Tom Insam

trash and file replacement

this morning, blech pointed me at a wonderful daring fireball article about file replacement and the trash and things. Now, most of my comments on this stuff is said better by other people, as usual, but there's one point that I feel hasn't been covered.

Application bundles, .pkg files, etc, these are all files from the point of view of the user - I can almost never get the finder to behave as if they're something else. Even copying them around, the finder displays the copy as if it's only one file, a win over the way Risc OS did this. (oh, yeah, riscos. It had bundles 10 years ago. whatever, stale rant.) But they're not, they're folders. So, instead of files replacing files, folders replacing files, etc, we have to special-case bundles as well. That takes us from 4 possible interactions (file-file, folder-file, folder-folder, file-folder) to 9. Quite a jump.

Personally I'm a fan of the 'trash the overwritten thing' approach, and let the user do what they wanted. But on the other hand, I've been bitten really quite badly by the 'running things out the trash' problem. You can't run them by double clicking them, because the trash is 'special'. But you can run them if the dock points at them... Very annoying.