[tahoe-dev] #1104: the button to unlink a child from a directory should not be labelled "del"

David-Sarah Hopwood david-sarah at jacaranda.org
Sun Jul 4 19:26:57 UTC 2010

> On 2010-06-29 8:48 AM, tahoe-lafs wrote:
>> #1104: the button to unlink a child from a directory should not be labelled "del"
>> -------------------------------+--------------------------------------------
>>   Reporter:  zooko              |           Owner:
>>       Type:  defect             |          Status:  new
>>   Priority:  major              |       Milestone:  undecided
>> Component:  code-frontend-web  |         Version:  1.7.0
>>   Keywords:  easy usability     |   Launchpad Bug:
>> -------------------------------+--------------------------------------------
>>   It should probably be labelled "unlink". In general I think it is hard for
>>   users to understand the difference between deletion and unlinking, and we
>>   can hopefully make it a little easier for them by being consistent in our
>>   choice of words.
> The file systems that people are accustomed to using, treat and display 
> an owning link, where unlinking realy does delete, differently from an 
> non owning link - and the vast majority of links, the normal case, are 
> owning links, which form a true tree, and can be subjected to tree 
> manipulations.

You're missing the point of the ticket.

The Tahoe unlink operation does not delete. It can't, partly because it
doesn't know whether the unlinked child is referenced from elsewhere, and
partly because a write cap to the directory from which the entry is being
unlinked does not (and should not) grant the authority to delete the
referenced object.

So, 'unlink' is a better name for this operation. That's all this ticket is
about. There is no prospect of changing the semantics of this operation so
that it really deletes the target object, since that would not be

(A successful call to unlink(3) does not necessarily delete the target in a
Unix filesystem either, but that's also beside the point.)

David-Sarah Hopwood  ⚥  http://davidsarah.livejournal.com

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