[Thunar-dev] overwriting files and the trash

Jannis Pohlmann info at sten-net.de
Sun Aug 13 17:12:55 CEST 2006

On Sun, 13 Aug 2006 14:39:55 +0000 (UTC), Danny Milosavljevic wrote:

> Hi,
> On Sun, 13 Aug 2006 16:07:12 +0200, Jannis Pohlmann wrote:
> > On Sat, 12 Aug 2006 19:25:17 +0100, Erlend Davidson wrote:
> > 
> >> 
> >> On 12 Aug 2006, at 13:57, Jannis Pohlmann wrote:
> >> 
> >> > On Sat, 12 Aug 2006 12:41:16 +0000 (UTC), Danny Milosavljevic
> >> > wrote:
> >> >
> [...]
> > Well, of course you're right. But if I decide to *overwrite* a
> > file/folder, I don't expect the old one to be moved to the *trash*. 
> > The terms are important (at least to me). 
> The point is that you wouldn't "decide" to overwrite a particular
> file, but rather you copy a huge folder over another folder, and it
> will merge them, and overwrite the files with the same name. 

What you describe here are evil side-effects. If you copy a folder
somewhere, you don't expect files to be moved to the trash. While I
understand your point, I disagree with you in that it is a clean way to
handle file/folder name collisions.

> In that
> case the overwritten file should go to the trash. Even when you
> actually just drag&drop one file to a destination folder that has a
> file of the same name, I still think trashing is the right thing.

IMHO, the user should be the one to decide what he wants to do with the
old file. If he drags, lets say, 100 files into a target folder and
about 50 old ones are moved to the trash - how would you notify the
user? Would you open a dialog showing a list with all 50
affected filenames? There is no clean way to do this moving to the
trash automatically. The only way I could imagine is to ask the user if
he wants to "Overwrite"/"Cancel" OR "Move the old file to the trash".

But this would become complex with more than one file, as there would
be two buttons required for the "Move ..." answer ("Move ..." and "Move
all ..."). 

> > Doing it that way (overwrite =>
> > move old stuff to trash) sounds like a crippled variation of a
> > versioned filesystem.
> You just described what a trash is.

The trash has a different purpose than a versioned filesystem has. It
is a temporary storage for files which the user wants to remove in the
near future, but not immediately.

I don't see the need to discuss this over and over again. I just think
it has too much unexpected side-effects from the usability aspect.

- Jannis

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