Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 28th Apr 2008 21:38 UTC, submitted by kiddo
Graphics, User Interfaces The trash can metaphor in computing is as old as the desktop metaphor itself. It was first introduced with the Apple Lisa user interface, and found its way to the Macintosh. Apple patented the whole idea, and sued anyone who tried to use the same name, resulting in other user interfaces implementing the exact same principle but just named differently. Despite its old age, and the fact it barely changed over the decades, many people have issues with the traditional concept.
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by izomiac on Tue 29th Apr 2008 05:07 UTC
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Since hard drive space is cheap, there are only two reasons that I delete something. Either it's taking up more space than it's worth, or it's useless to me. For that reason, I've never liked the Trash Can, and tend to Shift-Delete everything. Since I do make mistakes occasionally, I am trying to break that habit. Now I just have a perl script to delete files in the trash after they're 5 - 10 minutes old. (Unfortunately, I did make the mistake of letting it follow symlinks to system directories, ouch...)

Something I've always wondered, why not replace the trash can with a simple undelete utility? I.e. you can't empty the trash since everything has already been deleted. Much like a real trash can, there isn't a guarantee that something in the trash is 100% recoverable, but if it was deleted in the last 5 minutes it probably is. The added benefit to this approach would be to remind people that files are somewhat recoverable after deletion (i.e. use secure deletion for confidential stuff).

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