I am programming an iOS App and I have an alert popup that asks a user to confirm the deletion of a directory. I want to show the following message:

"DIR is not empty!
 Deleting this folder will permanently remove all 

but I cannot think of the proper term for items (files/folders/etc) inside a directory.

I would greatly appreciate any help finding the correct term or phrase for this message.

PostScript: Are "subdirectories" and "subfiles" proper english words?

  • "Subdirectories" is proper, or at least, proper enough to suit me. I've certainly seen the word used pretty widely. Contrarily, "subfiles" for some reason, seems strange to me. – heathenJesus Mar 4 '12 at 21:49

You can write

Deleting this folder will permanently remove all its contents.

  • Drat, ninja'd by Jasper Loy. Definitely agree. "Contents" says it best. – heathenJesus Mar 4 '12 at 21:48
  • I award +1 for the answer, and a bonus +0.5 for putting the word "its" between "all" and "contents". Unfortunately, I had to round this down :-) – user16269 Mar 4 '12 at 22:02
  • This is good, but "contents" makes me personally think of the data inside of a single file. I'm not sure, but would this lead users to think they are deleting a file instead of a directory and all of its descendants? – chown Mar 4 '12 at 22:03
  • Cool, thanks! It's funny how things like this are sometimes the hardest part of programming :). – chown Mar 4 '12 at 22:13

You can't go wrong with

"DIR is not empty!
 Deleting this folder will permanently remove all 
 [files and folders]!"
  • 1
    This may be ambiguous; the first thing I thought when I read this is that it could mean removing all files/folders period, not just the ones inside said dir. I appreciate the suggestion but I'm going to go with Jasper's answer. – chown Mar 4 '12 at 22:13
  • I didn't mean to be so smarmy about it. I totally understand. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Mar 4 '12 at 23:12

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