Archive for July 3, 2024

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Deleting Messages Attachments Everywhere

Ryan Jones:

Deleting any iMessage media from your device storage (i.e. Mac or iPhone) also deletes it from the cloud forever.

Even when:

  • Messages in the Cloud is On
  • Keep Messages is Forever
  • You’re in local storage management

Apple you gotta clarify these message boxes big time!

The other parts of System Settings ‣ General ‣ Storage are about freeing up local storage on your Mac, so you might think that deleting messages attachments would only delete them locally. This would be really useful because there’s no other obvious way of purging the device’s cache to free up space. The confirmation sheet reinforces this belief by showing an icon of a hard drive and telling you how much storage will be freed. Instead, what you’d think would just evict the files actually deletes them from the cloud and all devices.

This is not the first confusion of this kind: the Keep messages setting in Messages also looks like it might refer to the device, but it actually deletes the messages everywhere. You can have one device set to keep Forever, but it will not actually do that if another device is set to a shorter amount of time.


Update (2024-07-04): John Gordon:

I’ve been playing with deleting individual messages in iMessage and seeing what happens on different clients. Wow. It’s kind of a mess. Definitely don’t assume a particular message is always deleted across all devices -- even if’s reported deleted everywhere.

Feature Requests for Death

Greg Pierce:

FB14170572: Add “Date Deceased” field to Contact records

Louie Mantia:

When I worked on iTunes, we briefly discussed inheriting purchased music, but we didn’t build anything for it. Product teams may never prioritize legacy-related features because they’re not glamorous. But a team separate from product design and development could develop a strategy for how a company tackles those issues, with specific proposals for different products.

In addition to birthdate, there should be a deceased date field in Contacts. That data can be used for both memorial purposes and to prevent Siri suggestions about making a posthumous birthday call. There should also be an easy way to archive threads with a deceased loved one in iMessage to preserve those memories. There should be a path to inherit iTunes purchases, even though there are legal differences between a CD and a digital album.

Craig Hockenberry:

Apple should establish a team that deals with the humanity of their products.


Apple should be awesome at preserving and respecting the memories contained in devices that are inextricably linked to our daily lives and the interactions with people we love.


On the Origins of .DS_Store

Arno Gourdol (2006, via Lobsters):

However, we soon started realizing that the Finder backend would be useful outside of the Finder. Therefore, a plan was hatched to someday make it available as a public API. Since I had previously been responsible for naming Icon Services and Navigation Services, we decided to go with Desktop Services (at the time, we were also considering renaming the Finder to “Desktop”). Hence the name of the .DS_Store, for “Desktop Services Store”. We added a “.” in front of it so that it would be considered as an invisible file by Unix OS, including Mac OS.


There is also an unfortunate bug that is not fixed to this day that result in an excessive creation of .DS_Store file. Those files should only be created if the user actually makes adjustments to the view settings or set a manual location for icons in a folder. That’s unfortunately not what happens and visiting a folder pretty much guarantees that a .DS_Store file will get created.

With early versions of Mac OS X, the file handling APIs behaved very differently from the corresponding operations in Finder. For example, NSFileManager would discard metadata such as resource forks and Finder/Spotlight comments when copying a file, and there was no API (other than AppleScript) for apps to do the latter themselves. These particular issues were eventually fixed, but Desktop Services never became public, and there remains no API for much of the Finder backend or what’s in the .DS_Store files.


Update (2024-07-04): See also: Hacker News.