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Recycle Bin + Network

Let's say I am working with a Word document opened on my computer, but the .doc file actually sits on another computer (because it's been "shared") on the network. If I delete that file it doesn't get moved to my recycle bin nor the other computer's recycle bin, but dissappears into thin air.

1. Is this assessment correct?
2. Is this a bug with Windows?
3. In a company that accesses files routinely off the network, can't this create a lot of havoc?
4. Are there any utilities to restore this lost file?

Thanks for your input.

Chi Lambda
Thursday, December 12, 2002

"Let's say I am working with a Word document opened on my computer, but the .doc file actually sits on another computer (because it's been "shared") on the network. If I delete that file it doesn't get moved to my recycle bin nor the other computer's recycle bin, but dissappears into thin air."

1. Is this assessment correct?

Oh yes.

2. Is this a bug with Windows?

Not as such; Windows is behaving as designed. That is, this is supposed to happen even though its dumb.

Now if you want to say that this is really stupid design I'd agree, but it's not a bug when something works the way it was designed to.

3. In a company that accesses files routinely off the network, can't this create a lot of havoc?

Heard of backups? Thats all we use in the college I work at, and god knows with the students and non computer literate staff there we have a fairly "hostile" network environment. Backups serve us just fine.

4. Are there any utilities to restore this lost file?

As a matter of fact there are. I forget their name but the people who did diskkeeper defragger supply one, and i believe ontrack might too.

Robert Moir
Thursday, December 12, 2002

"Backups serve us just fine."

But they offer no way near the convenience that the recycle bin does, right?

Practical geezer
Thursday, December 12, 2002

1. Is this assessment correct?

Yes it is.

2. Is this a bug with Windows?

No. Think of the days before Windows. A file deleted was a file deleted. Not transfered to a lame "recycle bin". At that time the perception was MAKE NO MISTAKES. I thank windows for staying the f*** away from my servers.

3. In a company that accesses files routinely off the network, can't this create a lot of havoc?

Today, yes, and it does. When you let incompitent workers reach important files, and permit them to delete them, it only says that you are a lousy net admin.

4. Are there any utilities to restore this lost file?

Yes there are. Don't remember the names though. I'm sure that we all remember fondly dos 7's "unerase" command, that opened a gate to that blue limbo of past's files. Because of the way FATs work, it was'nt the ultimate solution sine you couldnt really unerase something you overwritten. But this just emphasizes my point.
DONT MAKE MISTAKES.

THeDeepFriedAlbino
Thursday, December 12, 2002

"Today, yes, and it does. When you let incompitent workers reach important files, and permit them to delete them, it only says that you are a lousy net admin."

Now there's a useful attitude. I am guessing you are not one of these incompetent workers then? Never had an app crash on you and take your data with it? Ah, but you probably only use apps that don't crash! Or don't use apps at all?

But wait, you are not the BOFH, are you? Are you?

Practical geezer
Thursday, December 12, 2002

I am a technical writer. my "apps" (Word) crash all the time. Thats why they invented that little gadget called the "Save" button. if you'll "Save" frequently, you will probably avoid that need entirely. I'm a TW for 3 years now and lost only one file. 2 years ago. Never made this mistake again, although I was able to reconstruct the document pretty easily.

A BOFH? no, But I'll take that as a compliment.

THeDeepFriedAlbino
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Nevertheless, there are many innocent ways of making a mistake. Even for the competent. We are only human after all.
For instance, you select a file for deletion and later realise that against all odds you need it after all. The recycle bin is a useful concept for those circumstances and many more, that are not under your control.

And don't get me started on having to press save to have your computer not lose your data. That should be the norm, not loosing data, and there should be service for the exeption. Not the other way around.

Practical geezer
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Back in the days of my cherished 8088, I used to back up things that I THOUGHT I did not need and delete things that I KNEW that I did not need. That's what I did when I had that 20 MB HD. This experience taught me the importance of space and relevance of a work method.

When something moves to the recycle bin, it is added to files you deleted in the last three months or so. Then you end up deleting files you need just because checking those 374,551.5 files stored there is even harder.
This results in even more "casualties".

THeDeepFriedAlbino
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Having a recycle been is no excuse for being careful. Stuffing everything in the recycle bin just because you can't be bothered to check first is indeed reckless and obviously leads to more casualties.

I say being careful and having a recycle bin (or rather, undo) is better then either alone could ever be. Even do you don't need undo most of the time, it is useful some of the time. And only for a limited period of time, right after the offending action. Anything beyond that is less effective because of the reason you cite.

So yes, your being careful and responsible is a good thing. But even so, properly used, a recycle bin is a good thing too.

