Marking Temporary Files

Why do so many operating systems refuse to define a standard temporary file marking mechanism? It could be a reserved lead character such as the ~, or a reserved extension such as .tmp. It could be a file attribute bit. Because they refuse, there is no fool-proof way to scan a disk for orphaned temporary files and delete them. Further, you can’t tell where the orphaned files came from. This means the hard disks gradually fill up with garbage.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)