Carlos Ribeiro carribeiro at
Tue Nov 29 02:07:30 GMT 2005

On 11/28/05, Carey O'Shea <carey at> wrote:
> On Mon, 2005-11-28 at 10:52 -0800, Corey Burger wrote:
> >
> > Automatically deleting things violates the concept that users data is
> > sacred. There is no valid reason in my mind why this concept should be
> > broken anywhere.
> >
> > Corey
> >
> I strongly agree. Having files deleted automatically is unexpected
> behaviour, regardless of the fact that they are in the "trash". Anyway,
> what's the big deal with users having old files in their trash? The
> majority of modern desktops have copious amounts of hard drive space and
> for many users it's not an issue. If it becomes an issue (ie. space is
> low) then IMHO the best course of action is for the user to be notified
> about it and given *options* and *suggestions* (such as enabling this
> feature, or emptying trash, etc)... as opposed to having their files
> secretly deleted periodically, when the user has not authorised such
> behaviour.

Privacy is a problem - when a user trashes a file, he usually expects it to
be gone. In fact, recovering a file from trash is usually an afterthought
for many people that are surprised to see that they can recover whatever
they have deleted.

A good reference to the problem is the interminable discussion regarding the
"delete" command in GMail, which originally didn't include any way to
permanently erase a message (after all, the motto was "you never need to
delete any message"). Many people complained and in the end, they
implemented the auto-erase in the trash. I think that it keeps files there
for 30 days, but I'm not sure.

p.s. Just a though: we can discuss this topic for ages here, and whatever
the decision, we'll always have some people disatisfied with the outcome.
It's a controversial topic.

Carlos Ribeiro
Consultoria em Projetos
mail: carribeiro at
mail: carribeiro at
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