Feature request: Add "Trash" folder for deleted images

Hi guys,

It would be great if there was an option to change behavior of what “delete” actually does. It would be great if a “Trash” folder would exist for deleted images. It is really scary that any mistake in deleting images is permanent!

Would be great if for example the group owner would be the only one who has the right to permanently delete images. User would delete an image but what would actually happen on the server would be that the links to that image would become inactive, the image disappears from folders and would be moved to a group trash folder where it would stay until permanently deleted by the admin or group owner. Or trash would be emptied after defined period of time … or something like that.

With the problem that deleting a copy of an image deletes all copies of the image without any warning, I think that users can potentially run into serious trouble!



Welcome to the forum @mmb78

Due to the OMERO permissions system only allowing group-owners to permanently delete images would be difficult to implement. However moving “deleted” images to a “trash folder” and requiring the user to empty it might be feasible since it could be done on the client side. Would that be good enough for you?

Thank you for your quick answer! I think that anything that can be done to prevent complete loss of data would be wonderful! So, yes … moving instead of deleting is good solution. How about a possibility that “deleting” would be in fact moving data to a different group? A group where are only the admins and those admins would then have full deletion right and decide on what to do with the data? Would that be possible to implement? Maybe some people would not like this behavior but it could be optional.

I’ve opened a feature request for OMERO.web:

This will require further discussion, and may not be accepted, but please subscribe to that issue for updates.

Moving images between groups will still be limited by the OMERO permissions system, since if a user can move an image into a group they’ll still have permission to delete the image from that group. Since this would require core changes to OMERO.server it’s unlikely to happen.

Maybe this could be solved by only allowing normal users to “Unlink” images. Those would then appear in the “Orphaned images” folder but would not be deleted. Or maybe there could be some file “versioning system” on the server side that only server admins could access.

I understand that there are probably limitations to what you can do but it would be great if there was a solution for two potential scenarios:

  1. I make a copy of an image. Work on one of those, for example for a figure. Some time later I decide that I don’t need the figure and delete it without realizing that this means deleting the “original” image as well.

  2. Imagine a lab member who misbehaves and on purpose deletes all his/her images. Or an account is “hacked”. What if that person was even part of a collaborative group and deletes data of other users.

I’ve added your suggestion of changing delete to unlink to the GitHub issue. Note that at best this would only be a client limitation in OMERO.web, it would still be possible to delete the images using the OMERO API. However, it should reduce the likelihood of accidental deletions.

Thanks for your other suggestions, we’ll take them into account when considering future client development.

I think that updating the Web interface would be a great step towards resolution of this potential problem with accidental loss of data! Thank you!