Trash system

V man venom at
Thu Dec 14 08:38:43 PST 2000

On Thu, 14 Dec 2000, Dan Kegel wrote:

> Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 06:39:13 -0800
> From: Dan Kegel <dank at>
> To: Pavel Cisler <pavel at>
> Cc: Ryan Muldoon <rpmuldoon at>, gnome-kde-list at,
     "lsb-discuss at" <lsb-discuss at>
> Subject: Re: Trash system
> Resent-Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 15:38:10 +0100
> Resent-From: lsb-discuss at
> The following sounds like an issue for the LSB, maybe.
> - Dan
> Pavel Cisler wrote:
> > Ryan Muldoon wrote:
> > > One area of collaboration between GNOME and KDE (and other desktops) is
> > > handling of Trash.  I'm sure that Konqueror, Nautilus, and EFM all
> > > implement Trash differently, and this will likely cause user
> > > confusion.  I shouldn't have to think about which filemanager I used to
> > > delete a file that I need to recover.  A standard method for free
> > > desktops to handle trash would be a pretty easy area of collaboration
> > > with tangible results.  On the face of it, there are at least two
> > > issues: Location of Trash, and metadata for the trash.  The location
> > > would probably be easy to agree on, but metadata might be a sticking
> > > point.  I'd be very happy to see some effort to make a common solution
> > > though - it seems Trash handling is along the same lines as DnD and
> > > Cut+Paste for users - an everyday basic function that would be annoying
> > > to have to think about.  Trash should (ideally) just be trash.
> > > 
> > > Of course, a more ambitious goal would be to implement whatever is
> > > decided in GNU "rm" to have a wholly consistent behavior on free
> > > systems, but one step at a time.
> > 
> > It would be really cool to unify the Trash system between the two
> > desktops.
> > 
> > I worked a bunch on Trash in Nautilus and would very much like to
> > cooperate on this.
> > 
> > We use multiple Trash directories on all the partitions that the user
> > tries to delete items and present them as a unified virtual directory in
> > Nautilus.
> > 
> > We have quite an elaborate heuristic that picks the location of the
> > actual physical trash directories on the different partitions. 
> > 
> > While it is really easy to place a Trash directory into your home
> > directory for trashed items from the same partition (we use ~/.Trash),
> > it's harder to pick a good place on the other ext2, etc. disks because
> > there is no standard. 
> > 
> > We create Trash directories on the other partitions as needed, first
> > time a user actually tries to delete something. This helps find a good
> > location that is actually user-writable. Our heuristic starts looking
> > for a user-writable location in the same directory as the original
> > trashed item and continues going up in the partition hierarchy, trying
> > to place the trash directory as close to the partition's root as
> > possible. We then create a trash directory in that place, it is in the
> > form ".Trash-<user_name>", eg. ".Trash-pavel" and we cache the location
> > of it so we know where the Trash is next time. If the user mounts a
> > partition that has not been mounted before (no cached Trash location),
> > we search for the Trash on it first - it could have had Trash from a
> > different system and we want to reuse that.
> > 
> > This way we end up not trying to create trash on disks that have no
> > user-owned (and therefore user-deletable) files, we can deal with a
> > directory that contains user-owned items on a partition that is
> > otherwise root owned, etc.
> >
> > This heuristic is designed to deal with the flexible and free form
> > nature of partitions on Linux and unix systems. It would be much easier,
> > of course, if there was a standard on Trash directory placement on
> > partitions that most file managers adhered to which defined a single
> > location for Trash on each of the partitions. I'd be more than happy to
> > get rid of our complex heuristic if that were the case.
There are too many desktop environment outside, not just gnome kde, if we
standardize trash, then will cde trash, xfce trash, any other DE or WM
with a trash be complient?

I am quite sure that many desktop will be happy to be compliant, but not
cde, and also if ugly, is a big outsider.

I would say, that we should focus to accolpish actual stuff before
start also those secundary aspects.

Luigi Genoni

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