Trash system (Unifying ~/Desktop)

Bryce Harrington bryce at
Wed Jun 12 03:32:44 BST 2002

On Wed, 12 Jun 2002, Martin Konold wrote:
> On Tuesday 11 June 2002 04:07 am, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> > operation (and faster). Also, it means that the trash on a shared
> > filesystem is shared. So if I throw something away on a workgroup
> > server anyone in the workgroup can remove it from the trash. Hmm, also
> I am afraid that this cause privacy issues.
> > it means that for removable media the trash travels with the media, so
> > if I throw something away on a floppy it stays on the floppy instead
> > of copying to/from the hard drive. There may be other reasons.
> This can be a severe privacy/security issue when giving away the floppy.

This is probably way more than anyone is interested in, but what they
hey, it's topical...

My dream trash system:

* Has a commandline proggie that I can alias to 'rm' and that behaves
  analogously (similar command flags, handles symlinks well, etc.)

* Periodically auto-moves certain trash files of my choice (i.e., *~,
  *.bak) into itself. 

* Has automatic compression - does gzip -9 on trash files in the
  background at a low priority.  

* Does not trashify files of less than X bytes, especially if they'd
  overwrite larger valid files.

* Optionally, also encrypts trash files in background and obfuscate
  filenames, for security / privacy.

* Has smart garbage collection - allows dinky files to stay around a
  little longer and knows to prune out big stuff first.  Don't hang onto
  core files and mp3's, but do hang onto all those *.c's that I
  inadvertantly deleted last week.  Also recognizes when disk space is
  getting tight and gets more aggressive with its decaching.

* Maintains diffs or backups of certain 'magic' garbage files.  E.g., I
  may want to recover a *~ from three days ago.

Anyway, I've been kicking around these ideas for a good decade or so but
it's one of those things that theoretically you shouldn't need, except
when it's already too late, so I've never developed past point #3.  ;-)
And of course, its bad for sysadmins or developers to get too dependent
on having trash management...  But if anyone's thinking of it from the
end user standpoint, maybe some of these ideas might be worth tossing in
the stew pot.


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