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 Square on Mon 28th Apr 2008 22:31 UTC
Member since:

The idea of the trash needs to evolve.
For starters nothing should truly be deleted until the hard drive runs low on space. Hard drives are large and cheap enough now that there is little reason beyond security to erase files

Yes Stuff should be deleted from user space when they click delete. But instead of simply moving the file to a trash folder it just renames it and marks its attributes as "deleted" then removes it from user space so the user cant see it.

If the user needs to restore a file or erase something for security reasons then a system utility would be used

When the hard drive starts running low on space then older "deleted" files get automatically erased by the OS

Reply Score: 8

RE: Evolve
by SEJeff on Mon 28th Apr 2008 23:04 in reply to "Evolve"
SEJeff Member since:

New and upcoming COW (copy on write) filesystems such as btrfs[1] will more or less give you this for free. The problem with never deleting files lies around fragementation.

Until COW filesystems become more mainstream, your idea can't be a reality.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE: Evolve
by apoclypse on Tue 29th Apr 2008 02:13 in reply to "Evolve"
apoclypse Member since:

Isn't that the way things work now? All your system is really doing when you delete files is telling the file that it can be overwritten in need be. On a windows system most of the time the files are strung all over the place so you have a good chance recovering them anytime you want. What the trash can does is basically tell the file that it shouldn't be deleted or overwritten. Clearing the trash flags all the files so that they can be overwritten. I usually keep things in trash for months and take things out sometimes if I need too. Its a great concept and I really couldn't live without it. However, sometimes you really need something completely deleted on your system and having a neverending trash can is kind of pointless.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Evolve
by Square on Tue 29th Apr 2008 02:30 in reply to "RE: Evolve"
Square Member since:

Well filesystems kinda work that way, however you can't count on recovery do to the randomness of when it might overwrite a deleted file. My idea is to basically remove that randomness and to only overwrite when it has to and starting with the olderfiles

Also if you really really need to delete something do to security you need a method of scrubbing the file of data that emptying the trashcan just doesn't do

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Evolve
by Almafeta on Tue 29th Apr 2008 03:32 in reply to "Evolve"
Almafeta Member since:

Hard drives are large and cheap enough now that there is little reason beyond security to erase files

Which is plenty of reason enough to delete files.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Evolve
by renox on Tue 29th Apr 2008 05:36 in reply to "Evolve"
renox Member since:

Agreed, but there is one issue: how are you going to explain to your grannie that they can undelete their file?

My idea would be to keep the trash, but instead of having two icons trash full/trash empty, have just one trash icon and remove the oldest content of the trash when the disk usage becomes too big.

Reply Parent Score: 2