Over on travel.SE I just tried to vote to undelete an ex-answer.

But up popped an error dialog telling me:

You cannot delete this post:

counterintuitive error dialog wording

Obviously the text in the error dialog should match the attempted action. So it should say:

You cannot undelete this post

  • 5
    I'd say chances are the person already undeleted it while you were looking at the page, so it thought you were trying to delete the post, which you can't do. – animuson Jun 29 '15 at 6:08
  • 1
    @animuson: Let me check ... well it's no longer deleted so your guess must be right. I did flag it for a mod to undelete too but I did that after I tried to vote to undelete it. I'd also gone to other pages and come back, but must've only done that with the back button so not seen the change. – hippietrail Jun 29 '15 at 6:22
  • @animuson: Oh so the link is a toggle behind the scenes and sends a "toggle" message regardless of whether the state the user sees matches the internal state rather than sending a "delete" or "undelete" message? – hippietrail Jun 29 '15 at 10:44

Not sure what the disposition of this bug is, but it bit me today.

The workflow was:

  • Another user and I were posting community-wiki answers under a question on Meta.ELU
  • He and I posted identical answers
  • Seeing the overlap, we both deleted our answer, thinking the other one would stay
  • Now we have two deleted cw answers
  • I go to undelete mine, but instead I hit "undelete" on his (because they look so similar)

Then I see this:

"undelete" says "can't delete" Sorry guys, there was already too much red in the screenshot, the hand-drawn circles had to be blue.

That is, I went to undelete a deleted answer which I didn't post, and the error message said "I can't delete this" (which is true, because the answer was already deleted, but that's not what I was trying to do; I was trying to undelete it).


Not only it is no longer deleted as you've mentioned and was undeleted by OP; having 20k you'll never get this message, because you can undelete answers (so if it had been still deleted, your vote would go through, didn't you think about it?) except those which were deleted by mod, in which case you get "A moderator deleted this post and it can be undeleted".

Having 10k-20k you also can't get you in this situation, when you can't undelete post deleted not by mod, without hacking, because you don't see a delete link on answers and can vote to undelete questions.

But getting "You can't delete this post" in your case is pretty correct after it was undeleted, as it doesn't have a score of -3 or lower.

  • May I wonder about the reason of downvote? – nicael Jun 29 '15 at 8:28
  • Not sure why down-voted. The message seems to be wrong indeed in multiple ways. – Patrick Hofman Jun 29 '15 at 8:35
  • 4
    The first version was pretty confusing, with lots of unrelated things e.g. hacking, pushed inside. All in all this is still not 100% clear, but not wrong either. "You saw this message because the post was not deleted by the time the vote was actually cast" should be the base, and you can elaborate on this - instead you elaborated on various other things. And for the record, the threshold is -1, not -3, for 20k user to be able to cast delete vote on answer. (-3 just makes the color different) – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Jun 29 '15 at 9:16
  • Yeah I'm an old guy and an old software developer and beta tester so it doesn't interest me to memorize all the rep level powers and wotnot. I just try to look for appropriate things on the screen to click on and if they have slightly odd text or behave slightly oddly I interpret it as just as likely as anything else to be some sort of edge case or bug. In this case I thought it was a minor "bug" in a text message but it was actually an edge case where actions that didn't change my display had changed the state of the system to no longer match the display. Didn't you think about that? – hippietrail Jun 29 '15 at 10:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .