose which address you want to send your email from, which has caused me to send at least one blank email from my personal address to a colleague.
    • by Timmmm ( 636430 )

      KMail and gmail have missing attachment detectors.

  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:32AM (#27341007)

    Some people can barely react in that time. Although I can appreciate that a pop-up should not last longer, would a settable delay of 1-10 minutes really kill the medium? Perhaps with a "Send now" option on pending emails for urgent communication.

    • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:51AM (#27341317) Journal

      Some people can barely react in that time

      Yeah, but most of the people who can't react in <5 seconds are on the roadways in Florida, not behind a computer screen ;)

    • I personally added a "Delay Sending by One Minute" rule into Outlook at work. It saves me a lot of embarassment when I hit send without adding my attachments (happens a lot). I wouldn't mind a similar gmail holding pen.
    • by patro ( 104336 )

      I wonder if there is some technical limitation, so they set this 5 second limit.

      Storing the pending mail on the client side with Javascript would explain it. The mail can be delayed for 5 seconds safely there before sending. It's not likely anything bad happens in that particular 5 seconds.

      If the mail does get to the server side then it is not clear why they used only a 5 second delay which is far too short. It could be a killer feature with a delay of, say, 5 minutes.

  • Mail Goggles (Score:2, Interesting)

    by modestgeek ( 1449921 )
    They've also had a Mail Goggles feature for a while. It makes you do some simple math problem to determine if you're sober enough to send the email. This might be useful for those who drunk mail now instead of drunk dial. http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/new-in-labs-stop-sending-mail-you-later.html [blogspot.com]
  • Thats a good idea, but is 5 seconds really long enough to go "DOH!"?
  • ooh baby... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:33AM (#27341027) Journal

    I want you to tweak my nipples with a grapefruit spoon.
    • Ooh baby... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:35AM (#27341071) Journal
      Oops, wrong channel.

      Dammit. When is slashdot going to implement the five second rule?
    • by Shakrai ( 717556 )

      I hope you realize that you are going to get a -1 troll or a +5 funny. There will be no middle ground with your comment ;)

  • {Galaxy Quest}
    "What's the Omega 13?"
    "Opinions vary. Some think it's a doomsday device. But I think it rolls back time."
    "What do you mean?"
    "13 seconds is enough time to fix one costly mistake"

    {/Galaxy Guest}

  • 5 seconds is enough (Score:5, Informative)

    by pzs ( 857406 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:36AM (#27341087)

    I use Thunderbird, which has an "are you sure you want to send?" confirmation by default. Since I use the ctrl-return hot key to send, I usually just blast through this message so at one stage, I switched it off.

    However, I found that in the half second between pressing ctrl-return and return to confirm, my brain was actually doing some checking to make sure I should send that message.

    I sent a reply to a whole message board asking for more information about a job - not a disaster, but not what I had intended. I realised almost as soon as I had hit the button, but I'd switched off the confirmation by this point. I rapidly switched it back on. Since then, I've noticed quite a few occasions on which I've hit ctrl-return and then realised I should tweak my message in some way before I send it.

    In conclusion: 5 seconds may not seem like a lot, but it could make all the difference.

    • by Mascot ( 120795 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:58AM (#27341407)

      Another solution is to always sit back and read through the entire message (and recipient list) before hitting send.

      I mean that quite literally. Remove hands from keyboard, sit back and just read.

      That habit has saved me a lot of trouble in the past.

      • by pzs ( 857406 )

        I suppose so. Still, like many people I send a lot of Emails. I have to weigh the time it takes me to be quite this careful against the damage that the one-bad-one-in-a-hundred does to me.

        • by Mascot ( 120795 )

          Nothing wrong with applying a little common sense and doing it when it matters.

          At the one end of the scale there's intra-project chatter. At the other end there's customer correspondence that might come back to bite you later during contracts negotiation.

          Usually I find a read-through to be well worth the time though. It takes hardly any time at all for short mails, and the longer ones tend to warrant the time expenditure.

      • I was about to write that that's what I always do, but then I reflected and decided not to.
  • Generally, if you are stupid enough to send a flaming email to your boss without a serious desire to quit that predates your immediate rage, 5 seconds won't be enough. For every boss that is so bad they'd make a saint froth at the mouth like someone with Tourrette's, there are 20 cases where the employee who does that is just being an immature douchebag. For those people, 5 seconds won't be anywhere near enough time to come to the realization that they just shot their employment in the back of the head, and
    • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:41AM (#27341167) Journal
      There are other reasons why you'd want to recall a message sent to your boss.

