A remote like the directory special remote can have objects that have not been fully transferred to it by an interrupted copy, that linger until the copy is re-run and the content gets fully sent to the remote. It would be good if git-annex unused could find and clean up such things, like it does for incomplete transfers into a git-annex repository.

In the directory special remote, these are files named "tmp/$key/$key".

This would need to be an extension to the remote interface to add an action to find when a key has such a file, and an action to delete one of them.

A problem is that any such file might actually still be in the process of being sent, perhaps from a different repository than the one where git-annex unused is being run. So deleting such a file could cause that transfer to fail. This problem seems unavoidable generally.

It's also possible for a special remote to get keys stored in it which git-annex does not know about. For example, in a temporary clone of the git-annex repository, add a new file. Send it to the special remote. Then delete the temporary clone.

git-annex unused --from can't detect those keys, because it can only ask the special remote about presence of keys that it knows about.

Might it be possible to solve both problems together? Eg, add an action that has the special remote list all keys and partial keys present in it. --Joey