Ticket #61 (closed task: fixed)

Opened 5 years ago

Last modified 5 years ago

Html files and folders association.

Reported by: Overwriter Owned by: Joel
Priority: major Milestone: Eraser 6.0
Component: Documentation Version:
Keywords: Cc: lowjoel@…, gtrant@…
Processor Architecture: Blocked By:
Blocking: Operating System:


When a html file is deleted with the V6 Beta Eraser doesn’t also delete the html folder associated with the file. If you use the standard windows delete it not only deletes the html file but also the folder and contents associated with it.

I would think it would be important for Eraser V6 to behave the same as the standard windows delete and erase both.



#61Html files and folders association.Eraser 6.0

Blocked by

#61Html files and folders association.Eraser 6.0

Change History

comment:1 Changed 5 years ago by Joel

Well, what Windows does is find the presence of a folder with the filename and the suffix _files. If it does, it deletes it together. There isn't any hard association.

What this means is that you can create a folder with the name x.htm, and a folder named x_files, delete x.htm and Windows will delete x_files as well. That isn't a big issue since if x_files really wasn't the html file contents you can go to the recycle bin. In Eraser, it'll be gone forever!

I think it's rather risky, what do you think?


comment:2 Changed 5 years ago by Overwriter

Hi Joel, thank you for considering my ticket !

Well I understand what you are saying and I hadn’t realised that is how windows did it. I assumed there was more to it than windows simply searching for a name on a folder.

Hmm… I thought I would do some testing and I saved a folder to the desktop and then saved a page from the internet of the same name. I was hoping windows would through up an error box and ask me to rename but it didn’t !!! Oops. It just filed the folder with the html files. So should the unlikely event a user having a folder named in the exact same way as the html file then you are correct (as usual) the folder would be deleted.

I am wondering if the user has many saved html pages in a certain folder they may not realise they are not also erasing the associated folder when they erase the html file.

Perhaps Eraser could be better than windows here and when a user tries to erase the html file Eraser pops a box and asks the user “would you also like the associated folder to be overwritten ?” Or something similar.

comment:3 Changed 5 years ago by Joel

  • Status changed from new to pending

comment:4 Changed 5 years ago by Joel

Well the backend and the frontend here is disconnected, there isn't a way to do that (within the current framework).

Did you notice the Log window? Would you reckon that'll be a good enough place? The reason the dialog is not a good idea is because users may run recurring tasks and they'll get popups out of nowhere.

comment:5 Changed 5 years ago by Joel

  • Cc lowjoel@…, gtrant@… added

comment:6 Changed 5 years ago by Overwriter

  • Status changed from pending to new

Jeez this is a tough one ! I wouldn’t have imagined this problem !! :o)

It would be great to just assume that no one would have a folder called the same name as a web page but I guess we cannot do that.

How about this ?

Eraser cannot erase html files if only the html file is selected.

In order to be able to erase html files both the file and the associated folder must be selected. So in the event of a schedule run on a given folder there will be no problems as the html file and folder are within the same folder being erased and therefore are both assumed to be selected. No problem there. :o)

If a user selects a html file manually on the desktop for example, and presses erase, Eraser either does nothing or throws a warning that in order to maintain the users privacy the user needs to manually select the associated html folder (which may contain other data than just the website files, (our whole reason for doing this)) or “windows delete” the html file sending it and the html folder to the recycle bin where Eraser can erase them both.

This way only when a user manually does something do they receive a warning so they don’t just pop up from nowhere.

So Eraser needs a filter to see when it is erasing a html file, when it finds one it has to check to see the html folder has also been selected otherwise either ignore or warn.

Sorted :o) ….or is it ?

My goodness all this just to erase a downloaded webpage. This must be a nightmare for you Joel !!

comment:7 Changed 5 years ago by Joel

  • Status changed from new to pending

Your first idea is already what's happening: nothing's erased unless the user explicitly requested for it.

Regarding your second idea, well, that means we always check for an associated folder with the file being erased? I was thinking along the lines of logging the folder which we found into the log, so nothing's modal and user workflow won't be affected. Sending it to the recycle bin is potentially more dangerous as then files may seem to disappear and users may assume that the folder is gone when it is still lurking in the recycle bin.

comment:8 Changed 5 years ago by Overwriter

  • Status changed from pending to new

“Regarding your second idea, well, that means we always check for an associated folder with the file being erased?”

Only when erasing html files no other.

I doubt many people will actually check a log, not home users anyway.

This is a tough one isn’t it ! :o)

comment:9 Changed 5 years ago by Joel

  • Status changed from new to pending

You know, thinking about it, it is difficult to check whether the associated files are going to be erased. Here are a few possible scenarios:

  1. .htm selected, no associated folders selected
  2. .htm selected, one or a few files in associated folder selected.
  3. .htm selected, all files in associated folder selected.
  4. .htm selected, associated folder selected

And the inverse: .htm unselected, associated folder selected, etc.