      Say, you forgot to attach the required document. Or you realized you made a typo in dollar amount. Or you forgot to copy someone important on the message (and because of CYA or whatever, your boss needs to see that you cc:ed the person).

      At least once a month I send an email I wish I could recall, because I would have liked to have made a small change... and instead I end up sending a followup email, which is just unwieldy and annoying.
  • How long does it take an Adrenaline to come down on your system. Enough to stop the fight or flight instinct. That mean time should be the proper period plus some response time.

  • I think this is a great feature. It has happened to me lots of time. Forget to add an attachment or forget to add an other statement or something and you remember about that as soon as you sent it This way it helps quite a lot of folks like me. But 5 seconds is a shot time I hope they up it to 10 seconds to give slow responders like me to turn around and stop the damn send.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      The setting in question can be changed to 0, 5 or 10 seconds, but defaults to 5 if you turn the feature on. See your Labs area in GMail for more details
  • I know more than once I've fired off an email (or made a post in say...a forum somewhere, ahem...) and twitched a second later saying NO thats NOT what I meant to do!

    For example, 30 seconds ago I accidentally modded a comment here Offtopic when I intended to mod it Insightful. So here I am doing the next best thing to Undo... posting to undo my errant moderation. Guess slashdot could use some Undo too eh? Too bad there's no similar trick for email.

    • by jfim ( 1167051 )

      If you use Outlook and Exchange, there is a message recall feature [microsoft.com]. Of course, for those who don't, we just get an annoying two line email saying "Foo would like to recall message blah". Even funnier is that in French, the word they use for recall can mean either of recall or highlight/remind.

      It took me a while to understand why some senders always wanted to remind me of some silly email.

  • by nwanua ( 70972 )

    A popup. How lame, lazy, and dangerous: (I realize it's an optional setting)

    - First, it's NOT undo... this is a delay tactic. A real undo would have the system hold the mail in your "outbox" for a user customizable time, from where you can snatch it, but only when you need to.

    - Second, you now have to wait, EVERY time you send an email. Because "email regret" happens only now and then, it's likely to get turned off. Back to square one.

    - Third, if there ever was a "Send now" button, you'll get so customized

  • why not promote that Outlook-"Please dear mailserver, delete my last email"-Follow-Up (don't know how it's called there) to a real RFC?

  • A spanish blog I read blogged [infames.org] about this... three years ago. And it is freakish that he posted a screenshot of how this should look like, and Google have implemented this in that exact way.
  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:58AM (#27341405)

    The other day I felt so generous that I sent an email telling someone that I would pay 2,000, 000, million billion US dollars to anyone who would help me get my dead father's money out of Nigeria.

    A second later I thought "you know I could just keep the money myself", but it was too late. Keep looking, you might be the lucky one getting my email.

  • CNN? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Really guys? You're linking to the CNN article instead of the official gmail blog's article? What, Al Jazeera didn't have an article up for this, too?


  • most of the times the ctrl-enter confirmation box of thunderbird saves me some typo or whatsoever minor mistake.

  • I hate you all and I think you all will never appreciate VI in half as deep a level as I do. Yeah? Go to Windows hell for all I care. Yeah?

    No, wait, I didn't really mean that. Yeah? I wanted to say how much I love you guys. Yeah? And how much I think you connect with me on a VI level. Yeah?

    Dear /., could we have a 5 seconds rule here as well? Yeah? Also, could all my foes and freaks get a 5000 second rule? Pleeeeeaaaase? Yeah?
  • I am a big Google Labs user. I think they have a few really excellent little toys. Then there are others that are rubbish, but I like to focus on the good things in life :)

    Anyhow, the 5 second delay is just perfect for me. I am an emotional person, I admit. I have often sent an e-mail and regretted it the next second. 5 seconds sounds about right for me to change my mind.

    Another labs I use is the "notify of missing attachment". That's pure gold - basically, if I mention attachments in my e-mail, but don't p

  • It would be better if it showed you the mail you can just written and asked you to confirm.
    Like Slashdot comments. Perhaps a delay so people can't automatically click on confirm.

  • Whenever I replies to/writes a sensitive or important email, I clear the To/Cc fields, completely, and only add the addresses just before I'm sending. ... This, of course, should be after I've proofread it several times, and preferable waited a day :-)

    Works in all email clients!

  • I always thought it was just because Outlook was slow, someone should have told me it was a feature.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard