Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sure, Recycling is Important but...

Windows has an option in the recycle bin preferences that allows the user to skip the recycle bin when deleting files. That preference has been available as far back as I can remember and it was on a short list of options I would tweak when setting up a new Windows computer. I have never had occasion to pull something out of the Trash or Recycle bin in my twelve or so years of computing, but I have emptied these buggers more times than I would like to admit. In it's infinite wisdom, neither OS X nor Gnome/Nautilus allow me to do what Windows has offered for the past decade.

On OS X I had always hacked around this by changing the hidden trash folder, ~/.Trash into a file - which confounds whatever cat-named operating system I am running and pops up a dialog telling me that the file will be deleted immediately since it cannot be written to the trash. This hack fails in two ways, first I have to see a dialog, second sometimes the system would get confused and end up with the trash full icon.

I decided to actually fix this the right way tonight. Yes, I could actually pay for software which can do this - but that is rather silly. I hacked around with someone else's AppleScript and set it up as a folder action to automatically empty the trash when I put something into it. This pops up no dialogs and gives me a satisfying flip-flop of the trash icon from full to empty. Maybe you want this too... I dunno, but here it is.

on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving added_items
try
set trash_files to (list folder this_folder)
repeat with i from 1 to the count of trash_files
set a_file to alias ((this_folder as text) & (item i of trash_files))
set sh_script to "rm -rf " & quoted form of (POSIX path of a_file)
do shell script sh_script
end repeat
end try
end adding folder items to