Practical geezer
Thursday, December 12, 2002

You are going to a circus show/ you are hiring.
Will you go see the trapeze artist that uses the safety net/ the employee that uses the recycle bin?

THeDeepFriedAlbino
Thursday, December 12, 2002

I fail to see the relevance.

Of course I want the person who is the most responsible for the job, but want to see what is more exceptional when I go for entertainment.

I would certainly not hire a cowboy who claims he needs no safety net, because he is so good. It only shows that he is likely to take risks unnecessarily.

This is a silly comparison and if you fail to see that, well, I am sorry.

Practical geezer
Thursday, December 12, 2002

I agree. But I meant that symbolically. Obviously you took that comparison a little bit too far, but this is my fault.

Bare with me a little longer:
A worker should be able to work without the recycle bin. he should get used to work properly and methodically.
If a worker counts on the recycle bin he counts on something else to do the job for him, which brings up the question, why not make a recycle bin for the recycle bin? and a third, and a forth? Seems as if I draw the line on the user and you on the software.

My point is:
At the end, its always the user.

THeDeepFriedAlbino
Thursday, December 12, 2002

I like that delete on a remote machine works that way.  I never have liked deleting twice like you do locally.  Usually I am deleting files in the several gig size range so appreciate that they don't go to recycle.

Crusty Admin
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Crusty Admin,

Recycle Bin > Properties > "Do not move files to Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted"

Duncan Smart
Thursday, December 12, 2002

"If a worker counts on the recycle bin he counts on something else to do the job for him, which brings up the question, why not make a recycle bin for the recycle bin? and a third, and a forth?"

I agree that under normal circumstances one should be responsible enough to be able to work without a safety net. I also agree that if one starts to count on the safety net, there is a problem of some sort.

However, I disagree that you thus must eliminate the safety net. In whatever form.

In fact, the safety net should not be used to catch the errors one should have cought themselves, but to support ones work to be more productive.
That is why many applications these days have some form of undo. Not to correct your stupidity (no you personally of course), but to allow exploration of various alternatives.
And though their might not be a ready example for the recycle bin, accidents still happen. You might think you select one file, inadvertently hit the down arrow before you press delete -- maybe because you are temporarily distracted -- and you'll be thankful that there is the recycle bin to correct the problem.
Shouldn't happen? Of course. Couldn't happen? Don't be to sure.

"Seems as if I draw the line on the user and you on the software."

I draw the line at where the software is supposed to support the user, not oppose her. We create safety nets all over the place not to dodge responsibility, but to improve safety. We create tools to help us do a better job, not to punish us when we make a human mistake. I can accept a human making a mistake because of our design. I can't accept a tool that could easily complement us, but forces us to be aware of our shortcomings instead.

But I digress...

Practical geezer
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Digress? Actually I find your view very interesting and relevant.

You see, as you probably remember, back in the unerase days, human errors where treated immediately by a rather long and tiresome procedure (comparing to just dragging the file out of the bin). This kept you on your toes.

My view is rather on the psychological side. When you know you can make mistakes, you won't be as alert.

There is always a way to recycle/undo/unerase or if we go a little bit back, unformat. You can always go back to the backup.

I'm just saying that the fact that it became so easy, it made the average user reckless.

TheDeepFriedAlbino
Thursday, December 12, 2002

"My view is rather on the psychological side. When you know you can make mistakes, you won't be as alert."

"I'm just saying that the fact that it became so easy, it made the average user reckless."

I am not argueing any of that. But I am saying that there are other reasons besides recklessness that speak in favor of undo or recycle bins.
By protecting yourself against recklessness, you are also depriving yourself of some very substantial benefits. And it really doesn't help against recklessness, because the reckless are still going to mess up, but now it will be even harder to recover.

So, why suffer in an attempt to protect against recklessness, when it is hardly effective. By the same token, you might feel that people shouldn't use power tools, because now any nitwit might attempt to build his own house. But then legitimate builders have to give up a lot of practical power too.

So basically, what I am saying is, protect against abuse not by removing the tools, but by removing the abuser, and let the competent use both their competence and the power of their tools to be more productive.

Because in the end, accidents will happen, regardless of your competence, and sometimes totally out of your control -- like the cat jumping on your delete key -- and convenience is your friend under those circumstances more than ever.

Bottom line, convenience.

Practical geezer
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Human errors happen because we are human. We don't do very well when it comes to tasks that require repetition or carefulness. Machines do, that's why we build them. To support us in the things we know we don't do well, so we can do the things we do well better.

Practical geezer
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Oftentimes the computer is in the way of people working as they want.  That's why errors occur -- we're fitting a general-purpose machine to their specific needs.  So error-tolerant systems are needed.

Tj
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Quote:
"Backups serve us just fine."

