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Ben
11:05 PM
As is my nature - here's a question that's completely irrelevant to the current conversation: how difficult would it be to make a batch execute randomly (once a week)?
 
@Ben Randomly? I can think of a few ways to do it, but...why?
 
Probably not too hard. Do you mean once per Sunday-to-Saturday span?
 
Ben
@MikeQ Yeah
@Miniman We have a "temp" folder on the network. People use it to save things so they have easy access to things
So, we created a batch to delete the contents regularly.
However, because it executes on a set time/day, they've learned when to remove/re-add
 
Are they not supposed to?
 
Ben
@MikeQ No. It's used purely as a temp folder.
 
11:10 PM
That sounds like you're trying to solve a people problem with a technical solution.
 
^ Very much agreed.
 
Ben
I.e. "I've just created (xyz), and put it in the temp folder, move it out so you can weork on it
 
This should be resolved via a policy, maybe some sort of access permissions. A strategy of "surprise, I deleted your file, gotcha!" seems a bit underhanded and will probably aggravate people.
 
OK, so people use it to share files. Do you have a proper way of sharing files they should be using instead?
 
Ben
Yes. People are the problem. But, regardless of how often we tell them "Don't do it", they do it, cos it's easy. So we ("we" as in "admin") have decided to "teach them a lesson"
This is how we do
 
11:13 PM
Intentionally deceiving co-workers like that seems kind of rude, if not unprofessional
 
Ben
@Miniman Yup.
 
@Ben So what makes the temp folder easier to use than the method they're supposed to be using?
 
I mean, if people are deleting their stuff prior to the automated wipe, then what is the problem?
 
Ben
@MikeQ We're not anything big - 10 people max. Yes, it is, by definition "unprofessional", but it's not so much of a thing in our situation
 
Why not just increase the frequency of automated wipes?
 
Ben
11:15 PM
@MikeQ As in, they're not. Before we added the regular wipe, the temp folder was taking up more space on the server than any other folder. There was dupes galore. People had even created folders for themselves
 
Then instead of cleaning once per week (and letting files accumulate), set the schedule to wipe more often. Maybe every 48 hours. Or 24 if you're really limited on space.
 
Ben
@MikeQ Once a week is enough, any more than that is too much. I mean, there's no problem with that, and yes, that would technically solve the problem, but it'd more than likely annoy people into just not using it at all.
 
I gotta go for a while, but my overall take is this: People will use whatever's easiest, so make the thing you want them to use the easiest to use.
 
That forces people to use it more responsibility, without the admins unwanted interfering with their work
 
Ben
@Miniman Exactly. Which is what I'm attempting to achieve haha. The intended system is a separate, complete DMS. This is purely for transfer purposes.
 
11:20 PM
e.g. If they know the temp share is wiped every day at midnight, and their files get cleared out, then that's their responsibility; it's not due to admins trying to "teach them a lesson" without informing them.
 
Ben
Ideally, what I would want to achieve is that this batch runs at 1am, once a week, on a random day. Currently, it runs at 1am, on Thursday. So what people do is they remove the files on Wednesday before they go home, then put them back in on thrusday morning
 
I'd even go as far to say that an admin who intentionally withholds information would be seen as unreliable and untrustworthy. And you really don't want to reach that point in any workplace.
 
Ben
If I get it to run on a random day, even when we get new people in, it enforces the "don't use it for storage"
 
If I'm not convincing you, then I'd strongly suggest asking this on the workplace SE
Also also, a single weekly wipe could still result in more storage bloat, regardless of whether it's regularly or randomly scheduled.
 
Jumping in here quick before I go home, is there a downside to wiping it every night?
If I had to re-copy my stuff over everyday, I just wouldn't use it for storage
 
Ben
11:26 PM
@GreySage Only occasionally. On the off chance that someone moved something for transfer (as intended), then it was forgotten (the person left for the rest of the day, or whatever), and that work was lost, it could be an issue.
 
@Ben But they will still have the issue of lost work if it's randomly deleted.
 
@Ben If you make it clear that everything will be wiped overnight, it won't happen twice
 
Ben
@MikeQ Yes. But finding it from a list of weekly backups, as opposed to the possibility of losing it forever after (x) backups is also a potential issue
 
tl;dr Randomly deleting your co-workers' content isn't going to accomplish what you want it to do. It doesn't enforce consistent behavior because it's an inconsistent enforcement. The most likely outcome is annoyed co-workers, rather than efficient network management.
 
@Yuuki Not entirely, and my main reason for not doing so is that I value meaningful choice, and "the party didn't build a healer" feels, to me, to be an obvious and meaningful choice. If I trivialize healing, there's zero motivation to EVER build a healer, because healing without one is trivial.
 
11:31 PM
Whereas a frequent and consistent deletion schedule has clear advantages: It's easier to implement, easier to manage, is more efficient at reducing storage bloat (on average), and is more likely to encourage consistent and responsible behavior among the users.
 
Ben
I think at this point I should probably say that this is all very good, and very professional advice. In a different situation, this idea probably wouldn't even leave the cubicle. However, in my situation, if the new guy gets on well enough with the rest of us, we'll be teasing each other across the office, and discussing ways to prank each other while they're on the coffee run - this is one such idea
 
Destroying someone else's work isn't a good prank.
I also fail to see how it helps you as the admin
Even if it's random, you still have an average of 1 week's worth of accumulated files
 
@Ben I mean, there's the problem, really. Everyone hates DMSs. Why not just set up a shared drive?
 
Ben
@Miniman Because there's no management. Only permissions. DMSs provide security, version history, workflows, auditing, and even information without having to access the files directly.
 
11:46 PM
@Miniman what does a DMS provide that a version control system can't? (that's bugged me for a while now)
 
Ben
@Shalvenay Depends on the quality of either
 
@Ben I was thinking something like Git or Mercurial (or SVN, if you feel a central server is a necessity) for the VCS
 
Ben
@Shalvenay Ah. Well SVN can compare changes within the document, at upload, which some DMSs don't provide. Mine, for example, just creates a new version of the file every time. You can compare the versions after, but there is no consolidation into a single file
PLus a DMs can also have things like worflows built in to the system, so that people can review, approve and reject work before the new version is placed back into the system
 
yeah -- the workflows thing is probably the biggest thing that a DMS provides
 
Ben
Also, DMSs usually have a middleware that they use so that users don't have access to the files directly.
 
11:57 PM
@Ben that I think is the biggest issue with DMSes
is that middleware stack vs. working in the filesystem
if you didn't mind the performance hit, this'd be a good FUSE app :P
 
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