libtrash in fedora Core 5

Jeff Spaleta jspaleta at
Tue Jan 24 18:35:06 UTC 2006

On 1/24/06, Paul A Houle <ph18 at> wrote:
>     I've never experienced it personally,  but I do encounter people
> quite often who want to recover a deleted file on an ext3 filesystem and
> find out that it can't be done.

Perhaps we should leave this as a feature that differentiates choice
at the filesystem layer, instead of building a systemwide abstraction
that works on all filesystems at the commandline?  I certaintly don't
think rm's behavior should be changed to account for differences in
the low-level ability of different filesystems to undelete files. 
Even as an option to rm. Clearly the (missing) feature in this
discussion is something traditionally ascribed to the filesystem layer
which ext3 isn't providing. To abstract a default solution just to
"fix" ext3, would make the ability of other filesystems to undelete in
the traditional filesystem sense... moot.  Whether or not you even see
this as a problem with ext3 is a matter of perspective.

If someone wants to write a new cli command that provides desktop-like
trashcan functionality and start the re-education of desktop users to
use that 'safer' command instead of rm, maybe suitable based on an
argument of keeping users safe from themselves. But I warn you, that
the commandline is not the desktop and the amount of child-safing that
is appropriate for the  commandline interface is going to be
drastically less.

The real issue isn't finding ways to protect desktop users from bad
actions at the commandline. The real question is what needs to be done
inside the desktop experience so desktop users, who want desktop
safety nets, are less likely to drop to the commandline to get things
done. It's not clear to me that the safety net which should be applied
to the default desktop experience should translate to the default
commandline environment if at all. How can the desktops better aid
people to accomplish administrative maintenance tasks without touching
the commandline ever?

Hell,you might be able to go as far as to make the desktop trash and
the cli trash command agree on where to store the trash and blur the
line between cli and desktop even more.. but is it really appopriate
to blur that line? I'm not convinced its in the best interest of
anyone to make the cli child-safe.  If the cli is a chainsaw, that
needs to be used with care... making it easier to get to and start
that chainsaw.. probably isn't the best way to make it safe, no matter
how many safety feature you add. We need to provide other tools, safer
tools, so users don't reach for that chainsaw everytime they need to
get a task accomplished. At some point you have to rely on users
respecting the dangers of the chainsaw and knowing when its
appropriate to use the chainsaw and how to use it safely.

-jef"fear the chainsaw"spaleta

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