But they offer no way near the convenience that the recycle bin does, right?

End Quote.

Right. Our backups offer no way near the conveniance of the recycle bin. Very true. They exceed it in usefulness by an order of magnitude.

Backups are consistent, reliable, don't require users to know what they are doing in order to use them properly.

Recycle bin is none of the above. It's handy for the home user but woefully inadequate for real work.

Robert Moir
Thursday, December 12, 2002

We're having a discussion here but each carries his arguments on a different platform entirely.

Yes, being able to recover files is important. 100% behind you on that.

Question is, is this convenience harmful or productive?
Walk over to the closest secretary (I assume that you are at work right now) and open his (notice my non-sexist tone) recycle bin. Count the files there. I get a point for every file over 200. Then go to your net admin and ask her (yet again, non sexist) which workers sector calls her more on emergencies. Yes. Secretaries.

Bins get most of the "normal" users to "stock" files. I mean, if bins were used as they were meant to be used, each of us would have about 10 files max in every given moment in time.
While getting the users to "stock", they do not serve the average users from harming themselves. Your average secretary simply doesn’t give a damn.

Now when the net admin needs to recover a file totaled by a "secretary" (= every incompetent user) she needs first to go through 200 other files before he gets to the file he is looking for.

So yet again. Recovery methods are there by the dozen. What I'm asking is what needs to be done to get the secretary safely scared enough that he will HAVE to start thinking and ask questions and learn.

TheDeepFriedAlbino
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Putting things in the recycle bin is not deleting.  It's placing something from a highly-organized place (filesystem) to an unstructured place (list of stuff).

If you don't run out of HD, there's not much point to ever deleting anything.  I suppose the HD will be more fragmented.  But the pain of not emptying your recycle bin is that it's so unstructured that it becomes painful to work with.  That's negative feedback too.

Of course, there are always going to be people doing self-destructive things.  We all use financial systems, but most don't do it well.  So there are a lot of financial people (something like sysadmins) employed to smooth things over and profit.

If I were a sysadmin, I would install stuff on peoples' machines so I could just log in remotely and smooth things over.  Including grepping for the Hossenpfeffer Report in the recycle bin.

Tj
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Tj you just said what I was mumbling about all along that conversation...
Thanks!

TheDeepFriedAlbino
Thursday, December 12, 2002

The whole issue of where deleted files go is a leaky abstraction.  I can have my deleted files go to my recycle bin.  You may not like the recycle bin, but it's a feature and a user is entitled to use it.  But he has to be aware that files on the network are gone when he hits delete.  He has to be aware of where that file lives.  Why should he care?

I'm not saying that a deleted network file *should* go to the a recycle bin, either local or remote.  But the point is, behavior depends on a detail that the user is mostly protected from seeing.

Brian
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Hmm. I'm seeing folks say the safety net needs to be there, others pointing out how people get careless when they count on the safety net too much...

How about this:

We leave the recycle bin alone, letting it continue to function as it does now. That takes care of the need for the safety net.

We send 200 volts to the keyboard whenever anybody actually tries to recover anything from the recycle bin. That should make people be careful about needing to undelete.

<g>

anonQAguy
Thursday, December 12, 2002

An "aware" user, usually doesnt use the recycle bin.

TheDeepFriedAlbino
Thursday, December 12, 2002

That's brilliant anonQAguy...

TheDeepFriedAlbino
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Thanks, DeepFried -

actually, I think when somebody does implement:


sendCharge(hostname,
          username,
          numVolts,
          numSeconds,
          msgText) {
... code ...
}

It'll be really, really popular.

I'll bet customer support will want it included in all new versions of apps so they can "better assist the user with more definitive feedback", sysadmins are going to line up to use it... "no, you CAN'T touch that file!".

<g>

anonQAguy
Thursday, December 12, 2002

I'm taking notes here.
So you're saying that there should be a new standard of copper covered mice and keyboards?

CCMK?

TheDeepFriedAlbino
Thursday, December 12, 2002

DeepFried -

yeah. for now it will, with some mods to the power supply of course (only sends 5 v dc now).

Should do to get people used to it and get the bugs worked out until the personal computer-chip implants come along, anway.

Then we can lower the voltage, at least, and still have the same 'zap', because we'll have direct internal tissue contact then.

what's 'ccmk' mean?

anonQAguy
Thursday, December 12, 2002

damn -

s/for now it will/for now that will do/

anonQAguy
Thursday, December 12, 2002

Seems to me it's a design flaw.

Certainly it is unpardonable that you only find out about the non-standard behaviour when you have deleted something and  go back to get it only to find it's not there. At the very least you ought to get a "Deleting this File cannot be undone; it will NOT be stored in the Recycle Bin" and No, as the default answer.