How are we going to check for the pairing? :S

comment:10 Changed 5 years ago by trac-robot

  • Status changed from pending to closed

This ticket was closed automatically by the system. It was previously set to a Pending status and hasn't been updated within 14 days.

comment:11 Changed 5 years ago by Overwriter

  • Component set to Core

I understand this one is a pain to work out and there are other things to do but I thought I would resurrect this “zombie” ticket.

Has anyone had anymore thoughts on this ?

comment:12 Changed 5 years ago by Overwriter

  • Status changed from closed to reopened

comment:13 Changed 5 years ago by Joel

Not me... I'll wait for a consensus before doing anything on this.

comment:14 Changed 5 years ago by Overwriter

I'll ask Chris to have a look here, he has a good idea of what a user expects to happen.

comment:15 Changed 5 years ago by chris12923

I understand where you and Joel both are comming from. I think

if the user doesn't select explicitly what is to be erased I

don't think it should be erased. Like Joel said with the recycle bin
the user can say oh crap I didn't mean to delete that and pull it out.
With Eraser it's gone. Now maybe somewhere in the docs or during
install or somewhere it would be nice to let the user know this to
avoid complaints. Just my 2 cents..

comment:16 Changed 5 years ago by Overwriter

OK I will add it to the docs.

I guess a user could do a quick clean up of unwanted HTML files and folders by simply using windows delete, thus sending the files to the recycle bin.

From then on it is user error if they erase their recycle bin without checking its contents first.

comment:17 Changed 5 years ago by Joel

  • Priority changed from minor to major
  • Status changed from reopened to assigned
  • Component changed from Core to Documentation
  • Type changed from defect to task
  • Owner set to Overwriter

Document this, then. Since you're the docs guy its yours!

comment:18 Changed 5 years ago by Overwriter

The docs guy !!! The docs guy !!!!! I do sooooooo much more than that !!! Ha ha :o)

Please have a read of the text below and if what I have written is good enough please copy it and use it then close this ticket !


Secure erasure of downloaded HTML files and associated folders.

If you wish to simply delete a downloaded webpage and its associated folder on your hard drive you can right click it and select the Windows “Delete” command.

Windows will then move the HTML file and its associated folder to the Recycle Bin. After you are certain that you no longer require the HTML file and folder you can right click the Recycle Bin and select “Empty Recycle Bin”. Windows will then mark the file and folder as free space and remove it from the recycle bin view.

Obviously the file and folder are still actually on your hard drive within the free space, but they are inaccessible to the user without specialist recovery software.

Clearly as you are obviously aware of Eraser and its privacy capabilities you may want to employ it to permanently and immediately remove your downloaded HTML files and folders. Some time and consideration was spent on deciding how Eraser should address the secure overwriting of downloaded HTML files and associated folders as things were not as simple as first thought.

The question was, should Eraser assume that because a HTML file had been selected by the user that the user necessarily also meant to erase the associated folder ?

Windows can make this assumption as there is always the rollback of the Recycle Bin should the user realise they have unintentionally deleted the folder also. With Eraser there are no second chances, when you erase with Eraser that file and folder are gone for good !

It was decided in the end that Eraser should only ever erase user selected files and folders and nothing else. Although this removes some of the convenience to the user as they now have to manually select both the HTML file and associated folder before instructing Eraser to erase them, it was thought a safer option.

Should you for example have many downloaded web pages on your hard drive selecting both the HTML file and folder would be very time consuming and cumbersome. You may wish to be able to quickly sort which files and folders you want to delete with the expediency of the Windows ability to associate HTML files and folders but also require the security Eraser provides.

There is fortunately a workaround for users who would like the convenience and security of both methods combined. Make sure you know what you are doing and you are certain there is absolutely no indispensable data tucked away in a folder that is associated with a HTML file before proceeding.

You can use the Windows delete option as described above, but stop before emptying the Recycle Bin. This will send both the HTML file and its folder to your Recycle Bin for review.

You now have all the HTML files and folders you selected within the Recycle Bin. This gives you the option to wait or double check you haven’t deleted something you would rather not have done. After a period of time or whenever you are absolutely certain you have not removed a folder with data you require in it you can proceed to securely erase the Recycle Bins contents.

To do this, simply right click your Recycle Bin logo on the desktop and select Eraser / Erase. Eraser will then securely overwrite the contents of your Recycle Bin with the method you have selected in the “Settings” page of Eraser’s main program.

All data held within the Recycle Bin at the time of Erasing will become unrecoverable.

comment:19 Changed 5 years ago by Joel

  • Owner changed from Overwriter to Joel
  • Status changed from assigned to accepted

I'll review it...

comment:20 Changed 5 years ago by Joel

  • Status changed from accepted to assigned
  • Owner changed from Joel to Overwriter

Alright, let's include it in our documentation! Do we wanna put it in Trac?

comment:21 Changed 5 years ago by Joel

  • Status changed from assigned to accepted
  • Owner changed from Overwriter to Joel

I've included it in a draft documentation document on my computer.

comment:22 Changed 5 years ago by Joel

  • Status changed from accepted to closed
  • Resolution set to fixed
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