[v6] Why are there no progress dialogs?

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[v6] Why are there no progress dialogs?

Postby Joel » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:01 am

Some of you have wondered: Why is it that v6 does not come with progress dialogs?

Short answer: we do. It's just hidden. In your Eraser Scheduler, you can double click on a task while it is running to display the progress dialog. This will present the familiar progress dialog that v5 had, with a little cosmetic makeover :)

Long answer: The reason the progress dialogs were removed from v6 and an architecture redesign culminating in an asynchronous interface as well as a unified scheduler because we felt that by doing so:

  • The user can do more things at once. The erasure no longer impedes the user's workflow especially if the erasure is of many files
  • The asynchronous interface allows users to "set and forget". Queue a task and Eraser will inform you when the task is complete using a notification balloon - this is so that users will not be bothered by Eraser and it will fit into their workflow seamlessly
  • The unified scheduler means that all tasks are run on one thread, one task at a time. There is a guarantee that only one task will run at any given time. This is mainly for performance reasons. The average hard disk today has a response time of about ~4ms, but seek time is about 3x as long. This means that when the disk is doing two things at once, the amount of time taken will be about 3x longer than if the disk were to do one thing at a time. This means that erasures proceed faster when more than one thing is to be erased
  • The unified scheduler also allows the running instance of Eraser to handle free space erasures better under standard-user conditions (e.g. under Vista). The global instance means that to erase drives' free space from the Explorer extension is as simple as running Eraser in Administrator mode, followed by going to Computer and right-clicking every drive and select "Erase Unused Space". (in contrast, v5 doesn't allow this to happen)

I hope that the reasons outlined above will give you users an insight as to why the old workflow of v5 was abandoned in favour of the new workflow in v6. Sure, it requires tuning (such as, the handling of errors - currently it is just an error notification balloon) but you can discuss how to improve the workflow in a separate thread (please!).

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