The owner of the file can set the NTFS file permissions to only allow him to delete, but the owner of the file might be somebody who's never even used a context menu, let alone be capable of the arcana of sharing.

So you would have to get the sysadmin to set permissions for the whole folder. Awkward, and do  the users really want to have to email you to ask you to delete something.

And what about the guy on the home network of his desktop and his laptop?

There'ss a standard rule of interface design called the 123 rule. It says that you use one click to execute a trivial decision, two clicks (i.e. confirmation box) to execute a potentially serious decision, and three clicks (click, confirmation box and Recycle Bin) for potentially disastrous ones.

Stephen Jones
Friday, December 13, 2002

My car has many facilities to protect me against the consequences of a crash, I am sure your cars have them too.

Should they be removed to make me more aware, and afraid, of the consequences of a crash? Would that make me a better driver?

If you answer yes, then of course you should remove a recycle bin too. Some people have found though, that fear is not a very good motivator, and that those who get lazy, or reckless, or whatever, will always find ways to continue that behaviour. You will find that people don't often change their ways because you try to force or control them, they'll simply adapt.
If you care to avoid that behaviour, you'll have to avoid the people who exhibit it, or understand what motivates them and change that. Anything else is simply treating symptoms.

I think most of the discussion on the bin actually stems from two incompatible points of view. One side beliefs that people who are irresponsible should be punished or scared into responsible behaviour. The other side beliefs that the responsible should not have to suffer merely because of the irresponsible and that punishment or scaring isn't effective anyway.
I happen to be on "the other side". Not by accident, but because of the results of decades of research and experience by many experts of much greater fame than you or I might ever acquire.

Practical geezer
Friday, December 13, 2002

I still feel that Tj's explanation:
"Putting things in the recycle bin is not deleting.  It's placing something from a highly-organized place (filesystem) to an unstructured place (list of stuff)."
Put it best.

The bin is a good tool for home uses. Others need to know what thy are doing.
a car licence is given to anyone who past a test, but will you let them all drive?

TheDeepFriedAlbino
Friday, December 13, 2002

If you have to answer no, you have to improve the test.

But if you question everything like this, will you ever trust anything or anyone? Of course things can be improved, but if you wait until things are perfect, you will never get anything done.

So is the recycle bin perfect for some of the things I am defending? No, but it's beter than not having one most of the time. Can it be abused? Definitely. Should you it be removed until evolution has eliminated the reckless? Nah.

And do people need to know what they are doing? Yes, as long as it is part of the goal they are trying to accomplish. And if there are potentially dangerous side effects to them, others, or their surroundings, at best  the effects should be made reversible, or when impossible, the effects should be made very clear and very hard to accomplish by accident.

Practical geezer
Friday, December 13, 2002

"Should you it be removed until evolution has eliminated the reckless?"

Just to be clear, I meant to say "Should it be removed ..."
At no point did I mean to suggest you should be removed :-)

Practical geezer
Friday, December 13, 2002

Windows is doing the correct thing absolutely.
If 5 different people delete the file and its in everybodies recycle bin what does restore mean?
Imagine the confusion.

Think, just think.

Sum people are Dum
Friday, December 13, 2002

Dear Sum People Are Dum,
                                            Your name indeed appears to suit you to a tee. Such self-insight!

                                            If you delete it from the file of the SERVER you want it to go into the RECYCLE BIN ON THE SERVER. Then you grovel to the sysadmin to get your file back.

                                            And how could five people delete the file separately anyway. When one has deleted it it isn't there anymore for anybody else to delete.

Duh!

Stephen Jones
Saturday, December 14, 2002

Well that's because you're not thinking, just thinking stephen.

TheDeepFriedAlbino
Saturday, December 14, 2002

" I am a technical writer. my "apps" (Word) crash all the time. Thats why they invented that little gadget called the "Save" button."

Hey, I used to be a Mac user too! :-)

(sorry couldn't resist. This realy flashed back all those years of doing Command-S every 15 seconds)

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, December 16, 2002

Actually - this is a bug, or a actually a "mis-feature" as we like to call it. technically its not a bug as its behaviour is consistant and somewhat expected. but it doesn't follow the overall design of the recycle bin methodology.

As for what you can do - some non-microsoft SMB file servers, for example net appliances based on Samba, offer this "network recycle bin" functionality. its also available as a patch to the current Samba stable version, and is scheduled to be integrated with the main HEAD before version 2.3.

Trestop
Tuesday, December 24, 2002

You guys want to chill out a bit, the recycle bin is a useful 'safety' net for items deleted by accident.......humans make mistakes.....thats the bottom line, live with it.

Rich B
Monday, August 02, 2004

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