If you receive a document as an attachment, open that attachment, start editing, and then click save, guess what happens? You work is quietly saved in a file in
/tmp. Guess what happens when you try to find that important file later? Sure, it shows up in the menu under File->Recent Documents, but when you select it, it has likely been deleted, as is the fate of most files left in
/tmp for too long. Wonderful.
This happened to my brother-in-law (a non-geek who has successfully been using Linux for a couple years now, well, until now, I guess) a couple weeks ago resulting in the loss of some hard work of his, and I almost let it happen to me today. Couldn't we make our apps a little smarter? If it's running on a UNIX like system, would it hurt to make it aware that
/tmp is not a safe place to save its user's files? Could it at least give people a little warning before doing so?
UPDATE: I don't know what happened, but I received an attachment today and Open Office 2.4.1 and Firefox 3.0.1 on my Ubuntu 8.04.1 system opened it read-only, with only a "save as" option available. It wouldn't even let me edit the document before doing the save as. This is excellent and exactly how I think it should work. For the record, a quick search leads me to believe that Firefox changed to save temporary files as read-only. One can only hope other mail clients do something similar.