Feature request: user defined plug-ins

A

Anonymous

Guest
Feature request: user defined plug-ins for cleaning up specific applications

Some cleaner programs like Privacy Eraser (gotta love that name) offer the convenience of an architecture that supports user defined plug-ins for cleaning up specific applications. Granted, Privacy Eraser is not nearly as thorough a program as Eraser, but I have to admit this is a pretty useful feature, and one that I really wish Eraser had when I began trying to configure it.

One way it could work (and the way Privacy Eraser users share expertise) is that end users use a tool to save their application-specific erasure parameters in files called plug-ins and then upload these plug-ins to a web based repository. The best of these get added to a big default library of plug-ins, which can be download and unzipped in the application's plug-in directory.

If Eraser had this feature, it would help newbies get up to speed more quickly while providing a way for all users to collaborate and benefit from what we are learning.

Comments?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Personally, I think this kind of stuff is a waste of time, and I'd rather spend my time doing something worthwhile. If you need to clean up after a program, it's better to switch to another one, which doesn't dump any unwanted data to the disk. These "cleaner" programs are just like antivirus software, instead of addressing the actual problem, insecure software, they treat the problem (detect viruses, or erase unwanted data). In my opinion, this is just plain stupid.

Anyway, if you don't want to switch to a better program, you could try encrypting your hard drive to prevent anyone from recovering the data you wish to clean up after running the program.
 

garrett01

Administrator
Staff member
Quoting the style of 'guest'


Plugins would just create more treatments and not cures. It would lead to a bloated eraser and take the product away from its objective.

Tools like spybot take endless hours of updating. It would serve us better to continue to invest in our other security products and create 'cures'

Do keep the ideas flowing.

Garrett
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Now wait a minute.

What I think I'm hearing is that Eraser doesn't need to support user-defined plug-ins for erasing data from specific applications because users shouldn't be using insecure applications in the first place, and that supporting plug-ins would bloat the code.

First off, users don't always have a choice about the applications and operating systems they have to use -- otherwise there'd be no point for Eraser to exist. It is precisely because users don't always have a choice that the world needs Eraser. By extension, the same argument can be made in support any architecture improvement (like plug-ins) that has the potential to radically improve the ability of the Eraser community to collaborate as well as making Eraser easier to use.

Second, approached correctly, adding support for plug-ins shouldn't bloat the Eraser code at all. All that's needed is to write code that reads all plug-in files from a single directory at program initialization and then populates the various tables in the Eraser ui. The file format for a plug-in could be text, maybe simple key/value pairs or xml, that describe items to erase. You write this once, then publish the file format. Users, not the Eraser development team, define the plug-ins. No code bloat, because Eraser developers aren't writing plug-ins -- only the interface. Testing? Leave that to your users... they'll quickly sort out the good stuff and publish it on the forums.

What's the downside here? Am I missing something?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
WildShovel said:
What I think I'm hearing is that Eraser doesn't need to support user-defined plug-ins for erasing data
No, what I believe you are hearing is that the developers would rather spend their time doing something more productive. However, this does not prevent someone else from adding plugin support on top of the Eraser library (hint, hint).

and that supporting plug-ins would bloat the code.
It would. If I were to add plugin support for Eraser, I would definitely want to create a separate program for the task instead of bloating the existing Eraser front-end, "eraser.exe".

The file format for a plug-in could be text, maybe simple key/value pairs or xml, that describe items to erase.
In other words, all you want is a way to create scripts that use Eraser. You can already do this with batch files and "eraserl.exe", can't you? All that is missing is a central repository for these scripts.

What's the downside here? Am I missing something?
Yes, someone has to write the code.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
It would. If I were to add plugin support for Eraser, I would definitely want to create a separate program for the task instead of bloating the existing Eraser front-end, "eraser.exe".
If eraser.exe is just the GUI front-end, then I don't understand why a plug-in interface, should one ever be created, would be put anywhere else. And again, how would adding support for plug-ins interface "bloat" the code, if it's well designed, straightforward and modular?

In other words, all you want is a way to create scripts that use Eraser. You can already do this with batch files and "eraserl.exe", can't you? All that is missing is a central repository for these scripts.
Scripting via batch files is fine for your more technically minded users; plug-ins are just more user friendly. A bunch of predefined plug-ins and a simple plug in editor would open up Eraser to a lot wider audience of less technically minded (but no less devoted) users. As your user base grows, so would the library of plug-ins.

What's neat about this approach is that like the open-source model, user-defined plug-ins would harness the efforts of many people toward a common goal, only this time non-programmers could contribute in a meaningful way. With all the new applications that come out each year, and all the new versions of existing applications, there's no way a small team could keep up with publishing all the latest application-specific cleanup tips. But think of a 100, or even 1000 hard-core Eraser users sharing how they clean up the many different applications they run across... What is it the Chinese say, "Let a thousand flowers bloom"?

No, what I believe you are hearing is that the developers would rather spend their time doing something more productive. However, this does not prevent someone else from adding plugin support on top of the Eraser library (hint, hint).
Ok ok I get the hint... I appreciate there's code involved. I mean, here you are, you have a lot on your plate already, you're doing this for free, and here's this guy coming at you about plug-ins -- if he's so darned excited about plug-ins maybe he should just write the damn code himself. Well, I am a programmer. Perhaps I'll have a look/see...

I really hope this didn't come off as a complaint. Let me say for the record that I think you folks have done a commendable job with Eraser, and I'm grateful for all the work you've put into it.



[/i]
 
Top